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How To Take Product Photos For Your E-commerce Shop While You’re On A Budget

How To Take Product Photos For Your E-commerce Shop While You’re On A Budget

We are currently in a world dominated by e-commerce. And if you are in the business of e-commerce, you should know that the way you showcase your products on your e-commerce site affects sales significantly. Amateur-looking product shots erode consumers’ trust in the products/services you offer and decreases conversion rates. However, the reality is that most e-commerce startups do not have the budget for a proper DSLR, let alone a professional studio shoot to take product shots. In this article, we’ll outline what you have to do to take product photos that attract visitors and convert them into customers – all by yourself!

What You Need

  1. Smartphone camera with decent resolution
  2. Tripod
  3. Photography lightbox
  4. Large, white sheet of paper
  5. Three pure white table lamps

Set-Up

Getting a good set-up (lighting, backdrop, etc.) goes a long way in ensuring that your photos do not require much editing after they’re shot. Using a lightbox diffuses or “softens” the light so that your product is lit evenly, and you do not have to edit individual areas. A tripod eliminates the effects of a shaky camera so that your photo remains clear when zoomed in. By illuminating your product with pure white light, it ensures colour accuracy so that no hue adjustment is required. For the photos later in this guide, we used an all-in-one photography lightbox that already has a backdrop and LED light built in for its simplicity.[1] However, you can follow the steps outlined below to get the same results if you are using a generic cloth lightbox.

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  1. Set up the table lamps by placing one on each side of the lightbox and one directly above.
  2. Attach the white paper to the upper backside of the lightbox with tape and lay it on the base so that it forms a smooth, continuous curve. This will give the appearance of a white, infinite background to your picture that makes your product the focus of your customers.

Snapping The Photo

Make sure you dust off and wipe the product before taking photos. The menial task of cloning over dust and blemishes can be avoided with this quick step. Mount your camera on the tripod and snap the photo with a voice command or timer instead of using the built-in shutter in order to reduce camera shake. The camera should be positioned at a far enough distance so that the object does not appear distorted from perspective.

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Editing Your Photo

Depending on your camera, you might end up with a website-ready photo, or you could end up with something a little less ready where some editing would have to come into play in post to make the photo website-ready.

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The photo may appear darker or less vibrant because of your camera, but the colours are there nonetheless. Your photo may look like a long way from perfection, but all you have to do to edit the photo is give it a super simple white point setting that can be done in under two minutes.

Setting A White Point

  1. Open your photo on Microsoft Picture Manager. For this method, we’ll be using the one-click Enhance Colour feature of the Picture Manager to correct the colour profile.[2]
  2. Once the photo is opened with Picture Manager, click “Edit Pictures”, “Colour”, then “Enhance Colour”.
  3. Select a white, shadowless area near the product with the crosshair – the algorithm will do the rest! This sets that area to white and adjusts the rest of the photo accordingly.

Useful Photography Tips & Tricks

  • For shiny objects like metals and glass, make sure the light is not being reflected directly into the camera, or the glare will darken the rest of the object in contrast.
  • When photographing transparent glass, putting a roll of black paper on each side of the product helps define the outline. The black paper can be cropped out during editing.
  • You can make metals seem more glamorous and shinier by applying a de-saturation filter. This only works if there are no other colours in the photo.

Featured photo credit: SilverFox Talents via silverfoxtalents.com

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Reference

[1] http://lightbox.sg/edit-photos-perfection-2-minutes-free/
[2] https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=16573

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Saminu Abass

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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