Product Photography
5 Min Read

Product Photography and its Value to E-commerce

Table of Contents

E-commerce is a hugely successful industry, especially in recent years. Amazon reported revenue of $514 billion in 2022, while eBay’s revenue during the same year was $9.8 billion. Online shopping is easy and convenient, and its popularity continues to grow among the general populace worldwide.

If the website is not easy on the eyes, customers would stop browsing and instead go to other, more pleasing websites. Having good websites also includes good photos of the product on offer. So the knowledge of good product photography is necessary for anyone involved in the e-commerce industry.

Do you want to learn how to organize professional photoshoots for your online retail business or eCommerce marketplace? This product photography blog will give you all the insights you need, along with an intelligent solution that can help your business grow while reducing your effort and spending!


What is Product Photography?

It is a kind of photography that’s done for commercial products, in order to make them appealing to the buyer. These products generally include wristwatches, toys, etc. These images are then used in catalogs, website listings, posters, etc. A product photography studio generally provides this service, and it’s done for e-commerce listings and advertisements. This kind of professional photography has different types, like Individual shots, Detailed shots, Group shots, etc.


Why is Product Photography such a big deal?

Nearly 263 million people in the US – or 80% of the country’s population – shop online. These people primarily rely on images to judge a product, followed by reviews. Experts generally predict that this number will only increase, as will the competition in the market.

Even in offline businesses, advertisements (newspapers, posters, etc.) need to catch the consumers’ attention. Dull images would only help your products be lost in the market. Now, we don’t want that, do we?

Professional product photography has numerous benefits for online retailers, such as:

  • Customers will have a better understanding of the product
  • High-quality images will imply a good product quality
  • Customers prefer to see actual photos of the product they want to buy instead of stock photos. So, displaying real photos of the product will build trust between sellers and buyers.


How does Product Photography differ from Regular Photography?

In product photography, the goal is to click appealing and realistic product images. This is to help the potential customer to get an idea of the item. It is vital for buyers who need help to inspect the item through the website listing or an advertisement. Hence, it’s the job of the image to convey the look and feel to the buyer.

In traditional photography, the photographer has more creative liberty. The subject might not be portrayed in an appealing or realistic way. The goal can be realism, artistic expression, emotional response, etc. The subject need not be an item; it can also be a landscape, animals, etc.


How Professional Imagery Increases Traffic in the Ecommerce?

E-commerce is a multi-billion dollar industry, with product photography at its backbone. All the products listed on eCommerce websites must build trust with their customers, and you can count on good product images for this job. Customers rely on these good images to better understand the product they are buying.

The way these images are presented also plays a major role in explaining the product and capturing the audience’s attention. For example, if a product is set on a table, then the image is very ordinary. But, if the same product is clicked while it is being used, then the picture becomes dynamic, which is better for consumer engagement.


Product Photography equipment for the best result

So, if you are interested in clicking the product images and you are unsure where to start? First, let’s start with gear, including a camera, tripod, lighting equipment, etc.

1. Camera

To start, you should have a good camera to get high-resolution images. If you are a beginner, then here are three good camera recommendations for you:

  • Nikon D5200

It is a mid-range camera of excellent quality.

  • Nikon D610

It belongs to the Cadillac model of cameras. Many professionals describe it as “high quality as well as affordable.” It also has a small file size of 24.3 Mega Pixel.

  • Canon EOS T3

It is a nice price of around $450 and it is of excellent quality.

