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Handbag Product Photography Done Right: E-commerce Best Conversion Booster

Handbag Product Photography Done Right: E-commerce Best Conversion Booster

How to make bag product photography: best practices from the photo studio in New York with decades of hands-on experience.

Pylyp Sukhenko

Apr 20, 2021

E-commerce photography services are set to grow like the bitcoin rate after Elon Musk's tweets. And the handbag market is no exception. Many of our clients are part of this lucrative niche and we wanted to provide all readers with this comprehensive guide on how to photograph handbags for ecommerce.

Let’s start with a bit of forecast for the market to get a grip of the situation.

The handbag market is expected to reach $67.9 billion by 2025 from 2019, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% in this period. Major players of the segment, like LVMH, Gucci, and Michael Kors are laboring to attract the most promising developing markets of this segment, like China, Brazil, and India.

What's even more vital for ecommerce is that online is set to drive growth with CAGR for online sales expected to reach a massive 7.4%.

Designer handbags on US top online store for fashionistas: Macy’s


Quality bag product photography Vs sales: the battle of the equals

The curve of handbag demand is on the rise driven by working women who need their totes to be reliable partners in their busy days. Their status symbol, their best confidant, their mobile safe, their precious accessory to highlight their look.

It’s a belief many women live by: there should be 2 expensive things in your look: the shoes and the purse. The rest is minor-league.

Women, as the purchasing power, are easier to trick into buying something, specifically something as versatile, omnipresent, and crucial for their everyday look and feel like a bag. 

Emotional buying AKA impulse buying still has a long way to go in ecommerce, as the majority of it is still happening offline [8 out of 10].

Nonetheless, almost 40% of ecommerce purchases are attributed to impulse purchases.

What’s the best trigger that makes a client open up their wallet? 

  • Powerful high-quality image
  • Good price with benefit [discount]
  • FOMO [timed offer]

In that very order – if you get all the 3 components right, you have basically found a golden deposit of this era.

Just as with every other category of product images, bags ecommerce photography can help you drive your bottom-line by:

  • Growing your social media fan base through catchy images
  • Increasing your CTR in google shopping ads
  • Lowering return rates by showing the product as is
  • Driving purchase motivation by using lifestyle photography with models
  • Boosting conversation rate, as the product images at different angles mimic in-store experience, whereby a customer can nearly feel the item.

There are multiple ways how professional bags product photography service can improve your sales, but none of these advantages are as vital as the only minus of NOT having proper images: the client bounces right away.

If you dare to commit this cardinal sin of not bothering to produce hi-res hi-quality visuals, you lose the war of being credible, professional, trustworthy. You lose your client.

Types of bags: endless combos of shape, size, purpose, material

Totes lead the way in sales due to their universal nature, classic style, and ample capacity. But the current offering is impressive with over a dozen different types of this accessory available.

There are sporty ones and formal types, practical and fashion-driven. With one handle, two or three. The leather, plastic, and straw ones. The ones for a camping trip and a black-tie event.

These are most frequently included in the filter section of the ecommerce shop specializing in handbag and luggage sales:

  • Tote bags
  • Shoulder bags
  • Crossbody / messenger bags
  • Belt bags
  • Bucket bags
  • Shopper bags
  • Rucksack / backpack
  • Clutch bags
  • Pouches
  • Mini bags
Harrods bag menu filter

E-commerce requirements for bags product photos

If you are planning on acquiring some luxury bags photographs or if you own a mass-market backpack online store, you need to make sure the person in charge of the visuals takes into account the fundamental ecom’s requirements.

Size: it can make it or break it for your sales

Image size requirements differ from marketplace to marketplace and from channel to channel.

Shopify will accept images up to 4472 x 4472 pixels of up to 20 MB in size, with a minimal recommended size of 800 x 800 to enable zoom function.

Amazon image requirements deserve an article of their own, as they have a separate set of standards for all product images and main ones. For example, the platform recommends the product to take up min 85% of the image. Size-wise, the minimum allowed is 500 px, the recommended size for zoomable experience is 1600 px and the maximum allowed is 10 000 px.

Amazon image requirements for product images


When dealing with your website, you will need to upload different sizes of one product for different placements: product page, category, carousel, etc. for optimal loading speed.

File Format for commercial bag images: speed loading facilitator

Long story short, JPG is ecom’s most preferred format, that all companies delivering bags photo editing service are well aware of.

PNG and GIF are also allowed on many platforms, but you should be wary of using heavy formats, as marketplaces too have limited servers and they like merchants who appreciate this.

