🚀 Ignite your growth: Discover 30+ new tools to get ahead in our new Ecwid Igniter. Learn more →
Everything you need to sell online

Set up an online store in minutes to sell on a website, social media, or marketplaces.

E-Commerce for Beginners: Product Photography Mistakes That May Cost You Sales

Ecommerce for Beginners: Product Photography Mistakes That May Cost You Sales

6 min read

When shopping online, people strongly rely on pictures. 22% of online shoppers return products because the items looked different in the picture. That’s why product photography is so important.

From our experience at Ecwid, we’ve noticed that many beginner businesses make the same photography mistakes. Luckily, they are very easy to fix — and we’re here to help.

This post is not about pro photo editing tips: on the contrary, you’ll learn how to make a simple but quality picture that will actually sell your stuff. So, before you announce your grand opening, be sure to avoid the following faux pas.

How to sell online
Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Please enter a valid email address

Product Photography Mistake #1: Poor Background

A poor background distracts the attention away from the product and makes the picture look amateurish.

Product photography mistake: background

Make sure your background doesn’t draw attention away like here

When in doubt about what background to choose, stick to plain white. For small products, use a sheet of paper and a couple of clips; for bigger products, use thick cloth or a white wall.

Product Photography Mistake #2: Blurry Pictures

It may sound obvious, but lots of merchants still make this mistake. Bad-quality pictures don’t allow customers to get a proper view of a product.

product photography mistakes blur

Blurry or unfocused images won’t make sales

Keep an eye out for blur at every step of your photo session:

  • Make sure the lense is clean
  • Focus your camera on the product before shooting
  • Hold it tight and use a stabilizer
  • Don’t shoot too close to the product
  • If you resize or crop your pics to optimize them for the web, double-check the quality of the final images.

Product Photography Mistake #3: Extra Stuff in the Picture

Multiple products in a picture can look good if:

  • They are of the same type so it’s clear what you sell exactly on this product page
  • You arrange them in a flattering way.

However, if you’re just starting out, composing your images can be tough. When playing with angles, keep an eye out for accidental distractions from the item you’re trying to present.

Product photography mistakes extra

The other cup obviously shouldn’t be in the picture

It’s best to have some air around your product too: even if something gets in your shot (pet owners will get this), you’ll be able to crop the image later.

Product Photography Mistake #4: Poor Lighting

Сheck out the examples below: in the first case, the image is too dark; in the second case, it’s too bright. Both pictures are unflattering to the product.

Product photography mistakes light

One of the basic photography tips for beginners is to shoot in daylight. Artificial lighting can be aggressive, cause hard shadows, or make your images look too warm. Natural light in the morning or at sunset is soft and bright enough to flatter your products.

Product Photography Mistake #5: Bad Angle

In the example below, you can’t see the picture on a product and whether it has a handle — you don’t know what the item actually looks like.

Product photography mistakes angle

The actual shape and size of this cup are not clear

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play with angles. On the contrary, a creative and unexpected composition in your product images can bring fun to the shopping process. Just make sure you display the most important features of your product in the main picture, and add more pictures in the gallery.

Product Photography Mistake #6: Different Ratios

The first picture in the example below is rectangular, and the second is square:

Product photography mistakes ratio

Just like with angles, there’s nothing wrong with combining different ratios, but that’s more of a pro play. If you’re a newcomer to e-commerce, it can be challenging to design such a layout. So you may end up with your product grid being hard to navigate and confusing. The human brain is constantly looking for patterns, so help your customers browse your store by making your product catalog symmetric.

If you use Ecwid E-Commerce for your online shopping cart, it automatically adapts your pics ratio to the grid you’ve selected:

Ecwid storefront design options square

Square ratio

Ecwid storefront design options portrait

Portrait ratio

Ecwid storefront design options landscape

Landscape ratio

Learn more about design options in Ecwid: New Ecwid Design Settings: Dozens of Customization Options, No Coding

A Checklist for a Solid Product Picture

Okay, it’s time to review your product images. Look for:

  • A neutral white background;
  • High resolution and proper focus;
  • No other items in the picture;
  • Soft natural light;
  • The picture represent the product realistically;
  • More images of different angles in the gallery;
  • Consistent ratio.

Great product photography 32

Product photos can be as simple or sophisticated as you want. But to make product pictures sell, it can be enough to indicate your product’s best features in your shots and stick to a quality image. The rest comes with time and experience.


Table of contents

Sell online

With Ecwid Ecommerce, you can easily sell anywhere, to anyone — across the internet and around the world.

About the author

Lina is a content creator at Ecwid. She writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce. She loves to travel and runs marathons.

Ecommerce that has your back

So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

Your ecommerce dreams start here

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Your Privacy

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. More information

More information

Strictly Necessary Cookies (Always active)
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
Targeting Cookies
These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.
Functional Cookies
These cookies enable the website to provide enhanced functionality and personalisation. They may be set by us or by third-party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.
Performance Cookies
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.