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How to take photos for an online store Photo: shutterstock
25.02.2014 50062

How to take photos for an online store

A successful online retail begins with photos, because they are called to show the goods in all its glory. Low-quality, unprofessional images can scare off a potential buyer and leave the seller without the desired profit. How to competently make selling photos for an online store, experts say online giants Sapato.ru and Lamoda.ru.

A successful online retail begins with photos, because they are called to show the goods in all its glory. Low-quality, unprofessional images can scare off a potential buyer and leave the seller without the desired profit. How to competently make selling photos for an online store, experts say online giants Sapato.ru and Lamoda.ru.

Evgenia Chukhnova - Marketing Director of the multi-brand online store Sapato.ru. Sapato.ru is one of the leading e-commerce projects in Russia. It was launched in 2010 with the attraction of Western capital, and in February 2012, store shares were acquired by the online retailer Ozon.ru. The transaction amount is estimated at 50 million dollars.

The basis of the Sapato.ru assortment is shoes, which is confirmed by the name of the company: sapato in Portuguese means “shoes”.

Burkhard Binder - co-founder and managing director of Lamoda.ru. The company Lamoda.ru was founded in 2010 and today it occupies a leading position among Russian online stores of clothes and shoes. In 2013, Lamoda.ru received record-breaking investments for the Russian Internet market - 130 million dollars.

What do you need for shooting shoes?

Burkhard Binder: To shoot shoes, you first need a camera, two light sources and a tripod. A special subject table is included in the list of optional equipment. As for photography, the rest of any digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses. The quality of images depends largely on the technical capabilities of the lens used.

Evgenia Chukhnova: Photos in the online store should be bright, clear and understandable. To make them like that, first of all, you need a professional or at least semi-professional camera with high light sensitivity (ISO). With large volumes of goods, amateur equipment can fail, because it is not designed for such loads. In addition, the “soap box” simply does not feel the texture of the shoes, and in the photographs the leather, varnish and velvet will look the same. Also, a high-quality photo shoot requires lighting equipment - at least 2 professional lamps that will allow you to correctly set the light. You can photograph shoes both on a subject table and on a white paper background, it depends on how the photographer is more comfortable working. Now it is fashionable to use the so-called light cubes — compact portable boxes in which lamps and light diffusers are already mounted. It is enough to include a light cube in the outlet and place a half-park inside it - that's all and ready for shooting. Light cubes are very simple and convenient, but, unfortunately, they cost a lot and are designed for shooting small items like jewelry or gadgets, so you won’t be able to photograph tall boots over them. In addition to all of the above equipment, you need a powerful computer with a well-tuned monitor and photo processing software - Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.

Burkhard Binder: Processing in the photo editor is an integral part of preparing pictures. Some photos need only a slight retouch - for this you can use the program Adobe Lightroom. If deep retouching is required, then the photos are processed in Adobe Photoshop.

Is it possible to do without a professional photographer and photo studio?

Burkhard Binder: In order to get high-quality photographs, there is no urgent need for a professional photo studio, a sufficiently equipped space of 6 square. m

Evgenia Chukhnova: Ideally, shoes should, of course, be taken by a professional photographer. If this is not possible, then it is hardly possible to do with completely improvised means. There are many tips on the Internet on how to make a light box out of a cardboard box, but for really high-quality shooting, you still have to spend at least one professional lamp, on a white background, a semi-professional camera, and a photo-processing program. If there is an opportunity at home to organize a shooting space, set the light on, then, in principle, you can do it yourself.

How to set the light?

Burkhard Binder: First of all, attention should be paid to pre-sample preparation of the sample and the installation of light. Lighting allows you to emphasize the merits of the goods, and, conversely, level them. High-quality subject photography requires at least two light sources that can be installed in different ways. The simplest light scheme is as follows: one light source is located on the left, the second on the right, and both of them are turned at an angle toward the object. For shooting, it is better to use not constant, but pulsed light sources - on-camera flashes or pulsed monoblocks.

Evgenia Chukhnova: Light must be set individually for each shoe model or for groups of models based on materials. At Sapato, we take off our shoes in blocks so as not to change the light: first we photograph all the leather, then all the velor, all the varnish and so on. This saves time with large volumes of goods. The texture of the shoe is the main factor that you need to pay attention to when installing light, since all materials absorb light in different ways. For example, patent leather gives very strong glare, so it is not easy to remove. But it’s even more difficult to work with white shoes, because it requires a special light scheme

Should I photograph shoes on my foot or separately?

