Amazon Imaging Offers Product Photos for Sellers

Amazon to offer product photography for sellers through Amazon Imaging services. The program is still in Beta, but current fees are $50 for at least two high-quality photos that meet Amazon’s Style Guide.

Amazon Imaging Window

How do I use this service?

Amazon Imaging is only available for products already at fulfillment centers.

Not all ASINs may qualify for Amazon Imaging services. To see if your product is eligible, go to your Seller Central Account.

Click on Inventory > Manage Inventory. Look for the product that you want Amazon to photograph and click on the image to edit and upload photos.

On this page, you’ll see a link to Amazon Imaging services. Click on the link to opt into the service.

Amazon Imaging link in Edit Photos

What’s the process?

If you pay for the service, Amazon will pull the products from the fulfillment center and take at least two high-quality photos. The process includes editing and uploading photos to the listing.

The entire process can take up to 15 calendar days from when the studio receives the product from the fulfillment center.

Afterward, the products are returned to fulfillment centers.

Amazon will reimburse sellers for any losses or damage to products during this process.

Why might sellers want to use this service?

Product photos are one of the most influential factors for making the sale on Amazon. Sellers who don’t take the time to provide high-quality photos are likely losing sales to sellers with superior images.

If you’re a new seller and don’t have the time to learn how to take and edit good photos, this service may be an option.

Taking product photos can be a simple process of taking out your phone and snapping a few pictures at different angles. Smartphone photos may be adequate, but they don’t always give customers the best impression.

Taking professional product photos that can drastically boost sales is an entirely different process.

Professional photos require a setup: background, lighting, cameras, and supporting accessories like lenses and props.

The editing process can be intensive as well, requiring knowledge of software like Adobe Photoshop. That’s not to mention the hardware requirements, like having an accurate color display.

For new sellers, learning about photography can be a distracting task. Paying for product photos, at least to start, can be a good alternative to having to invest in expensive and unnecessary photography equipment.

Benefits to Amazon Imaging

Here are some of the benefits of using Amazon Imaging:

  • Photos will follow Amazon’s Style Guide so that you don’t have to worry about listing suppression due to image-related issues
  • You don’t have to look for a photographer who specializes in product photography and Amazon’s requirements
  • Photos will be automatically added to the listing
  • Saves you time from having to research photography requirements
  • Saves you money from having to purchase expensive equipment and software.

Points to Consider with Amazon Imaging

Aside from the current cost of $50 for at least two high-quality images, here are some points sellers will want to consider:

  • Amazon retains the copyright to photos it takes, so you won’t be able to use the photos outside of the listing, with some limited exception for sellers registered on Brand Registry 2.0
    • If you have your own ecommerce site or you sell on eBay, you’ll still have to use your own images
    • You won’t receive any images or files outside of the ones uploaded to the listing
  • You can’t dictate requirements or provide input on how Amazon takes the pictures
  • There’s no way to preview pictures before they’re uploaded
  • While you can delete or replace photos on the listing, there’s no refund if you’re not happy
  • If your product has tamper-evident seals, make sure the product isn’t returned to your fulfillable inventory
    • Your metrics or account may be penalized if opened inventory is sold as new

For many sellers, the current price of $50 is a reasonable fee for taking good product images that meet Amazon’s Style Guide.

Going to a photographer for product photos will likely cost more, and the images may not be up to Amazon’s expectations.

The benefit of going to a photographer is that sellers will likely have high-quality image files and the ability to use these images on other platforms.

Regardless of which method sellers use to get their photos, product images should look professional and appealing.

Paying a little more at the start will translate into more sales and higher sales rankings than competing listings with poor images.

Learn more about taking your own product photos by taking a look at these helpful articles:

Free Image Editors for Creating Great Amazon Product Photos

There are many image editors you can use to edit your photos for Amazon. While some image editors are better than others, they’ll all require you to learn some basic features and terminology in order to use them effectively.

If you’re looking at taking product pictures, make sure to read our article on some common mistakes new sellers make with the main product photo on Amazon. Take a look at our article on some product photography tips to get started too!

