A very important component of every e-commerce website is quality imagery. For new customers, the images on your website are the primary tool to invoke their desire to buy your products - poor quality images are likely to cause doubt in your product quality in prospective buyers, well composed high quality images on other hand can promote trust in your products and business as a whole.
Common belief is that if you have a good camera on your phone, you can quickly snap some images and use them. This is certainly not the case. Even if your camera is ok, significantly more difficult aspects of product photography are lighting, composition and post-processing
Although it is possible for a non-professional to do a good job, it does require a significant amount of willingness to learn, effort and patience, which in turn require a significant amount of time. Unless you are an enthusiastic photographer, hiring a professional should be considered.
Sourcing Images from the Product Manufacturer
If you are reselling products manufactured by somebody else, best is to check the manufacturer’s website for product information and imagery that you can use or contact them and ask for images. In many cases manufacturers, especially larger ones, would typically have decent images, which you can use. Manufacturers would normally not charge you for using their images to promote their products, as long as you are an authorized reseller.
Source Images from a Content Provider
Content providers such as silo.co.za can supply images and certain information for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). This is a very efficient way to get quality product images on your website with very minimal effort, but it is limited to mainstream grocery and household products.
Using Generic Images
There are many royalty free stock photography websites, such as www.shutterstock.com and istockphoto.com where you can buy generic images for your website. This works well if you sell something where you don’t need an exact image of the product, such as fruit and vegetables, nuts, in some cases cooked foods and others. Price of images varies a lot depending on the website and the number of images you buy, but budget somewhere between USD 5.00 and USD 30.00 per image, can be cheaper per image if you buy many images or use one of the cheaper websites.
Hire a Product Photographer
This works better if you have a decent range of products, at least a few dozens, and new products come infrequently. Many photographers have minimum session charge, so doing a shoot for one or few products can get pretty expensive. Expect a minimum session fee of R 3,000 or more and per product charge of R 100 or more, for a relatively standard 3 pictures per product shoot. Prices vary of course, depending on the type of products, picture requirements, location and more.
Do it Yourself
As mentioned above, this is not as easy as it may seem, if you are short on time and not too enthusiastic about doing photography. You may need to buy an inexpensive DSLR camera, even some of the cheapest DSLR cameras with kit lenses will do just fine, as there are hardly any DSLR cameras that wouldn’t perform well taking pictures of static objects in good lighting. In addition to the camera, you may need a photographic tent, good lighting setup and of course a tripod for your camera.
Promotional & Informational Images
Promotional images include any banners and sliders promoting products or services on your website. Informational images can be used for things like fancy FREE SHIPPING banners and similar. Creating promotional images typically requires some image editing software, creativity and skills. It is possible to do it yourself if you are enthusiastic about it and have the time, but otherwise it is better to leave it to a professional graphics designer.
If you need a product photographer or a graphics designer to help you with banners and other images, contact us and we will put you in touch with our partners.