Product photography is more than clicking random images of items and storing them on the drive. It is a branch of commercial photography that focuses on capturing images of products in a way that showcases their features, benefits, and unique qualities. Product photography aims to create high-quality, professional images that can be used for marketing, advertising, and sales purposes.
Product photographers use various techniques and equipment to capture images of products in the most appealing way possible. They work with a wide range of products, from small items like jewelry or electronics to larger items like furniture or vehicles. The images they create can be used on websites, catalogs, billboards, print and digital advertisements, and other marketing materials.
If you are wondering how to do product photography, you must keep certain important aspects in mind. One of the most critical aspects of product photography is lighting. Product photographers use different lighting set-ups and techniques to highlight the product's shape, texture, and color while minimizing unwanted shadows and reflections. They also pay close attention to composition, framing, and depth of field to create visually appealing images that communicate the product's unique features.
In addition to technical skills, product photographers must also understand branding and marketing well. They must be able to work closely with their clients to understand their product's unique selling points and develop a visual style that aligns with their brand.
Overall, photography for ecommerce products is an essential component of any company's marketing and advertising efforts. Companies can attract and engage customers and drive sales by creating high-quality, visually appealing images of their products.
Now that we have addressed the elephant in the room let’s discuss every nitty gritty detail about product photography and how to master it.
The Basics of ‘How to Do Product Photography’
Equipment for Product Photography
A DSLR is one of the most important accessories for product photography and provides high-quality images with various features that allow photographers to capture their subjects in the best possible light. Here’s what you need to know about the best product photography camera:
Image Quality: A DSLR camera captures high-quality images with low noise levels and sharpness. It also provides higher resolution and dynamic range than most other cameras.
Interchangeable Lenses: DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses, which means you can switch lenses to achieve different angles and perspectives. This makes it easier to get the perfect shot of your product.
Manual Settings: DSLR cameras offer a range of manual settings, including aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, which can be adjusted to control the exposure of your images. These settings give you greater control over your images and allow you to capture the perfect shot.
Depth of Field: DSLR cameras allow you to control the depth of field, which refers to the range of distance that is in focus in your image. This can be adjusted by changing the aperture setting and can be used to highlight specific features of your product.
A tripod is an essential tool for product photography. Here are some things you should know about using a tripod for product photography:
Stability: A tripod provides a stable base for your camera, which is important when taking product photos. It eliminates any camera shake that can occur when holding the camera by hand, resulting in sharper and more focused images.
Consistency: A tripod allows you to keep your camera in the same position throughout a shoot. This is important in product photography because it allows you to maintain the same composition and frame for each shot, resulting in consistent and professional-looking product photos.
Flexibility: Many tripods have adjustable legs and a center column, allowing you to adjust the height and angle of your camera. This gives you more flexibility in your product photography, allowing you to shoot from various angles and positions.
Accessories: Tripods can be used with various accessories, including extension arms, clamps, and brackets. These accessories can be used to hold products in place or to position additional lighting or reflectors.
Product photography with white background is popular as it creates a clean, simple look that allows the product to stand out. Here are some things you should know about using a white background for product photography:
Consistency: Using a white background creates a consistent look for your product photos. It ensures that the focus is on the product rather than the background, creating a professional and polished look.
Lighting: To achieve a white background, it is important to have proper lighting. Even bright lighting is necessary to avoid shadows and create a seamless look. Using diffused lighting can help achieve a smooth and consistent background.
Editing: Post-processing is also an important part of achieving a white background. Using photo editing software, you can adjust the exposure, brightness, and contrast to make the background appear whiter and brighter.
Versatility: A white background is a versatile choice that can be used for a wide range of products. It works well for products that are white or light-colored, as well as products that are dark or brightly colored.
Product Showcase: A white background makes the product stand out, making it the focal point of the image. This can be especially important for e-commerce websites, where the product needs to be showcased in the best possible way to encourage sales.
Lighting is a critical aspect of product photography, as it can significantly impact the final image. Here are some things you should know about using lighting for product photography:
Lighting Types: There are two main types of lighting used in product photography: natural and artificial. Natural lighting can provide a soft and natural look, while artificial lighting allows for greater control over the lighting conditions.
Soft Lighting: Soft lighting is essential for product photography as it helps to reduce harsh shadows and creates an even and natural-looking image. This can be achieved through the use of diffused lighting or the use of reflectors.
