How to Optimize Your Ads With Virtual Photography

Shoppers clicking on ads featuring virtual photography images

When adding pictures to an online ad, merchants need to keep image optimization in mind. Virtual photography can help.

In the virtual world, image optimization means arriving at the best picture size for loading without sacrificing quality. In the real world, optimizing means selecting the optimal image from a number of photos. The problem with multiple photos is the cost.

For an experienced professional photographer, merchants should expect to pay between $300 and $500 per hour for a photoshoot. 

Depending on the number of products, the costs could exceed $5,000.00, given that a minimum of five to eight images is needed for each item. Learn more about how virtual photography fits into the process.

What Is Virtual Photography?

Virtual photography uses technology to produce images that represent real-world items. The process uses 3D models and 2D graphics to create high-quality images that can be manipulated.

For online merchants, virtual photography means providing product images that shoppers can configure to visualize their product choices. 

Click here to learn more about virtual photography.

How Does Virtual Photography Optimize Ads?

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Consumers are impatient. They don't like to wait. 

If a web page takes more than two seconds to load, a consumer will move on. A BBC study found that 10% of viewers will leave a website for every second above the recommended two seconds it takes a page to load. 

The same metrics apply to ads. If the ad doesn't display quickly, then the potential sales opportunity is lost. To ensure that images load quickly, designers need to optimize the image file.

Size matters

Anyone who has tried to download an image from the internet knows that the size of the file makes a difference in how long it takes to arrive on a desktop. 

Creating product images with large image files slows down the time it takes for a page to load or an ad to display. So with only seconds to grab a visitor's attention, even a few extra milliseconds can have an impact.


Because professional photographers can be expensive, many merchants look to their smartphones for product pictures. The problem with most smartphones is the image size. 

For example, a 12 megapixel smartphone camera produces a 3000px by 4000px picture. Depending on the social media platform, the phone's picture will need edits to meet the recommended requirements before the ad can run.

DSLR cameras

Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are also a choice for product photography. 

DSLR cameras allow users to see the photograph in real time. Then the shot can be repeated after adjustments are made. Because the image in the viewfinder is not exactly what the end photograph looks like, most DSLR photos require significant editing

Many professional photos are taken with DSLR cameras; however, most professionals have experience with editing tools that can compensate for some fine-tuning needed to produce a usable file size.


Cultural shifts have introduced virtual photoshoots. In virtual photoshoots, the photographer is on one side of a computer screen or phone, and the person or thing being photographed is at a different location. 

The photographer attempts to take pictures using traditional equipment or screenshots. Some shoots can even run through FaceTime capabilities. 

Virtual photography

Virtual photography uses technology to create CGI pictures. 

It takes an initial image and deploys different software editing packages to build an image that reflects the initial image. With the right tools, virtual photography produces CGI pictures that look like high-resolution photographs. 

Virtual photographers understand the relationship between the initial image and the desired result to ensure that the file size is optimized for rapid display online.

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Format counts

Traditional photography, as well as virtual photography, saves image files in various formats. Anyone sharing images online has some experience with formats such as JPEG, GIF or PNG. 

Each format uses different technology to determine how to store the pixels that make up the image. 

JPEG has been the standard format for online pictures because of its compression capabilities, meaning the size of the file can be reduced with less impact on the original image. 

PNG files are replacing GIF files because the format enables more editing capabilities. But GIF and PNG files are usually larger.

Merchants that plan to use multiple images in an ad must be concerned about load time.

Recent studies indicate that humans can detect delays of 1/10th of a second, and one-second delays can interrupt shoppers' thought processes. So images that do not display seamlessly will create a disruptive customer experience. 

When converting image files, the picture quality can degrade slightly depending on the format. Experienced virtual photographers understand the impact file formats can have on the resulting image. 

They try to balance the loading speed with the picture quality.

Quality drives a positive end result

Shopper glancing at an ad with high-quality photos created through virtual photography

Virtual photographs deliver realistic computer-generated images that rival traditional photography in terms of quality. Ultimately, quality rules when it comes to displaying products online or in ads. 

Experts predict that virtual photography will increase as more businesses understand that they can get quality at a lower cost.

Multiple angles

Merchants using streaming ads can save money and improve performance through virtual photography. Creating images from different angles lets shoppers see more of your product's features while still maintaining a fast-loading, high-quality experience. 

360° views

360° views are most often part of real estate photography, where potential buyers can view homes and floor plans remotely. That same experience is possible on streaming ads or promotion videos. 

Providing consumers with a guided tour of a product lets the merchant showcase its defining features.

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Make Your Ads Stand Apart With Threekit


Threekit's Virtual Photographer solution offers merchants the ability to display high-quality product images from multiple angles. Our team of experienced professionals has years of experience creating optimized visuals for customers across multiple platforms, including online and mobile systems. 

We have gained first-hand knowledge from working with hundreds of customers to ensure that the optimum file size is used and the right file format is in place. Whether you’re a veteran business owner or a first-time merchant, Threekit can help showcase your product to its best advantage. So contact us to learn more.