In this article, we’ll go over some common free and paid applications people use to edit their images. Many of the online image editors are aimed toward photo editing, so certain features like filters, stickers, or adding text just aren’t as useful. That’s why finding one that works well is a chore. Try out the websites we’ve tested below to see if one works for you.

Looking for free for commercial use stock photos? You can use these as placeholders for your website until you find something more permanent.

Want to work offline? Check out these free and paid (one-time cost) alternatives to Adobe Photoshop.

Free Online Image Editors

These image editors are free and available online only. They are a great option if you’re often traveling or don’t have access to a computer with an offline editor installed. Some of the websites here limit their features for the free version, but if you want to do some basic editing like contrast, brightness, or cropping, they’ll work fine.

Many of these websites also have a premium subscription if you need certain features or like the layout of the free version.

Pixlr Online Photo Editor Free and Premium

Pixlr Photo Editor landing page

This free online image editor has some great basic features if you’re looking for a way to edit images quickly without having a local image editor. With a basic wand tool and a color picker tool, you can quickly refine your photos to remove any slight image imperfections or to make the background pure white. The free version has a vector editor as well, so you can edit your vector files.

The Pro version has some nice templates and free stock images. This may be useful if you don’t want to pay for images from other sites like Shutterstock.

Photo Editor by Aviary Free Online and App Store

Aviary Home Page

Aviary Online Photo Editor has a lot of nice features for your images. It’s synced with Adobe Creative Cloud, so you can edit pictures from your Adobe account if you have one. Otherwise, you can take a picture from your device and edit. If you’re looking for quick, simple edits, then this online application is fine.

For more serious edits, like including different layers, you’ll want to look elsewhere. It’s still better than most free photo editors that are aimed at people rather than products.

Adobe Photoshop Express Editor Free and Subscription

Adobe Photoshop Express website

This image editor requires Flash, but if you’re expecting Photoshop tools, you’re in for a disappointment. This editor has few of the features you’d hope to get from an editor that bears the Photoshop name, but it’s still better than many free photo editors. It also has some tools for photo sharing if you’re hoping to touch up or add some silly stickers or pictures on top of your photo.

Photopea

Photopea home

This browser-based image editor is similar to Pixlr. You can also easily manipulate files from other apps like Photoshop.

Other free online image editors that are primarily aimed at spicing up photos for social media are listed below. Again, you may want to read through their privacy policy regarding the uploaded photos.

Free Offline Image Editors

In this section, we’ll take a look at some great free offline image editing applications. One of the best features of the locally installed software is that you won’t have to worry about some server storing your images online. You also don’t need an internet connection or worry about slow speeds. These editors also have full feature sets, so you can edit the images in any way you want instead of being stuck with limited features.

GIMP Windows, Linux, and Mac

GIMP home page

This is perhaps the most popular free, full-featured image editor available. For a free program, its features are almost comparable to Adobe Photoshop’s flagship software.

Paint.net Windows only

Paint.net home page

Don’t let the early 2000s-looking website and tons of ads fool you. This image editor is a great alternative for people who want something better than Microsoft Paint but not as complicated as Adobe Photoshop. Just make sure you click on the right download button or you may find yourself battling a bunch of ads and spam.

Photoscape or Photoscape X Windows and Mac

Photoscape X Banner

These free image editors are a great choice for a modern image editor. PhotoScape X has a bunch of features, and the interface is a little more polished than GIMP or Paint.net. It also has a bunch of great features like the GIF Maker, though that’s probably not as relevant for Amazon sellers.

These are some other free offline image editors below.

  • Picasa (discontinued but you can find older installations online)
  • Pixlr (for Apple App Store and Google Play)
  • SumoPaint

If you’re serious about photo editing and want something more professional, then you may want to use Adobe Photoshop. Many photographers in the industry use Photoshop, and the community support for it is extensive. If you don’t want to pay for the subscription, then look for older offline versions like CS6 or Elements.

Many sellers don’t want to go through the trouble of editing their pictures since it can be time-consuming. But every little advantage can increase your sales, putting you ahead of your competition.

