Most of us think of great photography as an incredible landscape or a breathtaking portrait, but there’s more to it than just that, especially in the commercial world! As a professional photographer, there are a ton of ways to make a living, and if you know what you’re doing, the product photography field can be incredibly lucrative! It’s been in especially high demand since the emergence of Internet marketing and social media influencers. To get you started, we’ll show you some basic product photography tips that will help make the products you photograph seem irresistible to prospective customers.

The competition in today’s global market is high, and a brand absolutely needs to stand out from the crowd in order to succeed. This is why having a good marketing strategy is important, and that includes incredible images of their entire product line. With the help of an experienced professional, businesses can create images that attract people’s attention and hopefully influence them to purchase the products being sold.

This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated by SLR Lounge staff for 2022.

Product Photography Tips on Quality – Light Properly and Use the Best Gear You Have

product photography backdrops lighting gear
Photo courtesy of V-Flat World

The first and most important thing is to always take high-quality images of your product. We’d recommended you do some training to learn the skills and gear needed, ideally by taking a Photography Course. Once you’ve picked up the basics and have your gear sorted out like how to avoid pixelated and blurry images, it’s time to start creating large and high-resolution photos that drive better traffic to your website. Some of the things you’ll want to focus on include the following:

  • Off Camera Flash
  • Depth of Field
  • Composition Theory
  • Color Theory

Product Photography Tips on Using Multiple Angles and Accuracy – Apply Storytelling to Your Product Photos

Storytelling applies to product photography too!  You should always provide customers with multiple angles of your product. Whether you sell bags, cell phone cases, or shoes, remember your clients can’t pick it up to inspect it through the internet, but they still would like to know what they’re buying. That’s why the photos you take should be diverse and captured from different angles so that they present the product as accurately as possible, with all the details. For that purpose, it’s good to include detailed zooms, as well as provide all possible style options and colours of the presented product.

Always show textures and materials used in the featured product. Before taking a photo, prepare these materials as thoroughly as possible to eliminate any flaws. For example, remove any wrinkles in clothing or dust & smudges on jewelry. The customer and clients’ sharp eyes will notice any imperfection. If your photo doesn’t accurately depict the product, it may result in poor reviews from dissatisfied customers. Nobody wants that. On the other hand, accurate, high-quality photos taken from multiple angles will help build trust and brand loyalty. Everybody wants that, especially your clients.

Backgrounds – Keep it Simple!

Many people wonder what kind of background they should use for product photography. More often than not, you’ll want to keep your backdrops as simple and clean as possible. Remember, your photos should focus on selling the product, not its surroundings. For sites like Amazon, for example, a clean white background typically works the best (and is actually required for the main image). Simple, light colored backdrops work especially well when selling colored products. The contrast between the light background and the colorful product encourages viewers to focus on the product and will hopefully leave a positive impression.

Photo Courtesy of V-Flat World

On some occasions, you may want to add relevant props and used textured backdrops to give the photos a more natural feel. For instance, when photographing food for a recipe or menu, consider placing ingredients or side dishes around the main dish. With practice, you can learn how to choose and use the best product photography backdrops to enhance your product photos.

Show Products in Use When Possible

Furthermore, to encourage people to view and acquire your product, consider presenting it in daily use. In other words, in addition to the “studio” based product shots, also include some “lifestyle” and/or catalogue type images shot with happy and energetic people wearing/using the products or wearing the clothes. Clients need context to understand better their needs. Except for displaying your goods on a plain background, you can arrange them in a real environment, similar to furniture in IKEA, which is placed in fully-furnished rooms. That helps people envision the product in their lives and see how they’ll use it. It’s important to show them that the things you sell can significantly change and enrich their lives.

DJC Product Photo Lifestyle Image
Product Photography – Handbag Lifestyle Shot
DJC Jewelery Product Photo
Product Photography – Jewelry Lifestyle Shot

Product Photography Tips: Add Images to Site Search

Once you have the photos of your products, make sure that they show up in your site search. This can be painstaking to get setup, but it can considerably boost your website traffic. People are more willing to click on the auto-filled images instead of typing the rest of their search entries. Thanks to such pictures, customers can faster find what they’re looking for. If this photo is eye-catching enough, they will click on it even if it wasn’t the thing they were initially searching for. Remember that photos attract people’s attention faster and easier than the written word.

More Product Photography Tips: Use Images in Content Marketing

In addition to using the photos in product descriptions, don’t forget to include them in your content marketing. For example, if you work with sites that show related articles or reviews (from influencers or affiliates), use these photos! Photos give readers more insight into the offered product and its qualities. Moreover, a great image stays longer in our memory. We only remember about 10% of heard information three days later, whereas we retain about 65% of the information when correlated with a photo. That’s why good product photography is so essential in your overall marketing!

Product Photography SLR Lounge 1

Final Thoughts

Presenting a product online in photos may be as challenging as describing them with words. To follow best practices, brands should hire professional photographers to create stunning images of their product(s). These images should showcase the product’s design and utility to inspire buyer to purchase with confidence. Capturing and editing final product images requires a bit of technical know-how, but these product photography tips will help. Keep pushing yourself to grow as a product photographer and build additional revenue streams to your business!