High-quality photography is important for developing a successful business, as many customers are convinced to purchase a product based on its photos alone. If your product photos look unprofessional or unappealing, customers may turn away from your online store entirely.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to create great product photos. Photo editing software like Photoshop can enable you to improve any product image that you’d like to add to your online store.
If you’ve no idea how to use Photoshop, this article will help you understand some basic and advanced methods for editing product photos. From removing blemishes to creating a ghost mannequin effect, you’ll learn how to edit dynamic and interesting photos.
Of course, in order to use the program, you’ll either need to subscribe to Adobe or get a free trial of Photoshop. With that done, let’s get started.
1. Remove the Background
Removing the background is one of the most common product photo editing actions. That is why it is recommended to take photos on a white background to eliminate the tiresome process of deleting objects from the background or decoloring it.
Removing backgrounds from an image has many benefits. By doing so, you will help customers focus on the object in the photo without any distractions. There are many tools designed for removing the background.
One of the most popular tools is the pen in Adobe Photoshop. This software also has a quick selection tool, namely “Select and Mask”. However, Photoshop does not give you full control, so the selection might not be precise.
As an alternative to Photoshop, you can use an online background removal service.
2. Remove Blemishes
Before shooting a product that you want to advertise, make sure it is clean. It is important to get rid of all kinds of blemishes including scratches, dust, fingerprints, etc. To edit product photos in Photoshop and remove all imperfections, use tools like the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush.
Use the Healing Brush if you need to select several parts of the photo for correction. After performing this action, Photoshop will fill this area in with pixels of the same colors as their surroundings.
The Clone Stamp Tool provides you with more manual control, allowing you to copy pixel values from one place and apply them to another. When using this tool, opt for lower hardness settings to make colors look more natural.
3. Color Correct
Color correction is an essential part of product photo editing in Photoshop. The most important thing to remember is that the colors of a product in the image should be identical to the actual colors of the product. You should not disappoint your customers with an item that does not look like in the photo provided by your company. To correct the color scheme of a picture, you need to adjust colors, white balance, exposure and contrast.
When taking a picture of your product, you should be careful and pay attention to minor details so that your photo won’t have a blue tinge. A picture’s white balance can be distorted due to the alteration of light conditions, camera settings during the photo shoot, etc. If whites aren’t correctly represented in your image, you can adjust white balance with Photoshop.
You also may need to correct the color balance of your image so that it will be identical to the color scheme of your product in real life. Apply the Curves Tool to achieve this.
Contrast and Exposure
By modifying the image contrast, you can brighten the light areas and darken the dark parts of a photograph. With this effect, the picture will look more distinct. Increasing the exposure will help to achieve a brighter picture. Decreasing the exposure will give you the reverse result – a darker picture.
Some devices are not capable of capturing certain colors, such as neon, for example. So, you will need to tweak the photo’s colors to achieve the desired shade. This technique allows you to eliminate the effect of the washed-out colors and make your pictures look natural and attractive.
To make the colors in a photo look as they would be perceived by a human eye in real life, apply the quick & basic color correction feature of Photoshop. This option is designed for correcting hue and saturation. Open a photo of your product, then click on the Image tab, go to Adjustments and select Hue/Saturation. Move the triangle slider in both directions to achieve the desired hue.
4. Batch Process
Visual consistency is significant, but complicated to achieve. If you want to perform product photo editing in Photoshop, you can use a variety of tools that will help you achieve this.
With the help of a toolkit offered by this software, you can modify an image’s color scheme, warmth, white balance, contrast, etc.
As soon as you reach the well-balanced settings of color and other aspects, you won’t want to perform this sequence of actions manually for every image, as it is a very time-consuming task. Besides, when performing this task manually, you face the risk of making errors.
That is why it is advisable to use Photoshop’s actions that save all of these steps so that they could be repeated automatically. By using the batch processing option, you can edit several photos at once.
5. Change Colors
To edit product photos in Photoshop, you will need to use the Hue/Saturation tool very often. With this feature, you can change the color of a product, so that you won’t need to take a photo of the same product but in different colors.
For instance, if you have ten shirts in various hues, and you don’t have the time to get each item prepared for a photoshoot, you can capture several shirts and then change their coloring by using this tool.
