We are bombarded with an incredible number of images every day. What details ensure that we stop and really look at one instead of another? Excellent aesthetics are more likely to capture our attention. In a picture, this is generally due to three main factors: the background, the lighting, and the focus - in addition to the subject matter, of course.
The background. Aside from particular problems due to extra-large objects, it's likely that the majority of the products you’ll be photographing are small to medium in size. A neutral backdrop will ensure that the item stands out cleanly and elegantly, and will look good on just about any webpage. For a uniform backdrop against which the item will pop, often all you need is a sheet of paper, a table or a wall. White, or another light, neutral colour, is preferable.
Your photographic compositions can add that special something: if you want to include other elements, make sure you combine colours attentively and are careful not to crowd the ‘set’ as it may diminish the importance of your product and confuse potential buyers.
Lighting. Lighting is essential to the quality of any picture. Try to avoid using the flash on your camera as much as possible (it creates heavy shadows in some places and overexposed white patches in others). Try to use bright, diffused light, such as natural light or that coming from special lamps, such as halogens. Make sure you’ve properly set the white balance on your camera. This will prevent the picture from being too blue (when using halogen lights) or too yellow (when using ‘normal’ lights).
Focusing. If you are taking pictures of small objects, you don’t need to use the zoom feature. The ‘macro’ feature (found on just about all modern cameras) is made just for this purpose, focusing on objects close to the lens. The zoom feature, on the other hand, is useful for framing the object properly when taking a picture from far away. Remember that wide angle and telephoto lenses (like zooming in too much) tend to distort the image and create a barrel or cushion effect. The best option is to always use a medium setting (between 50 and 100% of the focal length, if using a SLR) and then get closer or further from the object to properly frame it. Check the framing: the product you’re photographic should be in the middle to ensure it is properly displayed (e.g. in the miniature preview images, etc.). Lastly, make sure you hear the beep indicating that the subject is truly in focus!
Get to know your camera. Most digital cameras sold today have enormous potential that often isn’t taken advantage of. If you haven’t yet done so, take a few minutes to read the instruction manual for your device. It’s a great idea to join an online community of photography enthusiasts, where you're sure to find useful advice.
Post-production/editing. There are various free, simple programs that you can use to ‘adjust’ or 'fix’ your pictures after they've been shot. You can use them to resize, crop, adjust the colour and lighting, etc. Many of them have features that automatically correct the image for you. If you don’t want to install a new program on your computer, you can find good, easy-to-use, free alternatives online.
iPhones and smartphones. An increasing number of people now have mobile phones equipped with quite powerful cameras. There are also many apps that help you create great pictures, so...why not? Using your smartphone to immortalise your products is often an easy, quick and effective solution. Just don’t overdo it with the filters.
Blomming requirements. Images published on Blomming must measure at least 640 x 640 pixels and the resolution must be good (the web standard is 72dpi). This is essential for the product page to look as good as possible, and is absolutely necessary for good sales numbers. Up to four images can be uploaded per product. Clicking on each of them will open the zoom function.
However, the file must be small enough in terms of memory taken up (best to keep it under 1MB), so that those with slow internet connections won't have trouble seeing the pictures. Blomming accepts the following image formats: JPG, GIF, PNG. Remember: no one likes pictures that are grainy, too small or too large to load!