6 Photography Tips for Small Business and e-Commerce Websites

camera-01If you think that taking photos for your small business website is simply a matter of pointing, clicking and then uploading I have some bad news for you.

If your photos are blurry, poorly composed, poorly lit or just plain inadequate people won’t buy what you’re selling. Instead they will head off to another site online that treats them with more respect and shows them images that will encourage them to buy.

So if you have never tried taking anything but happy snaps here are six tips that will help you take better photos because better photos lead to more sales so don’t make the mistake of ignoring these tips.

Tip 1: You can achieve good results with a cheap camera and you can achieve good results even if you are not a professional photographer. So don’t think that you can’t do the job.

Tip 2: Take your time, don’t rush, don’t just point and click. You may not be trying to win a photographic competition but you are trying to take a photo that will sell your product and make you money so take your time.

Tip 3: Compose your photo. Look through the view finder or at the screen on the back of the camera and pay attention to what else you can see around whatever it is that you are photographing. Remove all those things that are distractions or rubbish.

You want people to see the item you’re photographing and not be distracted by all the other stuff that you were too lazy to move away from the subject of your photo.

Tip 4: Look at the lighting. Are there lots of shadows that are covering up some important details or is there so much light, natural or otherwise, that the glare is going to make it hard to see those important details?

Simple and inexpensive workshop lighting that you can pick up in a hardware store can solve a lot of problems if there are shadows or low lighting levels. If there is too much light do all you can to reduce the amount of light that is hitting whatever it is that you are photographing.

Tip 5: Don’t settle for just one photo. Take a number of photos from the same spot and then move around the subject taking photos from different angles. Make sure you have a number of photos to choose from because you won’t know if that one photo you took is usable until you download it.

If your hands were shaking and you only took one photo then you will have to go back and do it all again but if you’ve taken three or four photos from each angle your chances of having usable photo is greatly increased.

Tip 6: If you are taking a photo of a product that you want to sell through an online store then don’t use just one photo unless the product is almost one dimensional.

Take photos from different angles and add them to your product page. Think about what shoppers do when they walk into a bricks and mortar store that sells your product. Shoppers will pick the product up and examine it but they can’t do that if they are buying online.

However, they will feel happier about making a purchase online if they can see photos taken of the product from a number of different angles. It’s the closest they can get to actually picking it up and looking at it.

Bonus Tip: Hire a professional photographer if you can afford one and only do the job yourself if money is tight.

Both Toni and I are reasonably good amateur photographers, and that probably puts us above many small business people who rarely pick up a camera, but we almost never take photos for clients. We will take photos for our own business sites but if a client is paying then they deserve the best.

Instead of doing the photos ourselves we hire a professional photographer because a professional photographer produces professional results and that’s what you want on your website.