Sunday, November 10, 2013

WESTie Tips: Product Photography

Product photo questions are always headed my way, and most likely because I do product photography for other businesses. So a few things that I find to be quite helpful are:

1. A light box with simple backgrounds. A light box helps to filter your light so it's not too harsh on your objects. It also keeps your shiny and glass products looking cleaner with less reflection from objects around the room. You can build your own light box (which didn’t go well for me and I didn’t like the fact that it didn’t clean up nice and compact). Photography stores do have a wide variety of light boxes to suit your needs.

2. A tripod and a remote shutter release. A still camera results in a non-blurry photo. Most cameras can be mounted to a tripod; however, not all cameras are compatible with a remote. If a remote is not available for your camera, try the timer setting.

3. Bright lights. Natural lighting is best but not always possible. Daylight lights are available and I find work best for me! Some lights will give your object a bluish look, while others will throw more of a orangey-yellow look to your objects.

 4. Photo editing programs. Clean up your photos, correct the lighting if you didn't get it just right, and crop out any unwanted extras that sometimes show up on the edges of your photo. There are many types of photo editing programs available for a small cost. I use Photoshop Elements which is an editing program that has more options than a lot of people will ever need. 

5. Focus. Focus your camera on your products rather than props if possible! If you have a model wearing your product, be sure to have your product and your model in focus!

6. Time. It takes time to set up your product for shooting and capturing it in its best light and angles! Don't rush yourself! Good pictures are required to sell your product online.

7. Take pictures of your items at different angles. If you want to stage your product, use something that lends to it, not takes away. Shoot it in a way it could be used so customers have an idea what to do with it!

8. Simple backgrounds are often best as your main focus is on the product itself.

I do tend to shoot in manual mode, rather than in Auto, giving me a lot more control over how my photo is going to turn out. This means adjusting your aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and even the white balance.

The biggest thing for me when I browse items online that I'm considering purchasing are the photos. If they aren't clear and crisp or well lit, I will usually go on to the next shop. It may sound a bit biased, but how do you really know what the quality of the product is if the photo isn't quality? If you don't feel confident in producing quality photos, hire someone to do this for you who is experienced and has the equipment to do it.

If you have any photography related questions you would like answered, please ask them in the comments or contact me via my etsy shop. I will do my best to get a post up with answers to as many questions as I can in the future!

This post is brought to you by Crystal Gayle Photography and has been rewritten from its original format at 


  1. Thanks for these tips Crystal! I usually shoot in my dining room, but this is challenging because I have to set up and take down each time. I'd like to set up a permanent photo area in my basement but I'm not sure how to set up the lighting and what kind to use. I have made one of the portable light boxes, but my products are too big for it.

    1. I picked up my light box from Henry's and like it because it is VERY compact with collapsed! Lighting can be tricky but you might be surprised what works. I'll try to do a post on this sometime!


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