The beginning of OCModShop was a hobby, and it certainly LOOKED like a hobby site.* We had some cutting-edge quality content, but the site design was severely lacking, and everyone took product photos with digital cameras that can be bested by the average 6-year-old.
People will pretty much take you at your own reckoning, so if you look and act like an amateur, then no one will take you seriously.* You have to “fake it before you make it”.* One step in looking like a professional is to take some kick-ass product photos.
Other webmasters disagree about the importance of quality product photos… after all, if you have good quality content, that’s all that matters, right?
Any webmaster that looks at their logs will realize that most visitors don’t actually READ much of the content you spent hours editing.* People only trust headlines and snippets… and photographs.*
A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say.* Not only can good photographs make vendors stand up and take notice, but you look more credible.* We are visual creatures, and our initial impressions are influenced by appearances.* The average person will put more value into a review with good photographs rather than the article that looks like some kid in his garage.
Incendentally, I take all of my photos in my garage, and anyone who actually saw my “studio” would think I was a madman… it’s cluttered with comptuers, gear, boxes, and other junk.* But, my photos don’t look like it.
Not everyone can afford studio lights (even though they’re not as expensive as you think: read about cheap photo lighting here), but it really doesn’t take much to step up your photographs a notch.* Every one of the photos in this post were straight out of the camera without any editing, and I used very cheap Britek lights that any serious “professional” would scoff at.
Just get a white sheet (or posterboard), two “full spectrum” desk lamps, and a digital camera.* Drape the sheet over a tall box, making sure there’s a good slope that cannot be seen.* Put the lamps on either side of your product, and snap away… and for the love of all that is Holy, turn off the flash!*