We all know the importance of great product photos to sell products online, but sometimes it can be challenging to fill all of the product photo slots that your selling venue allows. I mean, there are only so many photo angles that a person can capture of a product, right?
What becomes even more challenging is that different online selling venues allow different numbers of product photos. It can be difficult to keep it all straight. Here are the particulars:
- Etsy allows up to 5 product photos.
- Amazon allows 1 “main” product photo + 8 alternate images.
- Made Freshly allows 3 product photos for each listing + 9 more if you upgrade to a paid account.
- ArtFire allows 4 product photos + 6 more for Pro accounts.
I’ve also created a visual guide for you below.
So how many product photos does an online seller really need per listing?
However many photos will make your customer comfortable purchasing the product without seeing it in person.
Even though this article focuses on some creative ideas for your product photo slots, I feel obliged to mention the basic photo types that you should include in your listings:
- top and bottom of the product
- depth/girth of the product
- inside of the product, if applicable
- close-up shots of any important details (e.g., stitching, closures, embellishments)
- if vintage, any imperfections
Now, let’s proceed to some outside-the-box ideas for your product photography.
Creative Ways to Fill the Extra Product Photo Slots:
Show the Product Packaging (#1 above)
Especially if your product could potentially be given as a gift, consider showing an image of the product packaging.
Show the Product In Use (#2 above)
Use minimal props to help customers imagine themselves using the product. If customers can envision themselves using the product, they’ll be more likely to buy it!
Show the Product Size with a Scale Photo (#3 above)
I’ve written about using scale in your product photography before, but the point bears repeating here. Remember that customers can’t always tell how large (or small) your product is. Fill one product photo slot with an image of your product alongside something that people will recognize, preferably something that complements your product.
Show Customization Options (if any) (#4 above)
If your product can be customized in any way, show customers some of the options. In image #4 above, you can see some personalization that is possible on the bracelets from the Spotted Dog Asheville shop. Customers like one-of-a-kind pieces, so show them how your shop makes that possible.
Show Similar Products in Your Shop (#5 above)
Telling customers about similar or matching products in your shop is called upselling, and it’s a great idea for your product photo slots!
Show “As Seen On” Text on Top of Photo (#6 above)
If your product has been featured on the front page of Etsy, in a magazine, or on a popular blog, add some text on top of the image to let your customers know. Holly McCaig has a great video tutorial that shows how to add text to a photo using Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements). If you don’t have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, the concepts could be done using Canva or PicMonkey as well.
If you sell digital products, here are a couple creative ideas for you as well:
- If your digital product helps customers create something tangible (for example, a PDF crochet pattern), show a photo of the end result (the physical item). This will help customers visualize the final product. Just be sure to clarify that your product is a pattern, not the final product that is pictured. Communication is key here.
- If you sell an e-book or an online course, show some “sneak peak” images of the information contained in the course (for example, screenshots of worksheets, online lessons, etc.).
I hope these ideas have inspired you with some ideas for your own product photography. Just remember this: when filling your product photo slots, show the “basic” images first, and then add “creative” images if desired. There’s no sense to show creative, “artsy” images if customers can’t see the basic photo angles of your product.
What other images have you used for your product photo slots? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.
Product photos from Simbiosis by Julia Etsy shop