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How to shoot and edit great eCommerce photos

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Written by Becky T

Published Jan 26, 2023

If you're familiar with eCommerce, then you know that the quality of product photos can make or break a sale. What you might not be so confident about is how to take and edit eCommerce photos. High-quality product photos not only help customers visualise what they're purchasing, but they also convey a sense of professionalism and credibility. So, how do you go about creating stunning eCommerce photos that will help you stand out from the competition and grow your business?

Well, whether you're just starting out with eCommerce photography or you're looking to take your skills to the next level, this article has something for you. We'll share tips and techniques for shooting and editing professional-looking product photos that will help you capture the attention of potential customers and drive sales.

This article will cover the following topics:

  1. How to prepare for the photoshoot
  2. How to take photos for eCommerce
  3. How to edit eCommerce photos
  4. Advanced eCommerce photo editing techniques

Preparing for the photoshoot

image showing an eCommerce photoshoot of two glasses of wine
Photo by Pexels

Before you start shooting your eCommerce photos, it's important to take the time to set everything up properly. This will help ensure that you get the best possible results and save time and effort in the long run. Here are some key considerations for preparing for your photoshoot:

Choosing the right camera and equipment

When it comes to shooting eCommerce photos, you don't need to have the most expensive camera on the market to get great results. In fact, many smartphone cameras these days are more than capable of capturing high-quality product photos. That said, if you're serious about eCommerce photography and want to take your business to the next level, you may want to invest in a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera or a mirrorless camera, which offer more advanced features and control.

Regardless of what type of camera you use, it's important to have the right equipment to support your photoshoot concept. This might include a tripod to keep the camera steady, a remote shutter release to reduce camera shake, and a variety of lenses to give you more flexibility in your shots. You might also want to consider investing in a lightbox or a lighting kit to help you get the best lighting for your photos.

image of a camera on a tripod during an ecommerce photoshoot
Photo by Amar Preciado

Setting up the shooting space

The next step in preparing for your photoshoot is to set up your shooting space. Some people prefer to work in product or eCommerce photography studios with professional photo studio equipment, while others prefer a small corner of their own home or office. Wherever you choose to shoot your photos, it's important to have a clean, well-lit space that is free of distractions.

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When setting up your shooting space, consider the type of background you'll be using. For most eCommerce photos, a simple, solid-coloured background is best, as it helps to make the product the star of the show. You can use a variety of materials for your background, such as paper, fabric, or foam board. Just make sure that the background is smooth and wrinkle-free, and that it complements the colour of your products.

Image showing an ecommerce photoshoot of high heeled shoes, against a blue background
Photo by Mohammad Metri

Gathering and styling props and background materials

In addition to a background, you may also want to include props and other elements in your eCommerce photos to give them more context and visual interest. Props can help customers better understand how the product works or what it looks like in use. Some common props for eCommerce photos include packaging, models, and other items that are relevant to the product.

When gathering and styling props and background materials, it's important to keep the focus on the product and avoid overcrowding the shot or making it feel too 'busy'. Choose props that complement the product and add visual interest, but don't distract from it. Be sure to arrange your props and background materials in a pleasing and cohesive way, using the principles of composition to create a visually appealing image.

image showing a product photograph consisting of several beers in a bucket, and 4 people in the background laughing and socialising
Photo by Anima Visual

Shooting the photos

image showing an eCommerce photoshoot of a rose and two wine glasses, with a camera in the foreground
Photo by PhotoMIX Company

Now that you've prepared for your photoshoot, it's time to start shooting your eCommerce photos. Here are some key considerations for getting the best results:

Choosing the right lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements in eCommerce photography, as it can dramatically affect the look and feel of your photos. The best lighting for eCommerce photos is soft, even, and diffuse, as it helps to minimise shadows and highlight the features of your products.

