Why product photos matter

Hello creatives.

Happy Wednesday!  Today's post will be the first in an ongoing series of posts that discuss the importance of have really stellar photos of your products.  Actually, scratch that.  Not just of your product, but of you.  Of your brand.

In this world of creative business, we are as much a part of our business and our success as the things we actually sell.  Take me for example.  I sell photographs.  I could be the best photographer in the whole world, but if I'm kind of a jerk, dress like a hobo, or have as much personality as a doorknob, I'm likely not going to be very popular.  Clients and customers want to connect with something.  If they want to buy a stuffed animal for a child and don't care who's behind it, they're probably going to buy one from Toys R Us.  The reason why people will buy handmade, shop local, and support indie, is because they connect with you.

Which leads me to my next (and main) point.  In this day and age, where technology rules and social media seems more popular than actual human interaction, the majority of your supporters will be encountering you for the first time online.  Through your website, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, your Etsy shop, etc, etc, potential supporters will be making first impressions about you, your business, and your wares.  Let me preface what I'm about to say with this:  what's on the inside counts, don't judge a book by it's cover, and give people second chances.  Now scrap all that, because basically no one online is going to be doing that.  I'm going to use Etsy as an example.  There are somewhere in the vicinity of 900,000 active shops on Etsy, which means that tiny little thumbnail image that represents that product has to stand out amongst all of the other if you're going to be successful.  Also, having good images will get you placed in areas where you'll gain more exposure, like gift guides, curated treasuries, and Etsy finds.  Etsy is just one small example of a larger system, in which the same rules apply.

Take the images above for example.  Which notepad are you more compelled to buy?  Which one more clearly shows potential buyers the quality, size, and colour of the product?

Further to first impressions, your product photos will be how potential buyers get to know your products.  Your photos need to be an exemplary representation of your products.  Not only will having great images increase your sales, it will also reduce returns and unhappy buyers.  If your image is poorly lit, doesn't show the scale/size of your product, and/or has white balance issues that misrepresent the colour of your product, your customer may end up being very unhappy when their purchase arrives in the mail (or they may not end up your customer in the first place).  Oh, if you don't know what white balance is - stay tuned.  There will be more about that in later posts. Additionally, keep in mind that there's something about low quality photos that conveys to potential buyers that the product is low quality too.

To summarize, the reasons why product photos matter are:

1.  Photos tell the story of you, your brand, and your wares.

2.  Your photos are the public's first impression of you.  If they're not good, the public will pass.

3.  Good photos will give you an opportunity for further exposure.

4.  There are a billion other people trying to sell stuff too.  Your images need to stand out amongst the masses.

5.  Good photos will increase sales and reduce returns.

So there you have it folks!  Now you're well informed about why you need get/keep your photos in tip top shape.  Keep an eye on the blog for future posts that will cover equipment needed for great product photos (spoiler: you can take product photos with your smart phone), lighting, how to DIY your own lightbox, how to create dynamic photos, basic editing, and more.

Happy creating!

- Amy

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