Product Photography Guide 


Chapter 4

Ti?? F?r O?timizing Y?ur Pr?du?t Photos

What is it, and why is it important?

Wh?n ??u h??r ?b?ut “optimizing” ?r?du?t photos, ??u ??n interpret it two diff?r?nt ways d???nding ?n h?w f?mili?r ??u are with digit?l photography ?nd im?g??. You might think ??timiz?ti?n m??n? a technique f?r t?king the b??t types ?f photos f?r ??ur eCommerce w?b?it?.

Y?u might also think ??timiz?ti?n r?f?r? to t??hni??l ?????t? th?t g?t ??ur im?g?? ready for th? int?rn?t, even if ??u d?n’t know mu?h ?b?ut them.

B?th ?r? ??rr??t, ?? both are types ?f ??timiz?ti?n, although in v?r? diff?r?nt w???. We’ll ??v?r b?th in thi? eCommerce Univ?r?it? l????n.

What Are th? B??t T???? ?f Pr?du?t Ph?t?? f?r an Onlin? St?r??

W?’v? di??u???d th? ?dv?nt?g?? ?f photography th?t i??l?t?? ??ur ?r?du?t? ?n a whit? background. We also bri?fl? m?nti?n?d that you should t?k? multiple ?h?t?? ?f ???h ?r?du?t displaying it fr?m different angles. But how m?n? ?ngl?? are necessary, and whi?h ?n???

Pr?du?t Photos fr?m Multiple Angles

G?n?r?ll?, a fr?nt, b??k, ?nd ?id? vi?w ?r? sufficient, but you may w?nt to expand u??n these t? provide m?r? d?t?il ?nd to m?k? ??ur ?r?du?t? m?r? ?nti?ing. Some ?r?du?t? lend themselves w?ll t? 3/4-view ?h?t??, while ?th?r? don’t n??d them.

For example, a 3/4-vi?w ?h?t? of a ??ir ?f ?h??? ?r?vid?? the type of additional information some customers ?r? looking for, ?? th?? ???k t? ?i?tur? th?m??lv?? w??ring the ?h??? ?nd imagine how they’d l??k fr?m diff?r?nt ?ngl??.

But a 3/4-view im?g? ?f a product lik? a w?ll ???t?r would be ??intl???. Y?u’d n?v?r n??d t? ?h?w a poster from ?n? ?ngl? ?x???t the fr?nt, unl??? it ??m? with a built-in h?nging apparatus ?n th? back.

H?w about ?id? vi?w?? Is ?n? side view ?n?ugh? Y??, unl??? th? another side ?f th? ?r?du?t i? diff?r?nt fr?m that shown in ??ur fir?t side-view photo. Sh??? are ?n?th?r g??d example ?f this, ?????i?ll? ?n??k?r? which ?r? often quit? diff?r?nt on th? ?r?h ?f the f??t versus th? ?ut?id?.

Ultim?t?l?, u?? your ??mm?n ??n?? when it ??m?? to t?king diff?r?nt-?ngl?d ?r?du?t ?h?t??.

If di??l??ing the ?r?du?t at a ??rt?in ?ngl? will ?ith?r

  1. expose m?r? d?t?il ?b?ut th? product, ?r
  2. m?k? th? product look d?n?mi? and int?r??ting, ?r both, th?n take a ?r?du?t photo from that angle. B?th are lik?l? t? increase ??l??.

Lif??t?l? Ph?t??

Lif??t?l? ?h?t?? ?r? th? ?x???ti?n t? the whit? background rul? — thi? t??? of photo ?h?w? your product in u?? ?r ?n example ?nvir?nm?nt. For ?x?m?l?, m??t apparel retailers in?lud? ?h?t?? of m?d?l? w??ring available ?r?du?t? whil? engaged in t??i??l ??tiviti??, lik? ?h???ing, w?lking outdoors, r?l?xing, ?r ?l??ing sports.

Th??? ?h?t?? ??n b? ???n in tr?diti?n?l ????r?l catalogs ?? well ?? ?nlin? stores. The advantage ?f th??? ?h?t?? i? th?t th?? m?k? it ???? for th? shopper to ?ut themselves in the model’s position, u?ing ??ur products in day-to-day lif?.

A lifestyle ?h?t? ?f a product in ?n environment h?l?? ?u?t?m?r? understand h?w th? product will fit int? their ?nvir?nm?nt. Furnitur?, l?m?? and lighting, ?nt?rt?inm?nt ???t?m? and m?r? ?r? ?ll prime ??ndid?t?? f?r these t???? of photos. An?th?r good ?x?m?l? i? the ???t?r w? m?nti?n?d ??rli?r.

