15 Tips to Better Amazon Listing Photos

What is the purpose of photos in your amazon listings? The answer will be different depending upon whether you are an individual or professional seller. If you are an individual (i.e. not a business) then the objective will be to create images which convey authenticity and spark interest, perhaps by adding an artistic feel like this:

And if you are a business selling on amazon then your objectives may include – creating a sense of scale, communicating product utility and so forth, such as this:

But regardless of the objective, what’s important is that we take high quality photos with clear, consistent light so that they can serve their purpose effectively. Here I will share some tips for taking better photographs for selling on amazon.

The basics of lighting

The quality of light will affect the photo significantly. To take better photos for amazon you will want to control the direction, colour and intensity of your lighting so that it complements your product. For example, light colours like blue can be unflattering when used on certain products. Camera flash (from the built-in flash) is usually very harsh, creating dark shadows which disrupts the look of a photograph. Avoid using this unless absolutely necessary (e.g. poor backlighting where nothing else can be done). A simple way to get natural looking photographs is to use available light (from lamps/windows etc.) during daytime hours (i.e. when is coming from outside), or make use of other lights (e.g. a spotlight) indoors:

Many cameras also come with an ‘automatic’ and/or ‘manual’ mode that adjusts the intensity and direction of the flash accordingly; you should experiment to see what works best for your photos. It is important to note that if you are shooting in manual mode, many cameras will adjust the shutter speed automatically according to how much light there is – do not change this!

Now let’s move on to photographing objects…

It is very important when taking product photos for amazon listings, particularly for photographs where scale or utility isn’t obvious from just looking at it, that we communicate these aspects effectively to our customers. To do so we need to pay attention to the finer details in the photos.

Some tips for photographing objects

  1. Take photos from different angles and distances.
  2. Photograph your product against a plain background (e.g. white, wood, etc.) if possible so that no unnecessary distraction is placed around it.
  3. Ensure that there are no distracting elements placed across the top of the photo or within view (e.g. cords/plugs) which could detract attention away from the product because people may think they are defects
  4. Try using natural light to take photos so that they look ‘natural’ instead of as though they have been artificially lit by a lamp or studio lighting equipment – this can be done through opening curtains, blinds, windows etc. to let in more light during the day:
  5. Ensure that shadows are consistent by having your lights coming from the same angles each time you take a photo. Shadows will vary if taken over different days, at different times of the day or if the light is not consistent so always try to have consistent lighting conditions… with harsh camera flash being one exception 😉
  6. If photographing multiple products, place them close together so that they look associated/related to each other which creates interest and helps customers quickly browse through your listings for similar items. This can be done by shooting them against a white backdrop rather than shooting them individually separated onto separate backgrounds which doesn’t create an effective selling environment
  7. Product images with multiple angles showing each side of the product create a more effective selling environment for buyers as it shows them more details about the item.
  8. With jewelry or other products where individual features are important, make sure to highlight specific features (e.g. characteristics, textures etc.) by taking photos from different angles with closer detail shots to showcase each quality of the product being sold
  9. Don’t place your product on top of shiny surfaces or reflective objects because this may cause unwanted lighting within the photo.
  10. Make use of shadows – these can be used to show textures and small intricate parts of your product making it look appealing in photos. However, don’t have too much contrast with the shadows because this could create distractions. Shadows also give objects depth especially if they are near each other
  11. When taking photos of products that have open parts, e.g. watches, jewellery etc., do not show the product with its packaging because people don’t want to see it – all they will be looking for is the product itself. Place your product onto a plain background instead and focus on photographing just the main item being sold without any associated elements.
  12. Try using props in photos but don’t use too many as this can look confusing and distract from the actual product being sold:
  13. Metallic/reflective surfaces or objects may need to be lit differently or photographed from different angles so that they don’t look out of place
  14. Look at other amazon listings to see how they present their photos and try to emulate this with your own product listings.
  15. People who buy from amazon want a great buying experience so make sure that you offer them one by using these tips when photographing your products:
    • Have detailed photos which accurately show the item for sale
    • Have multiple angles showing the product in detail
    • Highlight features such as characteristics, textures etc.
    • Use shadows where appropriate (or not!)
    • Emulate listing styles used by amazon sellers

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