Pay attention to the fact that the tool can ensure perfect results when it works with colors such as red, blue, green and their variations. Do not apply the Hue/Saturation feature when you require white, black or gray colors. It cannot change white to pink, but is capable of changing blue to pink.
6. Increase Sharpness
Unsharp Mask is a special feature of Photoshop that allows you to identify edges in the item you are going to advertise. It can darken one side of the product and lighten the other one. By altering the contrast across edges, you can make your image sharper.
Click on the Filters, then go to the Sharpen tab and select the Unsharp Mask. Drag the slider to find out what settings are best for your merchandise. You can configure such settings as:
- Amount: This defines how much the contrast level should be increased or reduced.
- Radius: By changing the value of this setting, you will define the area for adjusting contrast.
- Threshold: This prevents Photoshop from sharpening the parts of an image that have similar colors. For instance, you may have a picture of the sky with clouds that features several shades of blue. Threshold allows you to sharpen or add contrast to only one tone of blue, preventing your picture from looking patchy.
7. Add Shadows
There are two main types of shadows in product photos: the shadow that darkens your merchandise, and the shadow that is cast by your product. The first type is undesirable as it distracts a viewers’ attention and hides the advertised item. The second type gives the image realistic depth, attracting customers.
If you want to add shadow to your image, take into consideration two rules. First, you should add this effect in such a way so that it looks natural and consistent. Secondly, the items from one category should cast the same kind of shadow. While working with this effect, you can use reflection shadows and drop shadows.
These make your merchandise look as if it was shot on a reflective surface, like a glass mirror. This type of shadow is often used on social media networks, homepages and category pages. To achieve this effect, you need to copy a part of the picture, paste it as a new layer, turn it, place it, alter the layer blend mode, and mask it.
These create an effect of direct sunlight falling on your product. Activate the Layer Style tab at the bottom of the Layers panel and select Drop Shadow from the drop-down menu.
Both types of shadows add an effect of depth and make your product look grounded, which helps customers see the merchandise in a three-dimensional way and sets it in a particular context.
8. Remove Reflections
Sometimes you need to take a picture of an object with mirrors or metal details that are likely to reflect the light. While working with reflections, you will have to decide which reflection to get rid of and which one you need to leave.
In the process of photo editing in Photoshop, you can remove reflections by using the one of several available options. One of the quickest and easiest methods for getting rid of an undesirable reflection is to select a color from some neutral background and put in on the place you need to fix using the Brush in Color blending mode. To activate this process, press Alt-Shift-C.
Another method is to apply the Sponge Tool, but this will work only if the metal surface is neutral.
9. Create a Ghost Mannequin Effect
If you design clothes and want to take photos of them to demonstrate your goods to online customers, you need to make these images appealing and clear. The items should be worn by a model to show their design and as many details as possible. However, to hire a model or purchase a mannequin, you will have to spend much money. Moreover, they can distract customers from the most important thing in the photo: the advertised garment.
The ghost mannequin effect lets you take pictures of a product on a model or mannequin and then remove a model or mannequin at the post-editing stage. This effect allows your customers to view a piece of clothing from every side, contemplating each detail in a 3D format.
With this method, you can show parts of your product that could not be seen when worn by a model. As the result, you will achieve a great photo with a focus on your creation, which is likely to increase the number of sales. This technique is essential for product photo editing in Photoshop as it will help the customers visualize themselves in a piece of clothing without much effort.
10. Crop and Straighten
To achieve uniformity and consistency across all pictures you’ve made, you need to ensure that the images have the same size and dimension. Certainly, you can work on this aspect while taking a photo by using the grid function of your camera or mobile phone.
However, you can improve a photo with the help of Smart Guides. This feature is offered by Photoshop. Use the guidelines to generate a template and make your images uniform and consistent.
Product photography can be quite difficult, requiring many skills and attention to detail. The most complicated task is to achieve an accurate representation of your merchandise so that your customers won’t get confused.
If you sell on Amazon, for example, you should take into consideration the fact that this platform has image size guidelines and specific technical requirements. If you do not meet these standards, you won’t be able to publish your photos there. Image width and height should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels, picture should have a white background, and the product should take up 95% of the image.
Amazon isn’t the only online marketplace with image requirements. But, even if you don’t sell on an online marketplace, your images should be held to similar standards on your own online store. With the help of photo editing software like Photoshop, you can promote your products appropriately and create a successful eCommerce business.