Photography is an art. It can be a tedious process, but it truly allows you to create some unique content types. Product photography is one of the best types of photography that a business owner can have on his website.
It helps your customers get a natural feel for what they’ll be purchasing. And because it’s only been getting more critical, many e-commerce businesses are turning to freelance photographers to get some high-quality photos for their sites.
People love the pictures. But do not just take pictures of anything because that can get boring. You need to know what your photography is all about, how you want it to make someone feel, and how you want them to react to your images.
Product photography can make or break your eCommerce business. It’s the first thing customers see when they look at your product online, and if it doesn’t turn them on to purchase, you’ve just lost a customer.
It can be overwhelming to learn how to take great product shots from scratch if you’re starting. However, you don’t have to scratch the surface too much and research for months to produce beautiful images.
You’d think it would just be setting up your gear and saying cheese, but in reality – it’s not that simple. While you’re doing things the easier way, most big brands will be using specific techniques to make sure their images stand out from the crowd. These techniques are designed to do just that — make them stand out from the crowd.
While these photos take a bit longer to set up and shoot, they can be effortless to shoot once your lighting is dialed in. The best way to sell your products online is by having a high-quality product image, but not everyone can afford a top-of-the-range camera. Product photography is vital to selling. The better your product pictures are, the easier it will be for you to sell your products.
If you have ever spent time in a marketplace, you have seen the power of promoting a product using visually stunning photographs. Photography increases the chance of a person buying an item, but it can also help build trust for your business.
This article is all about what you need to know about professional product photography and how to get great shots of your products.
This post will discuss the equipment needed, gear recommendations for creating a simple, seamless backdrop, and reveal some of our favorite product photography examples from top brands.
1. Invest in a Great Camera for a product shoot
Ecommerce product photography is a critical element in the success of your online business. The better photos you have, the more sales you’ll make. If you are serious about product photography, you will have to invest in a good quality camera. Shooting your products can be a fun exercise in creativity, but it’s much easier to take great photos when you have the right equipment. Investing in a high-quality camera is the first step to ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your product photography.
If you’re using a smartphone as your camera, or an older point-and-shoot model, it’s time to upgrade. While your smartphone can take some pretty good photos, it can’t compare to a dedicated camera. Even if you’re planning on using the camera for product photography, it will still make sense to spend some money.
You can even use a smartphone with a good camera but investing in a professional DSLR camera is worth every penny. The photos taken with a high-end DSLR will make your products stand out from the competition. As for accessories, you need a tripod to get clear and sharp images and multiple sources of light to highlight the essential parts of your product.
Don’t forget to keep in mind the post-processing workflows and color profiles required for your website and marketing materials. Take into consideration the different types of shots you want for your products and how much flexibility you want to control light and depth of field.
The advantage of DSLR cameras is that they have interchangeable lenses and sensors, which means you can get a wide range of different looks from your photos by changing the lenses out. You can also change your depth of field, which is how much of your photo is in focus. With smartphones, everything is always focused, which means some parts of your image are blurry while others are sharp.
When you’re shopping for a camera, you’ll notice that there’s a vast range of prices. But don’t be fooled into thinking that more expensive is always better. For example, top-of-the-line DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras can cost thousands of dollars, but if you want high-quality photos for your website and social media channels, you probably don’t need that quality or expense.
With DSLR cameras, you can control your depth of field and make sure that more or less everything in your frame is in focus. This makes for better product photography because it gives viewers an accurate idea of what they will get when they order from your store.
Megapixels matter — mostly. More megapixels means higher resolution photos, essential if you plan to print your images. But if product photos are destined only for online viewing, you can get by with fewer megapixels. If the pictures are viewed on small screens like smartphones or tablets, you can drop the required resolution even more.
2. Learn how to hang the product
Consumers want to know what they’re paying for, including the details of the product. However, convincing customers to buy your products with compelling photography can be more complex than you think.
When it comes to product photography, the aim is to create a pleasant viewing experience for your customers, so they have a clear idea of what they’re buying. A product without good photography is like a book without a cover: it’s likely to stay on the shelf.
High-quality images can make all the difference in how your products are perceived, both quality and price. The better your photos are, the more likely you boost sales and increase conversions.
Hanging products for increased visibility is not an uncommon practice in and of itself. On the other hand, creative hanging is perhaps the merchandise should be hung upside down, sideways, or in an odd spot.
