For successful sales on Instagram, you need to remember (or better, learn by heart) one simple rule – work on visuals, the visual on this social network is everything! You can have a cool product, attractive prices, fast delivery, but no photos will destroy all these advantages in the bud.
In this article, we will give tips on how to make products selling for Instagram without involving photographers – a mid-range camera (or a phone with a good camera), the right angle and lighting is enough. We will also show you unsuccessful photos, that is, how not to do it.
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How to Take a Beautiful Selling Instagram Photo – 13 Tips
First, a little test. Which photo causes more desire to buy a wooden spoon – the one on the left or the one on the right? If you chose the second option, then you agree that a good photograph can help sell even such a simple product as a wooden spoon.
How to take such photos? Read our tips and tricks.
1. Correct angle
For selling a product on Instagram, the more photos the better, so it’s always best to post a gallery of several photos. Moreover, in the first photo, the product should be shown from the most favorable angle.
An example is a photo of a shoe. There is a close-up here, the model is standing in such a way that you can see the boots from the front and from the side. The material of the boots and the seams are clearly visible.
For comparison, here is an example of an unsuccessful perspective of an openwork vase. In addition to the angle, the quality of shooting is lame – there is not enough light and focus in the photo.
Tip: do not repeat the same angle for different products, otherwise they will mix in the memory of a potential buyer. Especially if the products are from one or a related category.
An example is Prada sneakers. Or “Find 10 Differences.” Having looked at several such photos (and there are 4 of them in the post), you can get confused in the choice or even forget which ones you wanted to buy.
2. Taking close-up photos of details that are important to buyers
The most important details for each product are individual. For example, for a watch it is a mechanism, a strap, a buckle, a dial. For clothes – the material, the quality of the seams, how the product looks from the inside. The bottom line is that a potential client, even at the stage of viewing photos on Instagram, understands that the product is of high quality, from reliable material, neatly made.
An example is a clock made of wood. The dial, part of the mechanism, material are clearly visible (for such a photo, use macro photography).
3. We use photo editors for processing
In addition to the process of photographing, you need to pay attention to the processing of photography, especially color correction. You can use Lightroom or something simpler like the VSCO app (other photo editing apps).
The main thing is not to overdo it with processing, otherwise buyers will be unhappy with the fact that the color of the product in real life differs from the photo.
An example of good color grading:
And here is not enough brightness:
A couple more unsuccessful options for comparison – the photo on the left is too faded, and on the right, on the contrary, it is too bright.
Important: for processing it is better not to use Instagram filters, and in general you need to be careful with filters. Incorrect processing can ruin the selling photo. An example is a snapshot of a knitted cardigan. Such a number of filters could still be used for personal photography, but not for selling a product.
4. Setting up lighting
The most common mistake during photography is poorly adjusted light: there is either too much or not enough, or the lighting device is installed on the wrong side. As a result, the photos are either too overexposed, or with unnecessary shadows, or not sufficiently bright. They try to compensate for the lack of light with processing and filters – as a result, the object in the photo turns out to be unnatural.
Tip: on lighting it is better to read manuals and watch training videos of professional photographers.
From our side, we add that you can use a lightbox for subject shooting with a built-in lamp (it costs a couple of thousand rubles, but you can do it yourself) and a ring lamp for shooting outside the lightbox (it costs less than professional equipment, but gives enough light).
5. Limiting the palette of colors
A product photo for Instagram should not have too many different colors – this distracts attention from the product. It is also important that the colors match with each other. An example of a successful color combination is a watch on a neutral background + some greenery to emphasize the environmental friendliness of this product. The second photo is dominated by the winter theme, the colors are also well chosen.
And here is an example of unsuccessful photos: in the photo on the left – an explosion of colors (it greatly distracts from the product), in the second photo – a black jacket against the background of black jackets (the product simply merges with the background).
Important: When choosing a color palette, keep in mind the contrast! In the example below, there are 2 photos of bouquets from the same flower shop. Both photos are of good quality, but for a white bouquet, a white background is not at all suitable – the bouquet seems to dissolve into everything white. But a red bouquet on the same background looks much better.
6. We focus on the product
The product should be the main element of the photo. There should be no distracting objects in the frame that draw attention to themselves. If there are other objects besides the product, we transfer them to the secondary plan, you can also blur them slightly.
