The Top 10 "Common" E-Commerce Photography Mistakes to Avoid

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When marketing your product online, you have only a few short seconds to convince your viewers that your products are quality, and that your company is trustworthy. If your product photos look bad, or are non-existent (especially when your competitor's photos look good), then your potential customer may not even give you a chance to "get to know you and your products better". The more competitive your industry, the more true this is. That is why it is important for you to avoid these common product photography mistakes.

If you are interested in better promoting your e-commerce web site, and converting more of your visitors into buyers, then you can not afford to miss learning about the Top 10 Most "Common" E-commerce Photography mistakes, and understanding why they happen, and then what you can do to prevent them from happening to you. Let's start with the list of mistakes and why these mistakes happen:

1). Blurry or distorted photos --- this problem is caused by too much JPG compression, or by stretching an image larger than it should be shown using the IMG tags, or an out-of-focus camera (many point-and-shoot type cameras have a hard time focusing on objects close-up). Whatever the cause, the result is not acceptable for any company that wishes to be successful selling online. If your customer can not clearly see your product, they will probably not buy it.

2). Strange or dull colors --- this problem is caused by using a wrong color profile (web photos should have sRGB), or improper lighting, or an incorrect white balance during photography. Getting a product to look as good in a photo as it does in "real life" is not as easy as you might first think.

3). Slow loading web photos --- this problem is caused by using large photos instead of properly re-sized photos. Most cameras today take very large photos that are great for making 4x6 or even 5x7 prints; however, when these photos are used online, these large files can bog-down even the fastest Internet connection.

4). "Jagged Scissor Edges" --- this problem is caused by trying to remove a product's background (in order to get a pure white background) without really knowing how to. Most professional product photographers photograph products against a properly lit white background that does not need to be removed. And, while there are a number of very good image editing products available today for a reasonable price within reach of most people; however, just like owning a wrench does not make somebody a Master Mechanic, owning image editing software does not make somebody a professional Photo Retoucher.

5). Too dark or too bright --- this problem is caused by not photographing the product with the proper camera settings (a.k.a. proper shutter speed and aperture). This is where the skills and knowledge of a photographer really make a difference. To take a look at how products should be photographed, take a look here: http://auraproductphotos.com/samples.html

6). Product photos that are too small --- this problem is often the case when good quality product photos are not available, or when the product photos were put online several years ago (when people had smaller monitors, and slower computers). The better the source image, the better the final image usually will be online - although, it is important that your web designer also knows how to not damage your product photos while they are preparing them for online use.

7). Using a distracting (or just plain ugly) background - this problem usually caused by trying to get a photo taken in a hurry, and can be seen most often in eBay auctions. Like the old saying goes, "you never get a second chance to make a good first impression", the same is true with your product photography.

8). Lacking "drama" (or sales appeal) --- most people do not realize that if you were to photograph the exact same product on the exact same background, but with different lighting (i.e. even lighting, directional lighting, or top lighting), that product would look totally different - and in many cases much better under one type of lighting compared to another. If you add in different background options (i.e. selecting the best possible background for a particular product -- such as a wood background for a clock, or a grass background for a sprinkler head). To get a better idea, take a look at several examples: http://auraproductphotos.com/level2.html and http://auraproductphotos.com/lighting.html

9). Lacking in "prestige" --- if you look at any of the very large retail sites (think Godiva, JCrew, Restoration Hardware, Best Buy, etc.) you will always find some interesting "prestige" photos on their Home Pages. These images express quality, and as all of these large retail companies know, these "prestige product photos lead to more sales. This is especially true when all of your competitors are using the same old "on-white" product photos, and then you use some "Prestige Product Photos" to really make you stand out. For some examples of this type of product photo, take a look here: http://auraproductphotos.com/level3.html

10). Having too few product photos --- the more products a company has, the more difficult it is to get all of the products photographed. It is quite common for companies to get so carried away with production, distribution, and packaging of a product that getting quality product photos that will sell. This is a terrible mistake that your competitors can and will exploit.

With the above list you can now take a look at your own product photos, and see if they suffer from any of the above common problems.

If your product photography needs some expert help, a professional product photography site that can make sure that all of these "common" mistakes do not happen to your e-commerce product photos is http://www.auraproductphotos.com.

The prices for Aura product photography are very reasonable, and there are volume discounts available, and your satisfaction is guaranteed. So, take a moment right now to visit the professionals at Aura Product Photos, and drop them a note telling them about your product photography needs.

Here is the link to the Aura Product Photos Home Page: http://auraproductphotos.com/index.html and here is a link to their contact page: http://auraproductphotos.com/contact.html

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Jason Plummer
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