5 Common Product Photography Mistakes That Might Be Hurting Your Sales

In recent buyer surveys conducted by Etsy, 90% of online shoppers said the quality of the photos were “extremely important” or “very important” to a purchase decision. Yes, visuals sell. But are your product photos hurting your sales instead of boosting them?

As a professional product photographer, I’ve seen my fair share of visual faux pas. In this post, I uncover 5 common errors that may be hindering your potential to captivate customers and drive sales.

From the nuances of lighting to the intricacies of composition and the meticulous attention to detail, let’s explore key elements that will transform your product photos into powerful tools you can use over and over again to propel your brand to new heights.

Error 1: Poor Lighting

Let’s kick things off by highlighting the importance of lighting (yep, pun intended) in product photography.

Imagine this scene: You step into a dimly lit store. Right away, you realize whoever designed the place did a poor job. You wonder if the power has gone out. You can’t even see the tip of your nose, so forget about appreciating the details of the different products on offer. You’re walking out of there faster than you can say “Never coming back here”, right?

The same principle applies to customers browsing through your online store. If you only offer them poorly lit photos, they are sure to be confused as to what it is you are offering them. That may be enough for them to forget about ever buying from you.

Optimal lighting not only showcases your products clearly but also creates a welcoming shopping atmosphere, which is what will set you apart from your competition in today’s e-commerce universe.


Pro Tip: Natural light works wonders! Position your products near a window to capture the soft, flattering glow that will enhance the intricate details of your products.

Hero shot of a red Swiss Military watch, by Seb Duper

Error 2: Poor Composition

Think of composition as setting the stage for your items. If you get it wrong, you are likely to divert attention away from what matters: your product.

The last thing you want is for a cluttered background to steal the spotlight from the fabulous necklace or polo shirt you’ve worked so hard to create. Keep it simple: let your product take center stage. It is the star of the show, after all.


Pro Tip: Experiment with different angles and distances to find the composition that makes your product stand out.

Error 3: Incorrect Focus & Depth of Field

Have you ever seen a photo where the background is crystal clear, but the subject (in your case, your product) is blurry? That’s because the person who created the photo messed up the depth of field and/or the focus.

Sure, you put together a pleasant scene, with creative props, all colour coordinated. But your customers want to see what they’re buying. There needs to be a sharp focus on your product. Don’t let any distractions steal its thunder!


Pro Tip: Adjust your camera settings to achieve the right balance between a sharp product and a pleasing background blur.

Error 4: Overlooking Post-Processing

Post-processing is where the magic happens. When done right, it can transform good photos into stunning works of art.

If you neglect this step, your products will look less polished than they deserve to be. Even the slightest touch-up will go a long way in enhancing colours, sharpness, and overall visual appeal.


Pro Tip: Experiment with simple editing tools, or consider investing in photo editing software for that professional touch.

A closeup, angled photo of a men's wristwatch, created by Seb Duper.

Error 5: Neglecting Product Details

Zoom in on your product. Closer! Much closer!

Customers love to scrutinize the details of a product, and neglecting this aspect could very well be a mistake which drives them to abandon their cart and shop elsewhere.

Show them the intricacies that make your product unique. From textures to fine prints, every detail matters in getting them to click on that Add to cart button.


Pro Tip: Use macro mode or close-ups to highlight the finer details of your products.

High-Quality Product Photos Captivate & Convert

In today’s ultra-competitive world of e-commerce, where visuals speak louder than words, product photography is one of your brand’s top ambassadors.

By avoiding these common errors and embracing the tips provided, you’ll be doing much more than improving your images—you’ll create an online shopping experience that captivates and converts the ideal customers you’re trying to reach.

Don’t miss out on the potential that exceptional product photography holds for your business. Book your free consultation today and let’s make your products shine brighter than ever before!

Grow Your Sales in 2024

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