With the massive influx of new sellers using questionable tactics, you’ll want to distinguish yourself in any way possible. Disingenuous sellers don’t take time to polish their pictures, so taking time to make your photos shine gives you an advantage. And it’ll also give your brand reputation and image a boost.

last updated May 9, 2019

7 Tips for Fantastic Product Photographs

Product photographs are like first impressions: they are both crucial to success. Whether in interviews, dates, or shopping, first impressions can either make or break your chance of success. In addition to reviews and pricing for ecommerce, great product pages include quality images that convince people to buy your product. Customer expectations about picture quality mean that you shouldn’t neglect your product pictures.

The sheer amount of products available online already confuse consumers. High-quality pictures will immediately distinguish your product from another competitor’s product or even stock manufacturer images. A seemingly simple trick like using diffused lighting may increase sales. Additionally, quality pictures give customers an impression about your brand, namely that you may put as much care into your business, products, and customers as you do your images.

Here are seven tips to help you take better product pictures for your business.

Use a tripod for stability and consistency

Use a tripod to stabilize your camera and prevent it from shaking or moving. Tripods allow you to take close up pictures of your product without the blurriness. You can try this right now on your camera or smartphone. Close-up shots of an object will look blurry because of your hand movements. Tripods also allow for multiple, consistent images that give your product a professional appearance. For instance, if you need to take a break from photographing, having a tripod there will mean that you can return to the exact positioning instead of guessing where you last stood. You can buy tripods for your smartphone or your digital camera.

Buy a quality camera or smartphone

People often ignore the quality of a camera. Just using your old point and shoot digital camera from 2010 to take product pictures may not be a good idea since such cameras don’t allow you to adjust settings like shutter speed. Many smartphones today rival or even surpass many point-and-shoot digital cameras, so you may not need to purchase expensive DSLR cameras.

If you want to use your smartphone, you’ll have to become familiar with the features of the phone. Many smartphones have simple camera features. Different manufacturers include different software and lenses, even across the same product family. Some Android phones with highly-rated cameras are the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7. For Apple, the iPhone 7 has a highly rated and reviewed camera. Be wary of adding lenses that clip onto your smartphone camera. Many of these may just end up distorting your pictures.

Change appropriate camera features

Not only do you need to have the right camera, but you also need the proper settings. A professional photographer with an inferior camera and the correct settings can still take better pictures than an amateur photographer with a high-end camera and the wrong settings. Settings like shutter speed can be used to give a sense of motion to your images, and this may help products like cars that benefit from imparting the idea of movement.

The image file or quality should also be on the highest setting (or RAW if available). If your camera doesn’t have this feature, then set it to the highest possible setting. The camera will save your image to the highest quality. Different cameras will have different levels of control, so check the user manual for the various options available to your device.

You should familiarize yourself with your camera (or smartphone) and its options. Try taking photographs of a variety of subjects using different options like shutter speed, ISO settings, and image quality (image or file size). Be comfortable adjusting these settings and knowing how each change affects the end product. Set your camera to manual mode, if available, and compare those settings to the automatic mode.

Take a look at this graphic to see how the most common camera settings affect your picture.

Avoid using wide angle lenses or lenses that distort your product unless you have a specific need for those kinds of pictures. While wide angle lenses may be favorites for websites like Instagram or Pinterest, wide-angle photographs misrepresent the actual product.

Take multiple pictures from different angles and distances

Taking a few pictures of your product without review or editing is better than nothing, but amateur photos will give shoppers the wrong idea about your product and business. They imply a kind of laziness or lack of care that you don’t want people to feel toward your product or brand.

You want to take multiple pictures of a product at different angles so that you can review and edit them later.  You may also wish to take photos of your product from up close and at a distance so that you can consider them. Taking numerous pictures will give you more choice during the editing stage. If you’re hiring a professional photographer, taking many pictures will mean you won’t have to stage the product again, saving you time and money.

For specific items, customers will want more than just one picture. Successful product pages on Amazon include many images from various angles. Some ecommerce sites allow customers to zoom in on the photo and take a 360-degree tour. Many shoppers want to be able to view an item online as they would be able to see it in store. The bigger and more expensive the product, the more likely shoppers will want more detailed pictures. For specific categories like fashion, you may want to hire someone to model your product. Having multiple quality pictures, the ability to zoom, and the ability to take a tour all add to customer confidence in your product.

