There are plenty of ways to make big improvements to your product photos as a business: You can buy better equipment, or hire a professional photographer/stylist/retoucher. But these routes can be very costly, and they are by no means the first step you can take. There are many quick and easy ways to start showcasing better photos instantly. Ready to get started?

Make a Shot List

Consistency is key when it comes to taking your product photos to the next level. Think carefully about how you'd ideally like to represent your products: clothing can be shown flat or on a fashion model. Products can be shown at a few different angles, or bundled with a familiar object for scale. Most items will have a particular approach that flatters them the most, so it’s a good idea to start experimenting!

Once you get started, it's easy to rush from one item to the next, missing one or two photos for some products. Instead, make a shot list of product photos, and then follow that list for each item. A shot list will keep you on track, and save you from having to find more time for a re-shoot later

Get Closer to the Window

Natural light works best for photos, and will keep your colors much more accurate than artificial light. This is especially important for eCommerce merchants, since customers can’t view items in advance. So, try to find that sunny spot! Shooting photos outside can be great, while a north- or south-facing window can give you nice indirect light (this will keep your photos sharp, but not washed out).

Check the Edges

This may sound a little silly, but we all tend to get focused on the subject of our photo and so can miss a seemingly obvious goof: the edge of a backdrop showing itself, yesterday's sock still sitting on the ground, or your own pesky shadow!

A photo like this may still show your product well, but it's an immediate indicator that your photos were taken by an amateur. Check the edges of the photo, tidy the background, and crop in close to immediately give a more polished presentation.

We all want to make our products look their best, and the great news is that it doesn't have to be expensive to get some good, solid results. Slow down, think it through, and keep snapping pics until you're sure you have the shot. You've got this!

This is a guest post by Sarah Anderson. Sarah is part of Big Cartel's Community team. She works to support, champion, and promote Big Cartel shop owners from all over the world and help them grow their businesses.