Whil? it m?? be tru? that a photo ?f th? b??k ?f a ???t?r would be u??l???, th? ??m? ???t?r ??uld benefit from b?ing ?h?wn ?n a w?ll ?l?ng?id? ?th?r ???t?r? ?nd t??i??l decored.

S??l? Ph?t??

Scale ?h?t?? help to ?h?w the ?iz? ?f a ?r?du?t b? di??l??ing it n?xt to ?th?r products. T? properly take a ???l? photo, ??u n??d to compare your ?r?du?t with an item ??ur ?u?t?m?r? ?r? familiar with.

S?m? ??ll?r? u?? coins or ?th?r ??mm?n objects f?r scale, still n?v?r b? afraid t? use something ?? ?im?l? as a rul?r. R?m?mb?r, you d?n’t want ?u?t?m?r? to think th? “???l? it?m” i? in?lud?d with the product!

S??l? photos ??n d??i?t a ?r?du?t n?xt to a ???ling it?m with th? typical white b??kgr?und, or th?? can overlap with lif??t?l? photos b? ?h?wing your product in a r??m with other it?m?. Th? latter m?th?d i? u?u?ll? m?r? ?ff??tiv?, although th? fir?t method might be n??????r? f?r very small products.

F?r v?r? f?mili?r t???? ?f ?r?du?t? where ?iz? i?n’t r??ll? in qu??ti?n, you ??n skip th? ???l? ?h?t??, ?????i?ll? if ??u have lifestyle ?h?t??. Cu?t?m?r? will b? ?bl? t? get enough information from ??ur other ?h?t?? of th?t ?r?du?t.

Whi?h Ph?t?? to In?lud??

If ??u’r? going t? u?? lifestyle and ???l? ?h?t?? ?n a ?r?du?t page, d?n’t ?ki? the “r?gul?r” ?r?du?t ?h?t?gr??h?. If ??u’r? using a m?d?rn eCommerce platform t? run your ?nlin? store, ??u h?v? ?l?nt? ?f r??m f?r ?r?du?t ?h?t??.

In?lud? a ??m?l?t? ??t ?f r?gul?r product ?h?t?? fr?m ?ll th? ?ngl?? you d??m n??????r?, along with ?n? lif??t?l? ?nd ???l? im?g??. Th? ?v?r?ll ?ff??t ?f this collection of ?r?du?t ?h?t?? i? ??t?nt, ?? it h?l?? ?u?t?m?r? f?rm a ??m?l?t? image in th?ir mind? ?f wh?t ?wning and u?ing ??ur ?r?du?t will b? lik?.

T??hni??l O?timiz?ti?n? f?r Product Ph?t? Im?g? Fil??

Wh?n ??u t?k? ?h?t?? with a ??m?r?, th?? are lik?l? to b? in a large format like a BMP (bitm??), EXIF (?x?h?ng??bl? image file format), TIFF (t?gg?d image file f?rm?t), or RAW (literally a “raw” ??m?r? im?g? file). While ??m? gr??hi?? software will l?t, ??u work directly with th??? image formats t? do ??ur background r?m?v?l ?nd ?n?th?r ?diting. Y?u needs to save your im?g?? int? ?n ???r??ri?t? f?rm?t f?r use on th? web.

Fir?t, ??u mu?t understand th? diff?r?n?? b?tw??n a l???? fil? f?rm?t ?nd a l???l??? file format. “L????” f?rm?t? h?v? th?t n?m? b???u?? th?? r??ult in a loss ?f quality fr?m th? ?rigin?l, whil? lossless fil?? d? n?t. Thi? loss ??n b? invi?ibl? t? the naked eye, but ??u ?h?uld still b? ?w?r? ?f it.

R????t?dl? ??ving an im?g? in lossy format will ??ntinu? to r?du?? qu?lit? with each saves. For ?x?m?l?, ??m? ?m?rt?h?n?? save im?g?? directly int? .jpg f?rm?t, but .j?g i? a l???? fil? t???. If ??u ?dit a .j?g im?g? dir??tl? and ??v? it as a .jpg ?g?in, ??u’ll lose qu?lit? ???h time ??u d? thi?. Y?u can get ?r?und thi? i??u? in th? following w??:

  1. O??n th? .jpg you n??d t? edit with gr??hi?? ??ftw?r? lik? Ph?t??h??.
  2. Before you edit th? .j?g, ??v? a copy ?? a different f?rm?t. In th? case ?f Photoshop, thi? i? a .??d file. D?ing thi? will ?l?? giv? ??u ?????? t? all th? graphics editing tools th?t you ??uld not n?rm?ll? u?? dir??tl? ?n a .jpg image.
  3. P?rf?rm ?ll your ?dit? in th? .??d file (?r ?n?th?r w?rking f?rm?t). While ??u d? thi?, ??u can ??v? ??ur w?rk fr??l?.
  4. Wh?n ??ur ?dit? are ??m?l?t?, save ??ur working fil? usually ?nd th?n ??l??t “S?v? As…” ?r “Ex??rt” fr?m th? m?nu, and choose .j?g ?r another web-friendly format from th? list.

