If you’re an online boutique owner who struggles to take high quality pictures for your website, then you’re going to love these product photography tips.
You’ll also learn how to plan a product photoshoot for your business and, get some tips to help you better edit your pictures.
Whether you sell fashion, jewelry, skincare or small lifestyle products, I guarantee if you follow (then use) these product photography tips, you’ll level up the results you get.
But before we dive into the tips, let’s take a quick look at the most valuable metrics for your business.
- Dwell time – this is combo of “time on page” and “bounce rate”
- Click thru rate
- Users on site
- Average order value (AOV)
- Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
- Shopping Cart abandonment rate
- Increased in returning customers
These are the metrics you need to pay attention to as you launch your online boutique, and the quality of your imagery will affect these numbers
- Invest in lighting and learn how to use your equipment
The secret to all good photography is lighting. But learning how to light your products in a way that really makes the product the star of the show takes some practice.
You can quickly and easily create a low-cost set up with a couple of softboxes which will help you brighten any scene and eliminate shadows, I bought my whole photography kit on Amazon.
Another great product photography tip for shooting in natural light conditions is use a white piece of card to reflect the light or to use a diffuser.
Another way to get your lighting to pop in daylight conditions seems quite counter-intuitive, but that’s to use the built in flash.
These are some of my favourite tools for shooting at home.
- Softboxes & lightstands
- Backdrops – look for backdrops that can be easily rolled and stored away if you don’t have lots of space
- Led lights
- White foam core board
- External Flash
Pro tip: Once you have mastered a lighting setup that works well for you, if you have the space try and leave your set up in place so you can photograph new products quickly without always having to set up and test everything from scratch.
- Pay attention to composition, scale and negative space
Product photography that sells all comes down to spacial awareness.
Think about when you’re shopping online, how often are you drawn to cramped, busy pictures with bad angles? That’s what I thought.
While you’re shooting test different angles, focal lengths and lighting setups. This will help you find what works for you and will also make sure you have back up and alternative images if you need them.
Pro tip: Working with the rule of thirds allows you leave some negative space, which is great if you want to add text or other visual elements to your picture.
- Experiment with styling, accessories, props and backdrops
I like to create a basic mood board for each shoot so I have a clear visual of the general look and feel I’m trying to achieve.
One of my favourite product photography tips is to use Pinterest to create your moodboard
No list of photography tips would be complete without mentioning props. Carefully selected and placed accessories and props help add interest and varied dimensions to the image.
They can also make the image more aspirational or educational, say by adding a designer bag or high end candle, or helping your customer see how they might style it.
Pro tip: Try and batch your visual content creation by shooting straight product photography, lifestyle images, and behind the scenes shots all on the same day.
This means that not only will your images for your boutique and content for social media have better consistently, it will also save you bunch of time.
- Use a tripod to stabilize images and create a consistent height
I recommend spending a bit more on your tripod as you put up and take down your tripod frequently, so you need something that’s not going to fall apart.
One of the best product photography tips I got from a pro fashion photographer friend, was to use a tripod helps you get clear pictures with less distortion.
Also make sure that you shoot all of your images at the same distance and at the same height. This makes sure there is visual consistency across all your product images.
That said, I recently picked up this tripod and for the price I’m not mad at it at all.
Pro tip: Having a tripod means you can activate the shutter remotely when you’re not behind the camera.
This is great, as you no longer need help every time you want to shoot, which really allows you to take action on your ideas more efficiently.
- Experiment with angles, depths and visual formats
Brands have a need for different types of image assets if they want to promote across different channels.
If you sell a limited range of products your customer will easily become bored if your imagery is always the same. That’s why it helps to change up angles, depths of field.
And if you want to keep your imagery engaging an interactive, don’t forget to add formats like video.
Pro tip: If you’re shooting flatlays you’ll find a step ladder an invaluable tool. This is the step ladder I use and I find it incredibly helpful.
Product photography tips for planning your photoshoot
One of the best product photography tips I can give you is to plan ahead. Seriously, that can often be half the battle one.
If you plan and organise your shoot, then it will go smoother and your pictures will be better.
Now if you can afford professional photographer that’s never a bad idea, but considering how often brands need new content for their businesses, it definitely pays to learn how to take your own pictures.
That said, if you do go for a professional here are a few things to pay attention to:
- They have a established reputation – be mindful of working with photographers with no portfolio
- They have experience and expertise in your niche – if they’ve only shot landscapes should they really shoot your fashion campaign?
- They have and use professional gear – one lens and a built-in flash is NOT professional gear for someone selling expensive photography services
Remember, if they produce great results you’ll likely have a long-term relationship with your photographer so that you have a consistent look feel and editing style to your pictures.
Simple Editing Tips to Make Your Product Photography Pop
It’s important to be clear here, editing is bae. It’s the difference between a good picture and a great picture, but it’s also not a magician and it won’t save a total disaster of a picture.
So what things can be fixed quickly in post processing and what can’t?
- Poor exposure can be fixed by editing, but just to a certain extent
- Color grading consistency
- Skin imperfections in your model
- Wrinkles or issues with clothing – keeping a steam iron on hand is always a good idea when shooting!
If you do a lot of editing I would definitely recommend that you invest in a tablet to help speed up your process and workflow.
One of the most helpful product photography tips I can share is to try and get the picture as best as you can in-frame, as this will give you less post production editing to do.
So that’s it for today, with these product photography tips to hand you have everything you need to upgrade your brand imagery for very little cost, and with no need to hire a professional.
Let me know which if these product photography tips you found most helpful down in the comments.