What is product photography?

Product photography is exactly what it says it is—photos of your products. (E-commerce photography is another way to describe it too.) 

Product photography helps to sell your products online. The photos showcase your products on your website and social media channels. For solely online companies, product photography is a lifeline. 

They’re just as crucial for companies who do have stores too. You’ll still have your images online so people can see them. Then your customers have the opportunity to come in-store and look at the products in more detail and ask questions. Product photography can either sell your products or entice your customers in. 

There are different types of product images;

  • Single images – a photo of a single item.
  • Group images – multiple items in one photo – this method works particularly well for skincare ranges that come as a collective.
  • Lifestyle images – photos of the product being used – for instance, a picture of a summer barbecue showcasing the garden furniture you could have.
  • Studio images – staged and artistic photos – think high-end fashion magazine photography.
  • Detail images – up-close photos to show the craftsmanship and the intricate details of a product.

What’s the benefit of product photography?

  • It shows your product and all the details. 
  • It shows how your product will fit into the buyer’s life. 

Suppose a customer can only buy your product online. Your product images are the only way they can view/ inspect the item before deciding whether to buy it, without taking a risk and having to return it. The more expensive something is, the bigger the risk of buying it and hoping for the best. 

It can boost your brand too. Think of a cafe or a restaurant. Incredible images of your food could draw customers in. They might not eat what they initially saw, but you’ve boosted your brand by a selection of images.

Do I need a product photographer?

No, you can learn how to take photos of your products. There are some key elements to help you do this but, it could help to have a photographer who has the high quality equipment and more knowledge than you might. 

Product photography is their field, so if you have any questions, they’ll be able to help. If you have any concerns, they’ll be able to reassure you. Any issues they can resolve.

They may also be better equipped to help you create consistent images of your products. If you have hundreds or thousands of items, they’ll help you keep your photos consistent and on-brand. 

You can learn to do this yourself and get a product photographer later if you choose to. There’s no saying it will be a quick or easy process, but if it’s something you’re eager to learn or maybe you don’t have the budget for photography just yet, you can do it. 

What do I need to take my product photos?

  • Good natural light – if you can photograph next to a big window on a sunny day, your photos are going to be much better. 
  • A tripod – you won’t need to worry about moving and blurring your photo. Or, if you’ve found the perfect light and angle and don’t want to lose it, having your camera on a tripod can help you keep everything in place. You can switch out the products and keep your images consistent too. 
  • Backdrops – these don’t need to be fancy. You can get large sheets of paper or cardboard in your brand colours or even just white to create the backdrop that works for you. 
  • Props – You may want props to give some context to your product. Imagine it’s a handbag. Having an image with some things inside or scattered around the bag would help bring it to life. 

You can get some of these basics and have a go yourself. You won’t even need a fancy camera. You can use your phone (most have pretty decent cameras these days anyway). Knowing some basic editing skills could help too. 

Whether you choose this route depends on you and your business. What are you selling? Can you take the photos yourself? Do you have hundreds of products? Do you need different images for different platforms? Can you make your photos on-brand and consistent? These are all questions you can ask yourself and evaluate your options. 

We have a number of high quality photographers if you want to outsource your product photography, especially if you’re in Melbourne, Australia. Contact us here if you would like our help.