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Product photography 101

Posted on:
November 29, 2023


Presenting your products effectively may seem like a daunting task, and rightfully so. In a landscape filled with conflicting information, navigating the complexities of product presentation can be challenging. In this article, we aim to provide valuable insights into the realm of product photography, offering guidance on how to approach this crucial aspect of branding and marketing.

1. Defining Product Photography:

Product photography, a subset of commercial photography, serves the purpose of accurately and appealingly showcasing products to convey their features and functions. The ultimate goal is to make the benefits of the products evident to potential customers. It forms an integral part of your online brand identity and can be instrumental in both online and offline advertising endeavors.

Close-up for a better view of the products

2. The Importance of Product Photography:

Product photography is indispensable in today's visually-driven world. As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this holds particularly true in the realm of product presentation. While the advantages of online sales are undeniable, the inability of customers to physically interact with products poses a significant challenge. Unlike traditional stores where tangible experiences aid decision-making, online shops require product images to substitute for physical interaction, making them pivotal in building trust and converting prospects into satisfied customers.

Mood recording bag in an attractive environment

3. Types of Product Photography:

Product presentation can take two primary forms: clipped images, which remove backgrounds to focus solely on the product, and lifestyle images that contextualize the product within real-life scenarios. Each approach has its merits and drawbacks, and the choice depends on factors such as the product type and the desired brand identity. Considering both options from the outset can streamline the process and prevent unnecessary expenditure.

3.1 Cropped images — background removal:


  1. Cost-effective
  2. Allows easy presentation of product variants
  3. Ensures a uniform appearance with a white background
  4. Versatile application across various platforms


  1. Challenges in conveying brand identity
  2. Difficulty for customers to relate to products without context
  3. Lack of emotional engagement

3.2 Lifestyle Images Featuring Models:

Attractive advertising shot from the fashion sector.


  1. Offers vivid product presentation
  2. Suitable for diverse marketing channels
  3. Facilitates emotional connections with the product


  1. Tends to be more costly
  2. Requires hiring models and additional effort
  3. Model may not resonate with the target audience

3.3 Subcategories of Contextual Product Photography:

  • Studio Shots, Lifestyle Shots, True-to-Scale Images, Process Descriptions, Detailed Presentations, Packaging Designs.

Studio Shots — These shots create an intimate, soft feel and are usually shot with lots of light on a white background (still in contrast — not cut out).
lifestyle shots — These are ideal for showing your customers how the product can be used. The recordings can also help sell other products, such as additional items from your clothing line.
True-to-scale images — The sizing perspective on photos can be a challenge; true-to-scale images allow you to specify the size of the item, e.g. jewelry on a model.
process description — To show how the product is manufactured could be exciting for your customers and, for example, support your claim to be handmade. It's a compelling approach that's great for showing off the level of craftsmanship your product has.
detailed presentation — Used to display certain small details that would otherwise go unnoticed, such as the fabric texture, buttons.
packaging design — The packaging of the product helps communicate the commitment and diversity of your brands. Good packaging creates an expectation and, if well executed, could increase the perceived value of your brands.

4. DIY vs. Professional Studios:

While the benefits of high-quality product images are evident, deciding between a DIY setup and a professional studio depends on various factors such as product complexity, budget, and personal capabilities. Both options offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, and careful consideration is essential.

4.1 DIY (Do It Yourself) Studios:


  1. Potential cost savings
  2. Flexibility in scheduling photo sessions
  3. Suitable for small-scale projects
  4. Can yield satisfactory results with proper post-processing


  1. Difficulty in achieving professional context recordings
  2. Risk of time and resource wastage
  3. Need for self-conducted post-processing
Do it Yourself (DIY) photo studio

4.2 Professional Studios:


  1. Time-saving
  2. Relatively stress-free experience
  3. Often includes post-processing services
  4. Opportunities for client involvement in the creative process
  5. Access to professional models aligned with brand values


  1. Higher costs compared to DIY alternatives
  2. Need to allocate time for studio sessions

5. Post-Processing:

Post-processing plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall quality of product images. Whether to undertake post-processing independently or opt for professional services depends on individual skills, time availability, and desired outcomes. While basic post-processing skills enable self-sufficiency, engaging professional services ensures consistency and quality across a large volume of images.

Bildbearbeitung Doopic

6. Conclusion:

Effective product presentation is essential for driving sales and fostering brand loyalty. While a DIY approach may suffice for straightforward products, elevating your brand requires meticulous attention to detail and professional execution. Building trust and establishing a connection with customers are paramount objectives that can only be achieved through compelling product imagery.

This serves as a foundational introduction to product photography, and we hope it provides clarity and guidance as you navigate this critical aspect of marketing and branding.

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