Lighting Set-Up: Proper lighting set-up is essential for product photography. It is vital to position the light sources correctly to avoid shadows and to create an even illumination on the product.
Lighting Angles: The angle of the lighting is also essential. It can be used to highlight specific product features or to create shadows to add depth and dimension to the image.
Lighting Accessories: Lighting accessories, such as reflectors, diffusers, and bounce cards, can enhance the lighting conditions and create different effects on the product.
How to Set up the Table?
Setting up a table for product photography involves several important considerations to ensure that you create high-quality images. Here are some steps to follow when setting up a table for product photography:
Choose the Right Table: When selecting a table for product photography, choose one sturdy and stable. A table with adjustable legs is also useful, as it will allow you to adjust the table height to suit your needs.
Choose the Right Background: When setting up your table, select the right background for your product photography. A white background is popular, as it creates a clean and professional look. However, you can also use other colored backgrounds or textured surfaces to add interest and variety to your product photos.
Position Your Lighting: Place your lighting equipment correctly to avoid casting shadows on your product. Using diffused lighting can help create an even and soft light that will flatter your product and reduce any harsh shadows.
Arrange Your Products: Place your products on the table in an appealing and organized manner. Consider using stands or risers to add height and interest to your product display.
Adjust Your Camera: Before taking any photos, adjust your camera to ensure that you have the right lighting conditions and product size settings. This will help you capture sharp, well-exposed images of your products.
Make Adjustments as Needed: After taking a few test shots, review your images and make any necessary adjustments to the lighting, product placement, or camera settings. Experiment with different backgrounds, angles, and lighting to achieve your desired look and feel.
How to Set up Your Camera for Product Photography?
Setting up your camera for product photography is essential to creating high-quality product images. Here are some steps to follow when setting up your camera for product photography:
Choose the Right Camera: To get the best results for product photography, use a manual mode that allows you to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. A DSLR or mirrorless camera is a good choice, but even a high-quality smartphone can be used for product photography.
Set Your Camera to Manual Mode: Setting your camera to manual mode will give you full control over the exposure, focus, and other settings. This will allow you to make precise adjustments to create your desired look.
Adjust the Aperture: Set the aperture to a value that will create the desired depth of field. For example, a wide aperture (low f-number) will create a shallow depth of field, blurring the background and highlighting the product. Conversely, a smaller aperture (high f-number) will create a deeper depth of field, keeping more of the product and background in focus.
Set the Shutter Speed: Set the shutter speed to a value that will ensure that your images are sharp and well-exposed. A fast shutter speed will freeze any motion and prevent blurring. A slower shutter speed may be used if you use a tripod and want to capture more light.
Adjust the ISO: Set the ISO to a value that will create the desired brightness level in your image. Use the lowest possible ISO setting to minimize noise and ensure that your images are clean and sharp.
Focus on the Product: Use manual focus to ensure that the product is sharp and in focus. Zoom in on the product and use the manual focus ring to make fine adjustments.
Use a Remote Shutter Release: Use a remote shutter release to avoid camera shake and ensure that your images are sharp and well-focused.
Product Photography Ideas You Should Try
Product photography is a crucial part of marketing for any business that sells products online or in print. Here are some product photography ideas that you can try to make your products stand out and attract more customers:
Use Creative Lighting: Experiment with different types of lighting, such as softboxes, ring lights, and natural light, to create unique and visually interesting product images.
Incorporate Lifestyle Shots: Show your products in use by incorporating lifestyle shots into your product photography. This can help your customers visualize how your product will look and function in their daily lives.
Focus on Details: Highlight your products' unique features and details by taking close-up shots of them. This can help your customers better understand the quality and craftsmanship of your products.
Use Creative Angles: Play with different angles and perspectives to create dynamic and visually interesting product images. This can help your products stand out from the competition.
Try Colored Background: While a white background is a popular choice for product photography, a colored background can add interest and variety to your product images. Consider using a background color that complements your product and brand.
Show Products in Sets: Showcase your products in sets to help your customers see how they can be used together. This can also help increase the average order value by encouraging customers to purchase multiple products.
Create Custom Backgrounds: Use unique and custom backgrounds to make your products stand out. This can include using textured fabrics, patterned papers, or even incorporating real-life elements into your product photography.
