Instagram represents a potentially massive marketplace for individuals and businesses looking to sell their products online. If you promote your products online, it is essential to have outstanding product photography to attract the attention of potential customers and expand your audience.

With competition levels exceptionally high, it is critical to take the time and effort to create professional product photos that truly grab people’s attention. You must avoid being lost in the crowd of businesses on Instagram.

While product photographs are a specialized niche within professional photography it is nevertheless possible to generate high-quality images while being an amateur. Learn how to take good product photos for Instagram!

Here are some tips to get you started.

Lighting is everything

The main thing that distinguishes a knockout product photo from one that you skim over is the lighting used in the image.

Professional photographers will generally have access to studio environments and artificial lighting which allows them to precisely control the color balance and light levels in their product photos.

If you’re an amateur, you’re unlikely to have access to sophisticated equipment or a studio,. This means you will need to rely on ambient or natural light. Take advantage of golden hour or a nice sunset!

There are a few basic principles to follow here:

1. Take your photos in a light-rich area that does not have direct sunlight. This would include well-lit areas that have a north-facing door or window (swap this to south-facing if you are in the southern hemisphere).

2. Focus on your timing. On a clear day mid-morning is often a good time to get bright, consistent light.

3. Watch the weather. Overcast weather is probably not going to give you sufficient light to levels to take a striking image.

4. Make sure there are no exterior obstructions to light, like trees or walls.

Choose a background that makes your image pop

One of the best ways to add light and brightness to your product images is to make use of light, reflective backgrounds that bring your product to the foreground without any distractions.

You can achieve this by using a solid white or colored background, which reflects light and adds contrast to your product image. The simplest way to access a clean white background is to buy a polystyrene foam board from an art shop or online.

Lay this flat on a well-lit surface, place your product on the surface and you will immediately have a decent setup for a bird’s eye view product photo.

If you want to take a horizontal shot, then some seamless backdrop photo paper is indispensable. This will provide you with a flat, light background without exposing a seam where the background meets the horizontal surface you are shooting on.

Using props

Plain backgrounds are great to showcase details of your products and your packaging. Alternatively, you can portray your products in context with props. This approach gives your customer a better understanding of your product.

Props are part and parcel of taking styled images. Styled images feature a few carefully selected props that are used to contextualize your product and bring it to life.

You can use different things as props, from fruit and vegetables to electronics. Ask yourself, does this item add to the visual appeal of your product?

The use of props is all about composition, so you will need to experiment and refer to styled photos for similar products to come up with a good arrangement.

Try to avoid overdoing the use of props in a styled product photo, or you can easily crowd out your product and distract viewers with an overwhelming background. Also, ensure that props are relevant to the image and make sense in the context of where the product is typically used, and what it is used for. 

Try lifestyle photos

Instead of having to set up an indoor staging site for your product photos, you can opt for lifestyle images.

These are photos that show your product being used in an everyday context. For example: someone wearing a wristwatch while drinking a cup of coffee or wearing a suit.

This type of image has a couple of advantages:

– It helps viewers visualize how the product works, and what it will look like when they make use of it.
– Portray your customer persona and expand your audience by depicting different lifestyles.
– Increase relatability by humanizing your product through models.

Ideally, you should include a mix of styled and lifestyle shots for your product’s image portfolio.

Take high-definition, wide-angle shots

There’s nothing worse than setting up a photo shoot, taking several photos, and breaking down your set only to find out that many of your images are uneditable and unusable because there is not enough space for cropping.

This can limit the selection of images you can use for Instagram, depending on whether you are able to crop the photo to meet Instagram’s accepted aspect ratios for images.

You need to leave some room to move when taking a picture and give yourself space to crop where necessary. However, you don’t want to do this at the expense of losing clarity or definition in the image. 

Therefore, ensure your image resolution is set as high as possible. Take a few sample shots to check image quality before proceeding with your shoot.

Get help from a professional

If you’d like to leave this matter in professional hands, we’ve got you covered!

Cherrydeck’s Branded Stock™ provides an affordable custom product photography service that allows you to buy professional product photos and videos at stock library pricing. Best of all, you only pay for the photos you want to use!

Indeed, you don’t need to plan a shoot or spend a fortune. How does it work? Simply send out your products and photography guidelines, and we take care of the rest. Shortly after, you’ll receive hundreds of photos and videos of your products.

To find out more, visit Cherrydeck Branded Stock™!

Explore product photography trends and different ideas

Finally, remember that using your creativity to create the perfect product photo goes a long way. Explore different approaches to product photography such as still life, close-ups, and more.

It is always useful to get some inspiration. Therefore, a great way to get ahead of the crowd is to stay up to date with the latest photography trends. Catch people’s attention before everyone else!

Check out the latest product photography trends of 2022 here, or try out these 17 product photography ideas for your brand.

If you liked reading about how to take good product photos for Instagram, make sure to check out more product photography insights on the Cherrydeck Blog.

Posted by:Cherrydeck Editorial

Our mission is to enable brands to source custom visual content at scale through our global creative community. Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates @cherrydeck

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