Evgenia Chukhnova: At the foot of the model, we only remove shoes for videos that are placed on the product page. They allow the visitor of the online store to properly consider the shoes from different angles and even indirectly reduce the failure rate. As for the photographs of shoes, we do not make them on living models, but on a subject table, although a buyer can better understand the height of the shoe, the width of the boot, and imagine how it will look in reality from the photo on the foot. But such a survey is always fraught with complicating factors: all female models have different sizes and features of their legs, which increases the time for shoe changing. In addition, some shoes may look very specific on the foot. The difficulty arises with the format of photographs: in a full-length photograph, shoes cannot be seen, and “cropped” legs do not always look aesthetically pleasing. Unlike “on foot” photos, subject photos with a separate semi-park are easier to unify and fit the site format. For shooting, it is customary to select men's shoes of 41 size, and women's shoes of 38 size: shoes of precisely these sizes look the most proportionate.

What features of shoes need to be shown in the photo?

Burkhard Binder: As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. To create the most favorable impression of your product, remember: the shoes must be clean, have the correct shape - for this it is stuffed with paper, - the laces should be carefully tied, and their ends hidden inside. Patent shoes should shine, and suede should not be dusty. It is important that the texture of the material is clearly visible.

Evgenia Chukhnova: Texture, that is, the material of the top, is really very important: it should be easy to read from photographs. It is also necessary to take or take separate photographs of the inner material and insoles - this is important for buyers, and for some of them the material and relief of the sole also become a decisive factor. Well, if you can consider additional decorative elements like rhinestones or buckles, as well as important details such as seams, stitches, threads. If we are talking about branded shoes, then it would be nice at the same time to show the brand logo, sewn or otherwise applied to the shoes. It is very important for the Russian buyer that it is possible to consider the rise of shoes, so show in one of the pictures the side angle of the shoe model.

What are the perspectives of photographing shoes?

Burkhard Binder: To get a general idea of ​​the product, three frames are enough: a side view photo, an inside view and a front view. At Lamoda, we strive to provide customers with the opportunity to fully familiarize themselves with the product from the photo, so we shoot seven frames.

Evgenia Chukhnova: For photos of one shoe model on Sapato.ru, we identified seven angles: the main one, the top, bottom, back, front and two on the sides. If you want to show the density of the fur or a beautiful lining, add a photo of the inside view. In general, it is difficult to manage with less than five angles: in order to dispel any doubts of the buyer, you need to show the semi-park in the main view, from above, from below, from behind and from the front. Start shooting from the main angle, which is placed on the so-called “entrance” photograph of shoes. Most often, the semi-park on it is placed at an angle to show the volume and allow the buyer to evaluate the model as fully as possible at first glance. Interestingly, in foreign online stores adopted slightly different standards. For example, on Zappos.com, a pair of shoes is depicted on the “entrance” photo, with each half-park being photographed from different angles. This allows you to immediately create a three-dimensional impression of one frame.

How to edit photos?

Evgenia Chukhnova: Editing in special programs is not even necessary to “wipe” the visible imperfections of the shoe, but to correct the color in the photo to match the real shade of the model. Also, if necessary, you can fix the focus on the photo. Using the Adobe Lightroom program, it’s convenient to set all images at the same size at once: in our case, it is 1000 x 500 pixels — this is enough to consider all the details and texture when the photo is enlarged.

Do I need to publish a description of the model?

Evgenia Chukhnova: Description is a very important point in the product card, and you should not neglect it. You must have the required fields in the description, by which if necessary it will be possible to filter out all the goods. On our website, we have chosen such mandatory characteristics: factory model article, season, color, top material, lining material, insole material (important for demi-season models), sole material, heel height (in centimeters), dimension (small size, size in size) , larger than). Even if the assortment contains imported shoes, all sizes are best indicated in a single format. The best option is the Russian dimensional grid, it is clear to our customer. It is also excellent to publish a small, about 200-300 characters, textual description of the model. It should talk about the model, describe its decor, notes, characteristics invisible to the eye. We also always indicate how large the shoes are in the photograph - this allows the buyer to figure out how the proportions will change with his size. Cards of all products must be uniform: all images must have the same size, exact angles, in the model description you must fill in all the required fields.

A successful online retail begins with photos, because they are called to show the goods in all its glory. Poor quality, unprofessional shots can scare away a potential buyer and leave ...
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