Guide: Become a professional on product images

Product images are crucial if you want to reach different sales channels. Here, we guide you to perfect images for all your channels and marketplaces.

Retailers, wholesalers and E-tailers need correct photographed images for marketing, sales and planograms. Suppliers and brand owners who want to sell their products therefore need to ensure that they comply with market requirements.

In this guide, you will learn more about the value of accurate images for both industry and consumers. In addition, you’ll get our own professional photographers five best tips for managing your images.

The value of product images

Be ready in time before launch

Product photography may not be rocket science, but many people stumble upon the amount of details that need to be fulfilled in the end-product. When the image does not meet the industry’s quality criteria, the procedure must be redone and unnecessary delays can occur, which may even endanger the launch.

Save time and money

Product photos produced in GS1 Sweden’s Photo Studio

The grocery industry in Sweden agree that quality assured product images linked to quality assured trade item information make the entire flow of information more efficient. The images are used for sales, shelf planning and in the final stage, marketing directed to consumers. Thanks to the fact that suppliers and brand owners provide their industry with product data quality for both images and trade item information, consumers get an unambiguous message and the entire industry saves time and money.

Clear information to consumers

Unclear or inadequate information about the product makes consumers hesitate when purchasing. If each brand owner would photograph products according to their own taste and preference, consumers would be provided with a variety of image manners. And if product images were not available, consumers would not be able to shop online or view advertisements for the product.

An industry-wide path

Suppliers, retailers and wholesalers, together with Validoo, have developed guidelines on how to best photograph product images for different purposes. These guidelines are based on GS1´s global standard for product images.

Where product images are used

The images are seen in many places during the product’s journey towards launch. Here are some examples.

Shelf planning
Shelf planning
Product sheet
Product sheets
Man with Ipad ordering products
When ordering
Ipad that displays advertising
Mobile that scans an item
Online and e-commerce

Quality-assured product images for the trade

Tutorial from GS1 Sweden’s photo studio shows how images are quality assured. (Video in Swedish)

When the right image is linked to the right trade item information, an effective image management process will be created that will help your product out on the market faster.

Product images are manually quality checked by Validoo before it is ready for sale. The image is retrieved from the Validoo media bank and for your photo to be approved, you and your photographer need to have knowledge about the images technical requirements and rules that apply to your product’s different markets.

Customize for your market

Remember to adjust the photography to your target market. There are different standards and guidelines depending on where and how your product will be sold. For example, for Swedish foodservice, keep in mind that the product should be photographed both in and out of its packaging while other requirements for angles apply for the Norwegian market.

Use the photo manuals as help

Use the photo manuals and quality assurance rules as checklists to ensure that your product image is of high quality and meets guidelines and images technical requirements. If you do it right in every step, your image will be approved in Validoo and you are ready for launch.

Photo manuals

We follow the guidelines for different target markets, as described in our photo manuals.

See photo manuals

The photographers’ five best tips

In the GS1 Sweden photo studio, professional photographers work with all the elements you need to succeed in getting your product into the market. Here are their best tips for managing product images.

Tip 1: Book your photography in time before launch

Your image needs to meet the markets requirements in order for the product to be sold. If product images don´t meet the requirements, more time is required for editing or even new photography.

Within the Swedish grocery trade, ECR Trade windows are used when launching new products. According to the recommendation, recipients of your images need a certain number of weeks to prepare a launch.

Tip 2: Styling of product

Before the photoshoot starts, the product needs to be checked in the seams. Inspect the package or food and wipe off visible fingerprints and stains.

Dust, scratches and date stamps can be adjusted when editing, but if the packaging is too damaged, edges are chipped or has a misplaced label, a new sample must be selected. If it’s a trade item that easily perish that is being photographed, it’s important to photograph it as soon as possible.

Here you can read more about what to consider when selecting samples.

Tip 3: The riht lighting

The optimal environment for product photography is in a photo studio. Lighting should be adjusted to the packaging material, colour and texture. Choose light shaper to create a light that enhances every unique product in the best possible way.

Photo studio for product photography

Tip 4: Use professional photo equipment

You need a professional camera, stable tripod and a lens that show your product without distortion. Different lenses may be required depending on the size of the product. The lens should be able to shoot sharply on a small aperture for the product to appear sharply throughout. You can connect the camera to the computer during the photo shoot and you will see the result directly on the screen.

Editing of product photos

Tip 5: Correct image editing

When you are satisfied with the product image, it’s time to fine-tune the image quality in Photoshop before uploading into Validoo. Here you ensure that the image looks good, has the correct clipping path, retouch dust, scratches, and best before date. Also, remember to adjust colour, contrast and shine.

When editing, ensure that all parameters are fulfilled as described in the product image quality assurance rules.

Last but not least. Good luck whit producing your product image!

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