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E-commerce News and Insights | March 31, 2015

4 Photography Tricks for Better eCommerce Sales

A picture says a thousand words, so why not have your products speak for themselves? A strong photograph can mean the difference between making a single sale or several dozen! We’ve noticed many merchants using Shippo have done a beautiful job with their photography, showcasing their products in a way that inspires those browsing to understand their verifiable essence.

Here, we share key tips for showing your products in all their glory, including stand-out examples from Shippo vendors:

1. Ditch the Flash: Embrace Natural Light!

Vendors are often turned off by the thought of buying expensive lighting setups and fancy cameras, when in reality the best lighting you can have is the free kind! Natural light not only makes your images look more professional but, more often than not, it makes them look more appealing. Flash tends to ‘wash out’ the photograph, i.e overexposing it.

Below is our own example showing the effects of natural light with cosmetic products – just opening the window shades is incredibly effective!

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Many photographers claim that the ‘golden hour’ of natural light is one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset. Our friends over at Bohemian Guitars do a great job of using natural light to highlight the unique contours of their guitars; using textured backdrops doesn’t hurt either!

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2. Use The “Flower” Setting: Macro Mode

Sometimes even for the most experienced photographer, the preset modes on cameras are still incredibly handy. The Macro mode is great for shooting close-up details of your product; think jewelry, displaying the quality of fabrics, details of food, etc. It even works great with photos taken from your smartphone. Just check your camera settings and look for the iconic flower symbol:

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3. All About That Texture

One of our all time favorite examples of textures in product photography is done by the talented folks over at Sosu Sauces. The way they make their jars pop against bright purple cloth and other natural backdrops makes quite an impression.

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Adding a textured backdrop to your products can highlight various colors, add a level of quirkiness, and make your photo more memorable. Use a patterned bed sheet, funky pillow, or patterned paper!

We tried out this method using a wooden cutting board. Get creative, anything goes!

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4. Create a Natural Scale

Vendors often post the dimensions of their products as good practice, so consumers are fully in-the-know about what they’ve ordered. More often than not, however, consumers will base the size of a product off of its featured online photo. To give customers a better method for gauging size, create a natural scale, meaning, surround products with other familiar objects to help customers gauge sizes.

A great example is how Pijon displays their care packages:

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Consumers can clearly see the size and expected quantities of the “stuff” that comes in each Pijon Box without having to seek out explicit details. If you are selling individual items, then having a model wear or hold it or placing it next to natural objects (like leaves or petals) also creates a natural scale. Example:

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Get out there and start clicking away! A good photograph is right around the corner.

Have some tips or examples of your own? Tweet them to us @GoShippo!


Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.

Shan Lian does Product Marketing at Shippo

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