The ‘Killer Amazon Photo’ Formula

Everyone knows it – getting the right snaps for your Amazon product can be the difference between making bank and being broke.

Pictures on Amazon truly are that useful and will almost certainly make or break your product. Yet while some sellers will tell you it’s fine to snap those photos yourself, and others will tell you that only photos acquired at the cost of a small fortune will suffice, the truth is in the middle of these two extremes.

This article is all about how to navigate the treacherous waters of Amazon product photography, and how to get those positively killer photos.

So read on, and let’s make some money…

The Photo Set You Need – Step By Step

  • The show-stopping ‘Hero Image’
  • Mixing up studio, lifestyle and graphic design photos
  • Telling a story through images
  • Amazon Photography 101
  • Connecting what your audience wants with what your product does

So first up…

The Hero Image

This innocent-looking fellow here can make or break your listing.

It’s the thumbnail you see on a page of items, the first image to come up when you click on the listing, and the image that pops up every time someone sees it in their basket and finds it in a search engine.

Put simply – it’s the image that truly matters.

Get this wrong and everything fails. Nada. Nil.

Get it right and the rest of the listing has a fighting chance of doing it’s proper job.

This means your Hero Image needs to be good enough to score a home run and take home the prom queen (yes, somehow both at once).

There’s a lot of competition up there on page one, and if your Hero Image doesn’t look jaw-droppingly good enough it’ll be ignored and scrolled right past.

We’ve gone on about this for long enough now, but it’s worth reiterating as a priority – make your principal image work.

Mixing It Up – Getting Studio, Lifestyle and Graphic Design Images

Getting all three of these categories ticked off will rocket your listing to the top of the ‘Quality Amazon Listing’ leagues.

Ok, maybe those leagues don’t actually exist, but if your listing is done right and includes these three styles then the financial recompense should be rewarding enough. Anyway, here’s a rundown of what each is, for the uninitiated:

Studio Shots

These are those product-only shots with a blank white background. You know, the ones on every e-commerce product page.

Your Hero Image will be a studio shot, as will many other photos of your products. You get the picture (pun intended).

Lifestyle Photos

A good lifestyle photo will demonstrate the very moment your product’s benefits are being felt by someone in your target audience.

How do you do this? By snapping someone who looks like the archetypical buyer of your product using the item, while seeing the positive results of doing so, of course.

Just make sure the model really is as close to your target audience as possible, as this is crucial for your buyers to identify with them and give your image that all-important selling power.

Graphic Design Photos

While many listings leave these out, you can set yourself apart by including graphic design photos and reaping the benefits.

There are many different types of graphic images and the best option will depend entirely on your product. So let’s go through them…

Scale Image

The scale image provides units of measurement next to the product, letting customers see how big or small it really is.

Misunderstandings over product sizes have long been the cause of many a one-star review, so scale images are a good way to avoid this.

Promotion Image

These are a good way of getting attention to promotions you’re running on your products, and it’s done by clearly explaining the deal to your audience in the image itself.

Product Callout

A common graphic image, product callouts are essentially images of the product with brief pieces of text outlining the benefits of each feature.

Just make it simple, have the colors and style match that of the brand’s, and you’ll be fine.

Comparison Image

Only use this if your product is evidently better than the competition, but if it is then a comparison image is the best way of showing this.

Instructional Image

If your product needs setting up or gets a lot of questions from customers then instructional images are a great way of clearing things up.

With instructional images your buyers can get a better idea of what it means to install or use the item you’re selling.

Packing List Image

Great for products that come with various different components and pieces. These images will demonstrate just what you’ll receive if you buy that product, meaning customers get a better idea of what they have in store.

Multiple-Uses Image

Some products are so versatile they can be used in all sorts of situations. If so then demonstrate this clearly with multiple-uses images.

In these you can show all the wild and wacky ways your product can be used to bring joy to your audience’s lives!

Bonus Image

If you give a freebie with your product then show an image demonstrating it. This will bring the bonus to life much more and be far more tangible and enticing to your viewers.

Tell a Story Through Images…

Let’s get a bit artsy here.

Together your pictures should combine to demonstrate the way in which your product will have a positive impact on the buyer’s life.

It should show all the problems it solves, the headaches it causes to disappear, the fun it creates, the special memories it will hold, the ease of living that will follow purchasing it. These images should work together to paint a picture of the idealised end result your customer will get from buying the product.

Yes, it is difficult to achieve. But yes, it is also very possible with enough work.

Images, language, colors and style should all be cohesive and unified, and the overall standard of design needs to be very high.

It probably won’t come at first, but practise makes perfect, young padawan.

Now, time for that quick photography lesson…

Amazon Photos 101

While your Hero Image may be the main recipient of these tips, they equally apply to all photos you’ll find yourself using in e-commerce.

The main takeaway – your photos need to look damn good and show your product in the best possible light. And the most important factor of this is…lighting!

Lighting is a tricky area of photography due to the skills and equipment needed to pull it off well, and frankly we advise you hire a professional because of this. So get a photographer with a solid product photography portfolio and watch your product spring to life in the lens.

Second point – angles.

Angles mean a lot in product photography, and if you can snap yours from more alluring angles than the rest then you’re onto a winner. Simply try getting photos of your product from various angles and see which one works best!

Not sure which is your number one? Then split test a few to see which captures the most eyeballs.

Finally, get those images looking beautiful with the help of a graphic professional, whose job it will be to sort out any blemishes on your photos and add some super-sexy shadows/reflections.

For lifestyle images, remember the following –

  • Get a model that closely resembles your target audience
  • Make sure it’s primarily a photo of the product – not the model
  • Keep the field of depth shallow for that blurry-background effect
  • Capture the precise moment the main product benefit is being enjoyed

Showing The Audience Your Product Is Their Panacea

This is a simple concept that is so often overlooked.

Your product may do a whole lot of good in a whole lot of different areas, but you need to focus on the ways your product does what your audience wants.

This means if you have some wonder pill that sheds fat, grows back balding hair back and stops you getting toothache from eating ice cream, then if your audience are middle aged women you better only focus on the fat-shedding feature.

Knowing how to approach this situation with each product will mean you need to do some serious market research, and it could be the difference between your product flopping or soaring.

Look at reviews, forums, online groups, chatrooms, anywhere your audience may hang out…and use your photos to address the issues which come up as most important.

To Conclude…

Nobody said this Amazon photo business was easy, but with a bit of trial and error you’ll probably find yourself getting the hang of it sooner than expected.

Simply follow these guidelines, implement the advice at each point, and tweak and adjust to suit your product, market and circumstances.

And as Momma always said, practice makes perfect!

Danny Carlson Founder, Kenji ROI
Danny Carlson is a 28-year-old entrepreneur, podcaster, & lifestyle architect. He started his first business producing extreme downhill longboarding videos in 2014 & has since grown the Amazon FBA Agency “Kenji ROI” to more than 10 team members. Kenji ROI has served over 500 Amazon sellers & created photos, video, copywriting, & graphics for over 1240 listings. Residing in Bali, his off time is spent doing standing acrobatics, ripping sport motorcycles, & training at Nirvana Strength.

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