Types of Product Photography
Product photography is an essential aspect of marketing for businesses that sell products online or in print. Businesses can use several types of product photography to showcase their products and attract customers. Here are some of the most common types of product photography:
Standard Product Photography: This is the most common type of product photography, and it involves taking straightforward, on-white images of a product. This type of photography typically focuses on showcasing the product clearly and straightforwardly.
Lifestyle Product Photography: Lifestyle product photography involves showcasing a product in use, often in a real-life scenario. This type of photography is particularly useful for products meant to be used in a specific context, such as clothing, home decor, or fitness equipment.
360-Degree Product Photography: 360-degree product photography involves taking a series of product images from all angles and stitching them together to create a 360-degree view of the product. This type of photography is useful for customers who want to see every angle of a product before making a purchase.
Infographic Product Photography: Infographic product photography involves using visual elements, such as charts, graphs, and diagrams, to showcase the features and benefits of a product. This type of photography is particularly useful for technical or complex products, such as electronics or software.
Creative Product Photography: Creative product photography involves using unique and visually interesting elements to showcase a product. This can include using props, unique lighting, or custom backgrounds to make the product stand out.
Flat-Lay Product Photography: Flat-lay product photography involves taking images of products from an overhead angle arranged on a flat surface. This type of photography is particularly useful for smaller products or products with a lot of detail.
Types of Lighting for Product Photography
You already know that lighting is crucial in product photography, as it helps keep the product focused and capture every minute of physical attributes. So let’s talk about the different types of lighting you can use.
Natural Light: Natural light is free and readily available, and it can create a soft and natural look for product photography. This type of lighting is especially useful for products meant to be used outdoors, such as camping gear or clothing.
Continuous Light: Continuous lighting involves using a constant light source, such as a lightbox or softbox, to illuminate the product. This type of lighting is useful for creating a consistent and even lighting set-up, which can help to showcase the product's features and details.
Strobe Lighting: Strobe lighting involves using a flash to create a burst of light that illuminates the product. This type of lighting is useful for freezing motion and creating sharp, high-contrast images.
Ring Light: A ring light is a circular light that fits around the camera lens, providing even and shadow-free lighting for the product. This type of lighting is useful for highlighting details and textures on the product, such as jewelry or makeup.
Light Tent: A light tent is a collapsible tent that diffuses light and provides a neutral, shadow-free background for the product. This type of lighting is useful for creating a consistent and professional look for product photography, especially for small items like jewelry or electronics.
Different Types of Camera Angles for Product Photography
This is the most common angle used in product photography, as it shows the product head-on, emphasizing its shape, form, and features.
Bird's Eye View
This angle is taken directly above the product and is useful for showing the product in context, such as in a kitchen or on a desk.
Worm's Eye View
This angle is taken from below the product and is useful for emphasizing the product's height and size, especially for tall or vertical products like lamps or bookshelves.
This angle is taken from a 45-degree angle above the product and is useful for creating depth and dimension and showing the product's features and textures.
This angle is taken from the side of the product and is useful for showcasing the product's features and creating a sense of depth and dimension.
This angle highlights the product's details and textures and is useful for products like jewelry, makeup, or electronics.
This angle shows the product in a natural or real-life setting, such as a person using the product or the product in its intended environment.
Different Types of Lighting Angles for Product Photography
This is the most common lighting angle used in product photography, where the light source is positioned directly in front of the product. This creates a bright, evenly-lit image and is ideal for showing the product's form and color.
This lighting angle comes from the side of the product, creating a sense of depth and dimension by highlighting the product's textures and details. This is especially useful for products with interesting textures or surfaces, such as fabrics, jewelry, or food.
The backlighting angle comes from behind the product, creating a halo effect around the edges of the product and creating a sense of depth and dimension. This can be used to highlight the product's shape or outline and create a dramatic effect.
This lighting angle comes from above the product, creating flat, even lighting that can help to showcase the product's form and shape. This is often used for products with flat surfaces or products that are viewed from above, such as tabletop items.
This angle comes from below the product, creating a dramatic effect that highlights the product's textures and details. This is often used for products with transparent or reflective surfaces, such as glassware or jewelry.
Different lighting angles can be combined to create a unique look and feel for the product. For example, front and side lighting can be combined to create a sense of depth and texture, or backlighting and top lighting can be combined to create a halo effect that highlights the product's outline.
