How To Take Product Photography That Sells [6 Best Tips]

product photography

Whether you display your product images on your website’s product pages, marketplaces like Amazon, and eBay, or social commerce channels like Facebook Shops or Instagram Shoppings, your product photography has to be flawless if you want to convince potential customers to make a purchase.

That’s why today Nesso will give you a complete guideline on how to take product photography that sells!

6 must-have product photography tools

First thing first, before we discover the best tips and hacks to level up your product photography game, let’s gather all the necessary tools you may need first!

1. Good camera

To take the best product photography, you need a good camera, that’s not rocket science! Though a DSLR camera would be nice, if you don’t have to do photoshoots frequently or are currently on a tight budget, a smartphone camera is completely fine. Remember that your images’ quality depends on so many other factors!

2. A clean and steady surface

To better set up your products for a photoshoot, perhaps you might need a stable and large enough surface to put your products on. However, it doesn’t have a professional shooting table sweep, a normal table, or a chair could work as well.

3. Tripod

Your images can be blurry if you take them from your shaky hand, so a tripod is one of the must-have items if you want to achieve consistently clear and well-focused product photography. You don’t need a too expensive one because indeed, a $20-tripod is all you need.

4. Mobile grip

If you’re using a camera to take pictures, it probably already includes a screw-hole in the bottom where you can attach the camera to the top of a tripod. However, if you want to capture images with an iPhone, you’ll need a mobile grip to hold the phone in place while you screw it into your tripod.

5. Studio lighting

If your picture studio doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you should spend money on some nice studio lights, maybe two softbox light sets. These will assist in achieving the ideal effects by diffusing intense lighting and adjusting for shadows.

6. A white light bounce card 

If you’re using window lighting, your product will have a bright side where the light is hitting it and a shadow side. So we need something white to reflect the light back into the shadows and brighten them because this shadow side will often be too dark.

8 product photography tips to take the photos that sell

Now that you have all the basic tools that are required, let us guide you through today’s main course – 8 proven-effective tips to take your best product photography!

Tip 1. Have the right camera setting

Fortunately, smartphone technology has advanced significantly, so if you already own an iPhone, you’re good to go. 

However, if you’re considering purchasing a DSLR, the following camera settings are advised:

  • Set your studio lights’ Kelvin temperature as your white balance (WB) setting.
  • Depending on the type of photo you’re taking, adjust your aperture. Set your camera to a bigger aperture if you want to blur some of your product’s details. Alternately, if you prefer a sharp, focused appearance, set the aperture to a smaller value for a shallower depth of field.
  • You won’t need your flash because you already have natural or artificial light, so set it to Off.
  • Choose the largest JPG setting if your camera doesn’t have a Raw option; otherwise, put it in the highest-quality image setting. Two setting choices are frequently available:
    • Size: Select Large to get the biggest file size and the greatest image quality.
    • Quality: Select Superfine for the best image quality because it will utilize all of your camera’s available pixels.
product photography
Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments to achieve your ideal settings, be careful to record them for future setups

2. Set up the perfect background

Now that you have the right camera setting, let’s move on to the product photography setup. Noted that Your product, lighting, and bounce cards shouldn’t all be placed in the same spot because their placement can vary greatly based on your background. 

But don’t pick a background based on what’s most straightforward to make. Backgrounds should portray the impression that you want internet shoppers to have of your product.

So you can set up your background either way: plain white or real-world. 

  • Plain white background

It’s more difficult to set up a table against white drywall for white backgrounds. Even smartphone cameras are capable of capturing minute imperfections on a white wall that the human eye would miss. Use a sweep to capture a flawless white background without any corners or flaws.

A sweep is a sizable, flexible sheet of paper that bends up to form a white wall behind your object and acts as the surface behind it.

The sweep’s curvature is concealed on camera, accentuating important product characteristics and allowing the item to grab a website visitor’s whole attention.

product photography

  • Real-life setting background

When photographing items that have a particular utility or are being modeled by a person, a real-life setting background is particularly intriguing.

However, it’s simple for a background from the real world to take over the image’s focal point and overshadow the product that you’re trying to sell.

However, that’s not a big deal since most cameras and smartphones in 2022 all have the portrait mode to focus the main object you choose while blurring the background,.making your product’s context visible without detracting from it.

product photography

3. Pick the proper lighting

Don’t underestimate the importance of lighting for your product photography. The proper lighting setup enables you to highlight your products’ crucial qualities, increasing your chance to convert a website visitor into sales.

However, not all products respond well to the same lighting condition. Some work well under natural light while others can only be fully portrayed under artificial light.

Natural light

Simply put, “natural light” refers to sunlight. Because the sun throws a wider, softer range of light than, say, a lamp shining directly on the goods, it is also referred to as “soft light.” Natural light is ideal for e-commerce product photography if:

  • The product was either created for outdoor use or was shot there.
  • The person uses, wears, or uses the thing while shooting it (people tend to look better in natural light).
  • Instead of focusing on a specific feature of the product, you’re attempting to draw attention to its surroundings.
product photography
Natural light works perfectly for outdoor product photography

Artificial light

Candles, fire, and light bulbs are examples of artificial lighting. Because it creates a smaller, more focused light surface, it is also known as “hard light.” Products with physical details that need to be emphasized to wow an online customer are suitable for this light.

product photography
Artificial light is suitable for indoor product photography

4. Soften the shadows

You should always reduce the shades that any hard light casts on your product’s opposite end, whether you use natural or artificial light. There’re several ways, the simplest way to soften your product image shadows is using a white light bounce card.

Try placing the card from different angles till you achieve your perfect shot.

product photography
Soften shadows with a white light bounce to make your product photography more appealing

5. Take multiple images instead of one

Since your potential customers cannot see and hold your products virtually, your website should capture a variety of photographs to give online shoppers a more complete view of your product as if they’re shopping offline.

When photographing apparel, for instance, take pictures of the item both alone (spread out on a white surface) and on a mannequin.

Then, for more images, have the clothes worn by a model so you may photograph the item from that person’s various stances and perspectives.

product photography
Take your product photography from different angles and distances to show customers what they’ll actually get

6. Get abide by the channels you display your product photos

If you list your products on your website then as long as you choose the format WEBP or JPEG and compress your image before uploading them, you’re good to go.

However, if you want to put your products on marketplaces, make sure you follow the platform product photography specifications, or else, your product won’t even get approved for listing. 

For instance, Google suggests that product images on Google Shopping should be free of promotional text and distracting backgrounds.

Want to bring product photography to perfection?

And that’s all the tips we got for your product photography. However, no matter how good your product photography is, to make sure it’s visually exploding and eCommerce ready, Nesso’s certified product photo retouching experts are here to help!


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