Suspend it from wires or ropes that are still visible in the image. Make it disgusting, sexy, or funny. Play around with it, shoot more photographs than you think you’ll need, and make sure your lighting is excellent.
It’s common in product photography to make the most of your shot by changing the item you’re photographing. This is especially true for clothing and accessories, where gravity adds a natural weight and drape that isn’t present when they’re folded or laid flat.
When you hang an item for the camera, you’re adding a dimension to it that isn’t there when it’s just sitting on a table. There’s nothing wrong with hanging your products for your photos, but be aware that doing so can also increase your product’s visibility, not just in the image.
Hanging products before capturing increased visibility is not an uncommon practice in and of itself. Most retailers use “realistic” photography as part of their online presence. This method adds dimensionality to images, allowing customers to imagine themselves better using the product in real life.
3. Shoot from unusual perspectives
One easy way to give your product photos a professional look is to shoot from strange angles. Many small online businesses make the mistake of shooting their products head-on, with the camera positioned precisely in line with the face of the product. This works fine for simple, symmetrical objects like mugs or t-shirts, but it can make more complex products look flat and dull.
The camera is usually placed at the same height as the product so that the shot is taken at eye level. Shooting from unusual angles should be avoided most of the time because it can distort a product. However, you may get away with it in some cases, mainly if distortion is the desired effect or the object is tough to distort. You might also try hanging the goods and filming from below or above.
The most common mistake is shooting their products from a straight-on angle. This is a very dull perspective, making your products look less attractive than they are. If you want to stand out, use unusual angles and shoot from the side or back of your product.
In addition to changing the angle of your product shots, you should also change the angle of your camera lens. Shooting from above or below will give you a unique perspective and make your images more visually appealing.
If you want to get creative with your product photography, try taking pictures from several different angles, then combine them into a single image using photo editing software.
Instead, try getting down low and shooting up at an angle. This will help emphasize any exciting details or design elements. It can also help get a sense of scale — if you’re selling jewelry, for example, people will want to know how big it is compared to a quarter or a hand.
Try some creative angles if you are photographing a product that is not a regular rectangular shape (a ring, for example). Use a macro lens to get up close and personal with the details of your product. You can also use an image editing program to crop your images, so they have interesting shapes or proportions.
You may not be able to say what exactly it is that’s so off-putting about a photo of a product shot straight on, but we all know this type of shot rarely works. The best way to make your photos look more natural than staged is to shoot your products from unusual angles.
Experiment with shooting your product from below or above, from the side, or behind. It can also help have an object in front of your product to give it some context and depth.
Taking photos from strange angles can make all the difference in the world. If you take pictures of your products from the same angle as your competitors, you won’t stand out in a crowd.
4. Take a closer look at some macro shots
If you are in the business of selling products online, then you have probably experienced the challenges that come with photographing those products. Unless you’re selling high-end jewelry or other items that require special lighting and photography equipment, macro photography could be the solution to your problems.
Keep in mind that most macro photographs will most likely be utilized in conjunction with regular product photos. They can, however, be an excellent addition to a set of images for a highlight page in a catalog or an eye-catching poster ad. Just make sure your lighting is fantastic to see even the slightest details.
Macro shots can be a great help when trying to photograph a product. Not only can you get in close, but you can also use the shallow depth of field to put the focus on your product and blur out any distracting background elements. Using an f-stop of 2.8 or higher will achieve a reasonably blurry background.
If you’re using a DSLR, it’s likely your camera came with a kit lens that has the option of shooting macro photos. You also may have purchased a 50mm lens, which is another good choice for close-ups. Choose one of these lenses, then flip the switch to macro mode to get started.
Most cameras have this setting represented by a flower symbol on the side of the lens. You’ll have to twist the entire lens on some lenses so that flowers appear next to the f-stop numbers on top of your lens. Either way, make sure it says “macro” on your camera’s LCD screen before starting to shoot.
A macro shot’s ability to magnify the subject allows you to view even minor details in your product photography. Macro photography can be beneficial to eCommerce businesses. Macro shots can be a great help when photographing a product, especially if the item is small in size.
Knowing how to take macro photos of your products is essential for any eCommerce business with a product-based website. Taking macro shots of your products will allow you to display much more detail than can be seen with the naked eye, and this detail is what makes or breaks a sale.
