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When selling a product online, an e-commerce website's primary aesthetic purpose should be to depict that product in a compelling way. There is no better way to do this than with beautiful photography. Being unable to touch, smell, or taste the product, the user is relying on presentation to fill those gaps. Photos make users more confident which improves conversion rates. Sample photos from the EtherCycle studio:
The secret to great photography is to hire a photographer. Lighting is equal parts art and science. It's not just the gear. An expensive camera can just as poor photos as any other camera. If you doubt the importance of professional photos as an stimulus to sales, consider that in television commercials, the last three seconds are usually a still product shot.