Product photography was very important to sales even before the Internet was made. This is why commercials for hamburgers make them look so tasty. They are brightly colored, and the burgers are dripping with juice. Now, you couldn’t just point and shoot to get a picture like that. It took a lot of work, and we’ll show you how to take photos of the same quality.

Before we start, it’s important for you to know why product photography is done. Transparency is the first one. Customers should be able to see what they are buying. And if you show them a picture of your product, you meet the second goal, which is to build trust. A clear picture of your product shows that you worked hard on it and that you are a professional seller who can be trusted.

How To Take Pictures Of Things On A Tight Budget
How To Take Pictures Of Things On A Tight Budget

What is photography of a product?

Photography is an art form. There are a lot of people who make a living as photographers. But if you know what to do, you don’t really need the help of one. The goal of product photography for online marketing is to get people’s attention. The photos you take need to be interesting and make people say, “I like this!””

Look at the picture below as an example. It’s a perfect shot. The person looking at it doesn’t know what it is, but the fact that it comes in three colors and the picture makes it clear that it is a knob makes it likely that they will scroll down or click a link to learn more about the product.

After that first impression, your photo needs to be able to convert, which means it needs to make him want to buy. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of product photography, and pros have a lot of ways to do things. You can also learn these techniques and improve the way your photos look to increase the number of people who buy from you.

How pictures can help you sell more

People are very visual creatures. This is why pictures make it easier for us to remember things and lessons. Also, it’s easy for us to judge based on what we see. Even if the product is something written, like a book or a novel, there is still product photography. This is why the first page of many books has a picture that makes you gasp. The same thing is done by magazines.

As you can see, what people think is very important. Even if your ad copy or product description is the best, if your photos are bad, the customer probably won’t buy. 93% of people buy something based on the pictures they see.

The two main ways that product photos increase your conversion rate are:

  • Use your emotions
  • Know-how about branding

Use your emotions

When a picture looks good, it’s called “eye-candy.” Those who look at it can’t take their eyes off of it. After reading your product description, the customer will look at the pictures again and start to picture himself holding that product. If it’s a decorative item, like a curtain, the buyer will think about how it would look on his window.

If a product looks good, it must also feel good. If it makes the customer feel good, the customer has to have it. Photos change the brain in a lot of ways. They help the brain form impressions, make decisions, and come up with ideas. If you do it right, you will be able to change what your potential customers decide to do.

Know-how about branding

Did you ever notice that many companies with well-known brands use the same style of photos? All of their photos have the same background, the same layout, and the same size ratio. This is how you brand something.

See these two pictures from McDonald’s. You will notice that either red or yellow is used. You will also notice that the background has a gradient where the colors fade a little and the food is the focus. The sauce is easy to see, and the fries appear to be very crunchy.

Because of the colors, anyone who sees the picture of the sandwich will know right away that it is from McDonald’s. You can do the same thing with your brand by always using the same colors, fonts, and putting a symbol or logo somewhere on the picture.

There are different ways to take pictures of your products.

When it comes to selling things online, there are only two types of product photography. This is true whether you are selling books or physical goods. The first is called “clean-cut,” and the second is called “lifestyle.”


When you do this kind of photography, you take a picture of your product against a white background. It doesn’t have to be white all the time, as long as the background doesn’t make it hard to see the pictures. The goal of a clean photo is to show the buyer how the product looks from different points of view.

It is called “clean-cut” because there are no other things in the picture that could draw the buyer’s attention away from the product. You only want him to see your item. Most of the time, clean-cut photography is used to show off gadgets.

A good example of clean photography is the picture above. You will only be able to see the watch. As a buyer, you can focus on the picture, and then you’ll start to notice the watch’s features, like the fact that it has two watches and a digital display on the bottom left.

Here’s another picture of the same item. The seller is showing the buyer how big the wristwatch is in this picture. It is still a clear picture, but this time the background is gray.


This type of photography is used a lot in fashion and sports. You may have already noticed this, but many fashion or sports photos are taken on top of a mountain, in a grassy field, or in front of a restaurant. This kind of photography shows how the product is used, which is a good way to make a buyer feel something and make him buy.

The two photos above are great examples of lifestyle shots. The only thing the woman is selling is her top or blouse. But because a model wore it, you can see that the shorts, shoes, bag, and hat that go with it make it even more beautiful.

The second picture is not of a snowboard, but of a snowsuit. The photographer had a model wear the suit to show how it works, and the setting, which is a snowy mountain, is the right one.

You don’t have to use just one of the two types of product photos. You can mix both, but make sure that the photos are in the right order for each type. For example, you can use clean-cut for a wristwatch product and then show the wristwatch from different angles in more clean-cut photos.

Then, start using photos of one person using that wristwatch in their everyday life. And then show more photos of how people use that wristwatch in their everyday lives. Don’t switch between the two, because it’s hard for the eyes and brain to follow.

A step-by-step guide to product photography and the tools you need.

To be honest, a $5,000 camera is not necessary to take good photos. You can do it with your phone if you know how to use it. You should be able to market your business online with the photos you take with your smartphone. You only need expensive cameras if you want to print your pictures on huge billboards. For taking pictures for the Internet, you don’t need them. Check out this article for more tips on photography!

Here’s what you need to do to take great pictures of products on a budget:

Get ready for the studio

Nope, we’re not talking about a real studio. You can make a studio out of your kitchen. You need to get the product ready, make sure the place is clean, and make sure the background is white. You can make your kitchen into a studio by hanging a long white cloth on the wall behind the kitchen table or chair.

You could also make a picture box. Get a big square cube box. Cut the front to make a frame for it. Line the back and bottom of the box on the inside with white paper. This will be your starting point. So that they can reflect light, the two sides on the inside must be lined with aluminum foil. Cut the cube’s top off and put a bright white LED light above it. Then take pictures of the product inside.

