Last week I had a photoshoot for the new towels, which was very exciting.  Once the final images are here I can finalise the listings for Amazon and Shopify.  The order will be sent any day now, so we’re not far off from having them ready to sell.  Exciting times!

The shoot went really well, despite featuring 5 children and babies of varying ages.  That could have been a recipe for disaster, but it all went very smoothly.  (In fact, the least behaved child was mine!)

One of my very first posts was about product photography for Amazon.  A lot of this still stands, including Amazon’s image requirements (see below), but this time I want to go into a bit more detail about how to make sure it all runs smoothly and you get the photos you need.

Amazon’s product image guidelines

So here are the basic guidelines:

  • The product must fill at least 85% of the image (so not too much blank space) on a white background.
  • You can’t have any props in the photos (i.e. anything you aren’t selling.)
  • Images need to be high-resolution (at least 1000 by 500 pixels), but no bigger than 10,000 pixels on the longest side.
  • You can’t use any text, watermarks, or inset images.
  • You can use JPEG (preferred), TIFF or GIF files.

If you’re just shooting your product, on a white background, to a high quality resolution, you should be ok with all of these.

The brief

Taking all of the guidelines above on board, you need to have a clear brief/desired outcome for your photoshoot.  This will help you think through what you actually need and make it much easier for your photographer to deliver what you want.

Different types of images

You can have up to 8 photos in total.  Think about the kind of images you need.  You will definitely need an image that shows (and shows off!) your product.  If you have variations (I have 3 colours of towels, for examples) you’ll need one of each.

You might also want a photo that shows the packaging – particularly if you’ve gone for something premium.

Finally, you might want some ‘lifestyle’ shots, or something that shows your product in use.

My tip here is to look at your competitor’s listings and see what kind of images they’ve gone for.  The sales rankings could be an indication of images that convert well.

You’ll need to end up with a list of required images that you can send to your photographer.

Don’t forget to be clear on your requirements. For example, letting them know about the white background, no props, etc.

I also wanted to be sure that any photos of a child wearing the towel showed off the image and ears on the hood, as this is a key differentiator for my product.  

Finding a photographer

I was very lucky to use the photographer who did my first product shoot again.  She specialises in photographing babies and children.

I feel that the lifestyles shots are probably the most important for the products I’m selling, so it was key I had someone who knew how to capture these.

If you’re not sure where to start in finding someone, I would suggest looking in local Facebook groups. Photography cost can really vary, but you might be lucky and find someone just starting out who would offer a good rate in return for some publicity.  (Mentioning them in your blog, social media, etc.)

Or perhaps you have a friend, a friend of a friend, or a family member who’s a budding photographer?  I would definitely recommend asking around before going down the route of looking on Google.

Tiny Chipmunk photoshoot

Finding models

I used a similar tactic to find models – I asked my friends if they, or their friends had children that fitted the brief. My photographer also posted on her Facebook page and we had loads of interest.

In fact, I would like to now, again, thank everyone who volunteered to do the shoot and I’m just sorry I couldn’t use everyone!

We offered free digital images for anyone who took part, rather than paying for ‘professional’ models (although one of the children featured is actually a pro!), which also helped with the budget. Think about what you can offer (it has to be something people would like!) in return for their time.

Please also ensure that you ask any models (or parents of models) to sign a disclaimer, that clearly states how and where the photos will be used. You don’t want to get into trouble further down the line.

Planning the shoot

We had an hour booked in for the actual shoot and arranged it so we photographed the products first, then staggered the children’s arrival, so nobody was there for too long and one child could be getting ready while another was being photographed.  It also meant the children could see what was happening beforehand (other than the one that went first of course!), which hopefully helped put them at ease too.

We had a nice warm room (they were all in nappies for the shoot) and a few toys lying around in case anyone got bored or needed cheering up!

Just a little bit of planning meant it all went smoothly on the day.

Selecting images

This was definitely the trickiest bit for me!

My photographer sent a gallery of the best shots for me to choose which ones made the final cut and would get edited.

This is a good time to refer back to the list of what you wanted – as you probably don’t need them all and you don’t want to get overwhelmed if you’re sent hundreds (or even tens) of great photos.

I ended up choosing one to show each colour option for the towel, plus a few images that could be cleverly edited together to make one photo.  (Getting three children to all look at the camera and smile is tricky at the best of times!)  Plus the three product photos, of course.

Why not DIY?

If you really can’t afford professional photography, this Shopify article has some great tips on taking high quality product photos with your smartphone.  There’s also a similar article on Jungle Scout. Definitely worth a try if you’re on a budget!

I intend to try this with for a packaging shot, once they’re here, and will let you know how it goes.

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