Product Photography Tips

Learning how to take great photos is one of the most important things you can do to improve your catalog. Since buyers can’t see or touch your item in person, photos communicate an item’s beauty and important qualities.

We wanted to share with you the following product photography tips:

  1. Photograph a single product by itself with a plain background to remove any distractions and focus the viewer’s attention on the product
  2. In order to ensure your images are sharp, make sure you know how to focus your camera.   Digital cameras with auto focus are often difficult to focus precisely, especially when shooting small objects.  Read your owner’s manual and be sure you understand how your camera’s auto focus operates. Most digital cameras are designed to easily focus on large objects but have difficulty on small subjects. It is often useful to put your camera in spot focus mode.  Spot focus will give you more control over what part of a scene the camera is actually focusing on.
  3. Use a tripod, even the slightest movement while taking a picture will cause motion blur.  The closer you get to an object the more obvious the motion blur becomes. Even an inexpensive tripod will make a big difference in the sharpness of your images. For really sharp images it makes sense to invest in a good, sturdy tripod. If your camera has a remote shutter release then use it, if not then use the camera’s built-in timer to minimize camera shake.
  4. Use soft lighting.  Your camera’s built-in flash will rarely give good results for product photography. For soft lighting either shoot outside on an overcast day (not under direct sunlight) or use a light box.
  5. Choose a light box that has a height about five times taller than the object you want to photograph.
  6. Taking photos from different angles will give your customers a better idea of what your item looks like.  Some of your photos should be full-size images of your item; but you might also want to include a close up shot or two.  Showing the details of your item is important to prospective buyers.  Mix things up a bit by having a straight-on shot as well as photos taken from the side or at a forty-five degree angle
  7. Use your camera’s “macro” setting for close-up shots. Fill up the shot with your product.
  8. Use a photo editor to improve your images.  You’ll want to crop out unwanted background ‘noise’ and perhaps adjust the contrast.  Be careful not to change the image so much that it no longer looks like the actual item

Helpful product photography videos/articles for beginners:

  • How to build a very cheap lightbox for product photography posted by CandidAnn on Youtube:


  • Etsy’s product photography video:


  • Tutorial on how to create white background using a cardboard box and natural lighting, click here.

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