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A practical guide to producing images that sell

February 11, 2018

To survive as a brand today it is paramount to put efforts into providing images which really make the product pop. Consumers today are continuously inundated with messages across social media and other platforms of marketing.

As a result of this, consumers are saturated with information.

We are so saturated with information we become lazy and reluctant to read. Take a look at Facebook for instance. Have you ever noticed how you are far more likely to react to a picture or quick video clip? This is because images are enticing and a wonderful way to get across your story or product within a matter of seconds.

Like many people from time to time, I sell items online using eBay. When I create my images to promote my product I spend quite a bit of time setting them up. I want to create a certain mood and make sure that my product is in pristine condition. In fact, I have had much success in outperforming other eBay listings of a similar item as a result of producing images of a professional standard.

If you are prepared to take that bit of extra time, you can increase the demand for your product – all by creating outstanding images.

So let’s get down to business and take a look at my top tips to how you can create images that sell your business.


1/ Research

Some might say Facebook and Instagram browsing is a waste time but in fact, it is quite beneficial from the fact you can research the competition. You can pick up on trends, find out about what others are doing. Simply monitoring how many likes various images receive helps plug into your mind what people like. It makes sense that if you can produce images consumers like then they are far more likely to want to find out more about your product or increase their desire for ownership.

2/ Desire of ownership

Consumers need help and guidance. Your goal is to show the consumer what your product can do for them. For instance, if I am selling a landscape framed image I am far better showing an image up in a nice room above a couch, or some funky furniture. This way the consumer can see what the image can do for their home, unit or office. Your goal is to get across how your image is going to benefit the consumer. This type of image evokes the desire of ownership.

3/ Colour harmony

Make sure the colours used help complement your product. This is particularly important if your product is a fashion accessory. The colours need to flow well together. If your not sure get others opinions. Perhaps photograph your product in different settings amongst different colour combinations.

4/ Composition

The composition is about bringing the elements in your image together to lead the viewer’s eye into the scene and ultimately a final focal point. Try using lines and angles to help provide a journey for the viewer’s eye. Put another way composition helps create unity and balance.

How to take photos that sell

In this example, there is very shallow depth of field and colour harmony and good composition with no competing elements. Showing a happy attractive model applying the product would evoke the desire of ownership

5/ Depth of field

The depth of field can also be referred to as the focus range and it simply refers to the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene which will appear sharp in an image.

Lighting and settings are vital for a professional result

The image on the right has a far greater depth of field than the image on the left

If our focal point in the image is just one subject, ie a portrait of 1 person then it might pay to produce a shallow depth of field. Which means the area around the subject particularly behind is out of focus. This will draw the viewers eye into the subject. Using a Digital SLR camera we can create a shallow depth of field ( or blurred background ) by using the lowest Aperture setting ie ISO 1.8 or 2.8. Less expensive lenses generally have a higher minimum ISO setting. You will need to be pretty proficient at operating your camera in Manual mode to create this effect. It might pay to do a small beginners photography course if you choose to photograph your own products. Otherwise, hire a professional. Remember a good image can say a lot about your product.

6/ Product In Use

It might pay to actually show your product being used. This way consumers can help understand its use and how it will be of benefit. Perhaps your product can help solve a problem. If that is the case then show it solving the problem.

Remember also images are not the only way to show off your product. Perhaps take a small video. The video is so easy to do, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, I think the videos which look real to life are in some ways better than a highly edited demonstration.

There you have it folks, some good tips to get you on your way to producing images which will really sell your business or service. So pick up your camera and get snapping.

James Harvie

Master Photographer at James Harvie Photography
Completely self taught, James runs one of Mornington Peninsula’s longest standing Photography studios since 2001 and has been voted in the top 10 Melbourne wedding photographers. Master Photographer James also runs http://www.melbournephotoworkshops.com.au

Victorian AIPP Commercial Photographer of the Year 2017
Las Vegas USA -3rd Place Landscape/Nature – 2011
Master of Photography with one gold bar AIPP
Australian Professional Photography Awards 2005 – 2016
silver Awards 24, - Silver Distinction Awards 2
International Fine Art Photography Awards
2017 - 2 Professional Nominees
Trierenberg Super Circuit – World’s Largest Photo Art Contest – Austria
2017 - 2 Awards

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