Mastering And Perfecting The Art Of The Hero Shot

Hero shots can get your product photography soaring higher than ever before. Let’s view this from the perspective of e-commerce VS brick-and-mortar. 

The main advantage brick and mortar has over e-commerce is a customer’s ability to try things out. You can’t do this by looking at a picture online.

An easy solution to this issue is by featuring the hero shot. Here are the basic principles you need to know about.

What Is A Hero Shot?

A hero shot is the main visual element on a landing page. There are several ways to make a great hero shot. The common theme is that it displays how a product is used in action. 

This provides a dynamic element and shows how customers could potentially use a product or service. In most cases, this leads to improved conversion rates and lower bounce rates. 

Types Of Hero Shot

Hero shots can be used for virtually any aspect a brand wants to emphasize. It doesn’t even have to be used for the purpose of “selling” a product.

Some attempt to elicit emotions from their audience. Meanwhile, others want to convey an important message or persuade people to join their cause. 

But for the most part, you’d see hero the following types of hero shots:


This is the most common type of hero shot you’d find across all eCommerce sites. In every niche or industry, you’re likely to find a brand’s main product featured. 

Websites can also use sliders that alternate between products. However, no matter the industry, the hero shots have to be aesthetically pleasing. 

It should also be good enough to pique a viewer’s curiosity which can lead to them learning more about the product or other services a company can offer.

Here, the product is the centerpiece. If you had good shots but some objects got in the way, you can easily clean up pictures using Pixelcut’s Magic Eraser Tool.


A product hero shot’s selling point is how aesthetic it can look. On the other hand, process-focused hero shots focus on action—how customers can use a product. 

Some companies use videos to complement this. You’re likely to see this type of shot used for companies selling services such as landscaping, cleaning, or even weight loss programs. 


The best way a company can sell its services is by showing results. This is what outcome-focused hero shots offer. 

Companies also show before and after photos or use time-lapses. But as a rule of thumb, you want to use positive imagery so viewers can focus on the results and not the issues beforehand. 

What Makes The Perfect Hero Shot?

Now that we know what types to go for, here are actionable tips to help you make a great hero shot for your next marketing campaign. 

Match Your Keyword

Matching your photo with the keyword you’re targeting is a must. It doesn’t only help customers correlate your photo to your product or service, but it also helps with search engine optimization.

You want customers to associate keywords with your product. For example, we searched “landscaping services” and ended up on Affordable Landscaping Services. 

Source: Affordable Landscaping Services

Right off the bat, you can see an “outcome-focused” hero shot showing one of their projects. What makes this better is that there’s an immediate CTA on the left for a free quote. 

Stay Relevant

Sometimes, websites “cheat” a bit when using hero shots. Instead of the customers associating a photo with a product or service, the company does it for them using contextual elements. 

Good hero shots should be able to stand alone by themselves. 

Here are two examples. Let’s say we’re making a site for a cleaning service. In the first example, we’ll use a stock image of a clean living room with contextual elements. 

Now let’s take a look at the second example. This time, we’re using a hero shot showing another clean living room—the only difference is we’re using actual people. This way, no context is needed. 

Invoke Emotion

A great tip for elevating your hero shots is by showing how a product or service can solve the pain points they’re experiencing. Doing so helps your photo resonate well with your customers.

But, don’t just show them what they’re dealing with right now. Instead, show them how your products can relieve them.

Here’s an example from The Sleep Doctor. They sell sleeping supplements. Instead of showing an insomniac, they’re using a photo of a person sleeping soundly. 

Source: The Sleeping Doctor

Use The Rest Of The Page

It’s true that your hero shot should be able to stand alone by itself. But, a website will have more than one visual element. The key here is to use other elements to support your hero shot. 

For example, eye tracking statistics show us that models looking at a product direct the viewer's eye to that product. So, steer clear of images where the eyes are looking straight at you. 

Source: Business Insider

Avoid Stock Images

Generic stock photos have no life to them. These are photos everybody has seen. Think of them as fillers.

According to statistics, 67% of customers say unique and high-quality photos are an important factor in their buying decision. But, if you need to use stock images, find ones that are unique and engaging. 

Getting A High-Resolution Hero Shot With Pixelcut

One of the most important factors to consider is your hero shot’s resolution. Hero shots are the visual centerpieces of your landing page. 

So, to ensure high-quality resolution photos, you can use free image upscaler apps like Pixelcut. It’s an AI-powered tool that upscales the quality of your image in an instant. Here’s how to upscale an image using Pixelcut.

All you have to do is drag and drop or upload your image. Let’s use one of our previous example hero shots:

As you can see, it’s quite blurry. If we used this as a hero shot, it needs to be big enough to take the spotlight. Stretching it out will make it even blurrier. We’ll upload this to the image upscaler tool and upscale it by 4x.

Even if we zoomed in, we can clearly see sharper details, perfect for your next hero shot. All that’s left is to download the upscaled image in HD and you’ll be good to go!

Key Takeaways

Hero shots keep your audience engaged and interested enough to learn more about your products and your company. So, before uploading your next hero shots, consider the following:

  • The three main types of hero shots are product, process, and outcome focused. 
  • To make a hero shot great it needs to match relevant keywords and solve pain points. 
  • Great hero shots can stand alone with contextual elements.
  • Use models that look at the product to guide a viewer's eye to it.
  • Always edit your photos and use high-resolution images.

If you want a beginner-friendly and intuitive way of editing your next hero shot, try Pixelcut for free today!

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