Product photography as an industry has seen tremendous growth owing to the rise of the ecommerce industry. If you want to make a career in product photography, the future looks quite bright. This must-follow product photography checklist for beginners will help you succeed!

More than 2.14 billion people shop online globally and they rely on product images to make the buying decision. Top-quality product images can instantly grab the attention of potential buyers, educate them, and help a brand stand out from the competition. 

Consequently, brands use product images everywhere from social media posts to D2C marketing campaigns, digital ads, and – of course – on various eCommerce sites. That being said, producing high-quality product photos takes practice. A lot of hard work goes into producing professional and enticing product images that customers will love.

We have put together a quick product photography checklist so you can have an easier time producing impressive photos and videos. Ready to learn? 

1. Stick to a Brand Theme 

Product images essentially represent the brand. Therefore, you must understand the expectations of a brand before shooting its products.

It’s always a smart choice to choose a brand theme and shoot all their products in a similar manner to bring cohesiveness.

Some of the popular photography styles you can use are:

• Studio shot

• Lifestyle shot

• Action shot

• Group shot

• Flat lays

• Mannequin shots

• Macro shot

Based on the industry and the types of products you are shooting, you can choose the appropriate style and create a distinct theme for the brand. Although keep in mind most brands already have a set photography style you should follow.

Failing to choose a style that adds value to the customer is one of the biggest ecommerce mistakes you could commit, and will affect your performance as a photography business.

2. Invest in Good Equipment

Yes, say it out loud. The equipment you choose for product photography can make or break the images you produce.

Here is what you need to include in your product photography checklist:

• Good camera (CSLR or smartphone)

• Macro lens

• Reflector and diffuser

• Plenty of natural light or artificial light

• White or pastel-colored sweep for the background

• Good editing softwares

Along with this, your product photography checklist should also include tools and/or basic items such as white tape, pins, clips, hangers, fishlines, and scissors.

3. Get the Right Background

The most fundamental product photography shot is the one with a white background. Why use white? Because it makes the products pop while being easy to edit and upgrade. 

White background product images can also be used for a variety of purposes like ads, social media posts, blogging, and so on. But if you feel that the white background is boring or the products you are shooting demand a more distinct background, then you have plenty of options. 

The key idea is to not let your background distract the viewer from the product, but rather enhance and redirect the attention to it.

4. Test Your Lighting Setup

Whether you are relying on natural light or artificial light, product images are best captured in soft light. Nonetheless, this also depends on the brand’s style.

To ensure that your light exposure and shadows are soft, you need to experiment with reflectors and diffusers. 

Some photographers prefer creating a lightbox where you set the desired lighting setup once and go on clicking hundreds of pictures without worrying about making any changes. 

5. Display the Product in a Real-Life Situation 

What do we mean by a real-life situation? If you are shooting apparel, footwear or accessories, have a model wear them rather than keeping them on a hanger.

If it’s furniture or home appliances, you can set them up in a home and take pictures. 

Such product images give customers a real sense of how the products would look and feel when they use them. From the brand’s perspective, this can contribute to better customer satisfaction too by helping the customer make the right purchase. 

6. Highlight Product Features

An important point to consider when you are a beginner is to make sure you take multiple pictures of the product from different angles. This is a task you can add to your product photography checklist to make sure you do not forget.

When you are shooting products with several details, you can not capture them all in a single image. It’s best to take macro shots to highlight the specific details or features. 

What the camera can capture can never be described in words as far as the product details are concerned. These are the images that will bring products to life and boost sales. 

The brand can even use such macro shots to make explainer videos that generate traction for their products.

7. Use Just the Right Amount of Editing 

Your job as a photographer is not done once the photoshoot is over. Editing and retouching is a must-include activity on your product photography checklist. 

While editing the images you may brighten the images, enhance the exposure, remove or add a background, and refine details further. 

However, what you should not do is alter the color or features of the products extensively. That will be misleading to the customers.

8. Portray the Right Product Size and Scale

Continuing with the product photography checklist, it is imperative that you portray the right size and scale of the product in your photos.

While the product description will provide dimension details, the customers would actually want to see how big the product is.

A scale photo will help the buyers visualize the actual size and scale of the product.

For example, if you are selling jewelry or wrist watches, you can click a picture of a model wearing them. 

You can also place products next to a standard object for size reference and help customers make more informed buying decisions.

9. Choose the Optimal File Size 

A must-do task on your product photography checklist is to choose the optimal file size for your photos.

If the image files are too big, they may slow down the clients’ website, and if they are small, you could be compromising the picture’s quality. 

Opt for a file size that strikes a balance between both aspects. This is a great tip to get your work approved every single time. 

Are you ready to get started in Product Photography? 

Product photography has endless possibilities, but don’t let it intimidate you. This must-follow product photography checklist for beginners is a great way to get started.

Find some creative product photography ideas and inspiration for your work on the Cherrydeck blog. Go ahead and hone your skills based on this product photography checklist and make a great career as a product photographer!

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more. Social Accounts: Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram

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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