How to Take Product Photos

A watch and and a camera setup for a photoshoot.

How to Take Product Photos

This post covers many issues to consider when taking product photos for your small business. You’ll find an overview followed by a unique collection of handpicked resources that go into the fine details.

Lets’ get started!

Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro?

If you have an e-commerce site where you feature thousands of products, it’s worth your while developing your skills.

If you only have a few photos to take, you have the option of hiring a professional. It may cost you a few hundred dollars, but if you’re very busy and don’t have the time to learn, this may be a better option for you.

Define Photo Style

It’s important to consider and define a style for the photos you’ll be taking.

Some of the considerations include:

  • Photo size
  • Background type
  • Single angle or multiple angle photos
  • Color or black-and-white
  • Image resolution

I think it’s important, especially when using your product photos for an e-commerce site, to keep them similar in style and size.

Will Your Photos Tell a Story?

You may be wondering what I mean by having your photo tell a story.

For example, if you’re selling shoes, you may want to have a model wearing those shoes while out for a night on the town, implying your shoes are the ones you want when getting dressed up for a night out.

Another example is instead of just showing a bottle of cologne. You place a dark background of a man standing in front of an expensive vehicle. The additional image implies that men with expensive tastes use this cologne.

Light, Light and More Light

To get good photos, it’s all about light. The origin of the word ‘photo’ comes from the Greek word for light.

The origin of the word Photography, “writing in light.” comes from a combination of Greek words photo (light) and graphein “scratch,” “carve,” or “write.” Understanding the essence of the word photograph confirms to get a great photo, you need to consider the light!

Natural Light Versus Artificial Light: Which is Better?

Even though the camera was designed for natural light, the world of photography has come a long way. Many advancements allow you to manipulate the light.

Let’s go over a few distinctions.

  • Natural light reduces the need for reflectors and diffusers. It’s also easier for the novice photographer.
  • Natural light is unreliable. Sometimes you’ll have bright sunny days, while other times you have cloudy, rainy weather with less light.
  • Using natural light limits how much time you have to take your photos. What do you do before sunrise or after sunset? Also, taking a photo at high noon differs from the lighting for a sunset shot.
  • Artificial light Allows control of the ambiance by using different types of bulbs.
  • Artificial light allows you to work anytime, and you don’t need to be worried about weather conditions.


You don’t want shadows in the images of your products. You can eliminate them using a reflector. You can use a white box, a piece of bristle board, or purchase a reflector and place it on the side of the product with the shadow, reflecting the light and eliminating the shadow.

Another issue you can come across is uneven lighting on the product. You can reduce the intensity of the light using a diffuser, which will allow your product to show a consistent pattern and a natural look.

Below is a video that looks at the simple methods you can use to eliminate shadows and improve dark and overexposed areas using homemade products

Play With Your Space

Consider where you’ll be taking your photos. For example, will you be taking them outside? Do you have a specific area or room, or will you need to set up your own studio?

You don’t want to work in a very tight area. It’ll be difficult to get the shot you need. A 10×10 foot room or similar is all you’ll need to create a studio suitable for product shoots. Naturally, this won’t work for larger products. For example, if you deal with motorcycles or vehicles or anything large, then you’ll need to take your photo shoots in the garage setting or outdoors.

Photo Studio Considerations:

The section will go over some tips and considerations for setting up your photo studio.

Rent or Build a Studio:

One consideration before getting started is, having a limited number of photos to shoot. You can consider renting out a studio for a few hours. Renting a studio will save you space, time, and money it’ll cost you to set up your own.

Fixed Location or a Portable Studio:

Depending on your needs, you may need a portable studio or create one in your home or workplace. A portable studio is used when a photographer takes photos for events such as school photos. An example of product shoots that may require a portable studio is to feature new products at event shows for reviews.

Some of the things you want to set up in your studio include lights, light modifiers, reflectors, diffusers, nightstands, backgrounds, step ladders, fans, a tripod, clamps, and in some cases, a coffee table, stool, etc.

The lighting in your space is important, especially if you want to take your photos using natural lighting from a window.

Make sure you have enough power bars so you can discreetly plug in the lights and fans.

