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  • Writer's pictureMary Callahan

Product Photography 101

Just because your product is amazing doesn’t mean it’ll be successful. If what you’re selling doesn’t look good, no one is going to buy it. Product photography is as important as the product design itself. It’s (likely) the first look a potential customer has of your product. You have 1/10 of a second (yes, you read that right) to make a good impression. Before you freak out, read our 10 tips to master your next product photoshoot.

  1. Find inspiration

Research some brands whose product photography you admire. Analyze why you like their images and try to replicate those qualities in your shoot. Even for a product photoshoot, a mood board can help set the scene for everyone involved.

  1. Stick with simplicity

A plain white background is often best for showing off a product. A crowded staged photo can provide context for your product “in action” (and you should definitely include one contextual image to show scale and suggested usage), but your listing must always include a simple photo to show exactly what the product is that’s being sold.

  1. Think about lighting

You want your product to look the same in the photo as it does in person. Natural lighting (shooting outdoors or facing a window) is best for food and clothing while artificial lighting can be used for products typically used indoors.

  1. Use a tripod

Whether you’re shooting with your smartphone or a professional camera, a tripod is a necessity when it comes to product photography. A stable foundation will reduce blur and ensure your final shots look high-quality.

  1. Shoot many angles

Pictures are only one dimensional, so taking photos at multiple angles is important to show the full product. Any “blind spots” will leave potential customers wondering what or why it’s missing. If your platform allows, it can be a good idea to also include a short video of the product in use.

  1. Show off the details

Highlight your product’s special features with close-up shots (i.e. fabric material, functionality, labeled diagrams, etc.). Although you’ll also include all the specs in your product description, showing is always better than telling.

  1. Be consistent

Shoot all your products with the same angles, lighting, saturation, editing, etc. Too much variation will detract from the consistency and aesthetic of your shoot.

  1. Shoot stuff together, too

Don’t forget about group shots! Individual product shots are necessary, of course, but you’ll also want some shots of your products together (especially if you’re encouraging customers to buy several things to use together.

  1. Think about usage

Where will these product photos be seen? On your website, on social media, in advertising, on Amazon, or somewhere else? Knowing where your product photos will be shown can help you figure out the specific shots you need. For example, shopping sites like Amazon and Google Shopping have product photography specifications. Whereas shots for your social media will need to fit in with the aesthetic of your feed.

  1. Don’t rely on editing

Even if you’re proficient in Photoshop, make the effort to shoot as if you won’t be editing at all. Product photos should look natural and editing should only slightly enhance the image rather than fix any flaws.

Need help planning your brand photoshoot? Reach out to us at to set up a consultation.

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