In a web design blog back in 2012, I wrote that I was surprised at how many websites and online stores featured poor quality photographs. In 2016, the situation has changed a little. The larger retailers are investing heavily in the production of photographs, with many having their own in-house studios and production teams, but the smaller stores are still often using poor quality photographs.
In that old blog I wrote:
“a good camera doesn’t make anyone a good photographer!
The best advice I can give is to hire a professional. While you may save money initially by not hiring a professional, in the longer term you will lose. Your competitors are likely to have good quality images for their products and gain an immediate advantage. Not only that, professional photographs add credibility to your business, they send out a message that you are serious about your products and business.”
That blog excerpt is still relevant 4 years later. When you hire a photographer, you’re not hiring a camera, you’re hiring years of experience and expertise, your hiring the knowledge that goes into lighting a product well, that knows the importance of attention to detail, and how to process and prepare images for online use.
I know some online store owners who do successfully take their own photographs, but when you ask them about how they did it, the answer is that they spent a lot of time learning how to set up shots, light the products well and how to process the images to display well online.
So don’t treat your website content, both text and images, as a low priority. Good quality product photographs, photos that sell, are crucial for your online business. The vast majority of businesses today have an online presence or sell online, including your competitors, and if your photographs and content are poor quality, then it’s easy for your potential customers to simply go to a competitor who has invested in all the elements that make a successful website.