There are a few different lighting setups that you can use for eCommerce photography, depending on your needs and the type of products you're shooting. For example, you might use a lightbox or a softbox to create soft, even lighting, or you might use a combination of natural and artificial light to create a more natural look. No matter what lighting setup you choose, be sure to pay attention to the direction and intensity of the light and adjust your camera settings accordingly.

Photo by Venus HD

Setting up the camera and framing the shot

Once you have your lighting set up, it's time to set up your camera and frame the shot. This involves positioning the camera at the right angle and distance from the product and composing the shot in a visually appealing way.

When setting up your camera, be sure to use a tripod to keep the camera steady and eliminate camera shake. You'll also want to choose the right aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings to get the best results for your product photos.

Capturing a variety of angles and shots

One of the keys to creating great eCommerce photos is to capture a variety of angles and shots of your products. This helps to give customers a complete understanding of the product and what it looks like from different perspectives.

To capture a variety of angles and shots, try moving the camera around the product and shooting from different heights and distances. You might also want to try using different lenses to get different looks. For example, a wide-angle lens can help you capture more of the product in a single shot, while a telephoto lens can help you create a more detailed, close-up shot.

Shooting close-ups and detail shots

In addition to capturing a variety of angles and shots, it's also important to include close-ups and detail shots in your eCommerce photos. Close-ups and detail shots help to highlight the features and quality of your products and can be especially useful for products with intricate details or textures.

To capture close-ups and detail shots, use a lens with a longer focal length and get as close to the product as possible. Macro lenses are specifically designed for shooting close-ups and detail shots. Just be sure to keep the focus on the product and avoid including distracting elements in the shot.

Editing the photos

photo showing someone using photo editing software on a computer screen  to edit ecommerce photos
Photo by Pavil Danilyuk

Once you've finished shooting your eCommerce photos, it's time to edit them to get the best possible results. There are a few key steps involved in editing eCommerce photos, including choosing the right software, adjusting the colour, lighting, and contrast, removing blemishes and distractions, and adding text and other design elements. Here's a closer look at each of these steps:

Choosing the right photo editing software

There are a wide variety of photo editing software options available, ranging from simple, free tools to advanced, professional-grade programs. When choosing photo editing software for your eCommerce photos, it's important to consider your needs and budget. Some popular options for eCommerce photographers include Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, GIMP & Picsart.

Adjusting colour, lighting, and contrast

After you've chosen your photo editing software, the next step is to adjust the colour, lighting, and contrast of your photos. This involves fine-tuning the exposure, white balance, and colour settings of your images to get the best possible results.

Adjusting the exposure of your photos involves setting the right balance of light and dark areas in the image. You can do this by adjusting the exposure slider in your photo editing software or by using the levels or curves tools.

Adjust the white balance of your photos by setting the right balance of warm and cool tones in the image. This is important because different lighting conditions can affect the colour balance of your photos. You can adjust the white balance in your photo editing software by using the white balance tool or by adjusting the temperature and tint sliders.

Adjusting the contrast of your photos by setting the right balance of light and dark areas in the image. You can do this by adjusting the contrast slider in your photo editing software or by using the levels or curves tools.

Photo by Pat Taylor

Removing blemishes and distractions

In addition to adjusting the colour, lighting, and contrast of your photos, you'll also want to remove any blemishes or distractions that might be present in the image. This might include things like dust, scratches, or reflections that can take away from the overall appeal of the product.

To remove blemishes and distractions from your eCommerce photos, use the clone stamp, spot healing brush, or other retouching tools in your photo editing software. Pay attention to the details and blend the retouched areas seamlessly with the rest of the image. It's also a good idea to zoom in on the image to get a closer look at any blemishes or distractions that might be present.

Adding text and other design elements

Once you've finished adjusting the colour, lighting, and contrast of your photos, and removing any blemishes or distractions, consider adding text or other design elements to your images. This could include things like product names, descriptions, or branding elements.