If ??u n??d t? ?dit .j?g fil?? directly ?nd you can’t ??v? th?m ?? a working file t??? fir?t, you ??n still ?v?id qu?lit? l??? by ??ving ??ur ?dit?d .j?g into a l???l??? format. A g??d choice f?r thi? is .png, as it ?r?vid?? lossless qu?lit? and i? fri?ndl? f?r di??l?? ?n w?b pages. 

Creating Int?rn?t-Fri?ndl? Im?g? Fil??

Th? .j?g and .png f?rm?t? ?r? b?th ??rf??t for u?? ?n th? int?rn?t. Sin?? .j?g i? a l???? format, it r??ult? in ?m?ll?r fil? ?iz?? — and if ??u’r? careful, ??u w?n’t l??? too mu?h qu?lit?.

Th? .?ng f?rm?t i? much newer, l???l???, ?nd ?l?? ?u???rt? m?r? image d?t? in?luding tr?n???r?n??. Fil? ?iz?? ?r? larger th?n with .j?g, but rarely l?rg? ?n?ugh to ??u?? ?r?bl?m?.

R?g?rdl??? ?f whether you ??v? your fil?? in .j?g ?r .?ng, ??u need t? t?k? a f?w ?dditi?n?l ?t??? t? m?k? them w?b-fri?ndl?. These involve optimizing the ?iz? and r???luti?n t? ?????r on a ??m?ut?r ??r??n ?r ?th?r device.

Image ?iz? i? m???ur?d in ?ix?l?, ?u?h ?? 1200×800 (an im?g? 1200 ?ix?l? wid? b? 800 ?ix?l? t?ll). R???luti?n i? measured in ?ix?l? ??r in?h (PPI). B?th affects th? ?iz? of the im?g? as it appears on your screen, ?nd th? speed ?t whi?h the image i? l??d?d ?nd di??l???d.

L?rg?, high-resolution im?g?? ?n?bl? ?l??? viewing ?f tin? d?t?il?, but ??n ?l?? dr?g your w?b?it?’? l??ding ????d d?wn t? int?l?r?bl? levels.
P???l? wh? ?r? f?mili?r with th? process for ?rinting images are often likely t? ?v?r??tim?t? the r???luti?n ?nlin? im?g?? n??d t? be.

Print r???luti?n i? u?u?ll? 300 d?i (d?t? ??r inch — like PPI for ?rint?r?), but a 300 ??i im?g? is unnecessarily large for a ??m?ut?r display. Seventy-two PPI i? th? ideal r???luti?n f?r ?nlin? im?g??, n? m?tt?r th?ir ?iz?.

The process of ?h?nging the size of image pixels i? called r??izing while the ?r????? ?f ?h?nging th? PPI r???luti?n i? called resampling. N??rl? all graphics programs ?ll?w you to r??iz? and r???m?l? images, ?ft?n in th? ??m? menu.

You’ll b? ?bl? t? ?h???? ??ur d??ir?d image size and resolution together b? ?nt?ring th? t?rg?t numbers into text fields, but ?h??k that changing ?n? ??ti?n doesn’t alter the ?th?r. If this h????n?, ju?t turn th?m in a diff?r?nt ?rd?r.

Wh?n changing im?g? size, ??u’ll also see a ?h??kb?x t? lock ?r ?r???rv? the ?????t r?ti?. Which m??n? you ?nl? h?v? t? change one of the image’s dimensions ?nd the other will ?ut?m?ti??ll? resize to k??? the im?g? in ?r???rti?n. If ??u d?n’t l??k th? ?????t r?ti?, you ??n ?nd u? with a ?tr?t?h?d or ?qu??h?d image.

S? n?w th?t you know how t? ?h?ng? them, what’s th? b??t im?g? ?iz? ?nd r???luti?n f?r ??ur ?nlin? ?t?r?? As we m?nti?n?d, 72 PPI i? the b??t resolution. A? f?r ?? ?ix?l size, f?r regular product ?h?t??, k??? the image’s l?ng??t dim?n?i?n between 600 and 800 ?ix?l?.

Th?r? are ?????i?n?l exceptions t? thi? im?g? ?iz?, ?u?h ?? u?l??ding larger images t? ?ll?w customers t? zoom ?l???l? into your ?r?du?t ?h?t?? if ??ur ?C?mm?r?? software ?u???rt? im?g? t? zoom.

D???nding ?n your ?C?mm?r?? ??ftw?r?, ??u m?? be ?bl? t? skip ??rt ?f th? image r??izing process.

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