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A step-by-step guide to taking your own product photos

We've been in the photography business since 2008, and by now we've edited countless product photos with our photo editing service. There is one problem though: a lot of the product photos are not photographed correctly. We've decided to create a step-by-step guide to taking your own product photos to help out online retailers who want to take product photos that look a lot more professional. 

product picture clipping with shadow

Choosing the right camera

Nowadays that's not such an important point anymore. Most smartphones take amazing pictures, and compact cameras can also be used for product pictures. If you do own a DSLR camera, you should consider using it to take your product photos though.

selfmade product pictures with a camera

Let's take a picture using auto mode

Yeah, no dice. The product is way too light, there are too many lights everywhere and the product casts a shadow.
You should not use flash for your product photos.

dont use auto mode and flashlight for productpictures

1st rule: No flash!

Let's try taking a photo without flash. That's better: the weird lighting is gone, but now the picture is blurry and the colours are off.

productpictures without flash are getting unsharp

2nd rule: Use natural lighting from one source

Alright, that's much better! We also got rid of the blurry effect by using a tripod. The manual exposure time was too long to take pictures by hand.

productpicture without flash and mixed light

3rd rule: Use a tripod or something similar

If you're using a tripod, use the timer. By pressing the release with your finger, the camera moves and the picture may become blurry.

4th rule: Choose the right distance

Set up your camera in the right distance and use the optical zoom instead of the digital zoom. Using the digital zoom reduces the quality of the image.

productpicture to dark

5th rule: Choose a neutral background

It's best to choose a light background without any texture. A simple sheet of paper can work miracles. You'll have to adjust the exposure though; overexpose by +1 or +2 to make sure that your picture does not get ruined by lighting that's too dark.

not the best light settings for productpictures

6th rule: Overexpose the camera by +1 or +2

Looking good! But the lighting could be even better. Use a light sheet of paper or a styrofoam board to direct light where it is needed.

7th rule: Use reflectors

Even better. This product photo almost looks professional. The last step is removing the background and you'll have a professional product photo in no time!

product photo without editing

8th rule: Image editing and post-production

There are a lot of ways to refine your product photos. The background can be removed in a way that still preserves the natural shadow; it's not always necessary to create a new shadow from scratch. Another possibilty is sharpening the image and adjusting contrast and luminosity.

perfect clipping photo with shadow service

With some DIY and a partner like PimpYou you can easily take your own professional product photos.



Tags: Productpictures taken with smartphone, Productpicture by yourself

About pimpyou

Who‘s behind this


Creative team of photographers

Phone: +33 970 444 899

16 Chemin De La Palanque

33880 Cambes, France