How to Choose the Best Editing Software for Product Photography?
Choosing the best editing software for product photography can be daunting, as many options are available on the market. Know these factors before getting one.
Choose software with an easy-to-use interface that you are comfortable with. The software should allow for easy navigation, editing, and exporting of images.
Look for software with features that meet your specific needs, such as color correction, cropping, and resizing. Consider the level of complexity of the features and whether they are user-friendly or require extensive knowledge of photo editing.
Choose software compatible with your operating system, camera, and file format. Next, check the compatibility of the software with the camera you are using to ensure that it supports the camera's raw files.
Consider the cost of the software and whether it offers good value for money. For example, some software may have a one-time purchase fee, while others may require a monthly subscription.
Consider the final output quality of the edited image. Again, look for software that provides a high-quality output that meets your needs.
Look for software that offers good customer support, such as online tutorials, user guides, or a customer service hotline.
Why is Product Photography Important?
High-quality product photography can help attract and retain customers by showcasing products in the best possible light. In addition, when customers are considering purchasing a product, they often rely on the product images to make their decision.
Builds Brand Image
Product photography is an important part of branding, as it helps create a consistent and recognizable image for the brand. By using consistent product photography, businesses can create a professional and polished image for their brand.
Effective product photography can help increase sales by making products look more attractive and appealing to customers. In addition, high-quality images can help customers better understand the features and benefits of a product and make an informed purchasing decision.
Provides Product Information
Product photography can help give customers detailed information about a product, such as its size, color, texture, and other features. This can help customers make a more informed purchasing decision and reduce the likelihood of returns.
High-quality product photography can help build customer trust by showcasing the quality and value of the products sold. This can lead to repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth advertising.
Expert Tips for Product Photography
Invest in Quality Equipment
To capture high-quality product images, it is important to invest in quality equipment such as a DSLR camera, lenses, lighting, and a tripod. The investment in good equipment will pay off in the quality of the final images.
Use Consistent Lighting
Consistent lighting is essential in product photography to ensure that all the products are photographed in the same light and that the images are consistent across the product line. Therefore, choosing the right type of lighting for the product is essential, and keeping the lighting consistent throughout the shoot is essential.
Choose the Right Background
The background is an important element in product photography, and it's important to choose the right background that highlights the product and doesn't distract from it. A white background is popular for product photography, creating a clean and minimalist look.
Show the Product in Context
Showing the product in context can help customers better understand how it is used and what it looks like in a real-life setting. For example, if you're photographing a piece of furniture, you could show it in a room set to help customers visualize how it would look in their home.
Showcase Product Details
To help customers understand the product's features and benefits, it's important to showcase the product details in the images. This includes close-ups of the product and images that show the product from different angles.
Use Editing Software
Editing software can enhance the final images and make small adjustments such as color correction, contrast, and brightness. However, be careful not to over-edit, as it can make the images look unnatural.
Consistency is important in product photography so that all of the products in the line look like they belong together. Be consistent in lighting, background, and image quality, to create a professional and cohesive look for the product line.
Role of Competitors in Product Photography
Competitor brands can play a significant role in product photography. They can help businesses understand what is working in the market and what strategies they can adopt to stand out. Here’s what you need to know:
Competitor brands provide a benchmark for comparison, helping businesses to understand how their products compare to others in the market. By analyzing competitor product photography, businesses can identify the features and elements that resonate with customers and how they can improve their product images.
Competitor brands can also inspire product photography ideas and techniques. By studying the images of successful brands, businesses can gain insight into creative approaches to product photography, such as different camera angles or lighting set-ups.
By understanding how their products compare to their competitors, businesses can work to differentiate themselves through their product photography. This might involve highlighting unique features or benefits or experimenting with different visual styles to stand out in a crowded market.
By studying the product photography of competitor brands, businesses can also gain insight into how their competitors present their brand identity through their images. This can help businesses develop their unique brand identity through product photography, ensuring that their images are consistent with their overall brand messaging.
The Final Words
So, that’s all about how to do product photography. Product photography is critical for businesses looking to attract and retain customers in today's highly visual and competitive marketplace. Businesses can increase engagement, build brand recognition, and ultimately drive sales by creating compelling, high-quality images that showcase their products in the best possible light.