You can also add shelving away from the photoshoot area to keep your studio neat and tidy.

Create a Bright Background

The best background will depend on your taste.

Taking photos for an e-commerce site will display many products on the same page; therefore, keeping your photos at a similar size and style is important.

When you use a background for your product photos, the background should complement the photo and not be the main focus.

You can use a certain color or use a white background for your products. Try a variation and see what they look like when displayed on your site. A trial will save you a lot of time and effort and allow you to define an appropriate style.

If you’re planning on using an image in the background, you may want to shoot your photos using a green screen. When photos are taken using a green screen, it’s easy to cut out the background and replace it with a new image.

Using a program like Photoshop allows you to select the green color easily. In a few seconds, you can cut and paste your product into the image that contains a background.

If you try that using a white background, it will be difficult to select your product, and that’s why the green screen is useful.

Camera Considerations

Depending on your needs, you may need to purchase professional equipment. If you only have a few photos to take and you have a decent phone, the camera in your phone will do the trick.

If your business is similar to an e-commerce site featuring thousands of photos, you may want to consider purchasing a professional DSLR camera.

Professional cameras allow you to make adjustments and control the outcome of your photos without the need to edit the photo later using an app or photoshop.

If you’re considering a professional camera, you may want to consider the following features to be included:

Screen Display:

A large screen allows you to get an idea of what your shoot will look like before you snap the photo.


A larger light sensor will allow you to capture better photos in low lights.

Interchangeable Lenses:

The lens you use to take photos will make a big difference in the outcome. I had a camera that came with a factory lens, and the outcome was less than impressive. Changing the lens made a big difference. You will want a camera that will allow you to change lenses.

Autofocus Feature:

Having an autofocus option will help you avoid those shots that are out of focus.

Low Noise Processor:

With a low noise processor, you can reduce the noise when taking photos in low light and allow you to take photos with less lighting.

Raw Capture:

The raw capture option allows you to take photos intended to be edited using software like photoshop.


If you’re purchasing a new camera, you may want to consider getting one that allows you to transfer the images through WiFi and or Bluetooth.


In the sections below, you’ll find a collection of handpicked resources created by various authors to give you an overall understanding of taking product photos.

Note there is a lot of information to go through from one session. Keep in mind you can always come back to use the resources anytime.

Tips for Taking Product Photos

5 Must-Follow Product Photography Tips (Less Than $50)

Product Photography: DIY Guide for People on a Budget! (2021)

The Beginner’s Guide to Product Photography [Tutorial + Examples]

How to Take Quality Product Photos With Your Smartphone

How to Take Perfect Product Photos With Your Smartphone (2021)

How to Use your Smartphone to Capture High-Quality Product Images

How to Take Quality Product Photos With Your Smartphone | Volusion

Photo Editing Software Reviews

The Best Photo Editing Software | PCMag

Best Photo Editing Software: Compare Reviews on 100+ | G2

The best photo editing software | Digital Camera World

Lighting Techniques for Taking Product Photos

Best Tips for Perfect Photography Lighting Setup

Lighting Guide: A Secret Technique to Produce Stunning Visuals – Ecommerce Platforms

Top Digital Cameras for Shooting Product Photos

10 Best Cameras 

The Best Cameras (Top 10 Picks Compared)

Best cameras | Clipping World


The Ultimate Guide to Photography – PHLEARN

The Ultimate Tutorial on Photography | Fstoppers

The Ultimate Guide to Photography (89 Best Tips!)

Best Product Photos

15 Examples To Spark Your Creativity

19 eCommerce Stores with Great – Pixc

15 Great Photography Ideas To Help You Sell More

How To Take Product Photos for a Website

How to Take Product Photos for Your Online Store [6 Expert Tips] – HostGator Blog

16 Simple Photo Tips to Get More Money When Selling Your Things

How to Take Beautiful Product Photos for Your E-Commerce Website

Photography Tools

14 Photography Tools and Resources | Practical Ecommerce

DIY Photography: 40 Tools and Resources for Beautiful Photos

12 Clever Tools and Tips For DIY Photography

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