Amazon Product Photography: The Secret is in Your Smartphone
Not having an expensive camera cannot be a bar to creating high quality photos to highlight your products for your Amazon store. The smartphone in your hand is enough to be an alternative to a high resolution camera to take good quality product pictures, if you have the right knowledge.
The Importance of Amazon Photos:
While shopping online, the first thing that catches the eyes of the customers is the product images. In a survey, it was found that product images immensely influence the purchase decisions of the customers. In fact, more that 75% of the shoppers get influenced by the images. To get the online shoppers as engaging as possible in your Amazon store, the product images have a prime role.
There are numerous sites to sell the same kind of products and the customers have an abundant scope of choices from them. So, the images should stand out because your products will be listed among thousands of others of the same kind. The images of your products must complement your listing. Mismatch of the pictures and the product description will turn off the buyers. The buyers will expect that the products they ordered must match with the images they saw in your Amazon store. Hence, you have to make sure that your product has an accurate visual of the product. To attract people’s eyes, your main product image has to be polished and all other supporting photos should be equally appealing. It is also important that you appropriately showcase the product and how it is used. For instance, we can take Amazon product Yan Hou Tang tea. This product features a crisp main image with several other lifestyle images. It also includes infographics of the product. So, the images let buyers get a clear idea of what they are ordering, benefits of the products, etc.
Shooting for Amazon vs. Your Website:
Uploading high-quality images to your website does not mean that the same images can be used for your Amazon store. Amazon maintains specific product image requirements. Images uploaded to Amazon stores must comply with these requirements. Amazon requirements for images are as belows.
- Only these file types are allowed – TIFF, JPEG, GIF, and PNG.
- Images have to be at least 1000 pixels or larger, either in height or width.
- The color mode should be sRGB or CMYK.
- All file names should consist of the product identifier, followed by a period and the file type.
- Spaces, dashes or additional characters are not allowed.
Main Product Image:
- The hero image must have a white background (RGB 255,255,255).
- Avoid illustrations, text or other objects in the frame (for example, product dimensions).
- The color of the product should be realistic, so stay away from extreme filters or editing.
- You can use other objects or people to scale.
- Lifestyle and other backgrounds are allowed.
- Text and other graphics can be added.
How to Use a Smartphone Camera for Amazon Product Photos: /Capture Amazon Product Photos with your Smartphone:
First you need to know your phone and camera settings properly. A smartphone with at least a 12-megapixel camera is ideal. The higher the megapixel count, the better. The image gets sharper with a higher megapixel number. However, resolution can be affected by sensor technology. Nowadays most newer phones have cameras of 12- to 16-megapixels and have proper software to match.
Once your camera is ready to shoot, you can start creating product photos for your Amazon store:
- A tripod, a white backdrop, reflectors, bounce boards, etc. help take quality product photos. So, consider investing in tools like these.
- If you can’t manage high-quality artificial lighting, then daylight is the best alternative. Proper lighting adds depth and contrast to the photos.
- The camera angle won’t be the same for every product. You have to find the best angle for each product (e.g., eye-level vs. slanted). If needed, you have to stand on something or crouch down to get a different angle, and every different angle gives a different perspective of a product.
- It is recommended to include at least one lifestyle photo. It helps buyers better imagine how the product will fit into their own lives.
- Try to include a photo which shows the product packaging. This helps consumers know what to expect while placing an order.
Let’s Take Photos:
For shooting photos for the Amazon store, you must use the back camera of your smartphone, because the back camera is always of higher quality than the selfie camera. You will also make sure that you have ample storage room in the phone.
Set Your Smartphone Camera Settings:
A smartphone camera is not limited to the automatic mode, rather its certain settings can be adjusted manually. Before shooting, the camera settings should be adjusted as per requirements.
This setting balances the color temperature. It helps remove color casts so the white we see in person is the same in the photo.
The aperture is the lens opening. Light passes through it. The larger the aperture, the more light passes in. Aperture also affects the depth of field.
The sensitivity of the camera sensor to light is controlled by it. You can brighten the image by increasing ISO (International Organization of Standardization). But if the ISO increase is too much, then the photo will have noise (or the grainy).
