Tips + Tricks for Amazing Product Photography

it's Monday // October 31st, 2016

You’re hand-crafting an amazing product, now what’s the best for way potential customers to really see it? Through photography, of course! You can write a super detailed description (also extremely important – but we will talk more about that later) but you want to make sure your customers are actually seeing the features you can describe so beautifully. Be sure your product photography is as informative as it is beautiful!

Here are some tips + tricks (and some behind-the-scenes, scary good secrets!) I’ve learned while taking product photography for my own Etsy shop.

Happy Halloween! 🎃

Sit down and come up with a photo-day game plan.

Seriously, have a plan ready to go before you even begin taking photos. Or you’ll be back-tracking, forgetting about things and rushing through the process (🙋been there, done all of those things). Set aside a specific time slot during your day or on the weekend – preferably when there’s beautiful light. Write down which products you need to photograph, what photos you need to take and what props you plan on using. Gather all of those things and put them in a neat little pile until you are ready to shoot! Does anyone else use their home decor as props? I’m totally guilty of scavenging our home…

So, what photos should you be taking?

On Etsy, you have 5 photo slots to fill. You should be using every single one of them! Your product deserves it. Even if you’re not on Etsy, and rather you’re selling on a different platform, you should at least be showing 3 – 5 images of your products. Let potential customers see why they should love your product as much as you do, visually.

Here’s the guide I used to fill up my 5 photo slots:

Straight On

Take a straight on, nothing fancy about it, photograph of your product. Don’t add any props – that can get confusing – sometimes I end up wanting to buy the props and not the actual item people are selling, especially if that’s the very first photograph I see. If you’re making clothing, scarves, hats, etc; take a photo straight on of your product on an actual human. That is how it’s going to look in real life, right?

From an Angle

Show what your product looks like from different angles. In a brick and mortar store, customers will be picking up your product and inspecting it from every angle. Create a similar experience for them online.


Take a photo of your product in real life. What would it look like sitting on a desk? What would it look like out in a public setting? Go somewhere and take a photo of it! Feel free to use props here, now that people know what product you are actually selling.

Close Up

No matter what your product is, you should be excited and proud to show off even the tiniest of details. For example: if you hand stitched your product, get up close and personal with it! Show off your handy work! Get a little nerdy and be proud of what you do.

Opened Up / Inside

If your product has an inside, show it. Think pouches, purses, notebooks, greeting cards, etc. Open them up, lay them flat, whatever you need to do to show off the inside – do it.

Be proud enough of your products to want to showcase even the smallest details.

You don’t need a fancy camera to get the job done.

Nope, you can totally use your iPhone to take product photography. If you can make the investment in a nice, higher-end camera, then by all means – do it! But if not, don’t fret one bit. Your iPhone can and will get the job done. 99% of my Instagram’s are taken with my iPhone and I totally love how the images look. Plus I can run them through my favorite editing app, VSCO.

Take photos using natural daylight.

Turn off the flash. Put down the portable light room. Wait for the sunshine to come through your window and snap away! If you shoot in the same place around the same time each day, your photos will have a consistent feel and you won’t need to fret about brightness, hue, warmth or any of that jazz.

Create simple, easy to use, backdrops.

I shoot all of my photos on white or super light colored backgrounds. I’ll let you in on a little secret: those backdrops are not my kitchen table, my countertops or even my desk. Typically I shoot on a piece of 2ft x 2ft marble from Lowes, some wood I nailed together and painted white or a small white table that I bought at IKEA for $6.

Product Photography Backgrounds

Work with what you have, and remember to always keep the look + feel consistent and inline with your brand.

What tips + tricks do you use when it comes to product photography or for the photos you’re posting on social media?

Happy Halloween! Let’s make this week… scary awesome.

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