2021 Guide to Taking Better Amazon Product Images

June 30th, 2021

Do you look at the images first when shopping on Amazon or other eCommerce websites? It is natural for people to be drawn to visuals over text. In fact, 93% of consumers consider the visual appearance of a product to be a key deciding factor in their purchasing decision. That is why we put so much emphasis on making sure your Amazon product images are superior quality, eye-catching, and meet Amazon’s strict image requirements.

While having a professional take your product images is the best option, we understand that hiring a professional photographer is not always in the budget. We’ve broken down the most important steps for better Amazon images and outlined Amazon’s current requirements to ensure that your images are posted without any issues.

5 Steps for Better Amazon Images

1. Lighting is Key

Lighting can make or break your images. Have you ever noticed how some pictures have weird shadows, are too dark (or light), or just look mediocre at best? Most likely, it’s due to the lighting. A mediocre picture is not going to convince the customer that you are a reputable seller, and it is definitely not going to show your product in the best light (cheesy pun not intended).

Pay close attention to the lighting when taking any photo. Shadows can hide parts of the product, leaving customers to wonder about what they can’t see.

If you have a smaller product you could purchase a photo studio kit from Amazon or another retailer. It’s basically a small box with a light that gives you cleaner pictures with less shadows and reflections. Some even come with different backgrounds, but remember, your main image on Amazon needs to be just the product with a white background.

Let’s say you have a larger product to photograph. In this case we’d recommend utilizing natural daylight for the clearest and best lit images possible. Set up your white background near a window using white foam core or tag board on the floor and behind the product. Make sure you are getting indirect light. This means that the sun isn’t shining through the window giving you shadows and too much light, as this can create a blown-out effect. Take a few practice shots and then double-check to make sure you don’t have any unwanted shadows. If you do, gradually move your white background and product to a new position, and then snap a few more pictures until you find the perfect balance or effect.

If you have it in the budget, you could invest in a diffused lighting system. This will give you ample light but it will be soft, not harsh. It will also help to remove any shadows. These kits can be found online and run on average anywhere from $60-$100.

2. A Tripod for Clear Images

It doesn’t take much movement to cause a photo to be a little blurry. A tripod can help you keep the camera steady to achieve a clear image.

If you are using a camera that allows you to adjust the f/stop then a tripod is a must. In order to get a sharply focused picture you need to have the camera set at a large f/stop. This will let less light in but it will also cause the shutter speed to be slower (this means that it takes longer for the picture to snap). In this situation it’s more likely for you to be unsteady, causing the image to come out blurry. To further reduce the chance of blurring in the photo, take the photo with a remote control that is designed to work with your camera.

Additionally, the tripod can be set up at different angles to capture the many features of your product. Tripods can be found for around $20-$30 and are an easy way to improve the quality of the photos taken. Tripods can be used for digital cameras and also smartphones, which makes them a great investment for any Amazon seller.

3. Pay Attention to Styling

When it comes to your product, presentation matters. It is important to take plenty of product images so that your potential customer can see it from as many angles as possible. This helps them get a much better visual of the product, and can help influence their decision to purchase your product - instead of a competitor's product!

For Amazon, you will need the first image to be just the product with a white background. However, you can fill the remaining image slots with images that can show the product in actual use, also referred to as lifestyle photos.

Shoppers tend to relate more to images with people in them or showing how the product works in real life. Lifestyle photos not only help potential customers imagine what it would be like to use your product and how your product fits into their life, but it also helps them understand why they need your product. When taking lifestyle photos, always keep your backgrounds in mind. You want your backgrounds to be just that, a background, and not a spotlight that takes away from showing off your product. Don’t forget that you can also use images with text, such as infographics, nutrition labels, instructions, or other complementary products to further demonstrate the products use and features.

4. Choosing the Right Camera

Fortunately the price of DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras have dropped dramatically over the last few years. Also, smartphone technology has improved greatly and some smartphones can produce better pictures than many professional cameras!

If you choose to purchase a professional camera, keep in mind that you will need to understand the basic features and settings in order to take high quality photos. This article from Pixc can help guide you through all of the different camera options to discover which is best for your needs and skill level.

5. Edit Every Photo Before Use

All photos, no matter what type of camera they’ve been taken on, need to be edited before they are published. Editing provides an opportunity to crop the product image to eliminate extra background, adjust the lighting and exposure, and remove unwanted background.

Post processing can help create clearer, more polished pictures that will help the product sell better. If you are just starting out, getting the background and lighting just right takes some trial and error. Don’t worry though, there are many options of photo editing software and apps available to help achieve that highly sought after clean, crisp image. Keep in mind that the editing doesn’t need to be extensive, but some editing should be done for every image in order to obtain a better final image.

Free Photo Editing Apps

Amazon's Image Requirements

Maximum image file size: 10 MB  

Permitted formats: TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PNG

Color mode: sRGB, CMYK

Image resolution: 72 dpi

Image size*: 1,000 x 1,000 pixels

File names: Consist of product identifier (Amazon ASIN, 13-digit ISBN, EAN, JAN or UPC followed by a period and the appropriate file extension)

*All photos submitted will be shown at 500 x 500 pixels regardless of the dimension you provided. We suggest making your images larger (1,000 x 1,000 pixels) so that they are high resolution but maintain the 1:1 ratio (square).

Amazon's Image Requirements

First Image Slot

  • Image must be cover art or an actual photograph of the product, no drawings or illustrations
  • Image must be in focus, professionally lit with realistic color
  • Only the product should be included in this image and fill 85% or more of the image frame
  • Should not contain any additional text, graphics or inset images
  • No pornographic or offensive material allowed

Additional Images

  • Must pertain to the product being sold
  • Images must be in focus, professionally lit with realistic color
  • Other products or objects are allowed to help demonstrate the use or scale of the product (for example, a coin may be used to show the scale and compare the size of your product)
  • The product and props should fill 85% or more of the image frame
  • Cropped and close-up images are allowed
  • Backgrounds and environments are allowed
  • Text and demonstrative graphics, such as infographics, are allowed
  • No pornographic or offensive material allowed

New Amazon Feature to Upload Product Images Faster

To make it easier for Amazon sellers to upload images to their product listings, Amazon recently launched a new bulk image upload tool. Previously, you could only upload images and view the upload status for one product at a time. Now you can upload up to 5 GB of product images at once with the bulk image upload tool and view the status of your uploads in the image upload status report in Seller Central.

If you aren’t up for the challenge to take your own images we can help. Our experienced photographer can provide you with professional images that are Amazon ready. Contact our expert team at Awesome Dynamic™ and we'll walk you through the process.

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