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One of the more common questions we are asked is "Do you shoot Amazon pictures?"

The answer to that is ... it's complicated. No.

Let me start by saying that as customers we love like us some Amazon. It's convenient. They squeeze the heck out of sellers profits so they can often be the cheapest provider. Because most multinationals treat Canada as an after thought, often the only place to buy certain things is on Amazon.

Having said that we do wonder, once Amazon is the only company left on earth will they still be as cheap and who will be able to buy goods from them if they are being paid Amazon wages?

Amazon has many requirements for what a photo on their site must conform to. I am not going to go into depth here. If you want to have a look for yourself this is a pretty good article

The bottom line though is that they want your image to be as generic as possible. This eliminates the ability to do any thing particularly creative in order to make your product stand out. This is fine if your product is a commodity and you are happy to compete on price. But if life style or branding is a part of your value proposition Amazon is the last place in the world you want to be. There is a reason why there is no official Ferrari channel on Amazon. That is one of the reasons that we recomend to Amazon sellers that they still have a seperate web site where they can do more than they are allowed to on Amazon.

Because product pictures on Amazon are supposed to be generic and shot in a cookie cutter way the photography for it has been commoditized as well. If you dig around you can find a local photographer that will give you 5 shots for $25. I expect by the end of the year that will be down to 5 shots for $20. There is one caveat for that kind of deal though. Your product has to fit in one of these..

If you are just looking for basic Amazon style pictures, you deal with a lot of products and your products are small enough, there really isn't any reason why you shouldn't pick up a light tent use your cell phone and take your own pictures. There are no shipping costs that way, you can have quick turn around and there isn't a lot of skill involved. We might even do an article on how to do it some day if we have time.

As for us, we are not interested in participating in a race to the bottom. We bring a lot more to the table than just the lowest price. The most effective advertising picture is one that tells a story. The one that shows the look on a child's face as they open a present for example. But to do them right can often require a lot of preparation, planning, equipment and skill.

We also bring our knowledge of how to shoot a layout that requires text, logo's, awards or other branding. That is along with our knowledge of how a picture can be tweaked to make it fit into your paid search strategy.

Another value add we provide is that we also shoot video. If your marketing strategy includes more than a site on Amazon and you need video for Youtube, TicTok etc we can help you there as well.

So back to the original question. "Do you shoot Amazon photos?" If it is part of a larger campaign yes we do. If your product won't fit in a light tent and you need some one that actually knows how to light a product effectively then yes we will. But will we spend 2 days cleaning your product, lighting, shooting and processing 5 pictures for $25? If you have read this article then I think you will understand why no we won't.

We are always ready to talk to people. If you have any questions about what we have written here please use our contact form and lets start a discussion.


Since we first posted this article we have had the spectacle of Jeff Bezos playing astronaut with his buddies Elon Musk and Richard Bramson of the billionare boys club. The fact that all of these people made a large chunk of their fortunes milking government tax money that smaller companies and certainly mere people can't possibly compete for isn't the most gaulling part of this spectacle. It isn't the fact that sports cars, mansions and personal islands aren't enough to display the gross excess and poor judgment of this group of people. The fact that they demand government infrastructure and encentives while paying close to no taxes is getting close. What is so gaulling is the fact that Jeff Bezos makes a million times more than his lowest paid employees who work like slaves, yet all he can think of to do with his money is flush it down the toilet crashing rockets.

I came across a quote recently that has really hit home. "The problem isn't that we can't afford to feed the poor. The problem is that we can't satisfy the greed of the ultra rich". There is nothing Bezos does that is worth more than million times what one of his employees does. The reason that CEO saleries and bonuses are exploding is that they make the decisions about how the pie is divided and they keep cutting them selves afatter slice. At the end of the day we can't just toss our humanity. Every one deserves to make a living wage. No one shoud work a full day and then have to go to the food bank. None of this is good for humanity.

Don't get us wrong, as buisness people we believe some one that starts a buisness if they do well is entitled to a REASONABLE profit. Part of my job is advising customers about the optics of things. The optics on this couldn't be worse. We are updating our answer to the original question. Do we shoot Amazon pictures? No.

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