Amazon Product Photography Ultimate Guide 2020
Amazon is a great online marketplace where millions of buyers and sellers go to for their businesses. There are a lot of reasons why this platform is considered to be one of the best. These include the services they provide and the convenience they give to their customers. This applies to both the buyer and the seller.
One of these many services is the complete representation of the product through detailed images. This is called Amazon Product Photography.
Through Amazon Product Photography, the buyer can see all the aspects of the things they wish to buy. This can improve the whole experience for them. This helps in building a good reputation.
Amazon Product Photography means that the seller makes sure that their potential clients have ease in seeing the product. They do this by outsourcing photography services to various firms. This guide shows sellers how they can accomplish this. Other than that, we will also specify instructions and examples of successful products.
When you want your product to be photographed, you send the product to the firm with instructions. Some of the instructions are granted and already confirmed. But there are some instructions you can give. This includes how many photos you want, which angles you want etcetera.
It will come as no surprise to hear that attention spans are at an all time low. Your Amazon listing is competing for eye-time with just about everything else in your customers’ lives, after all.
It’s there vying for space among their chores and daily obligations. Get online and it’s competing with breaking news and the freshest social media drama. Go on Amazon and it’s still competing with dozens of similar products, each screaming louder than the last to capture those eyeballs.
It’s nothing personal. Life today is just information overload, and your product is simply one more piece in the messy puzzle we call the modern world.
So what can you do to grab that all-important attention from the start? What could turn your listing from just another on-screen thumbnail to the cash cow you’ve dreamed of?
The answer, you ask?
Excellent product photography.
Get this right and you could see your pockets lined with money of the cold hard variety. Get it wrong and…well let’s just say that new yacht you wanted will have to wait.
Yes, we know your product is great. You think ‘what difference will a few pictures make?’ And anyway, shouldn’t the value of my product shine through without resorting to such nefarious photography tricks?
In an ideal world, yes. But we don’t live in an ideal world, we live in a world of spiders and poverty and people who put pineapple on pizzas.
The fact is that humans are very visual creatures. We have some of the most advanced eyesight in the animal kingdom. We also have very short attention spans. This means to grab our attention you need to excite our visual receptors (also known as ‘eyes’) and do it quick.
Colors, angles, lighting and context can all make the difference between a photoset that converts and one that crashes
Of course, the rest of your listing needs to be up to scratch too. But without that super-special photography to snatch their attention away from your competitors, it’s less likely to get that initial click. The result? Suffering sales…and no yacht.
Now you’re probably wondering how to get these photos that can apparently turn your fortunes right around. And naturally, you’re gonna stumble across plenty of conflicting information in your quest to find out.
So let’s make things easy for you.
Firstly, no you probably can’t create suitably high-quality photos yourself (unless photography is a passion of yours and you’re skilled with the camera).
Secondly, no you don’t need to pay four-figure sums to a professional studio either. That’s overkill, and think of all the starving kids you could help with that money instead.
What you need is a middle option where you get the photos you need without a price tag that resembles a mortgage. Better yet, by following the simple steps laid out in this guide, you’ll find your listings enjoying all the benefits that good photographs can bring.
When it comes to the photographs, there are some rules and guidelines that must be followed. If these guidelines are not followed, your images will not appear professional and business-like. There are some technical requirements when it comes to the file as well as requirements for the setting of the photo-taking.
When you are taking the photograph, you should keep in mind that the environment and setting should be very professional. There should be a plain background for the product. The image should only consist of the product and no other irrelevant object should be found. The background should be white for professionalism.
There are many other rules for the process but these are the main and fundamental ones.
When you send the actual file, there are some technical regulations that you must follow. Like the file name, size, the resolution of the image etcetera. Let’s dive into it more.
The image should be in the following formats: TIFF, GIF, PNG or JPEG. Any other files other than these are not supported. The minimum resolution limit for the image should be AT LEAST 1000 pixels in height or width. Any smaller image will not be accepted so be sure to check. Furthermore, the color mode of the image should be RGB or CMYK.
