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Little Majlis product photography 101

Dec 15, 2017 | Workshop

Welcome to our essential guide to prepare your images for your Little Majlis shop front. If you’re new to selling online, new to selling with littlemajlis.com or just keen to revamp your shop front, this guide is for you.

It’s no surprise that the quality of product photos has a direct impact on online sales. How good your photos are determines the difference between attracting clicks and directing traffic to your shop front or having no footfall at all.

In a physical shop or market, customers can hold a product, turn it over to see if from all sides, smell it and have a complete understanding of it. No small task, we know but it’s essential to capture this customer experience in your product photos and together with clever copy writing, they’ll be clicking their way to the checkout in no time.

Sourcing your photos

Supplier photos. If you source your products from a supplier, chances are they have their own product photos that you can use. If you’re happy with the quality and styling of their images, ask your supplier for their permission to use them in your shop front, social media pages, etc and get hi-res copies if you can.

Professional photos. Professional photos are an investment. They generally don’t come cheap, but the quality and crisp white background acheived by a professional is often worth the spend, particularly if you have a fairly unchangeable product range.

DIY photos. You’re a talented and creative person so there’s no reason why you can’t take your own product photos. We have a long list of tips and suggestions for taking your own product photos, but the key thing to keep in mind is that the quality of your photos still has to be fabulous. Little Majlis isn’t a garage sale and you have a boutique product – great styling, a  quality shot and excellent formatting are essential.

Photo courtesy of VICE

“photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world”

Bruno Barbey

Styling

Product photography styling is a topic in its own right. While a white background (or at least a neutral background) is generally preferred for selling online, yours is a creative brand and well styled photos which use props and staging can reinforce your brand image and help convey the lifestyle you’re selling. Styled lifestyle shots which show your product being used, worn or displayed also help customers scale a product and image owning it themselves.

If you can, we recommend using a combination of shots with a white background and one or two lifestyle shots in each of your product listings. Whatever you decide, it’s essential to show your product clearly in totality, from different angles and in detail. A single photo is not enough.

Photos courtesy of Dassie

Image types & sizes

We recommend using .jpeg format photos to upload in to your shop front.

littlemajlis.com automatically optimises the photos you upload to display well on different devices and screen sizes as well as on the different pages of the website such as browsing pages or detailed product pages, where customers can see a larger image size, but it’s essential that you upload quality images to begin with.

Detailed specifications for product photo dimensions and file sizes are included in the Shop Keeper’s Handbook but we recommend choosing a square photo for your product image, to suit the format of the browsing pages. The other photos you load to your product gallery can be rectangular if you prefer.

If your photos are in the marketplace’s previous 4:3 format, they will be cropped at the sides to suit the square image format on the browsing pages and seen in full but customers on your product detail page.

Select a square image for your product image to ensure your photo will view perfectly on the browsing pages

Portrait / vertical rectangular photos will be cropped to the centre to suit the square product image format on the browsing pages

Landscape / horizontal rectangular photos will be cropped to the centre to suit the square product image format on the browsing pages

Watermarks, logos and other graphics

You’re welcome to use watermarks and add logos to your product photos if you wish but keep them discreet. Although watermarks and logos can be handy additions to brand your photos and deter other people from using them without permission, there are some negatives to consider.

Unless a little discretion is used, watermarks and logos can be really distracting to customers. The whole idea of a watermark is that you only see it when zoomed in to the graphic file, so if it’s visible in your product listing photos then it’s too big!

Not a good look!

Overlaying logos and watermarks pretty much counts your photos out when Little Majlis is selecting images for use in marketing graphics including social media, blog posts, press releases, newsletters and website banners. Increase your chances of having your products and shop front promoted and make sure you use any graphics on your product photos with care.

Don’t use borders around your product photos. They detract from the products you’re trying to sell and generally do no favours to your online image.

If you do choose to add graphics of any type to your product photos, keep an un-bedazzled or raw copy of photos on file.

Experiment

You’re welcome to change the product photos on your listings at littlemajlis.com anytime you fancy so never be afraid of a little experimentation.

Change the product image shot that appears on the browsing pages or rework your styling entirely. List the same product twice with differently styled photos and discover which gets the most positive response from your customers.

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