Create great photography that boosts online sales

Sam Carden Written by Sam Carden

5 min read   -  19th September, 2023

Create great photography that boosts online sales

Every click counts in online sales, so a strong first impression can be the difference between a slim profit margin and a huge success on a well managed budget. You only have a few seconds to ‘capture’ the attention of users, and in an increasingly visual online space, photography can make or break any marketing campaign.

Let’s take a look at the importance of high-quality photos, some tips on how to make the most of your shoot, and how to achieve all of this on a budget. We’ll also consider User Generated Content and other less obvious ways of sourcing photography for your brand.

Why are photos so important for online sales?

The Internet is driven by compelling visuals, with users often making decisions quickly when they see something they like. Studies have shown that it takes 50 milliseconds for a user to form a first impression of a website, so you can imagine how quickly a product image will be judged. Those first impressions count.

Photography is vital for online sales,  as people retain 80% of what they see, so you get a fast track to staying in users' minds if you get the right image of your product or service.

According to Forbes, content with visuals gets 94% more total views than plain text alone. Most importantly, catching the attention of users can be the difference between a sale or another bounce from your site.

Aside from bounce rates and other marketing metrics, it’s important to remember that any image related to your brand is representative of the quality you offer. The right photography will showcase the quality of your product, and the details and specifics of the services that you offer. This is especially useful for products that users can’t physically interact with before making their purchase. Texture, features, and details are all there to be showcased.

Ultimately, high-quality images that accurately showcase your products or services help to build trust between you and the customer.


Food photography examples

*We love food so we're going with food photography examples. Hungry yet?

Best practice for getting great photos

1. Smartphones

Make the most of the quality cameras you already have access to, in your smartphone. You can create professional-grade images for your e-commerce using just a smartphone, so long as you take time to learn the settings and functions available to you.

2. Lighting

 You want your images to all be clear, eye-catching and engaging. This is all achieved through good lighting. It doesn’t need to be in a studio or shot with an expensive lighting setup, but ensure your lighting showcases the very best features.

3. Composition

Everything in the image should draw the eye of the viewer straight to the product or focus of the image. Simple techniques like the rule of thirds can be really effective in pulling focus to your product in larger images.

4. Simplicity

Less is more. We’d recommend using a block colour background for product photos to maintain consistency and help keep the focus solely on your products. To save time and budget, keep the lighting the same if you’re photographing multiple items.


Photography best practices

5. Consistency

Aside from consistency in your photography setup to save time and money, consistency can play a vital role in helping your brand stand out. Think of it this way, if you incorporate a consistent brand colour, photography style, or product detail into your images, you’ll curate a brand ‘look’ that can become recognisable.

What exactly should you photograph?

1. Choosing the right product

By being specific and intentional in your choice of what you photograph, you can highlight products or services that best represent your brand. Consistency is key.

2. Showcasing product benefits

It’s true that pictures tell a thousand words, so save time on reading and show how your products can benefit users directly and solve their problems.

3. Details

Don’t just show off the overall look of a product. Alongside full product photos, take time to focus on details. This includes things like textures and the various different settings or states of each product. If you have a service, now’s the time to show what makes your service stand out from the rest.

Photography on a budget

Creative budgets can be tight, especially if you’re trying something new for the very first time. Before you double your budget under pressure, here’s a quick reminder on what to do when working with a more limited budget.

Get these right, and you may find you don’t need to spend as much as you initially thought.

  • Focus on quality over quantity. This is an opportunity to cherry-pick the best products or services that encapsulate your brand identity. By zoning in on a few key best-sellers, you’re making sensible decisions about budget distribution and not spreading your finances too thin.
  • Consider simplifying your setup. Product photography doesn’t need to be revolutionary; clear, bright, engaging images will do the trick. Less really is more.

User Generated Content (UGC)

Something you may not have considered that can be a real game changer for ecommerce advertising is User Generated Content. 
This can be a brilliant way to show authenticity and trustworthiness in association with your brand and products. It goes beyond just a photo with zero context.

Now you’re actually showing customers the reality of your product, going beyond just a sales page on your website. Customers can see not only how a product is used, but how other happy customers have interacted with it. It’s proof of its effectiveness.


Photography on a budget

Paid for influencer content

This is where you pay an influencer or online creator to create the product photos (or videos) for you. Some influencers will do this in exchange for just the products themselves, but many with a decent following in your target demographic will ask for an agreed payment.

Aspirational content

This personality-driven content also has an aspirational quality to it. You can tap into the lifestyle or aesthetic of your client base and inspire them to introduce your products to their daily lives.

Summary of how great photography can boost online sales

Photography is a vital part of any product-led ecommerce campaign, grabbing users' attention and showcasing the very best that your brand has to offer. But to get started, you don’t always need to hire an expensive photographer. By following the guidelines laid out in this article, we hope you’ve discovered just how much can be achieved on a limited budget, with no studio or professional-grade camera required.

With options like budget-saving tips and user-generated content available, there’s an entry point for every company to take their product photography to the next level. The only question is, what are you going to photograph first?

It starts with discovery

Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.

Get in touch Get in touch

It starts with discovery

Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.