Photographing a product like a bracelet can be tricky. The details of the bracelet are essential because they’re what people want to see when they’re buying jewelry, yet the details are often too small to see in a photo.
However, macro shots can be a great help when trying to photograph a product. A macro shot is an image taken at a very close distance that shows fine detail not usually visible to the naked eye. Some photos taken with a macro lens can make tiny objects appear larger than life. This makes them extremely useful for photographing small things such as products and parts.
One thing that sets macro photography apart from other types of photography is that it allows you to capture an image at very high magnification and still get a clear photo. This is because macro lenses magnify objects so much that they appear larger than life on camera sensors.
5. Show that you are using the product
Photography is a critical component of any eCommerce business. High-quality photos can differentiate and improve the perceived value of your product, which may help you on your way to making more sales.
Take out the product, some paper, and a pen. Now jot down every possible application for the product that comes to mind. You might need to start with more mundane, everyday usage to get your head going but eventually attempt to develop some truly unique ideas.
Then go over your list and circle the ones you think would make an excellent product shoot. You may need to do some digital editing/illustration or costume/set design for this, so make sure you have everything planned out before you start shooting.
The first step in creating a lifestyle shot is to think of the user of your product. For example, if you are photographing a pair of headphones, think of who will be wearing them. Are they coffee shop professionals with their laptops? Are they a teenager listening to music while they study? Think about the personality that uses your product and what the background should be to match that.
Once you have an idea of who will be using the product, take your best guess at what kind of room or location would match that persona. If you can’t find or create an appropriate setting, consider using a plain white backdrop or a simple wood floor backdrop.
If you are taking photos for Amazon listings, consider that Amazon recommends using only white backgrounds for your images (with no graphics). However, if you’re selling on other channels like eBay or Etsy, feel free to go wild with different backgrounds and settings.
The next step will be to use models or mannequins in your scene. Ideally, these models should look like real people and not plastic mannequins. It’s also crucial that these “people” don’t just stand there lifelessly holding your product. Instead, they should engage with it actively.
No matter what you’re selling, showing that you are using the product can help when trying to photograph a product. It gives your photos a real-life feel, and it shows that you stand behind your products – which is precisely what you want your customers to think.
Your eCommerce products should be photographed from several angles to give customers an idea of what to expect when purchasing—if you have the option, showing that you are using the product can help when trying to photograph a product.
Make sure to take pictures of your products on several different backgrounds, as it may make it easier for customers to create their unique vision.
6. Manipulate your photos
Photoshop tricks can be a great way to shoot a product, but they should be used in moderation. The more you mess with your photos, the lower the perceived value of your products will be.
For example, if you’re trying to sell an expensive diamond ring and Photoshop it onto a model’s finger, shoppers will realize that it’s not an actual photo and that the ring might not be accurate either.
If you use Photoshop, ask yourself why you need to manipulate your photos. Are your products not good enough, or do they need better lighting?
Product photography is an essential part of your eCommerce strategy. Quality images can help you stand out and win more sales.
There are many things to consider when you’re shooting product photos, like lighting, angles, and backgrounds. On top of that, there are a lot of tools at your disposal to help make your images as high quality as possible.
You’ve probably heard, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is particularly true when it comes to selling products online. Simply put, your photos shape your customer’s perception of your products, and high-quality images can differentiate and improve the perceived value of your product.
High-quality product photography can be expensive, but if you’re selling on marketplaces like Amazon, you’ll compete with other sellers using professional photographers. If you want to compete with them and stand out from the pack, you’ll need to invest in quality photos.
Professional product photography can help your bottom line by reducing returns and increasing conversions even if you’re not selling on Amazon or another marketplace. If customers get what they expect when they click “Add to Cart,” they’re more likely to keep it than if it looks different than advertised.
Photo manipulation is a great way to shoot a product and make it look like a professional, higher-quality photo. You can use photo manipulation to change the photo’s background or even to add or remove elements of your image. Photo manipulation requires knowledge of which tools to use and how to use them effectively.
When you’re shooting your product yourself, it’s essential to understand how the camera works. This will help you manipulate your image in post-production more effectively. You can make several adjustments with crucial editing tools to make your product pop.
These digital editing skills are essential for professional product photography because so many variables in the studio environment can affect the final image. For example, lighting is often difficult to control in small studios, so there may be areas of shadow. Or maybe you’re shooting an object that’s difficult to light evenly. These are problems that digital editing can fix quickly!