Last, the filename should consist of the seller’s identification in the form of the 13-digit ISBN, Amazon ASIN, JAN, UPC or EAN. This filename should conclude with the file type e.g. .jpeg.
Providing images for your products has a lot more utility than it appears so. Providing images also helps in Amazon Product Image Optimization.
But what is that?
Not to worry, we will explain all of it as well as ways to do it better.
Amazon Product Image Optimization means that due to the relevancy of your product, it is listed higher in the search results. The concept is similar to SEO. Except that in this case, the thing that gets optimized is your product rather than a web-page. The way this happens is that Amazon recognizes images of your products and it sees if they are relevant or not.
If they are, the Amazon A9 algorithm takes your product higher up in the search results. There are two things that are affected by your product images: CTR (Click through rates) and CR (Conversion Rates). Amazon determines the excellence of your product through these two mechanisms.
To increase optimization, you have to follow certain rules, like the ones listed above. You must take a 1000 x 1000 picture (at least) etcetera. The requirements are listed above and you can optimize your product by following those instructions.
To fully flesh out your photo game you need a mixture of studio, lifestyle, and graphic design photos.
Most sellers manage one or two, but rarely do you get a seller who nails all three – and that’s where you can set yourself apart, get your photos right, and swoop in for major profit.
We’ll now go over the following parts to help you get a good understanding of each –
First up, studio images. There are the classic product-only shots on that all-important white background. You know, the ones everyone associates with e-commerce products.
This is it. The Big Daddy. The Alpha and Omega of Amazon listing photography. Does discussing it first make it kinda anticlimactic? Maybe, but you’re here to learn so listen up.
First off, getting the lighting right is absolutely critical, and if you don’t have extensive experience of photo-lighting then don’t even attempt to tackle this yourself. This is big boy stuff.
When hiring a photographer to get these shots, take a look at their portfolio to check their lighting game is on point. Also remember that product photography takes a different skillset to animal photography or architectural photography, for example, so your guy or gal should ideally demonstrate a few shots in the style you’re looking for.
Check these out to get an idea of what you’re after –
You should also think about what angles your product will look most flattering from and show off its main features (though this little tip applies to all photos in your listing). Think about it – would you be more likely to click on a photo of the underside of a car, or one taken from a front-side angle that highlights the bold contours, strength and sex appeal of the vehicle?
We recommend you have a minimum of FOUR fantastic angles to shoot from. Better still, try to snap it from an angle none of your page-one competitors have, so yours is presented in a fresh new light!
Finally, get any imperfections removed with a few professional image touch-ups and split test those Hero Images you’re torn between to see what gets the best engagement (don’t worry, it won’t mess up your keyword indexing or ranking).
If you’re new to all amazon product photography and image editing business then we recommend hiring a small handful of designers off sites such as Fiverr or Upwork to see how they do. It may seem like overkill, but out of that bunch you’re likely to find the right one for you
Now, among your studio shots will be your Hero Image. This is your principal image – the one that appears initially in everything connected to your listing. It’s the first thing people see and the single biggest factor to getting your product noticed.
This means that getting your Hero Image right is absolutely critical. Crucial. Invaluable (Insert other words denoting importance here).
If you take nothing else from this whole article, remember this – your Hero Image needs to be so good it’ll take less than a second for your customers to spot it in a sea of similar images and decide this is the ideal product for them.
Use the tips above to ensure your Hero Image is a winner.
A good lifestyle photo will show the product being used as it should.
A GREAT lifestyle photo will show the product being used with a clear demonstration of the main product benefit being felt.
Managed to make your audience literally feel how the product will improve their life with one photo? Then you’ve hit the bullseye, my friend.
But wait, this all sounds like some Jedi mind trick advertising, right? Wrong. Because doing this is more simple than you’d imagine.
First up, the model you’re using in your image should resemble your target audience as closely as possible. They need to be able to put themselves in the model’s shoes so firmly that they can feel the dirt/sand/other interesting terrain beneath their feet. We’re talking matching ages, clothing, socioeconomic indicators, ethnicity, subculture tells, the whole lot.
