5 Product Photography Tips to Make Your Products Stand Out

As a small business owner you’re expected to come up with the business concept, develop the product, and sell the product. Product photography can be an activity you rush to get it in front of buyers. But, when selling online, photography is the most crucial element. A photograph is what your buyers rely on to make a purchase. They can’t pick up your product. They can’t touch it. They can’t try it on. The only way to connect with the buyer is through product photography.

So, when you’re selecting photos for your work, ask yourself: Would I click on this product?

If you (as the shop owner) hesitate even slightly to click on a product image, what do you think the average buyer is going to do?

We want to help you get fabulous photos, so we collected some key product photography tips with details and examples below:

  1. Inspiring the Buyer is Your Goal
  2. Backgrounds Shouldn’t Be Distracting
  3. Natural Light – the Best Light
  4. Take an Assortment of Photos
  5. Pick the Best Representative Shot

Have a tip to add? Feel free to share!


1. Inspiring the Buyer is Your Goal 

Your product photography should inspire the buyer. You want a buyer to say “I would look awesome in that dress” or “This artwork will fit perfectly on my wall”. Your job as a small business owner is to make your buyer covet your product and leave them endlessly thinking about it.

Home Décor Example: This is a great example of inspiration from Katy Skelton. Her product photography places her products in a way where you can imagine yourself in that situation. It’s an inspiring photograph that showcases both functionality and features.

Katy Skelton Product Photography Example


Clothing Example: This guy is cool. He’s got tats. He’s relaxed. Most importantly he’s showing off the Indiana Home tee from United State of Indiana in a way that allows me to see the product detail, how the shirt fits an actual person, as well as inspires me to be as relaxed as the model who is wearing it.

Indiana Home Product Photography Example


2. Backgrounds shouldn’t be Distracting

When a buyer is browsing through any e-commerce site, their eyes are drawn to products that are appealing to them. Because of that, your backgrounds should be:

Simple. Busy backgrounds = a lot of distractions for your buyer. You want to make this experience as easy as possible for a buyer so they don’t get confused or distracted and leave your product. A big misconception is that photographing on wood is always ok. It really depends on the type of wood, but to showcase the drastic difference you can read #4 in this Houzz List. Basically, it’s important to keep things as simple as possible.

Here is an example of an incredibly simple background. Once Again Sam’s Cameo Pendant – Bunny.

Once Again Sam Product Photography Example


Contrasting. If you have a dark product, like a set of dark earrings, do not photograph them on a dark wood table. Most products look good with a white or light-colored background as long as the product itself isn’t completely white.

This is a great example of contrasting backgrounds for product photography. NatureLook’s  Crystal Quartz Ring.

NatureLook Product Photography Example


DIY Your Backdrop. Many people use white foamcore for their backdrops as it has a bit of a reflection to it. But if you want a little added texture, here are some good background DIY options for you:

Earth Colored’s Painted Backdrop:

Earth Coloreds Product Photography Example


A Lens & A Latte’s Creative Backdrop:

Creative Backdrop Product Photography Example


3. Natural Light – the Best Light

Natural light truly makes a significant difference in your product photography. Overhead lighting can turn your product a yellow-ish color and diminish the detail. Images taken in the dark with a camera flash can lend to fuzzy shots with dampened and dull colors and is anything but flattering.

This is when using that foamcore board can be helpful to reflect the natural light so it hits all sides of your product and really brings out the best characteristics.

Here is an example of how to get that natural light look easily – Lauren Elise Crafted.

Natural Light Product Photography Example


4. Take an Assortment of Photos

Take a lot of photos. Like, a lot. Take detail shots of your products. Take pictures from far away. Get a full array of photos so you have a variety of angels, detail and inspiration to draw from.

When selecting your pictures, think to yourself “if I were buying this product, what would I want to see before I purchase it?” For example, if you’re selling a coffee table your product images should include photographs from each side (including the top). Don’t forget to include detail shots showcasing the character of the piece. Another example is if you’re selling a bag or purse. Be sure to include images of what the product looks like on the inside as well as any compartments within it.


5. Pick the Best Representative Shot

Put your best foot forward by picking the photo that best represents your product as the leading image. A leading image that showcases your product’s detail is confusing to the buyer since they do not know what the product looks like.

Let’s take the coffee table example from tip #4. Your leading image should be a picture of the coffee table from the front. The next images should be of each side followed by the character at the end.

I hope this guide helps you not only to take awesome pictures but also increase your sales as an outcome of your extra work. Do you have any tips that you use on a regular basis?

– Erica

Co-Founder and President, aftcra