7. Avoid Using Filters
Some camera apps have built-in filters that you can apply to your photos. These are great for selfies and group shots, but they’re not an excellent way to capture products.
Filters, cool as they may look, can negatively impact the quality of your product photos. This is because filters add a blur effect that takes away from the sharpness of the image.
One of the worst things you can do is use filters to make an image look more attractive. If a product seems different when it arrives, customers might feel like they were tricked into making a purchase that they wouldn’t have if they had seen the product as it is.
It’s easy to tell when a photo has been filtered because there are usually noticeable distortions. This distracts from the product, which is what you want people to focus on. It also makes the image less authentic and less useful as a marketing tool.
Additionally, filters can make your product images look too stylized and unprofessional, not suitable for your brand’s image.
As an eCommerce business owner, you should aim to show your products in their proper form and light —just a finely tuned camera with an ample amount of natural light will do the trick.
The first issue is that most filters are applied to the entire image, which means that if you have a product on a white background, the background will be affected by the filter. This will make it harder to remove the background in post-processing, resulting in imperfections.
The second issue is that filters can introduce color casts and other artifacts into your images. Your computer monitor is calibrated to show you an accurate representation of what your camera sees. Applying an effect in-camera creates a color cast that can be difficult to correct later on.
There’s no reason to use filters when shooting products because you can make adjustments after taking your pictures using image editing software or a dedicated app.
Filters are a great way to edit photos on the fly using apps like Instagram, but they’re not the best way to edit product photos. When you use a filter, you lose control over the final product. Your images might be too bright or too dark and may not look professional enough. With product photography, it’s better to take the time to edit each photo individually so that it stands out.
8. Organize Products Appropriately
Every product has a story to tell. It may be the design, the quality of the materials, or the craftsmanship that went into its creation. We do our best to capture this story with our photography and show each product in the best light possible.
The most common mistake that new eCommerce entrepreneurs make is shooting products without proper planning. They open the box and start taking pictures.
Although this might sound like a good idea, it’s not. You will inevitably end up with many images that look the same, and you’ll have to spend more time retouching them in Photoshop than you’d like.
The best way to plan your product photography session is to organize the products by type and color. For example, if you sell shoes, you could shoot all the black shoes first, then brown ones, etc. You can easily switch between different settings and angles without wasting time looking for the right product. This can be as simple as placing them in a clean and tidy way on a table or laying them out on a white surface.
You cannot just start shooting. You need to arrange your products in a good and proper manner before taking the photos. You can hang or lay down all the products on a white background.
Make sure that you keep enough distance from your camera so that the images do not look blurry or distorted. If you want to shoot close-up shots, you need to use the macro lens. You can also use the macro lens to take close-up shots of the jewelry and other small products.
If you are taking photos of several identical objects, such as a set of earrings or similar items, you should make sure they’re all facing in the same direction. This will give you consistency throughout the set, making for better photos.
You need to be very careful while arranging the products before shooting. It gives a great view of the product and is easy to shoot. The arrangement of products must be according to their size and shape.
For example, if you plan to shoot a range of products that you have placed in a box, then do it by placing the smaller one on top and then placing the bigger ones accordingly. This makes it look more organized, as well as easy to shoot.
Shoot your products in their native environment. Take the time to set up an excellent clean background that will go well with your product. Then take some shots and upload them to your store as is.
Keep in mind that you can always add a background later on if you want to, but it should be easier to have something in place before shooting. It’s essential to take a bit of time to set up your product shoot to make the process as easy as possible. You’ll need to prepare your photo studio, products, and props for this. This can be as simple or complex as you want to make it.
9. For lifestyle product photographs, use a bokeh background
When shooting a lifestyle product, you’ll want to create a soft background to make the product stand out. You’ll use the same bokeh technique for product photos, but rather than using a white background, you’ll do it with something more fitting for your brand.
Bokeh is a Japanese term that means blur. You might have heard the term “bokeh” and wondered what it meant. Bokeh is a Japanese word that means “blur.” It’s used to describe the quality of out-of-focus areas in an image.
Bokeh is a term used to describe the aesthetic effect of out-of-focus points of light in a photograph. Bokeh backgrounds are popular for eCommerce product photography because they focus the customer’s attention on the object being photographed and provide a neutral environment that can be easily matched with your website.