Shutter speed controls the duration of exposure to light. It can be defined as the length of time the film or the digital sensor inside a camera is exposed to light when a photograph is taken. Shutter speed varies depending on what kind of photo you want to take. For instance, a faster shutter speed is used to avoid blurriness for action photos.
Edit Your Smartphone Product Photos:
After shooting the photos with your smartphone, you will probably need to do some post-processing to bring them to desired standard. So, it is always recommended to go for photo editing after each shoot.
Some photos can be edited in-house. But some photos may need expert hands. For example, you might be confused whether the background of the photos is a perfect color white. In cases like this, it is preferable to outsource the photo editing.
Smartphone Photography Tips:
A noted photographer, Morgan German, who shoots usually with an iPhone gives some tips to help perfect smartphone photography:
- Natural light is very important, assuming that you wouldn’t use the flash on your phone. If natural light is not attainable, then you can adopt other measures to make the light perfect.
- It is better to move around at different angles. It is easier to take cool photos with a smartphone in hand. On the contrary, digital cameras can be cumbersome.
- Product photos taken by a smartphone should be stored in an organized way. You can create an album and keep the photos for a certain product in that album. Otherwise, you possibly mix up the photos of different products.
- Your smartphone should be kept charged. For this, a portable charger is the best option for outdoor shooting.
- Get the product in focus. You can do this by touching on most phones.
- Dust and smudges affect the image quality. So, the phone camera must be clean.
- To help you center the product, use the grid setting. Amazon requires the product to fill up 85% of the frame.
- For more crist macro shots or a wide-angle image, you can use an external lens. The lens must comply with your needs and can easily be attached or detached.
Things to Avoid when Shooting Smartphone Product Photos:
- Zoom: Don’t use the zoom feature because it is not a true zoom. Smartphones basically crop the image. The image gets worse the more zoom is done. If zooming is needed, just move closer to the product.
- Flash: Keep the flash off. The big burst of light will overexpose the image and make it look horrible. Photo editing can do little with a washed-out image.
- Filters: For Amazon product photos, camera filters must be kept off because Amazon demands authentic product images.
Learn More on Smartphone Photography:
If you want to improve your skills on smartphone photography, there are numerous ways to do that online. You will find tons of virtual classes, courses, and guides on the subject. Here are some resource for your reference:
- Photographer and teacher Sean Dalton focuses on virtual storytelling, fashion photography on your phone, and many more in his online course ‘Smartphone Photography for Instagram Success: Capturing Stunning Lifestyle Photos With Your Phone’ on Skillshare.
- In Udemy’s course ‘Mobile Photography iPhone and Android Complete Masterclass’, you’ll learn about lens distortion, photographing people, and night photography – all on your phone.
- One of the best online guides on smartphone photography is Smartphone Photography. You will get all the basics here.
If you prefer books, you can consider these:
- Smart Phone, Smart Photography: For photography fundamentals and smartphone-specific techniques for capturing great photos, this book is very preferable.
- The Smartphone Photography Guide: This book covers the definitions of technical terms. Besides photographer and author Peter Cope gives pro tips.
Or, go with a Pro:
If all these things make you overwhelmed, you can go for a professional photographer. You have to invest a certain amount of money. As the product photos make impacts on the purchase decisions of the online buyers, so this investment is worthy to have quality photos.
Before selecting a professional photographer, consider a few things:
- Experience of the photographer in the industry
- If the photographer has a portfolio of Amazon-ready product photography
- If they have plenty of time for your project, or they will haste
- Their average turn-around time
Put Your Best Foot and Photos Forward:
When you use your smartphone to supplement other product images or until you can manage a pro, it is very get everything right because product photos are the first impression of your product for the buyers, and better photos mean better sales.
FAQs on Amazon Smartphone Photography:
Which smartphones are preferable for taking the best pictures?
The following are preferable for the best pictures:
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
- Google Pixel 5
- iPhone 12 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
- Huawei P40 Pro
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro
How can I take good pictures with my smartphone camera?
First you have to adjust the camera settings and make sure the lighting is right. Then follow the tips elaborated in the article above.
How do I take a photoshoot at home with my phone?
First you need a dedicated space to stage your products and shots. Set up the camera properly, adjust the lighting, find the suitable angles, and start shooting.