To create effective product photography, businesses must consider various factors, including camera angles, lighting, backgrounds, and props. They also need to pay close attention to the details of their products, highlighting key features and benefits in a visually appealing way.
In addition, businesses need to be mindful of the competitive landscape, studying the product photography of their competitors to gain insights and inspiration for their images. By differentiating themselves through product photography, businesses can create a unique brand identity that helps them stand out in a crowded market.
Overall, product photography is a crucial tool for businesses looking to tell their brand story and connect with customers visually and visually. By investing in high-quality product photography, businesses can improve their online presence, boost customer engagement, and drive sales and growth.
1. How do I start product photography?
If you're interested in starting product photography, here are some steps you can follow to get started:
Get the right equipment: To start with product photography, you'll need a camera, lens, tripod, and lighting equipment.
Choose a shooting space: You'll need a space to shoot your products, ideally with plenty of natural light. You can use a home studio or set up a shooting space in a room with a large window.
Study product photography techniques: Start by studying different techniques, such as lighting, composition, and styling.
Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice, the better your product photography will become. Set up mock product shoots and experiment with different lighting setups, camera angles, and styling techniques.
Edit your photos: Once you've taken them, you'll need to edit them to ensure they look their best. This can include adjusting brightness and contrast, removing blemishes or imperfections, and resizing for different applications.
Share your work: Once you've created a product photography portfolio, share your work online or through social media to build your brand and attract new clients.
2. What do I need for basic product photography?
To get started with basic product photography, you'll need the following equipment:
Camera: A camera with manual controls will allow you to adjust the settings to suit the specific lighting and product you're shooting. A DSLR or mirrorless camera is ideal, but even a smartphone camera can work for basic product photography.
Lens: A lens with a focal length of around 50mm is ideal for product photography, as it provides a natural perspective and minimal distortion. However, you can use other lenses depending on the look you're going for.
Tripod: A tripod will help keep your camera steady and keep your shots focused.
Lighting: Lighting is crucial for product photography, and a simple set-up can consist of a softbox or umbrella to diffuse the light and a light stand to hold it in place.
Background: A plain, neutral background, such as a white or gray backdrop, will help your products stand out and eliminate distractions.
Styling tools: Basic styling tools like tape, pins, and stands can help you effectively position and showcase your products.
3. What is the best setup for product photography?
The best set-up for product photography will depend on your specific needs and budget. However, here are some general guidelines to follow:
Camera: Use a camera with manual controls that adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. A DSLR or mirrorless camera is ideal.
Lens: A lens with a focal length of around 50mm is a good choice for product photography, as it provides a natural perspective and minimal distortion.
Tripod: Use a sturdy tripod to keep your camera steady and ensure sharp, in-focus shots.
Lighting: Lighting is one of the most important elements of product photography. You can use natural and artificial light, such as softboxes or strobes, to create the desired effect. In addition, use a diffuser or reflector to soften the light and reduce harsh shadows.
Background: Choose a clean, simple background that doesn't distract from the product. A white or neutral-colored backdrop works well for most products, but you can also use textured or colored backgrounds if they suit your product.
Props: Use props and styling tools to help position and showcase your products effectively. This can include stands, tape, pins, and other items to hold the product in place.
Editing software: Use editing software to adjust brightness, contrast, and color balance and remove any imperfections or distractions from the image.
4. How do I take professional photos of my product?
Plan the shoot: Start by planning the shoot and considering factors like the product, the desired outcome, and the style of photography you want. Then, make sure you have all the equipment and props you need.
Set up the scene: Set up a shooting space with a clean, neutral background and good lighting. Use props and styling tools to position the product in the best way possible.
Adjust the camera settings: Use manual controls to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to capture the best image possible. Make sure the camera is level and steady on a tripod.
Take test shots: Take some test shots to ensure optimal lighting, camera settings, and product placement.
Edit the images: Edit the images in post-processing software to adjust the brightness, contrast, and color balance and to remove any imperfections or distractions.
Consider the product's end use: Consider the end use of the product images when taking the photos. For example, if the images are for e-commerce, ensure that the product is shown from all angles and with close-up details. If the images are for advertising, use creative styling and lighting to showcase the product visually appealingly.
Consistency: To maintain a consistent look and feel across all product images, consider creating a style guide that includes guidelines for lighting, backgrounds, and product placement.