A bokeh background is an easy and effective way of creating professional-looking lifestyle photography. Bokeh photography is excellent for lifestyle product shots. Lifestyle images feature products, illustrating how they fit in with their owner’s daily life.
Lifestyle product shots are great for social media campaigns and website marketing because they’re relatable, showing how consumers can use your products in their own lives. A bokeh background is a background with soft, out-of-focus points of light. It was created by using a shallow depth of field to highlight the foreground product and blur the background.
Bokeh backgrounds are incredibly well suited for products with many small details or textures, like jewelry or clothing. The blurred background draws attention to the product, showing its details without distracting the customer. A blurred background can be created by using different techniques like increasing aperture size, reducing shutter speed, etc. When you zoom in on your subject, the camera automatically gives a blurry effect to the background.
To create bokeh, you need to take advantage of the aperture or the size of your camera’s lens opening. Use as wide an aperture as possible — f/1.8, f/2.8, or f/4 are typical settings for bokeh shots. The wider the aperture, the shallower the depth of field will be, which means more items in the background will be out of focus.
You can use the aperture control on your DSLR camera to adjust the depth of field so that only the subject is in focus and everything else is soft and out of focus — this is called bokeh. The wider the aperture, the greater the blur effect.
The best way to achieve this effect is to shoot your product against a seamless white background or at least a background where there aren’t details to distract from your item.
A second option is to use an out-of-focus background that doesn’t have any distracting elements. Bokeh backgrounds make for beautiful photos when working with small products such as jewelry or cosmetics.
10. To appeal to emotions, use color psychology for your product shoot
Color psychology is your best friend if you want to evoke a specific emotion with your product photos. Color psychology is a fascinating thing and can profoundly influence your target market. Color has been known to affect a person’s mood and feelings.
You may not realize it, but there is a reason why specific colors are used in marketing campaigns — they are proven to be effective! It’s not an exact science, but studies show that colors can trigger certain emotions in people. Even if these effects are subtle, they can still encourage customers to choose your product over the competition.
Color plays a significant role in how we perceive the products we buy. The right colors can increase our perception of quality, even if there’s no difference between the two products. We make purchasing decisions based on emotions, not logic, so color is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to influence customer behavior or even brand loyalty.
Blue stands for trust and security, which companies like Facebook and Twitter use. Light blue is the most popular color for eCommerce businesses because it encourages consumers to click on products without being too aggressive.
Black is a powerful choice for luxury brands that want to convey a sense of sophistication and exclusivity. It also gives elegance to fashion photography.
Green is associated with nature and is often used by brands that sell health products or organic food items.
Yellow is the most visible color on the spectrum, so it’s great for grabbing attention — especially in dark settings where other colors aren’t as visible (like this example from Amazon). However, avoid using yellow on web pages where you want visitors to focus on content because it might be distracting.
It’s important to note that color psychology is not an exact science—around 100 million people with visual impairment and about 3 million colorblind people in the United States alone. So, whether or not your customers will have an emotional response to a specific color depends on the culture and upbringing of that individual, and it should constantly be tested.
However, if we use this tool correctly, it can significantly help us sell our products online.
Photographing your products professionally is an excellent idea. A professional photographer can take better photos and knows how to light and style products for the best effect.
When looking for a professional product photographer, make sure they have experience with your product type – this is especially important if you sell clothing or jewelry.
Look at their portfolio to see what their style is like. If you’re selling jewelry, you want someone who takes romantic close-ups of sparkly rings, not just a wide shot of a necklace on a table.
So, you’ve been thinking about getting some professional photos taken of your product. Maybe you have a product that is hard to photograph, or you’ve tried taking pictures yourself, and the results were less than satisfactory. You’re probably wondering if the investment is worth it.
Before we get into the benefits of professional photography, let’s look at your options and how they might impact your budget.
You can go to the local department store and have them take pictures of your product(s). If you have only a few items to photograph, this may be the most cost-effective solution.
Remember that department stores often use automatic cameras, so there will be no one on set making sure the lighting is proper or adjusting angles and shadows. The result may be flat, dark, or too bright images.
Consider a photography studio where you will pay fairly per photo but get better results for higher-quality images. A professional photography studio will use professional equipment and expertise to ensure that your pictures are correctly lit, colors are accurate, shadows fall precisely, and the background doesn’t distract from your product image.
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