Baby Steps to e-Commerce Photography

Commissioning high quality product photography is neither affordable nor practical for small, independent businesses who trade on e-commerce sites like ebay, Not On The Highstreet, or Etsy.

So goes a common myth, but what is the reality?

unicorn wall plaque

This update features images created for Essex-based Fox’s Felts over the past couple of years, since they first started trading. Fox’s Felts create hand-made toys, decorations, clothing and accessories for babies and young children. As with all start-ups, they needed to budget for a whole range of up-front costs, but they knew that simple, attractive, professional photography would be crucial to their success in appealing to discerning mums and dads.

teether in gift box product shot

The first photo-shoot you ever commission can be daunting, especially when there is a lot of product to shoot. Regular communication with the client before shoot day enabled me to plan the lighting and set-ups for all the shots, and we were consequently able to shoot everything in one day. I never take the ‘throw it in a light tent and hope’ approach to photography; light tents are great for some surfaces, but each different product requires its own lighting set-up to make it ‘pop’.

product and packshot example images

For our first shoot I took a portable studio to Fox’s Felt’s premises. This allowed us to create classic ‘white background’ studio images of some products, as well as basic packshots.

The client could provide direct input to styling group shots, and relevant props were also close at hand, as the client was herself the mum of a toddler.

group shot and props

For example, we were able to utilize ready made ‘sets’ to show off products that needed more than the simple white background approach, such as the client’s range of fun mobiles.

owl mobile photographed with cot

After returning home to retouch the images, add drop-shadows, perform colour correction etc, images were sent for approval, before the final sets of web and print jpgs were delivered (all via Dropbox). I also adapted a graphic provided by Fox’s Felts for use as a watermark for their online imagery.

Since the launch shoot, I’ve returned to Fox’s Felts’ premises when they have large quantities of new product to photograph. When there are only a few new products, they post them to me along with a simple brief.

teether and bag product photograph

This simple, fuss-free solution doesn’t break the bank, and is made even more affordable by a special deal available to all my product photography clients. As with much product photography, the more you order, the lower the price of each image. I offer clients the chance to pre-ordered images, providing the advantage of bulk discount with the flexibility of having products shot as and when they become available.

Just as I was preparing this entry, Fox’s Felts phoned me to say that their mobiles recently featured in a ’10 Best Baby Mobiles’ article in The Independent newspaper. I love to hear client’s success stories!

To chat about your photography requirements, call me on 07757 259390 or send me a message via email.

Or check out some different examples of my product photography, featuring different materials and backgrounds.

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