Here’s the definitive list of Amazon photography best practices to help you optimize your selling experiences.

On one end, you’re looking to create new possibilities on product listings. On the other hand, you could be looking for ways to create product images yourself on a budget.

You’re already aware that images make a big impact on Amazon product listings. They create trust between you and your potential customers. They generate interest and have a considerable role to play in increasing sales.

So, let’s get started. This list will help you:

  • Create trust
  • Generate interest
  • Help increase sales
  • Optimize your selling experience
  • Produce great photography on your own
  • Find the right supplier

Time to let your listing speak a thousand words.

Here’s What We’re Covering:

Remember

First, read through the entire article. If you have any questions, write them down, then keep on reading. It’s possible the answer is embedded in the text you’re about to read. Still not satisfied? Post your question at the bottom when you’re done with the article. We want to be sure that you understand the whole thing and leave this article 100% in-the-know!

Amazon Technical Image Requirements

All of your images, regardless of type, must follow these requirements:

  • 1000px x 1000px square image
  • Use 85% of the frame
  • Save it as a JPEG, TIFF, or GIF
  • Save it as an RGB color space

The main product image though is a lot more specific. Here’s a quick cheat sheet for easy reading:

Amazon Technical Image Requirements

 

Don’t forget–this is for the main image. The other images are a lot more lenient.

Why is the main image so specific?

  • The main image has to give the customer a crystal-clear idea of what your product looks like. It must be free of distractions. Amazon wants the customer to see the product clearly.
    • That’s why the background has to be completely white and the product has to take up 85% of the space–it provides a cleaner, clearer pictures.
    • That’s why the main image must have at least 1000px–so customers can zoom in to examine details.

These features enhance the customer’s buying experience. That’s why the technical requirements are now strict site standards for the main image.

Amazon Site Standards

File Name Requirements

What you name your image file is a very overlooked part of image SEO.

There are two crucial parts to the image name.

The first part is the image name itself.

Here are your options for the name:

  1. Amazon ASIN
  2. JAN
  3. EAN
  4. 13-digit ISBN or UPC code you purchased

Startupbros uses the Amazon ASIN number or the 13-digit UPC code.

The second part is telling Amazon what kind of file it is.

Choose between:

  1. JPEG
  2. TIFF
  3. GIF
  4. PNG

For example: AmazonASIN.JPEG

Here’s a quick video tutorial:

Remember: Amazon won’t accept the product image without the correct file name.

Types of Product Listing Images

Type 1: Parent SKU Main Image

This image is the customer sees first. It appears first in the search results when someone keys in your keyword, and second on your listing when a customer visits your page.

Amazon is really strict about the requirements for the main image, because it’s a top priority for them to provide customers with a great buying experience.

parent sku image

Type 1.a: Child SKU Image

If your product comes in different colors or variations, you’ll need child SKU images–also known as child variations. If you offer the product in red, blue, and white, you’ll need photos of your product in red, blue, and white to illustrate the difference in the different child SKUs. You cannot sell child variations of your product without the specific variation image.

Amazon isn’t as strict with these images. As long as you meet the minimum technical specification, you’re good to go.

Child Listing Image Examples

Type 2: Alternate Product Images

Images are supposed to help you sell the product. A study by MIT neuroscientists shows that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. A mix of these images should create more trust with the potential customer and help to generate sales.

Imagine the effects of creating multiple high quality images and high converting product descriptions. Your listing will instantly convert better than the competition

Type 2a: Product Benefit Highlight Image

Otherwise known as an infographic, this image highlights certain features of your product, and how the features help solve the customer’s problems. Some copywriting is needed in this type of image; aligning persuasive copy with images boosts revenue by 108%.

product benefit image

Type 2b: Product in Action Image

Otherwise known as lifestyle images, these images show your product being used by the ideal customer. People are attracted to other people; the presence of models in images has been shown to boost conversion. These images help the customer imagine themselves using the product.

product in action image

Type 2c: Competitor Analysis Image

This answers the customer’s questions before they’re asked. It’s an amazing tool that shows where your product wins over the competition. Chances are, there are a million other products on Amazon that are similar to yours; this product will illustrate how your product compares with the others.

competitor analysis image

Looking at competitors listings is also one of the ways we recommend finding products to sell on Amazon. Imagine that while you’re doing a competitive analysis for an infographic (like the one above) you notice they’re selling a product you’re not.

That’s a great sign that you should add that product to your inventory.

We talk about 3 methods you should use for Amazon product research here (Check it out).

Type 3: Product Listing Videos

Viewers are 64-85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video about the product. Once you’re registered with Amazon, and you’ve qualified for Enhanced Brand Content, you also qualify for video–which appears right beside the images on your listing.

Videos provide amazing value:

  1. They show the product in use in a lifestyle capacity, helping the customer visualize themselves using the product;
  2. They help answer common questions about dimensions, features, and benefits in a creative and entertaining way;
  3. They push your brand forward by being shot in square aspect ratio–great for forwarding on social media (read: organic marketing)

Here’s what a video on a listing can look like:

Before we get into services that help you with your product photography, we want to show you how to take these kinds of photos yourself.