Remember, the closer your model is to the target audience visually, the more your target audience will identify with them, envisage your product’s impact on their life and, finally, BUY from you.
Now a few tips on lifestyle photography –
The least appreciated of the three image siblings is graphic design photos. These are images that use additional graphics to bring attention to the benefits of the product and quickly get important information across to shoppers.
A lot of sellers seem to skip graphic design photos based on a misunderstanding of Amazon’s rules. But contrary to popular belief, graphic design photos are only restricted from being used as the main image, and can freely be used elsewhere.
That’s lucky, because graphic design images can be deadly when used right. The matter of how to use graphic design photos right, however, depends entirely on your product.
Because of this, we’ve created a list of the different types of graphic design photos you can take advantage of. Each has certain benefits that can be used to powerful effect with the right product…
For all the benefits of online buying (the lower prices, the readily available info, great delivery options), the fact remains that buyers can’t physically see or handle their product until it arrives at their door.
This opens up all kinds of problem situations where the item turns out to be too small for practical use or too big to even fit in the customer’s room. After all, the camera can be very deceiving…
Scale images sort this out by providing measurements on the product photos, or place it alongside another item for relative comparison.
This means less confusion, more informed customers, and a sharp decrease in 1-star reviews from buyers who actually know the size of the item they’re purchasing!
Consequently, scale images are especially important for products such as –
If your product is part of a fabulous promotion then show it in pictures!
A promotion image essentially demonstrates the offer the product is part of in visual form, as seen in these examples –
Promotions can be especially effective with products that people generally buy in bulk or will be re-buying regularly. The part of Amazon’s pages that demonstrate promos for products are often easy to scroll past, so doing a promotion image can be super-effective.
Your product promo offers can include buy one get one free (BOGOF), cross promotions (‘if you buy this then you get that for 10% off’), and promotion tiers.
A common but effective type of graphic design image, product callout images basically pair a photo of the product with a description of some highlighted benefit. Simple and powerful.
Here’s a few tips on how to make your product callout images really pop –
This one’s pretty straightforward and a great choice if your product is oh-so much better than the competition.
Just create an image comparing your product to a few select competitor brands. And, of course, your product will come out on top.
(Be careful, however, as if your product is not objectively better than the rest then this tactic may backfire!)
A great choice if your product is unfamiliar, needs installing, or is not immediately obvious in how it works.
An instructional image essentially demonstrates how to set up and/or use your product, clearly and understandably. This overcomes some customer ambiguity, helps them envisage using it, and dispels those sale-killing doubts that come from confusion over what your product does or how it works.
These are great for products that come as a set or have many different components.
Packing list images essentially demonstrate everything included in the pack when you purchase. This lets customers know what they’re getting and, again, removes the confusion that stops your market buying from you.
Pair a packing list image with a description of the contents in the main body of text and let your customers know exactly what they’re getting!
Got a product that’s super-useful? Want to show how many ways it can be used?
Then multiple-uses images are just what you need to bring the value and utility of your product to life!
With these images you can illustrate all the ways your product can be used – swiftly and clearly.
You can even demonstrate some of the more creative ways the product can add value to the buyer’s life too.
A good option for anyone offering a bonus freebie with their product. A bonus image will demonstrate your free gift to your buyers, making it that much more tangible and appealing.
You may have read the rules and instructions and you may know everything about the product pictures, but you may find yourself in a fix when you have to actually take them.
The rules and regulations cannot be met by a lay-man or anyone who doesn’t have the right equipment. To accomplish this, you must get the help of companies that specialize in this business.
You must send your product to these companies with a set of instructions and requirements. These companies take your product and take all sorts of photographs for you.
You don’t have to worry about the requirements as the companies can take care of them. So, if you have the right equipment on hand, you can take the photos that way. If not, there are always companies ready to help out.
The following are some tips and helpful information that can help you achieve optimization and success.