The following pictures illustrate the difference between a stock picture for the Apple Watch and an Apple Watch worn by a model. Notice that the image with the model gives shoppers a good idea of how the watch looks when worn. The stock picture doesn’t leave much to the imagination, and the white background hides the watch band, making the product seem a bit odd.

One added benefit for having great product pictures is that pictures rank very high in Amazon’s SEO since they are perhaps the most significant factor in a customer’s decision to purchase.

Use diffused lighting and consistent setup

Many products taken today use a white background and a light tent along to give the product a more natural look. You can create your structure using materials purchased at the hardware store. Or you can just buy one from eBay by searching for “light tent” kit. Amongst other benefits, the light tent will diffuse your light, giving it a soft look instead of the glare that comes from direct lighting. Having a professional setup will also give your product catalog a level of consistency that will add to the overall impression of your business.

You can experiment with different lighting to get the desired effect for your product. Typically, white light temperature starts from 5000 Kelvin and goes up. A bulb with around 5000K is excellent for product images because this closely mimics natural daylight. You can experiment with different color temperatures to get the ideal picture. If your camera supports it, you can also adjust the white balance to get the background you want.

If you are using a non-white background, be sure that the product doesn’t drown in the background color. For example, if you are selling a gray sweater, then your background shouldn’t be a similar shade of gray. This unfortunate choice will make your product less distinguished. Instead, choose a color that will provide excellent contrast and highlight without overpowering your product.

Other tricks you can use for your product photography include using a surface that is slightly reflective. You can also suspend your product using a string that you can later edit out. Decide what effects you want to your product to have and be creative. After all, the idea is to promote and distinguish your product.

Edit your pictures

Once you have a set of high-quality photos, the next step is to edit. You can use professional image editors like Adobe Photoshop, or you can use a suite of free image editors for Windows-based PCs like GIMP or paint.net. Make sure to crop out any unnecessary space to center and focus your product. Some ecommerce sites will require specific settings, so you may want to see what the requirements are for those websites before editing your picture. The last thing you want is for your product image to be automatically resized and misrepresented by looking stretched out.

If you are taking pictures using your smartphone, there are numerous apps, both free and paid, that offer image editing. Try out different apps to see which one is a good fit for your needs.

Finally, avoid adding unnecessary text to your pictures. Overlaying text in red and green Comic Sans font gives your product a childish and amateurish appearance. Your product image should be modern, professional, and clean. Save the text for your product listing and features.

Once you have the pictures completed, you may be tempted to add a watermark to protect all of your hard work. Be warned that some marketplaces like Amazon prohibit the use of watermarks. No matter what ecommerce platform you use, make sure that your pictures adhere to that platform’s policies. For example, Amazon has a set of standardized image requirements. One example is that the background is pure white for the main image. The benefit to such standards is that they take out the guesswork from having to decide on a background color. Here is Amazon’s policy page regarding product images:

Amazon Image Requirement

Include variations of your product when possible

If your product has variations, you should add pictures of them. Shoppers want to be able to see the different varieties of a product, especially products with different colors. Obviously, this tip doesn’t work for all products–you don’t need pictures of the same shoe in various sizes. If you happen to have numerous variations and are limited to a specific number, you can take pictures that include all the different varieties.

Try to provide several pictures of your product. Customers want to see your product from different angles. Having many photos will give customers confidence and increase your conversion rate. Remember that the in-store experience would allow customers to touch and get a feel for the product. You want your pictures to be able to replicate that through detailed, clear images.

These tips may be overwhelming at first. But as with other investments, taking high-quality pictures will consequently result in more sales. High-quality photos will also resonate with shoppers, giving them a good idea of your brand. A consistent catalog of quality product pictures will show customers that you pay attention to details. Finally, taking time produce fantastic images will differentiate you from other sellers with amateur pictures.

If you need stock pictures for your website or blog, check out this article for some free images for commercial use.