Photography Tips And Tricks For Beginners

By | 15/10/2022

If a picture show is worth a thousand words, a stunning product motion-picture show is worth a 1000 website visits. Although I don’t have data to back up that statement (yet), product photography tin can be extremely valuable to your ecommerce website strategy.

product photography: woman practicing product photography

To reach your target audience members whoprefer buying online, you lot also need to requite your audience articulate, eye-catching photos of your products.

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But production photography isn’t as uncomplicated as pointing and shooting. Even the virtually basic products need the right equipment, lighting, and space to produce beautiful images that sell shoppers right from the buy folio.

6 Production Photography Tips (and Examples) for Taking Pictures That Sell

Here are the tips, examples, and supplies you’ll need to effectively photograph and market your products in a way that makes your visitors and prospects desire to convert.

1. Don’t be afraid to apply your smartphone’south camera.

This is the part where I’chiliad supposed to convince you to invest in a high-end, 50-megapixel (MP) camera with a 100-millimeter spiral-on lens. Merely I’thou not going to practice that.

If y’all already own a camera that fits this description, take advantage of information technology. But for many types of products, it’due south completely acceptable to shoot product photos on a smartphone.

Newer smartphones boast powerful camera lenses and settings that let you to optimize your shots for the unlike types of light and environments y’all might shoot in.

If you need more than convincing, but check out Apple’s Shot On An iPhone campaignand the photos that take resulted from it over the years such as this one:

product photography tip: use a smartphone like the iphone


2. Shoot from a tripod for photo consistency.

Earlier explaining tripods, I’1000 obligated to start with a primal rule: Don’t prop your telephone against something sturdy to aim your lens toward the bailiwick.

It’s just also easy for this makeshift setup to slide effectually during the shoot and cause inconsistencies in your photos’ appearance. If yous residual your camera on, say, a stack of books, just be sure this system doesn’t alter over the grade of the shoot.

In that location’due south no harm in holding your camera yourself when shooting just a few product photos for your ecommerce website. Just equally your business grows, and you lot take more photos of more than products, it can exist hard to standardize the production’s orientation in each photo when shooting handheld.

To ensure consistency across your products, you’ll need a tripod. And luckily, buying one isn’t always the big, industrial-sized investment it used to exist.

Here are two types of tripods to consider.

Traditional vs. Flexible

This is a tradition tripod — there are traditional tripods available for both cameras and smartphones.

product photography tip: use a traditional or flexible tripod when shooting your products


A flexible tripod tin can be manipulated in a number of means. Yous can bend its legs and place it on unlike surfaces to get the angle y’all need.

product photography tip: use a traditional or flexible tripod when shooting your products


Mobile Grip

There’south ofttimes a screw on the acme of your tripod which attaches to your camera to agree information technology in place. The underside of nigh professional person-grade cameras has a spiral pigsty merely for this purpose, but smartphones can use the following adapter:

Mobile grip to attach smartphone to tripod stand


The adapter grips the sides of your smartphone and tin can screw into either type of tripod, allowing you lot to operate the camera controls with the phone screen facing outward and toward yous.

Once you determine which mount you’ll need, set it up in front of your product, and consider putting three pieces of tape on the ground to mark where you’d like to proceed each leg of your tripod over the form of the shoot.

iii. Choose natural light or artificial low-cal.

Never underestimate how sure types of light can ameliorate (or hinder) your product photography. Call back, buyers get the best wait at an particular in person, where they tin can come across everything they demand to earlier purchasing. The right lighting organization helps you reveal those disquisitional controlling product features when all website visitors have to become on is a photo.

A unmarried lighting setup might non work for every production — a lighting arrangement that works for some products might weaken the advent of others.

In that location are two types of lite you lot can choose equally your principal light source: natural and artificial light.

Natural Low-cal

Natural lite refers to sunlight — simple as that. It’s also known equally “soft light” considering the sun casts a larger, softer range of light than, say, a lamp shining directly on the product. Ecommerce product shots thrive in natural light if:

  • The production is shot outside or meant to be used outside.
  • The product is used by, worn on, or shot with a person (people tend to look better in natural light).
  • You’re trying to emphasize the production’south environs, rather than specific attributes of the product.

Here’s an case of a shot using natural light:

product photography tip: use natural light


Bogus Light

Artificial light includes candles, fire, and more ordinarily, light bulbs. It’s as well referred to as “hard lite” because it produces a smaller simply more focused light surface. This blazon of low-cal caters to products with physical details that need to be highlighted to impress an online shopper.

Here’s an case of artificial light being utilize to shoot:

product photography tip: use artificial light


Every bit a full general rule, stick to just one blazon of lite per photo — natural or artificial. Calculation natural light to an
artificially lit
photo can soften a product that’south meant to look sharp, and adding artificial light to a
naturally lit
photo can acuminate a product that’s meant to look soft. You don’t want to get in your own manner.

