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  • Writer's pictureMary Callahan

Product Photography Fails

Before you’re ready to get going on your brand photoshoot, we have a question for you…Do you know the top product photography fails? If your answer is No, then keep reading! These insights can help prevent you from making mistakes that’ll cost your company time and money.


  1. You don’t show scale

Customers won’t necessarily know what 4 ounces or 3” x 7.25” looks like. That’s why it’s also important to include a photo that shows your product to scale (i.e. its size in relation to something familiar like a coin, someone’s palm, a cup of coffee, etc.). Having at least one photo in your product carousel that shows scale will help reduce returns or negative comments saying, “This is much bigger/smaller than I expected.”

  1. Your background is distracting

When there’s too much going on in the background of a photo, your product won’t stand out to the viewer. Contextual set-ups are great (i.e. a face wash placed in a bathroom setting, etc.) but it’s also important to have several clean, clear photos of the product by itself (and shot from multiple angles). This not only highlights the specs of the product itself, but it also denotes what exactly is being sold to the customer.

  1. The product looks blurry

If your camera is out of focus, your shining star—the product—won’t get the spotlight it deserves. Take a few test shots beforehand so you can check the camera’s focus. It can be helpful to look at the test images on a larger computer screen since your camera viewfinder can be difficult to see.

  1. You don’t show all its worth

If your product has a lot of features, make sure to show those in your photo carousel. Don’t just stick to one style of photography (i.e. a flat T-shirt on a plain white background). Present the T-shirt on a model, on a hanger, close up to see the fabric texture, etc. Show off all your product’s special features, before and after transformations, and aesthetic contextual set ups. While telling the customer about a product’s specs is important, showing them all its worth can be even more impactful.

  1. Lighting is off

Need help with all things lighting? Check out our blog—photography lighting for beginners. Especially if the color of your product is an important aspect—maybe even a deciding factor—(like in clothing, makeup, art, or furniture), lighting is critical to ensure that the color on camera reflects the color in real life.

  1. You forgot to consider usage

Before your photoshoot, ask your team where these photos will appear—on a website, print advertising, social media, in-store posters, or somewhere else. Knowing where the final images will be seen can help you to know all the ways in which you need to shoot each product. For example, in your online store you’ll need each product at multiple angles over a blank background. But on social media, you might want more contextual photography that aligns with your feed’s overall aesthetic.


Need help curating your shot list for your brand photoshoot. Reach out to us at info@studioalacartenyc.com.


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