An example is a guy in a blue hat. The background is neutral, defocused, the clothes of the model are also not bright. The main element of the photo is a hat.
A bad example is branded glasses that are lost against the background of other elements. There is also a red distracting background.
PS The main thing is not to overdo it with blur. An unfortunate example is photographs of handmade soap. Those pieces that you just want to consider are blurred.
7. We show how to use the product
The buyer can be motivated to make a purchase by showing how to use the product. For example, you can put a simple photo of a vase in the center of the picture, or you can put flowers in it and show how this vase looks in the interior.
An example is a hair ornament. Here is a ready-made version of how to use this jewelry, how it looks in your hair, what hairstyle it is suitable for.
An explanatory video with a product demonstration will be a plus. Another way is to show the use cases of a product in the same photo. The example below is a hat with glasses.
8. Create a style
With the help of a photo, you can advertise not only a specific product, but also a way of life.
Example – a person shows a clock in front of different locations. The photographs seem to say, “This watch is worn by successful people who can afford to travel. Buy a watch and you’ll be like them. “
9. Coming up with a creative idea for a photo
Instead of standard photos, where the product is in the center and nothing else, you can come up with original compositions.
Some examples of Louis Vuitton brand selling photos:
10. We use different photography backgrounds, including homemade ones: made of boards, pieces of laminate, colored paper
Examples of a successful wood background:
We try to ensure that the product does not merge with the background, as we have already written about this in the paragraph about the color palette.
Sometimes the product is superimposed on the background in Photoshop – it looks unnatural. This option can only be used if the product is not on hand (for example, you are selling products via dropshipping). That being said, try to process the photo so that it doesn’t look cheap.
The example on the left is the overlap of the object against the background, on the right the photo is better.
Important: there are backgrounds that are best avoided altogether, for example, a photo with a home environment, grandma’s carpet, an old oilcloth in a flower. Even an expensive product against a bad background will seem like a low-quality cheap fake.
11. Create a composition of several products
This technique will help you sell multiple items at once. For example, let’s say you’re selling a knitted cardigan. You can immediately pick up jeans and shoes for it and offer customers a ready-made image. At the same time, everyone is happy – the buyer does not need to specifically look for suitable clothes or accessories, and you get a higher average check.
12. We check that the product in the photo looks good
If there are any shortcomings, it is better that they are not visible in the photo (of course, if this is not an obvious marriage, it is better to talk about it in advance). In the example below, the photo is fire, but scratches on the watch screen repel you from buying. You probably wouldn’t want to buy a scratched item.
13. It is better not to use labels on the photo, but if we add, we need to do it so that it looks organic
An example when the caption does not conflict with the photo and, at the same time, is not lost among other objects:
An example of how it is not necessary – the inscription merges with the photo and is generally out of place:
#one. You can come up with your own recognizable stylethat will set you apart from the competition.
Example: needlewomanwhich makes cute handmade knitted toys. There are soft pastel colors, a certain angle, a lot of close-up photos. All together creates an atmosphere of mimicry.
Example: wood craftsman… A certain filter or preset for processing is selected here, a lot of wood, Provence style.
# 2. Think of how to beautifully present the material from which the product is made. An example is a photo of knitted shoes.
Checklist: we check if the photo meets the requirements
- an angle was chosen for shooting, which emphasizes the merits of the product;
- important details are shown in close-up – you can see the quality of the product, material, assembly;
- the photo is harmoniously processed, everything is in order with color correction, there are no distortions with brightness and contrast;
- everything is fine with the lighting – the photo is not darkened or overexposed;
- correct colors for the composition;
- the emphasis is on the product, if there are other objects, they are moved to the background plan;
- the background is well chosen;
- the photo does not show the defects of the goods (if any), for example, minor scratches and scuffs are not visible;
- the inscriptions (if necessary) do not overlap the object in the photo and are in harmony with the overall composition.
Is it really possible to shoot without expensive equipment?
Yes, here are examples of cool commercial photos for inspiration that were taken with an iPhone.
In order to make a picture, like a brand, you do not have to hire photographers and buy expensive equipment – you just need to know a few secrets of shooting and photo processing.
You can DIY, bake custom cakes, or paint and shoot as if you had your own brand boutique. If you upload beautiful photos, buyers will get the impression that you are a professional in your field, and the product is of the same high quality as the photo.