Three tips to help you take beautiful product photos

Need to photograph products to sell but don’t know how to get a good shot? Here are three tips to help you take beautiful product photos.

Are you just starting a new product based business or adding existing items to your range? If you are looking for gorgeous product photography that really stands out in a crowded market place, then you may need to hire a professional.

But perhaps you don’t currently have the budget or time to organise a professional shoot and you just want to get your product selling. 

Trethowans
Trethowans

To help you take beautiful photos you can use on your website and social media yourself, here are three tips from professional photographer Rebecca Challis.

Product photography Wimbledon

1) Find the very best light for your photographs

Light is everything for products and in an ideal world you want the product to be evenly lit and avoid any nasty shadows. Have a look at the two options I have shown below.

Both are taken with an iPhone on Portrait mode. One is taken on my dining table using the overhead spotlights (the wooden background). The pink background one I took by my bifold doors on a cloudy day, so no direct light.

I’ve added a pull back of the shot that shows how the super simple set up. You could also do this outside on a cloudy day too if you don’t have any big windows. 

You can see on the table top one some harsh shadows bottom left where the phone is blocking the light to the samples. The pink background one has more ev∫en light all around it and some of the shadows at the bottom of the picture could be eliminated with a reflector too.

product photography tips

2) Use the portrait mode 

This will give you a focus on the product and blur the background, if this is the look you are going for. Below you will see images I have taken in the regular photo mode and in the portrait mode of the same set up. I usually boost the exposure and contrast a bit in my edit on a phone, 

I don’t recommend you to use any filters unless these are really suited to your brand as they can change colours of the images which you really don’t want for products.

Also be careful on where the blur lands, sometimes if it’s a bit off centre it will blur the edges of your product. It is sometimes better to take a wider photo and then crop the photo afterwards to avoid this.

Product photography examples

I used the iPhone to take the white background photo of these Leone mints below too with just some very minimal editing. I’m showing a behind the scenes photo how I set these up with white card and some polystyrene which really helps lift the shadows.

Leone mints white background

3) Make a stock library

Once you have your set up then get a whole range of product photos so you have them in stock. Is your product food related? Then get some different foods into the shots and make them more lifestyle.

If you have a diary or notebooks then add pens and hands (if you have some spare) and if it’s clothing then take lots and lots of photos of the details, buttons, collars, zips, hem etc.

Also think ahead to occasions you might want to celebrate in social media; summer, Christmas, New Year, autumn etc so you could get props to match these occasions.

One you have a good set of product photographs for your stock library then you can add these to social media planning tools to make setting up your posts super simple.

Best product photography tips

Your phone will be useful for social media posts and can be used for web photos if you are getting some good results, however the quality is not usually good enough for print. If you are looking for professional product photography then you can see more about my services here

I have a lot of businesses that post or deliver products to me to photograph so you don’t have to be nearby. I love working on campaigns for product photography. Really working to get them to suit your brand and requirements and helping you with images for your social media and marketing.

I have lots of creative ideas so don’t feel you have to have everything organised before you get in touch. You can also see some of my product photography featured in the press on my Instagram highlights here.

Rebecca Challis is a commercial photographer specialising in natural and relaxed photography for you and your business.

Photo by Liana Mikah