8 inexpensive tools for creating pro product photos

Say cheese

Perception is everything, and conveying the value of your products is extremely important in the competitive world of e-commerce sales. When shopping online, the one thing customers want to see is product quality. And if your photos don’t give customers a realistic idea of what they can expect, you won’t be in business for long.

With beautiful photos that give your products the attention to detail they deserve, consider your products SOLD.

You need to think about detail, lighting, and color accuracy when photographing products, but where do you start? Taking awesome pictures isn’t everyone’s strong suit and product photography can be expensive. But with millions of resources – online and off – you can take your images from meh to magnificent!

Check out eight affordable (and free) tools to give your product photos a professional look:

  1. Pixlr®: Whether you want to touch up blemishes, use filters, or add text to your photos – this free app (also downloadable to phones) is perfect for quick editing.
  2. PicMonkey: This free editor has easy-to-use tools that will transform your images. If you want to make advanced edits to your photos, simply upgrade for as low as $2.75 a month to unlock a treasure box of editing gold.
  3. GIMP: If you’re looking for a free advanced photo editor that has similar (but not as many) features as Photoshop®, then this downloadable program is for you.
  4. Remove The Background™: Give your photos a seamless look by stripping out the background to make your products shine. With a 24-hour turnaround time and for only $1.45 an image, this site will do all the work for you – you just need to upload your photos.
  5. Clipping Magic: If you’re a hands-on person, you can remove the background from your images on your own with this handy program – no technical skills required. For just $2.99 a month, you can upload, fix and download perfect images in just seconds.
  6. YouTube tutorials: Why fumble through foreign processes when you have experienced professionals to hold your hand and lead the way? On YouTube®, you’ll find tutorials on everything from lighting and shooting to positioning and zoom.
  7. Cell phone tripod: We use our mobile devices to capture a majority of our pictures. While it’s recommended that you use advanced cameras, your mobile phone or tablet can do the trick at a fraction of the cost! To stabilize your phone and capture clearer photos, consider purchasing a tripod.
  8. Lightbox: Controlling light, using a solid backdrop and capturing beautiful detail is easily accomplished with a photography lightbox. While some can be costly, there are affordable options and instructions for do-it-yourself lightboxes online.

Now that you have tools and resources to fine-tune your images, you can have your own at-home mini studio! While updating your product photos can seem like a waste of time, give it a shot and update a few to see if they improve your purchase orders and clicks. Who knows, there might be thousands of customers waiting to hit BUY once they’re more confident that what they see is what they’ll get!

Genevieve Tuenge
Genevieve Tuenge is a writer, former small business owner and creative director. She's an avid supporter of local mom-and-pop shops, and has devoted much of her career to helping small businesses understand and access the tools and information they need to thrive online.