When the studio is ready, you have to get your product ready. Make sure it is clean and free of oil, because your camera will pick up fingerprints. Wipe off the product and add some polish if you need to. If you want to sell necklaces, you need a neck statue or a bust where you can hang them.

Use the correct lighting

Depending on your product, you might need to use white light or yellow light. The lighting is up to you because it depends on the mood of your product. If you are on a tight budget, you can use natural light, but make sure your product is not in the sun.

If you need to take a photo outside, like for a snowboard, make sure your back is to the sun so that too much light doesn’t get into the photo. Overexposure is bad because it makes the pictures look dark. You don’t have to buy expensive camera lights if you have the money. All you need are a couple of LED bulbs and a stick to hold them up.

Buy a tripod

Why does this matter? If you are not used to holding a camera, it will shake in your hands. Since you are doing it for business, it is important to do things right. The tripod will hold the phone or camera steady so that it doesn’t shake when you take a picture.

If you want to take close-up pictures, you also need a tripod. To get the right angle and shoot up close takes a lot of skill, not to mention the camera’s focus, how much light gets into the camera, and so much more. With a tripod, you can avoid all of these problems and just concentrate on taking the perfect picture.

Use a good camera.

What kind of camera should you use? DSLR is the best kind of camera. It comes in so many different sizes and has great features to help you make high-quality images for your products. But this is also expensive, so the best place to start is with a smartphone.

At the very least, you need a smartphone with 13 megapixels and autofocus. If you want to take photos of products, the best phones to use are Samsung and Apple. If you want to use a smartphone, buy a tripod that works with it.

Take care of the photos

After you take the pictures, you need to edit them to make them brighter or get rid of things that don’t belong. If you are using a do-it-yourself lightbox or your kitchen as a studio, you probably also took the sides of the curtains or the wood panel of your kitchen. Before you can publish the photos, you need to move them to your computer and fix them.

Photoshop is the best tool for making changes. It was made for photography, but it costs a lot and can be hard for newbies to use. You should use free tools to edit images instead. If you have a Windows PC, you can use free software like Pixlr, Canva, Fotor, Snapseed, or Microsoft’s photo editor. A Mac also comes with software for editing photos.

When you edit your photos, you can get rid of the white background and put something else there, like the background in the McDonald’s picture. You should also move the photo to make it straight, especially if you are selling a dress.

What to put in your rules for product photography

Your shop will have a long list of products at some point. So you can build a brand, the photos of these products must be taken from the same angle, with the same lighting, and in the same style. When the product photos on a website are all over the place, it sends the consumer the wrong message.

So, you need to make a photography guideline so that every time you add a new product, you can take the same kind of photos. You can also give this guideline to a worker if you decide to hire a marketing expert to do this job for you.

Here are some things that should be in a guide for product photography:

  • Angle
  • How far away the camera is from the item
  • Lighting
  • Shadows
  • Location

For more advanced photography, you can include things like focal length, lens type, saturation, color palette, and so on. Since photo editing is also part of the job, you must include the photo’s dimensions, background, font size, type, and color for the texts, and naming conventions or keywords for the photos for SEO.

How to make the pictures work best on the Internet

Now that you have great pictures, you should put them on your store. But that’s not the end of the story. You want search engines to be able to find your online photos by using certain keywords. Also, you want your photos to be clear and not so heavy that they slow down how quickly your website loads.

The first thing you need to do is make the picture smaller without destroying its quality too much. On both Mac and PC, you can do this with free software, but you can also do it online with free tools like TinyPNG and PicResize.

As you change the size of the photos, one that was 5MB before will now only be about 138KB. This size reduction will make the website run faster without hurting the quality of the photos.

Next, you need to give your photos the right names. If your picture is of an axe, its name must include the word “axe.” All cameras use numbers and letters to name their photos. For example, the file name for a picture you took might be DSC132424.jpg. You have to give this file a new name that includes the right keyword.

You could call it something like jackoutdoors-brown-handle-axe-with-cover-illinois, for example. In that file name, we used the website’s name, “Jack Outdoors,” followed by “brown handle axe with cover” and the state of Illinois.

If a customer goes to Google and types “brown axe handle in Illinois,” your product is more likely to be at the top of the search results.

Photography Gear For Less Than

Here is a simple list of the tools you need to take pictures of your products. We won’t add a camera because it’s safe to assume you already have a smartphone.

A lightbox or a camera box


These two should give you enough to start with. The whole thing only costs $27. But if you need a bigger studio, you can make one yourself in your kitchen by using your kitchen table or chair as a pedestal for your items. There needs to be more stuff in these.

White blanket

LED Bulbs

This second set costs about $37 all together. You should be fine with these things. All you need is an extension cord and a place to hang the light bulbs. If you don’t want to use your kitchen as a studio, you can just take the chair out to your backyard when the sun is high and take the photos there.

Frequently Asked Questions About Product Photography

What are the most important things I should have?

The camera, the light, the tripod, and the white background are the most important things.

What kinds of shots can I do?

Here are some recommendations:

  • Single-Shot: A picture that only shows the front of the product.
  • Angle Shot: This one shows how the product looks from the side.
  • Scale Shots: show how big something is by taking a picture of it with something else, like a ruler.
  • Detailed Shot: A close-up shot of a product part, like the mic input or the power button.

What number of lights do I need?

There must be at least two, one on each side. Use at least 5,000 kelvins of bright white light to make it look like the sun.



Overall, if you have the right tools, you can take photos of great quality. You have to be patient and try things out, but you’ll get the hang of it in the end. If you are just starting out, take several photos of the same product and then use one of the programs we suggested to edit them. Check out how it looks, then make any changes you need to make it perfect.