2. Lens

Now that you have a camera for photography, it’s time to select a lens for product photography. The lens comes in different types to take care of different needs. In order to capture product details, we recommended a macro lens. You can look for:

  • Tamron 90mm 1:1 lenses
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
  • Sigma 124-105mm f/4.0 Art DG HSM Zoom Lens


2. Tripod

A steady image needs a tripod. There is no need to be expensive. Some recommendations from us are:

  • Ravelli APLT2 tripod
  • JOBY GorillaPod

3. Remote Trigger

A remote trigger minimizes motion blur in images as well as camera shake. Its importance is realized while clicking for a white background which needs to be clear down to the last pixel. Some good remote triggers are:

  • Pluto Trigger
  • PocketWizard


4. Flashgun

It’s an artificial light source that is necessary when shooting in a dedicated photo studio. You can attach it from the top of your camera or sideways from different angles, pointing at your product. Two good flashguns are:

  • Speedlite by Canon
  • Speedlight by Nikon


5. Light Stands

It is similar to a tripod, but it does not hold your camera; rather, it holds your light source. This will give you complete control of lighting in the studio. You can find various good light stands according to your need. You can choose one based on different parameters such as durability, size, height, etc.

6. Softbox

A softbox, also known as a light box, is positioned above the product, so that it shines light down on it at an angle of 45 degrees.


How To Shoot Photos of Your Product?

Getting your gear is one thing, and gaining the know-how of photography is another. You will also need some product photography ideas. White background can become important in your shoot if you want to put the product in complete focus. Let us understand this complex process as well as some intriguing ideas.

Product Photography Step-by-Step Guide

1. Set up the surroundings

It is very important to keep distractions in your image minimal. If the product can be placed on the table, then place the table as close to the window as possible. Make sure the shadow of the windowsill is not observable in the frame. Remember to turn off all other lights in the room.

2. Set the sweep

The aim is to have your sweep from flat to vertical. Roll up the board in order for it to reach that shape. Your product should be in the center, on the flat part of the sweep, but there should be enough space for a white reflector card.

3. Adjust the Camera

Here are the settings for the camera:

  • Set the white balance to Auto
  • Turn your flash setting off
  • Set the image quality to the highest quality


4. Set up your product

This might look easy; however, make sure that the brand image is centrally aligned, and labels should be centered.

5. Set up the reflector card

A reflector card is a very important light modifier. Light will bounce off it and fill the shadows of the product. Try it from different angles until you are satisfied.

6. Click and Evaluate

This is where experience comes into play. If you think that the image that you have clicked looks good, then your image is now clicked finally. Now you can use optimization tools to optimize your image for the website.

Ghost Mannequin Technique

If you want to list images of apparel, you will notice that it is difficult to portray how a product fits. Customers will appreciate knowing what a product looks like when it is worn and not what it’s like when it is lying flat.

So instead of hiring a model, we implement the ghost mannequin technique. This technique involves editing photos of the interior and exterior of the garment and removing all traces of the model and mannequin. It leaves behind only a photo of perfectly representing product fit in 3D. This technique has a lot of advantages, like:

  • Cost-effectiveness

This is much more affordable than hiring a model.

  • Clarity and Transparency

This kind of photography clearly shows the customer about shape, size, and drape of each piece of apparel.

  • Consistency

This will give your eCommerce website a consistent and unfirm look. This will cause products to look professional and polished to a potential buyer.

  • Competitive Edge

A trust-building website with a professional look will make the website stand out from others and push it into the limelight.

Here is an example of a ghost mannequin. The shirt shown above was originally worn by a model, who was removed from the image in post-processing, leaving only the apparel there. Doesn’t it seem to be worn by a ghost? Hence the name!


Product Photography Examples

Now, let’s look at some excellent examples. These are easy on the eyes, and hence we can spend a lot of time looking at them. These images can be considered product photography trends.


In-house vs. Outsourced Product Photography

Let’s first define these two terms. When all the product photoshoot-related processes like a plan, shoot, process, and management are done by the entity itself, then it is called In-house Product Photography.

On the other hand, in outsourced Product Photography, you would delegate all these tasks to an external entity. In choosing between them, a lot of major factors influence the decision-making process.

Ideally, if you have time to learn this skill, then you should go for in-house photography, but if you need images quickly, then it’s best to outsource it. There are also other factors, such as:

1. Number of Images Needed

If your requirement is under 1000, then you should outsource the process and save time and money, but if it’s more than this, then it’s best to set up a proper studio for this affair.