This applies to everything, not only product photography. But it is a valid step. You must always have a consistent plan before you start. You must know which products you need to have photographed.
You must know which format you have to follow. Furthermore, you have to know which company you have to go to. All of this must be kept in mind before starting.
There are many things that can make your photographs look professional. But the most notable aspect is a white background. A white background can take your image from being a casual picture to an official-looking photograph. A white background can work wonders for your product.
The way your seller perceives your product is dependent on your image. If it is a lazy and careless image on a wooden table-top or something, your buyer will leave it as something non-serious. But if it is a picture of a product on a white background, your buyer will stop and consider it.
Lighting is an important aspect in all sorts of images. Your buyer won’t be able to see a thing if your picture is a dim representation. Nor should it be bright in a ridiculous manner.
It should be just moderate. That way, your buyer will be able to see all the details and parts of the product. This will help in the Product Optimization as well as the overall customer satisfaction.
Your image should have a resolution of 1000 pixels at least. If your photograph falls below this, then Amazon will not consider it to be proper.
Furthermore, it will not provide an in-depth view of your product for the buyer. It will just become blurry and distorted. You must keep the resolution at 1000 x 1000 at least.
You can go higher if you like, but the minimum should fall in the correct criteria. Therefore, keeping the correct resolution is also very important for optimization and customer approval.
When you are taking photographs for your product or you are sending it to someone else to do so, you must always keep in mind how much space your product takes up. This way, you can take photos with the proper amount of zoom so that you can display each and every aspect of the product.
You can understand this through an example. Let us say that you are selling an electric space heater. Now, you must take the photos and the size into consideration. You must take the photograph from a distance. On the other hand, if you are selling a cell phone, you have to take a picture from close up.
Another important aspect that should be respected during photography is that every angle should be covered. This means that your photo should offer complete coverage of the product.
There should be a 360-degree view. This helps your buyer to better see the product. This also is an important factor that plays a part in Product Optimization.
In a normal case, four pictures should enough as you take photos of all four sides of your product. If it has a different shape, the number of photos needed may vary.
Using a tripod or a steady surface can grant a clear photograph. If you are taking a photo while holding the camera, your hand can shake or tremble, which can blur the image.
This will result in an unprofessional representation. If you use a tripod or any stand, your photograph will be steady and clear.
If you are taking a photo of a certain product, you should make sure that only that specific product is visible in the picture. Some amateurs or one-time sellers just put the item on their desk and take a photo.
When they do this, there are all sorts of irrelevant things just lying around. This makes the whole image very unprofessional.
If you do anything like this, you can lose potential customers. And if nothing else, you won’t be able to get optimized. To avoid any sort of negative review or evaluation, you should remove any irrelevant material from the photo.
When you take a photograph of your product, always remember to display everything as it is. You should refrain from any type of false advertising.
You should avoid making bold claims in your product description as well as your product photographs.
Now, the question that we all ask ourselves: isn’t product photography something we could ourselves? Indeed it is but if you are a serious seller, you need to make sure that everything you provide is top-class.
You could take your own photographs but if you hire a professional product photographer, you will be able to meet the requirements for top-notch images.
Here are some things you must think about when deciding whether or not to hire a product photographer.
Hiring a product photographer can save you a lot of time. The time you would otherwise dedicate to other promotional activities will be wasted if you chose not to hire someone.
When you hire a photographer, you can utilize your time to accomplish other helpful activities. Spending money on a professional is way more cost-effective.
Like I said before, hiring someone to take care of product photographs is more cost-effective than doing something yourself. You may be unsure about this so let me break it down for you.
First comes the setting; which means the effort you will have to put in finding the right place and background to take some good pictures. Then, the equipment; an unnecessary expense you will have to bear.
All this adds up to more than you would have to spend on hiring a professional. Thus, it is much easier and time-saving.
There is one thing no amount of money can buy and no matter what you do you cannot get without spending time and that is the skill.