Cameras

Let’s say you know your way around a camera. Here’s a guide that’ll help you create cutting-edge Amazon images on your own.

We’ll cover:

If you’re looking to sell on Amazon or create an online store, pictures are crucial. You’re not selling to robots in your product listings.

You’re selling to humans and they need to feel confident to buy your products, only great pictures put customers minds at ease.

So, i’m excited to discuss these things to you. So let’s gets started!

Type 1: Digital Cameras

Camera and Lenses for DIY Amazon Product Photography

Pretty much every photographer out there owns one of these. Are you wondering if you need an upgrade–or even a replacement? Or are you looking to improve your knowledge of your nifty little camera?

Let’s cover the two basic types.

Type 1a: Point and Shoot Camera

 

Point and Shoot Camera for DIY Amazon Product Photography

The compact point-and-shoot camera is portable and lightweight. Slip it in your pocket and carry it anywhere. It’s pretty handy, too; it only has one lens, so no need to fiddle with many different lenses. Point-and-shoot cameras also have a massive depth of field; the background and foreground are brought into focus, so the entire scene is incredibly sharp.

However, you have limited control with a point-and-shoot; nighttime photography capacity is reduced, and these little guys can’t handle wide-angle shots. You’ll also need a faster shutter speed to capture sports or action images. You also won’t be able to upgrade this basic camera.

Type 1b: DSLR Camera

 

DSLR Camera for DIY Amazon Product Photography

Used to be, only professional photographers owned these big boys; nowadays, price points have lowered, making them accessible to all photographers, professionals and hobbyists alike.

DSLRs create photographs with better image quality with less noise (the grain you notice in lower-quality pictures). Less noise means you can work in dimmer environments. Furthermore, faster shutter and focus speeds mean you can take great sports or action photos. Customize the camera with different lenses. Obtain full control over the depth of field.

Although they’re a lot more affordable now than before, DSLRs are still quite an investment. An entry-level DSLR will cost more than a point-and-shoot. They require tools, and considerable time investment in getting to know your equipment. You’ll need to send it for maintenance (yes, just like a car) every once in a while, too.

Also, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a good tripod for your DSLR. Here’s one:

Tripod for Amazon Product Photography

It’s small, affordable and the legs are flexible so you can capture virtually any angle you want.

Check out the tripod here

Look:

Other Considerations: Depth of Field

Most cameras have an auto-focus feature, so you don’t have to worry too much about focusing.

But if you want to enhance focus, learn a little about Depth of Field (DOF).

Depthof Field Comparison with Amazon Product Photography

The photo on the left blurs the background, whereas the one on the right maintains the background in sharp relief.

The photo on the left has a shallow DOF. This lends the photograph a softer, more romantic feel. This is also known as selective focus, and it means that the image inside the square on the screen will be the only item in sharp focus and with detail.

The photo on the right has a larger DOF. This affords a more accurate, clearer view of the item on display.

Here’s how to adjust your Aperture to control DOF:

Focus Camera Settings for Amazon Product Photography

  1. Locate your camera’s exposure controls
  2. For a shallow DOF, adjust aperture to 1.8-3.5
  3. For a larger DOF, adjust aperture to 11-16.

Depth of field difference

https://pixc.com/blog/ultimate-guide-to-diy-product-photography/

Lighting and Tent Equipment

Lighting is the most crucial element in your product photography.

Lighting for Amazon Product Photography

The proper lighting and equipment can make or break your Amazon image.

To achieve the perfect lighting, set up lights on the left and the right of your product. Having lights on the top and bottom too is optional. Choose any small, easy-to-set-up, and multiple-use equipment.

The proper light tent has translucent sides for a virtually shadow-less setting. Prop the tent up against a solid background to diffuse the lights coming from other sources.

Wanna cut the hassle?

Here’s a Product Photography Kit that we sourced. It’s got everything you need:

  • 2 x light sockets with 6” reflectors
  • 2 x 30w fluorescent lamps
  • 1 x 24” tent with color backgrounds
  • 2 x 18” tabletop light stands
  • 1 x 12” x 12” magnetic studio table

Buy the Product Photography Kit Here

If you’re looking to save more money. Try DIY product photography using your smartphone and a bathtub!

Simple Photo Editing

Computer programs like Picasa or Photoshop make editing your photos much easier. The pristine white background is not only compliant with Amazon’s Terms of Service–it also makes your product pop.

If you managed your tent & lighting properly, you’ll have an easier time with post-production.

Check out Clippingmagic and its immaculate results!

Online editing tools to lighten background for Amazon product photography

Note: Tip on Taking Photos of Small Objects

Set up your camera in a way that allows you to shoot from the top down. The light should be from various directions. Having a light table for this purpose can be advantageous. For you background, set up a white (or black) paper.

Second Note: We have an entire section of tools that we personally recommend that can help your Amazon business succeed. If you want to check it out it’s linked here

Amazon Product Photography Services

The other option is to get a professional studio to take your photos for you.

