Opening an Online Store: Prepping Your Inventory


One of the most import tasks in running an online store is taking quality pictures of your merchandise.  Photos need to properly display the items as well as be consistent across all the items in your store.  The proper display of an item online will be a huge factor in whether or not a customer decided to purchase an item on your site, so make sure to be properly prepared before the first photo is taken.  

Stage Your Scene

You want to have a very clean and well lit white backdrop to take photos.  You can find some fairly inexpensive lighting kits online for around 100.00 which will be a great investment.  If you do not have the income available to purchase a lighting kit, try to take the photos in a very well lit room, or utilize natural light from a large window to light your pieces.  Wherever you decide to take your photos, you do want to make sure it is in a place where you can keep it set up long term so you can always offer a consistent look for your photos.  

Choosing Your Camera

If you are lucky enough to be a bit of a shutterbug then this part will come naturally to you, but for most taking photos can be a real area of concern. Investing in a quality camera maybe a difficult thing to afford, especially without having knowledge of camera types and different lenses available, but luckily new smartphones come equipped with the cameras that can handle most of these responsibilities.  If you own a smartphone that was made in the last few years and if you are properly lighting your items then you should be able to get quality photos of your inventory.  

Make to sure to be properly framing your shots to showcase your inventory, and always offer at least 3 photos of the piece for your customers to review.  When you are finally ready to post your photos, take into account that your online store may only accept certain size photos.  If you attempt to upload a photo and run into issues with it being the wrong dimension, take note of that dimension and adjust the image.  Many smartphone apps can do this for you, and is something you will want to look into before loading up your images to your online store.  

Looking Forward

You may want to invest some time and energy into learning some basic elements of photoshop to edit and alter your photos for better results,  You should also look into researching photo and lighting techniques to make sure you are creating the best photos you can.  Product photography can be a very difficult thing to master, and is something that you will need to spend time and money in continuing to learn.  There are countless resources on and offline that can help you learn more about photography and help you take the best pictures possible!