To add text or other design elements to your eCommerce photos, use the text and design tools in your photo editing software. Be sure to choose a font and colour that complement the look and feel of your photos and keep the text and design elements to a minimum to avoid overwhelming the image.

Advanced techniques for shooting and editing eCommerce photos

image showing somebody working on a laptop screen using Photoshop to edit ecommerce photos
Photo by Luca Sammarco

Now that you've mastered the basics of eCommerce photography, you may want to try your hand at some more advanced techniques. These techniques can help you create unique and visually appealing eCommerce photos that stand out from the competition. Here are three advanced techniques to consider:

Shooting and editing photos of reflective or transparent products

Products that are reflective or transparent can be challenging to photograph, as they can produce distracting reflections or show what's behind them. To get the best results when shooting and editing photos of reflective or transparent products, you'll need to pay attention to the lighting and camera angle and use some advanced techniques in your photo editing software.

Photo of a series of transparent glass jars, containing various food items
Photo by Laura Mitulla

To minimize reflections when shooting photos of reflective products, try shooting at an angle to the reflection and using a polarising filter on your lens. You can also use a reflector or a diffuser to soften the light and reduce reflections. In your photo editing software, use the clone stamp or healing brush to remove any distracting reflections or blemishes from your photos.

To show what's inside transparent products, try shooting from an angle that allows you to see through the product. You can do this by using a lightbox or a lighting kit to help illuminate the inside of the product. In your photo editing software, use the clone stamp or healing brush to remove any blemishes or distractions from the inside of the product.

Shooting and editing photos of large or awkward-shaped products

Products that are large or have awkward shapes can present a challenge when it comes to photography. They may require special lighting or camera angles to show them off in the best possible way.

Here are some tips for shooting and editing photos of large or awkward-shaped products:

  • Use a wide-angle lens or a lens with a longer focal length to capture the entire product in the frame. Alternatively, crop the image in post-processing to highlight specific features. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to show the size or shape of the product in context.
  • A lightbox or lighting kit can be used to evenly illuminate the product. Alternatively, a combination of natural and artificial light can create a more natural look. In post-processing, use the clone stamp or healing brush to remove any blemishes or distractions from the product.
  • Consider using a product turntable or a motorized camera mount to capture dynamic, 360-degree views of the product. This can be especially useful for products that have intricate details or features that are hard to see from just one angle.

Shooting and editing photos with a pure white background

A pure white background can be a clean and modern look for eCommerce photos, especially for products that are small or have a simple design.

Here are some tips for shooting and editing photos with a pure white background:

Use a lightbox or a lighting kit to evenly illuminate the product and the background. A pure white background will require more light than a darker background, so be sure to use sufficient lighting to avoid shadows or uneven lighting.

Photo by Polina Kovaleva

Choose a camera and lens that can capture a wide dynamic range, as this will allow you to capture both the product and the white background without losing detail.

In post-processing, use the levels or curves tools to adjust the exposure and contrast of the image to make the white background pure white. You may also want to use the colour balance tool to fine-tune the colour temperature of the image.

If you're shooting with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you may want to use a lens hood to reduce lens flare, as this can cause reflections or colour shifts in the white background.

Key takeaways

image showing a woman holding a credit card
Photo by Anna Shvets

In this article, we've covered a range of topics from how to take photos for eCommerce to how to edit eCommerce photos. We've also covered how to choose the right photo editing software, how to adjust colour, lighting, and contrast, and how to remove blemishes and distractions.

Remember, as you experiment with different setups and photo editing techniques, be sure to pay attention to what works best for your business. Every product and brand is different, so don't be afraid to try out new approaches and find what works best for you when it comes to taking photos for eCommerce and eCommerce photo editing.

With time and practice, you'll be able to take professional-grade eCommerce photos, helping you to build your portfolio and promote your work on your photography website, allowing you to attract photography clients to your business. We trust these tips will help you on your path to eCommerce photo mastery!

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