If you’ve successfully made submissions to us in the past, you may not need this guide. But if you struggle a bit with images and find the specifications on the submission form confusing (what does px mean?), this will give you a little more information.
The first thing you might want to do is browse the 2022 Wishlist for examples of product images that work well. Pay particular attention to items in your category, to see what other vendors have done to show off their work.
1. Image Size: Now to get into the details. Px means pixels, which is the measurement used for the dimensions of the image. We specify that our minimum size for images is 1000x1000px (pixels), which means that the image, when cropped to square, must be at least 1000 pixels tall and 1000 pixels high.
If you don’t know how to check the size of your image, in Windows right-click on your image file and choose Properties, then Details – it will list the dimensions in pixel size (eg. 1024×1650). You may also be able to see this information if you hover over the image. For Mac, right-click on your image in Finder, then click Get Info and look for More Info to see dimensions. The smaller of the two numbers must be 1000 or greater.
2. Keep It Square: Images must be square to fit into our gallery, but if you don’t know how to crop an image to square, no problem, we’ll do it for you. You just need to make sure that it will look right once it’s cropped – will part of the product be lost? In some cases that won’t matter, but in others it could be a problem. So just take a look at the image you’re planning to include, and imagine it cropped, to make sure it will work before you click submit.
3. Keep It Clean: Products should ideally be on an uncluttered background – it doesn’t have to be plain or without props, it just shouldn’t distract too much from your gift item. Unnecessary packaging should be avoided; for example, plastic wrap that obscures the product. No watermarks, text or borders added to the image, please, and no ads – text and logos are fine on packaging, of course, but not stamped onto your image. And if you’re submitting a local service or experience, you can click here to see examples of photos that work well, without using an ad or brand logo.
4. Keep It Clear: Most importantly, your image should be clear, crisp and well-lit, with the product front and centre. If you send us a dark, blurry, or out-of-focus photo, that may mean your submission won’t be considered for inclusion on the list. And it definitely won’t be showing your work off to its best advantage.
Fortunately, you don’t need an expensive camera to take good product shots. If you have one, great, but a decent smartphone will work just as well, if you learn a few tricks about lighting, using a tripod (even if it’s makeshift), and other essentials. Here are some resources that may help:
These are just a few links to get you started. There are so many guides and tutorials online, you’ll find dozens of resources when you do a search. Try searching for your specific type of product as well, for example “jewelry product photography”.
If you’ve found a great product photography resource that you think would be helpful for fellow small business owners, send it along! We might include it in the next version of our guide.