Admittedly, product photography is probably the most difficult task you'll need to preform on your website. Luckily this has gotten easier over the years as most people know how to use digital cameras and how to "style" their products to create great-looking shots.
Funny Side Note: When Modern Retail first stated building websites digital cameras were new. None of our customers owned a digital camera and they certainly didn't know how to use it. Back then we had to help our customers setup their cameras and show them how to use it.
This help page will show you how to create consistent-looking images for your website, how they can be uploaded to Store Manager and how to "process" them once you're ready to make them live on your website.
Many retailers prefer to have consistently-sized images on their website. To achieve this you must make sure you images are of a consistent size before they are uploaded. Very often this means you must crop your product catalog images to a specific size, or dimension, before they are uploaded.
Here is an example of a site where all the images were cropped to a consistent size before uploading to Store Manager.
Here is a mockup of the same site using images that were not cropped to the same size. As you can see some of the images uploaded were wider, while others are shorter.
Ideally all images you upload should be of a consistent size. This includes all alternate or enlarged views of the products in your catalog.
If you interested in having consistently sized images on your site but are unsure what size your images need to be cropped to, then please go ahead and upload a dozen or more images from your catalog from a variety of different departments and your project manager will help you determine the appropriate size.
Image Size / File Size
When you are considering what size to use for the upload size, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The lower limit is 1000 pixels in width because if you are going to send your products to Google or Amazon they require an image at least that size . After that , the next consideration is to keep the file size fairly small so that it cuts down on upload time. The third consideration is your image ratio. If your product is best shown in a square format, ( handbags for example) then the upload image might be 1000 x 1000 pixels ( or 1200 x 1200 ). If your product is clothing then a more vertical image would be better. (Maybe 1200 X1800). The important thing is to decide which looks best for all your products and use one size for everything. This may mean that the handbags have a little more empty space at the top but the images themselves will line up nicely on the web page.
There's a bunch of really good software out there to not only help you crop your images, but also make improvements to your photographs like red eye removal, color corrections, light balance, etc. The industry standard is most certainly Adobe Photoshop and would most likely be the tool used by your photographer or graphic designer. However, Photoshop may be overkill for smaller retailers or those not familiar with high-end tool. Instead, you may want to consider Photoshop's easier sibling, Photoshop Elements or the free image editing tool from Google called Picasa.