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Does My eCommerce Website Need Good Photos? Hear from iPages Designers...

15 March 2012 17:00

If you are not a large corporation and yet want to succeed in the online business you are probably asking yourself this very question. Do I really need good quality photographs on my eCommerce website to be successful? Well if you were selling something that everyone was desperate for e.g. the elixir of life then the image wouldn't be that important, but in general you need clean images on your website to encourage sales! After all your online visitor has very little information to go on when it comes to purchasing a product. They do not have the advantage of a kind sales assistant talking them through the benefits of the product, they just have a picture, copy and a price. If an image is poorly shot, or blurred, or does not do the product justice then this decreases the chance of encouraging your prospect to buy it. The lack of a good photograph is a bit like having a shop display where the products were thrown on the floor or put on show in a less than perfect condition.

So how can you achieve better photos? At iPages we do take a lot of shots for our clients, and sometimes we get to enjoy the fruits of our labour - as in these macaroons (which are absolutely delicious and worth buying from Pure Fresh Tea!). Our clients benefit from an outstanding rate for photography, but if your eCommerce website development company doesn't offer this then we would suggest that you follow these tips:


  • Try to find a way to use natural light. Take your shot near a window and if you have a white wall that reflects the window's light then this will work well.
  • Depending on the weather you might want to consider taking the shots outside either in the early morning or late afternoon, when the light is softer.
  • If it's not possible to use natural light, adjust the white balance function on your camera. You could also try to use a flash, but do tape white tissue paper over the flash to prevent any harsh shadows.
  • You could make a softbox from a cardboard box, which will really help to improve your photos. Alternatively take a look at eBay and buy a still life photography kit.


  • Simple backgrounds work best!
  • If you're taking the shot on a table cover it with something, but do make sure that the material is wrinkle free. Tablecloths are good if they’re well-ironed; wrinkles just distract the eye. We recently white-washed some wood, which makes a fantastic surface to shoot on (note the macaroons!).
  • With eCommerce websites we would recommend a white background to shoot products on, but lifestyle shots are essential also. People work well to make products come alive and so do take some time to consider how you could group products together, along with some accessories, to make a shot really work.
  • Please note that mirrored articles will need to be shot carefully so that you are not visible in the shot!

Taking the shot

  • Unless you also double as a brain surgeon in your spare time we would recommend that you use a tripod. A shaking hand will cause photos to blur.
  • When you have smaller items make sure that you take a close up (use the macro setting). It is also good to have something in the shot that gives an idea of the product's size. Most eCommerce websites will enable you to put on more than one photo of the product so do make sure that you take lots of pictures so that your customers will get a good idea of what they will be buying.

We hope that you now realise that good image shots are essential to make your eCommerce website a success. Photography is an art, but taking the above simple steps will help you to take better photos of your products.