You know the expression, you only get once chance to make a first impression? Yeah, well that’s the basis of today’s blog post on how to win customers with your product images. You see unlike traditional retail where customers can touch and feel a garment, online offers a very limited and 1 dimensional view of the item you are trying to sell. I’m the kind of person who walks into a bricks and mortar retail store and runs my hands along every rack. I paw at fabrics and poke at items to see how they FEEL. I get right up in there and have a bloody good look at seams, zips, buttons and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS the reverse of the item i’m looking at (too many times I’ve been caught out with the most epic tshirt only to discover it has a print on the back- oh so 90’s (and not in a good way) or a pretty sundress in an amazing print that looks PERFECT until you realise… it’s backless. Urgh.


Anyways, I digress, the point is when you are attracting potential customers online you need to provide them with the same level of information (or as close to) as the physical retail store.


Crisp, clear, zoomable product images are a must. This is online retail 101.


Over the years I’ve experimented with different types of product images and have found the perfect balance of size, lighting and composition.


Here are a few pointers to get your online store product images up to scratch:


  • Always shoot on a model
  • Always shoot on a plain white background
  • Avoid shooting “editorial” style photos yo use as product images. These are ok for editorial but not for product images.
  • If you can’t get a model, use a mannequin
  • If your product is an accessory then shoot on a model or mannequin if possible
  • Flat lay images of products are useful to no one. Except flat Stanley and I don’t think he is real
  • Lighting is critical, make sure the shot is well lit. No shadows
  • Shoot the product from as many (useful) angles as possible, front, back and side at a minimum
  • Shoot any features or embellishments (zips, beading etc)
  • If the product has a specific function try and capture this in the image also


When uploading the images onto your online store make sure they can be engaged and zoomed in on.


The product images are complementary to the product descriptions so make sure you upload in order of how the product description flows.


Pro Tip: Don’t forget to make your product images “Pinnable” for pinterest.


Check out some example below of some product images.



Image 1. This was a beach shoot for some instagram content. As you can see here we can’t really “see” the product as it’s covered by the models hair. Also the accessories are distracting.

Image 2. Sometimes things come in late and you can’t shoot them on a model. A “ghost” mannequin is the next best thing.

Image 3: Our proven formula for product images. This is selling the top. The image is clear, well lit and shows the top. It also has a hint of the bottoms which is perfect for cross selling.