Manage & Edit Your Product Images for Free with Picasa

For the vast majority of products successful online sales are heavily correlated to the quality of the images and video on the site.

It follows that successful and efficient management of your website’s product images can be a major contributor to your site’s success. As we’ve listed here before, it’s definitely a critical factor in determining the quality of your product videos.

It used to be Image Management was exculsively the realm of photographers and graphic designers, however with more tools being made available for free and online use, this is no longer the case.

Today any ecommerce professional so desiring can efficiently, manage, edit and work collaboratively, with his or her website’s product images, using only free tools, and more specifically Google’s Picasa and Picasa Web Albums service.

The underlying logic for selecting Picasa is this:

It’s Free, excellent, and hooks up to a reliable backup…

 

Picasa is "built-in backup"

Picasa is "built-in backup"

Managing and arranging images

Picasa Web tools is a full featured photo management solution backed by a powerful and FREE software suite, both owned and maintained by Google.

There are a bunch of things you can do with your photos using only Picasa’s web interface:

  • Organize and label photos and albums
  • Set sharing rules and notifications
  • Provide geo-location for images
  • Edit images
  • Collaborate with others
Picasa is great for product image gallery management

Picasa is great for product image gallery management

Collaborative work

Picasa’s full integration with all of Google’s other products, and the availability of Commenting for the images on the web, makes collaboration easy and intuitive:

Easy collaborative editing
Easy collaborative editing

 

Editing images

There are many types of tasks you might want to accomplish with your images, but it’s safe to bet Resizing and Cropping are going to be at the top of the list…

 

Resize/crop:

Identifying site image size
Start by identifying what size you need to crop/resize your photos to.

If you’re not sure go to any product page, right-click on the main product image, and save-as. Now check your downloaded image’s properties to identify it’s size. Alternatively if you’re browsing with Chrome you can simply right-click and select Inspect element to reveal the product image size via the Metrics tab:

Identifying image size with Chrome

Identifying image size with Chrome

Entering resize values
When resizing match your site’s smallest value (width or height) to that of the edited image:

Resizing product images with Picasa

Resizing product images with Picasa

Cropping
Set your crop area by dragging or setting constraints for shape and size:

Cropping images with Picnic

Cropping images with Picnic

 

Whatever edit’s you make don’t forget to Apply and Save your work before closing down Picnic

 

Uploading to your site

An important tip to remember for keeping your photos in order, is to associate all the images for a particular product or category in a single folder. This works well when you want to batch download photos for work on your local machine:

The ability to download entire albums at a time is a HUGE time saver

The ability to download entire albums at a time is a HUGE time saver

…and just as well when you want  to upload/update the photos on your site (see below).

 

Naming and locating images 
For extra SEO value it’s well worth your while to give all your product images meaningful names (i.e. avoid file names like prod-123.jpg, instead go for descriptive names like professional-makeup-remover.jpg). Finding image folders to accomplish tasks like this is easy via Picasa’s desktop solution:

Locate your product album by right clicking the album name in your desktop version of Picasa, and selecting Locate on Disk

 

Tracking product photos is easy

Tracking product photos is easy

 

Easy upload
Uploading and updating images to your website’s backend is now simply a matter of following these steps:

  1. Access your product’s Image Management console via your shop’s backend (shown here: Magento – details on how to manage Magento product pages can be found here)
  2. Browse to find the correct image folder
  3. Select the images you want upload
  4. Click Open
  5. Click Upload and save your changes

 

Updating product photos is easy when they're kept in order

Updating product photos is easy when they're kept in order

 

Cool Bonus!

It also enables you to take advantage of Picasa’s video creator to make videos for your products and upload them to Youtube:

 

Picasa enables you to make product videos for Youtube pubilcation

Picasa enables you to make product videos for Youtube pubilcation

 

More on that here:

 

  • Westernsidvic

    I thought Picasa looked really complicated at first, but this is a pretty good walkthrough. Thanks!

  • Pixphoria

    Great article– I love picasa 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/xxL0llip0pxx Stacy Castro

    I love to edit my images that I have on my computer but some of the programs you find online are kind of complicated to understand or you have to pay to use them. This program seems really easy to use and since it is owned by Google, I know that it is a program I can trust.

  • srijon

    recently i starting use picasa. this post really help me. good post, keep it up!

  • http://twitter.com/SparksterHubs Sparkster Hubs

    Aha, excellent! I’ve known of Picasa for a while but I didn’t realize it was this versatile. This is just what I’ve been looking for, as I’ve been asked to do some graphic design work. Thanks.