Turns out, Amazon is also now a product photography service. They started out as a platform for freelance photographers to use. Now, their photography service is pretty well rated, and they get good reviews.

amazon Product Photography Services

If you want someone local to take your product photos, Amazon can link you with a photographer in your area. If you’re interested in saving on shipping costs, sourcing for a photographer near you is a definite To Do.

Local Amazon Product Photography Listing

On the other hand, if your private label product is with your Chinese-based manufacturer, consider having a sample shipped over to Virtuous Graphics.

virtuous graphics for amazon product images

These guys are pros. They’ve worked with some of the biggest Amazon sellers. They do incredible professional photography that’s Amazon-compliant — but they also have a wide variety of other services, too. That means they can also create secondary images for you with models or call-out text, because they have graphic designers and copywriters on staff as well.

We can’t recommend them enough. We know you’ll be in good hands.

Check out their special deal for us:

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Wrapping This Up…

The main goal you need to have in mind while doing DIY photography is to present your product in a way that solves a problem. Know your target audience well enough to identify their main pain points, then present your product in a way that solves those pain points. This rule holds true in eCommerce — Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and so forth.

You might even want to test different kinds of main images to see which style converts your audience the best.

Just remember to convey your message in the cleanest way possible. Explore different angles, close-ups, backgrounds, lighting, and camera tricks. Then run your AB tests to see which one serves you the best.

There’s a whole section dedicated to creating a high converting Amazon listing in our new 2020 Amazon course. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, you can check it out here

Do you have any questions about product photography? Send them over! We’re here to please.

Special Offer…

There’s a huge section on product listing optimization and taking great photos that sell in our brand new Amazon business course that teaches first time entrepreneurs how to launch their very own physical product Amazon business. If you want to check that out and see if it’s right for you click here…

Or -> Join us live for the free presentation on launching an Amazon business in 42 Days <-

Author

Avatar for Will Mitchell
Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the Startupbros about page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

  • Avatar for Marc Marc says:

    Thanks for the article Erik. Photos are definitely a critical part of an Amazon listing. I used one of the small tents but found that I liked the results better if I took the photos outdoors in natural lighting on a cloudy day with no harsh sun or shadows. I would send my photos to a guy on Fiverr for background removal because he did better than I could do in Photoshop.

  • Avatar for Nigel Nigel says:

    Cheers for this Erick,

    Having great photos is incredibly important in ecommerce. But it’s also a big pain point for people getting started, because it’s not cheap! I’m sure a lot of people will use this guide and save some $$$ by doing it themselves. When you get a few sales under your belt, you can think about bringing in the professionals!

    Thanks again!

  • Very intuitive article Erick
    With your product photography tips, enhancing a Brand Content improves the CTR and drive sales to the product. Enhanced brand Content is quite the trend amongst most Amazon US sellers. Optimizing the 7 photos, which is ideal enough for any product page, with visually appealing images and a good background results in higher rank during Amazon product search.

  • Avatar for Holly Holly says:

    Thanks for including our product image.

  • Avatar for Henriette Henriette says:

    We’ve named our main images “AmazonASIN.jpeg”. Will it make sense to name all images under a product ex: “AmazonASIN_1.jpeg” etc.? Or does the tip only apply to the main image?

    Thanks for some great articles. They are really helpful to a newbie.

    • Hey Henriette, thanks for reaching out 🙂 You would be absolutely correct in thinking you should name all your images with an appropriate title! Maybe I should update the post to reflect that. With Amazon you want to give them as much accurate information as possible which includes proper naming of all your images. So glad you liked the article. Please let us know if you have any more questions.

  • Avatar for Mike Mike says:

    Hey Will! Awesome job with this, very concise and detailed post. Curious to know if you have any insight on 360 product photography in Amazon posts as of yet? We have started seeing this pop up in some Vendor Central listings as of recent. Also highlighted on this page (which includes links to Amazon listings with 360 product photography): https://www.iconasys.com/applications/amazon-product-photography/

    • Avatar for Gorilla ROI Gorilla ROI says:

      Hi Mike. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I didn’t even know this existed. There’s an article about it here https://amzadvisers.com/360-spin-images-amazon-listings/ but I’m curious about Will’s take on it. Can this be useful for customers if you have small items like kitchen/bathroom cleaning tools?

      • Avatar for MIke MIke says:

        Great write up @Gorilla ROI! Yes, we are still trying to get more info on this as well! For ex. how many frames/360 product view they require?Do we just upload an image set, and they do the 360 composition? Any info anyone can provide would be very useful!

  • Avatar for Damain Smith Damain Smith says:

    In eCommerce business it is essential to hire the best photographers and take remarkable photos. Because customer will be making their purchase decision based on photos of the product. so product’s photo should be Perfect. perfect photo can be achieved after perfect post production.

  • Avatar for Zubida Zubida says:

    I enjoyed this article. It’s worth reading.
    The mistake we do often while taking photos is that to focus on the subject of image and lose sight of the entire frame. It’s important to keep eyes to the edges and corners of your photos. Fill the frame with the subject, but paying attention that your subject in the frame is not cut off.

    • Hey Zubida, thank you for reading the article and reaching out. You’re absolutely right, taking good photos is something that requires a lot of attention to small details. Thanks for the tip!