You can have the equipment, you can have the time but you cannot match the professional standards unless you have that kind of talent. Product Photography is an art; a craft that requires creativity and insight.
A skillful photographer can give you a better and easier outcome than any other method you choose to apply.
As the skills, the experience is something even more precious. Experience is something beyond skills as it is independent of natural talent.
Experience can only be gained through spending time. Hiring a professional makes sure that an experienced person takes care of your job. It is also one of the many reasons why you should get professional help.
The most long-lasting and notable benefit of hiring a professional is that you can centralize your tasks. Not sure what that means? Let me give you an example.
Say you go to someone and you tell them you want some photographs for your products. Now on top of helping you with that, they can suggest or recommend someone for anything else you may need.
Suppose after the pictures, you need to advertise your project. Your photographer can help you with the pictures and then point you towards a trustworthy advertising firm.
This means that you can enjoy their links and contacts instead of having to find your own.
You may be convinced that hiring a professional is more cost-effective than dabbling in anything yourself. But you may wonder you much money that will cost you.
While we can assure you that the end cost will be much less, the charges are very variable. They may change with respect to the number of pictures needed, the size and amount of the products etcetera.
Working with a product photographer is simple and straight-forward. The whole procedure entails the sending of the product to the photographer with a set of instructions.
What happens is that you send the product to them along with certain requirements. And what they do is that they take photographs according to your needs and desires.
These instructions consist of the number of photos, angles to cover, size and dimensions etcetera. After you send the package, your part in the whole affair is done.
You may feel like you don’t know any reliable firm or company to help you with product photography. Thus, we will now list reputable companies that provide this service.
Leeline sourcing is a company that provides a lot of services. Among their many services is to connect their customers with a proper company.
If you need to have your products photographed, they will set you up with the most reliable and trustworthy firms. This ensures that the service you will get will be authentic and professional.
They charge you a small amount for the whole affair so it is a lot more cost-effective to use.
Amazon itself also provides a product photography service for its clients and customers. Instead of going somewhere else, you can bring your business to one place and ask Amazon to photograph your products for you.
So far, this service has elicited positive reviews. This is also a very trustworthy and reliable service to use.
This site is also a good place for you to get your products photographed. This company also follows the same procedure I told before. They ask you to ship your goods to their studio, where they take the photographs in a professional manner.
Then they send the pictures to you and do whatever you need with the product itself. Their studio is located in Las Vegas.
Viral-Launch is another product photography company that aims to increase your product optimization through professional and best photographs.
Not only can they provide photographs for you but they can take care of other aspects that affect Product Optimization. They can help with advertising and increasing the relevance of your product.
Thrive Product Studio provides photographs and product images for all sorts of online businesses. They provide discounts and deals that can help you in the long run.
If you have a big order, Thrive Product Studio can help you cover all it while giving you reasonable deals and packages.
If you feel like you can do better if you have a specific role model in front of you, here are 5 examples of the most outstanding product photography there is.
These products were shown in a variety of professional aspects. If you look at these examples and do the things they did, you are on the right track.
This device was a useful home appliance. The Nest Thermostat not only controlled the temperature of your home, but it provided immense ease while doing so.
It was quite modern. It could be controlled through the application. It was also Alexa-friendly. You could link it up with your smart home devices.
Bowflex Dumbbells are quite well-known. You can see why if you see the photographs they have provided with their product. Here are the things they did or didn’t do well.
Here are some of the things that were executed and some things that were left out.
The VIVO standing desk was an adjustable desk with a lot of utilities and options. This appliance is also a very good example of what your ideal product photograph should look like.
Here are some of the pros and cons of the photographs of Tide PODS.
Amazon Product Photography is a service provided by lots of reputable companies. It is something that is obligatory and important for any seller on Amazon.
In this guide, we have seen the various requirements and rules that come with Product Photography. We have also discussed various companies that can help you out.
Hiring someone to do this job for you is more cost-effective than doing anything else.
We also learned about some of the exemplary products, from which you can learn all sorts of things. Things like backgrounds and environments also play a part in professionalism.