There are two different routes that you can take for product photos: outsourcing or DIY. There are plenty of pros and cons for each of these routes, and we’ll be going over each of these here:
The Outsourcing Route
- Easier to implement (copy+paste what you’re sent)
- High-quality work
- The relief in knowing you can relax and let someone else do your dirty work!
- More expensive ($155-$176 depending on the number of photos you get)
- Slower turnaround (photos can take up to 2 weeks to finish, description can take up to 2 days)
- The potential of one of these outsourcing agents screwing up which could set you back a bit (i.e. you wait 2 weeks and the photos end up not looking how you wanted so you need them to redo it)
The DIY Route
- No cost to you (assuming you have a camera)
- Faster turnaround (assuming you don’t slack off!)
- The satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself!
- More difficult to do
- More work on your part
- Quality might not be as good (unless you’re a professional photographer)
The first route we will be looking at is outsourcing your photos.
The Outsourcing Route for Your Photos
- $126 (plus shipping)
- A small shipping box for your product
- Packing tape
- USPS, UPS or FedEx
For a full list of all of the tools I recommend for Amazon FBA go here: https://thomasfadams.com/amazonfbatools
Upgraded Images is a fantastic California-based company that will take photos of your products at a really good rate.
All you have to do is fill out their order form, print it off and mail it to them with your product.
If you don’t have a printer, just save your files to a USB drive and take it to a local print shop (FedEx Office, Office Max, or Office Depot work as well).
This page details where you need to ship your product based on which carrier you decide to go with.
I recommend having them do at least 6 photos for you which will amount to $21 per photo ($126).
Unless you plan on using these photos in brochures, catalogs, etc. you should choose their “Take Me Online” option for your photos as this option is best for Amazon sellers.
When I used them, it took a little over 2 weeks for them to complete my photos without the rush delivery.
Since we’re in no hurry, I don’t recommend buying the rush delivery as it will use up vital monetary resources you will need to build your business.
Just wait out the 2 weeks, trust me, it’s worth it.
Filling Out Their Order Form
When filling out their order form, you will be required to provide your information including your name, shipping address, etc.
Fill everything out where applicable (i.e. if you don’t have a company name just put N/A or leave it blank) then choose the following options:
Which package would you like?
Pick the “Take Me Online” option as I mentioned unless you need photos large than 1200×1200 to use for catalogs, brochures, etc.
Which optional services do you need?
Clipping paths are unnecessary, I don’t recommend getting rush service, and you won’t need the photos on a CD since they’ll send you them in a zip file via email so don’t check any of these.
Here’s where you need to explain to them what you want your photos to look like.
What I recommend you do is send them a bunch of photos of what you want your photos to look like so they can have a frame of reference.
You can grab these photos on Amazon or from your supplier’s page on Alibaba.
Here’s an example of what I did in the past when I had them take photos for a belt I tested out selling:
I just copied and pasted the images from different Amazon pages into a Word document, printed them off, and sent them in with my order form and product.
Please note that Upgraded Images will NOT use models in your photos so if you need a model to be in your photo you can either do it yourself or find another photographer.
Shipping Your Product to UpgradedImages.com
If you don’t have a small shipping box, head on over to either Walmart or a hardware store and buy one yourself.
You’ll also need packing tape so grab some while you’re there if you don’t have any.
Once you print your order form and example photos, pack them into the small shipping box and make sure you tape the top and bottom well.
Depending on whether you go with USPS or UPS/FedEx you’ll have to send the product to a different address.
You’ll see information on which address you need at the bottom of the order form.
Send your product through whichever carrier you choose and wait patiently for your photos to arrive in your email.
Once you receive your images, simply go to your Inventory page in your Seller Dashboard, click “Edit” by your listing, go to the “Images” tab, and upload your images.
Now that we understand how to outsource our photos, let’s take a look at how to DIY your photos.
The DIY Route for Your Photos
- A high-quality camera (most iPhones have great cameras – I use my iPhone 7 Plus’s camera and it’s fantastic)
- Good lighting
- White screen or sheet
If you don’t have a high-quality camera, I recommend grabbing one otherwise your photos might end up not looking great.
I found this quality camera on Amazon that has good reviews and is at a fairly cheap price range, but feel free to search around yourself to find a good camera.
If you have a newer smartphone, such as the iPhone 6 or 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S7 you should be in good shape.
As far as lighting goes, you have a few options:
I personally use the lamps/daylight light bulbs option for my lighting needs.
This is your choice, so go with whatever fits your budget.
Taking Your Photos
I recommend checking out this video by Jungle Scout as it will give you all the information you’ll need to take great photos yourself:
A few things I would note:
- You can either use the Amazon seller app to touch up your photos as shown in the video or by using this tool here: https://burner.bonanza.com/
- You’ll want to take around 5-6 photos
- Get a second opinion on your photos from your spouse/friend/etc. to see if they would click a listing with your photos
Here is an example photo I took for a pet product I sold in the past:
If taking your own photos ends up not working out for you, just pay the $126 and go with the above outsource method.
When you’re ready to move on to creating a product description, read my post “How to Write an Amazon Product Description“.