2. Still images or 360 images

As you can imagine, 360-degree images are much more complex the still images. Hence, it would be wise to outsource 360 images and try to get still images In-house.

3. Project Scope

Keep in mind your long-term plan. If your business needs a lot and will keep needing a lot of images, then it will be best to get the images in-house and invest in the capability, while if your need is one-time only, then it’s best to outsource this work.


Common Product Photography Mistakes and Avoiding Them

Some common mistakes when photographing products are as follows:

1. Poor Lighting

Lighting is crucial in all photographs. Knowing what kind of lighting will best suit the product is essential. There is also not much you can do when the lighting is not good. One of the mistakes includes using a mixture of light sources. It can be avoided by using a lightbox.

2. Incorrect White Balance

The white balance makes sure that the color of the product remains accurate and true to the original. If the image has added a little yellow/red/blue, then the white balance is an issue. LED or fluorescent might add blue, and natural light might add yellow/red. So balancing it out is important. You can use auto mode in your camera as a last resort.

3. Photographing Reflections

If the lightings are correct, then problems arise due to reflections. Multiple light sources can cause a problem in this respect. Using diffusers with a light source can resolve a lot of problems here.


Improve your Product Photography with Spyne

As you can see, a product shoot is a lengthy and complex task, demanding both time and resources. Also, product photography prices are pretty high, as you need to rent a studio, hire professional photographers, invest in expensive equipment, etc. These are only some of the problems an e-commerce website faces.

When you create product listings or run ads, you need to moderate them for possible vulgar or incorrect images. Running these checks manually is possible if you only have a few products, but moderation and quality checks become difficult as your portfolio grows.

Spyne recognizes these problems, and we’ve come up with a solution for these difficulties. So leave this to our API, as it provides an affordable and quick solution to all these problems. Our AI systems can detect the following problems in product images:

  • Cropped item
  • Blurred Item
  • Poor lighting
  • Reflections
  • Shadow on product
  • Distance from item/ Size of item
  • Low picture resolution
  • Watermark detection
  • Product placement in image
  • Category Validation
  • Multiple object detection
  • Inappropriate graphics/profanity in images


Furthermore, it will also automate the image editing/transformation for:

  • Straightening the edges
  • Price/ Mfg/ Expiry date removal
  • Extracting nutritional value from packaged food pictures
  • Background removal and replacement
  • Shadow Generation
  • Exposure/ Color Correction
  • Tilt Correction
  • Image resolution Correction
  • Marketplace Resizing
  • Product Placement Adjustment
  • Auto-Sequencing of Images


For more insights, you can request a discovery call. We’ll explain in detail how Spyne works and how it can help your business.



Product Photography is for talented and detail-oriented people who are passionate about what they do. The process is hard, time-consuming, and costly. Even if a beginner wants to click images for the products, he can make a lot of mistakes even though a lot of effort is put into the process.

If you run an eCommerce store or an online retail business, and are looking for ways to improve your product listings and ads, Spyne is one of your best options. The guided photoshoot and automated editing will simplify your life without burning a hole in your wallet!

  • Q1. How much should I pay for product photography?

    It will depend on who clicks your images. The product photography prices can range between $20 to $500 per hour, depending on the experience of the photographer.

    • An amateur might charge $20 – $50 per hour
    • A professional photographer might take up to $500 per hour

  • Q2. What is included in the product photography shots?

    • Lifestyle shots
    • Clean cut
    • Packaging shots
    • Group shots
    • Scale shots

  • Q3. What are common mistakes made during product photography?

    The most common mistakes during product photoshoots include the following:

    • Poor Lighting
    • Incorrect White Balance
    • Photographing Reflections
    • Not using flashbulb
    • Not correctly showing the product

Written by

Team Spyne

Young, enthusiastic, and curious are the three words that describe Spyne’s content team perfectly. We take pride in our work - doing extensive research, engaging with industry experts, burning the midnight oil, etc. Every word we write is aimed at solving our readers’ problems.

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