Remember, users have no patience to wait for images to load, so using speed-loading-friendly formats helps your conversions.

Background: white is the new white

White is unanimously the number one background for marketplaces, as there’s too much happening on those pages anyway.

Black backdrop or even textured surfaces are often used for man’s bags and rucksacks, sold in brand online stores.

Social media images of handbags can be mundanely placed against colored backgrounds to capture attention and create the mood.

Angles: bridging the gap between offline and online

The minimum recommended number of images for one bag is 5: it allows a lot of detail yet leaves a customer craving to further explore the item physically when unpacking it.

  • Front shot [main shot, no clutter]
  • ¾ angle [dynamic]
  • Close up detail [speak of the quality]
  • From above with items [showcase capacity]
  • Lifestyle [models and props bring a product to life]


Naming the images with bags: basics of image optimization

ALT text, description, and use of keywords are vital for image SEO optimization. Help Google decipher what’s in that image, so you can boost your SERP results.

How to plan a photoshoot for your bags & luggage online shop

  1. Compile a list of items with technical requirements

Start with an inventory of what needs to be shot, which angles and product combinations you would like to see at the end of the exercise.

  1. Research and book all services for the date of the shoot

There is a lot of coordination, contracting, rental to take place before the shoot: models’ recruitment, equipment rental, security and insurance for premium items, professional bags product photography studio rental, hiring a photographer, an assistant, an MUA.

  1. Plan and buy all props 

If you consider using props, colored backgrounds, etc. – make sure you have them all ready for the day X.

  1. Logistics and delivery

Depending on the scale of things, this may be a minor task or a huge one. Getting ready for shipment is a vital part of the process. Don't forget to get insurance, specifically if you are shipping luxury bags.

  1. Prep and triple check all items before shipping

Inspect all inventory before shipping for damage and imperfections, clean and pack it.

  1. On the set lineup and final prep

Once on the photo set, lineup all items nicely in the order of shoot and give them a final dusting and polish. Use canned air to remove any specs of dust if necessary.

  1. Set up your lighting & equipment

Set up lighting and reflectors according to your needed result.

  1. Make some test shots

Make a few of the test shots before you are happy with how the light and shadows work on your screen. The purpose of this exercise is to reach the optimum exposure as well as reduce any post-production workload.

  1. The photo session: A-a-a-a-a-a-a-and action!

Execute the shoot of all bags, purses, backpacks as per the technical task.

  1. Double-check with the technical task

Go back to the initial plan and make sure you have all the required shots done as ordered and contracted by the client. While you are still on set.

  1. Post-production: editing bag product images

It’s now down to bags retouching photography stage in the comfort of your office. You might want to read our extensive piece on ecommerce photo retouching.

Overall, at this stage, you will need to remove any spots and blemishes, adjust straps with the liquifying tool, extend background where needed, work on the shadow, change background for white, tweak exposure and contrast settings as well as resize the picture as needed.


Insider tips for creative & commercial bags product photography

  • Use a nylon string to hold a bag for upright shots – you can fix it to a hook above or a rack above the product.
  • Mark your table or use overlays to ensure bags in the series are positioned on the same spot for consistency across the series.
  • Canned air spray helps remove any dust before the shoot to reduce post-production cost.
  • Check inside the bag and see if it may be hiding some really stunning design – like a silk underlier or an exquisite zipper.
  • If the straps are removable – make one shot without straps to feature a more laconic version of a purse.
  • Use stuffing for backpacks and similar items with little body to them, but don’t overstuff them, like they are ready to explode.
  • If working on a budget, you can try using your hand as a model: take a buckle or a strap in your hand and make a close shot – you might be impressed with the results. 
  • Always make sure your model knows not to hide the brand insignia or label on the bad with her hand when posing.

Cost of making commercial bags photography

While we have written an extensive article on product photography pricing and have a pricing page, that has different subscription plans, the ballpark estimate for such work will average in a professional photo studio in New York as follows:

  • Hero shot with creativity and styling: $80-130 per image
  • Single product: $40-70 per image

Squareshot: the perfect choice in the USA to make bag photography

Product photography for bags can be DIYed at the initial stage. We have all been there, trying to survive and bootstrap for a project from friends and family.

But.

Should you have any capital at all going, the highest possible ROI in ecommerce is indeed a professional product shoot of your product.

No marketing strategy, high-quality materials, or advertising will work with poorly executed visuals.

Looking for a studio to make ecommerce bag images? Talk to us and lets make it happen.


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