Maker Resources

How to Make It: 5 Product Photography Tips

August 16, 2014

So, you’ve just created an awesome new product and you really want to sell it. Presentation is everything, which makes the photography of your item very important. Because we all don’t have a fully equipped studio on our hands at all times, here are some easy tips that almost anyone can master!

Light It Up

The number one most important factor is lighting. You don’t need a lot of lights; all you really need is a great sunlit window and a white fill card. A fill card is simply anything you use to reflect light, which allows you to fill with light for darker, shadowy areas in a photograph.  Fill cards are traditionally white, made of foam core or poster board, but can also be silver or gold depending on the quality of light you want to reflect.

When picking which window to use, pick one that allows diffused, soft light to shine through. What you don’t want is really harsh sunlight. If the light is too hard, it can make one part of your image too bright in comparison to the rest. What you are looking for is nice, even light.

How to Make It: Product Photography Tips

How to Make It: Product Photography Tips

Setting the Stage

The second step is creating your set. White poster board (or any large piece of white paper) and some tape is a cheap and easy way to get a clean backdrop. Find a small table and place the white background so that the window light comes from the right or the left. Allow the poster board to curve in the back, creating a sweep. Then place your fill card on one side.

How to Make It: Product Photography Tips

How to Make It: Product Photography Tips

Camera Ready

Whether you’re using a high-end camera or a simple point and shoot, the most helpful hint I can suggest is to turn off the flash. If you can’t turn it off, cover it with tape. Then, set your camera’s white balance setting to daylight—or auto if that isn’t available. If your photo shows up with a strange colorcast, you’re probably using the wrong white balance.

White balance is the general hue of your photograph.  For example, you could have a warm balance, where everything looks orange, or a cold balance where everything looks blue.  Most cameras allow you to pick which white balance you want to use.  You do this by picking the white balance that matches your light source.  Extra tip: If you are using natural light, you should pick the icon on your camera that looks like a sun.  If you are using tungsten light, you should pick the icon that looks like a light bulb.

Taking Shots

At UncommonGoods, we crop most of our photos into a square, so when you are composing, make sure you leave enough space around your product to easily crop. You can use almost any basic photo program to do this. I personally like to use Photoshop.

How to Make It: Product Photography Tips

When composing your shot, keep into account that you may not get the whole thing in focus. Your main priority is to make sure the selling feature is in focus. For example, let’s say you are shooting jewelry. If the pendant or charm has interesting detailing, make sure that’s in focus and let the chain go out. Decide which aspect you would most like the potential buyer to see, and then hone in on that.

How to Make It: Product Photography Tips

How to Make It: Product Photography Tips

While composing, use your fill card to fill in the shadows on your product. It’s usually nice to leave some shadow, as it will lend some shape, but you don’t want the shadows to go too dark.

Time to Edit

After you’ve shot the photo, use whatever photo-editing program you have (iPhoto, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) When you are done, save it as a high res (meaning 300 dpi) .jpg or .tiff.

In general, my editing advice is to be subtle in your treatment. Some amateur mistakes include using too much contrast, over saturating the colors or using too much sepia tones.  Subtly enhance your photos but don’t make them look unnatural, which is especially important in product photography because you don’t want to misrepresent what you are selling.

And you’re done! Have a good shoot!


  • Reply Shumi June 1, 2015 at 5:37 am

    The lighting plays a great role in product photography to make it look good! The naturalness of any shot is very necessary in Product photography.

  • Reply Amin007 October 31, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Really Great article on photography with different lighting Technic. Thanks for your important tutorial.

  • Reply Retouching Visuals March 10, 2017 at 2:59 am

    Attractive images plays an important role in growing business. Really attractive and beautiful photography.

  • Reply Drew May 25, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I love these lighting techniques. Lighting plays a big part in a quality photo so these will be useful for sure.

  • Reply Photoshop clipping path services June 22, 2017 at 2:08 am

    Awesome techniques you have covered. I loved the lighting technique and the setting. It is definitely a very useful article for Photographers.
    Thanks for the tips.

  • Reply Heather August 2, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    It really is simple to make a nice backdrop for your product photography – the simpler the better for products, since you don’t want to take focus away with busy scenes. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Betty August 10, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Hello, First of all thanks for great tips. I want to ask that are you using flash for photography?
    Which flash is best for canon camera.

  • Reply Clipping Path Service provider December 8, 2017 at 5:13 am

    Excellent product photography tips.So much helpful post.Thank you so so much for your lovely post.I love it

  • Reply Clipping path service February 14, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Great photography example, looks professional and experienced. Thanks for sharing!

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