4. Fill or bounce your light to soften shadows.

Whether you apply natural light or artificial light, y’all’ll need to lessen the shadows that any potential hard light casts on the opposite end of a product.

There are three ways to do this:

Fill Light

Include another, less-intense light source to supplement your principal light. This boosted light is called your fill up lite and is used as a weigh to soften the natural shadow your main light produces behind an object.

To do this, place your fill light opposite your main light so your product sits between both light sources.

Flashbulb Bounciness Card

A bounce card, or reflector card, is a small card that “reflects” or “bounces” the primary light back onto the surface beneath your product to reduce shadows.

Some bounce cards attach to the flashbulb of a professional person camera lens to lengthened the light from the camera’southward wink. This card splashes a softer lite onto the bailiwick from in a higher place your set — rather than straight at information technology — then you don’t have long shadows trail behind the object you’re shooting.

See ii versions of this particular below — both white (left) and foil (right) screens can diffuse the wink.

product photography tip: using a flashbulb bounce card


Standalone Bounciness Carte

If you lot’re shooting from a smartphone, a flashbulb bounce menu isn’t an option, since yous don’t have a physical flash you can adhere it to. Instead, make your own standalone bounce menu positioned contrary your principal low-cal source.

For beginners to production photography, this bounce card can effectively supercede your fill light, which counters the hard light from the photographic camera wink or lamp that’s facing toward the front end of your product.

product photography tip: use a standalone bounce card


5. Use a sweep or portrait mode to emphasize the product.

There isn’t 1 correct way to position your production, lights, and bounce cards – they can alter dramatically depending on your background. But don’t choose a background based on what’s easiest to create. Backgrounds should resemble how you want your buyers to perceive your product when viewing it online.

Consider commencement whether y’all’d like a white groundwork or a more dynamic, real-earth background. There’s an easy way to achieve each one.

White Groundwork: Sweep

For white backgrounds, it’due south not every bit elementary as setting up a tabular array confronting white drywall. Even smartphone cameras can pick up niggling blemishes on a white wall that you lot wouldn’t notice with the naked center. To capture a perfect white groundwork with no corners or blemishes, utilise a sweep.

product photography tip: importance of using a sweep in photography


A sweep is a large bendable sheet of paper, whose bottom acts equally the surface beneath your product and then curves up into a white wall behind the production.

On camera, the sweep’southward curve is invisible, emphasizing key production details and allowing the item to ain all of a website visitor’s attending.

Here’s a side-past-side comparison showing why a sweep matters:

product photography tip: importance of using a sweep in photography

Real-Earth Groundwork: Portrait Style

Dynamic, existent-world backgrounds are very highly-seasoned when shooting products that have a specific utilize or are beingness modeled by a person — as y’all saw in the picture of the briefcase earlier in this guide.

But, information technology’south easy for a real-world background to steal the focus of the photo, making it unclear which item in the photo you’re really selling.

Give your product depth and emphasis with portrait mode, a picture setting on most professional cameras, and likewise available on many new smartphones. This setting blurs the background so the context of the product is articulate only not competing against the product itself.

Below is a super awesome photograph of a HubSpot pen taken in portrait mode on a Google Pixel ii (I took this movie myself). Yous can tell the pen sits on a desk with a estimator behind information technology, only the pen is withal the focal point for viewers:

product photography tip: use portrait mode when photographing products

“It’southward such an incredible photo, Braden. I totally desire my ain HubSpot pen now.” Become one hither!

6. Shoot a multifariousness of images.

My last ecommerce photography tip to yous is to not finish at one photo per product. Simply as your customers expect, concord, employ, and even endeavor on merchandise in a shop, your website should shoot a diversity of images to simulate this very experience.

If you’re shooting clothing, for instance, capture the garment of clothing alone — that is, spread out on a white surface — as well as on a mannequin whose color contrasts the color of the product.

And so, for additional photos, have the clothing modeled on a person, assuasive you to take pictures of the product from the person’southward different poses and angles.

Screen Shot 2021-07-16 at 1.51.11 PM


Product Photography Fix-Up

Side by side, let’s summarize what we merely received — here’s a list of quick production photography ready-up tips that you can refer to and share on your team:

  1. Decide on a camera — whether or not that ways using your smartphone.
  2. Go a tripod that works for your photographic camera of choice.
  3. Choose natural or bogus lighting — think about which option is best for your product and environment.
  4. Decide whether you’ll fill or bounciness light.
  5. Select sweep or portrait mode.
  6. Take several different images to offer your viewers variety.

Get Started With Your Product Photography

Don’t feel obligated to invest in every tip and piece of equipment at once. Apply these product photography tips gradually to see what makes your shop look the about presentable, and alter your approach as your photography chops get better.

Editor’south note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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