The images you use in your catalog are the most important features you will be deciding on. The images sell your products. The text and everything else are important, but if the images are not well-produced, then your sales will suffer.
There are professional product photographers and using them will ensure that you have the best photos for your catalog. However, this does not come cheap. If you decide to do it yourself, you can save a lot of money. Just be sure you are confident that you can produce high-quality photos for your catalog products.
The first rule of good catalog product photography is to photograph your products individually. Group photos of products do not sell product as well as individual images. Again, it is more costly to do this because of film, printing, and layout concerns. You can save money by photographing your catalog products in groups as long as you understand that this method could also cost you money in reduced sales.
Choose appropriate backgrounds for your products. You want the product to stand out in the picture, not the background. If your product is white, use a dark background. Add contrast to your photos. Take several photos of each product so you can decide later which ones are the “best of batch” later.
If you are skilled with PhotoShop you can enhance the images of your products. Shadowing is a great method to use when you are displaying expensive products like wine, jewelry, or artwork. If you do not know how to use PhotoShop, you may want to get a professional graphic artist to touch up your photos for you.
Why all this trouble for just a few pictures? You want to present your products in the best light, no pun intended. You will not be there with your catalog to speak to the customer. Your pictures must speak to the customer for you. By taking the extra time to make each and every photo a virtual showcase for your product, you make the potential customer want to see more of your photos, then buy your products.
To the consumer, the quality of the image equates to the likely quality of the product. When people see an image that is pleasing to them, they want to possess it. If you want them to “possess” your product by ordering it, you have to make them want it. Your images are the best way to do that.
You can use a high-quality 35mm camera or a high-quality digital camera to photograph your products with. Personally I recommend you go with the digital camera if you are going to photograph your own catalog products.
Digital cameras and images are much easier to deal with and the quality is as near to perfect as you can get. Touching up the pictures of your products is not necessary, but you would be surprised at how much it can improve your results.
The bottom line is this. No matter where else you might cut corners, do not cut corners when it comes to the photos of your catalog images.