Elements Of Good Product Photography

Good photography can elevate your brand image in the blink of an eye and help attract your ideal clients. In this world of online shopping, I'd argue that product imagery is one of the MOST important elements in making a sale.

Here are some stats to consider:

  • Inaccurate product photos cause 22% of ecommerce returns
  • 75% of Online Shoppers Rely on Product Photos When Deciding on a Potential Purchase
  • Good Visual Content is 40% More Likely to Get Shared on Your Social Accounts

I fell in love with shooting product when I was doing my undergrad in photography at SCAD (Savannah, GA). I spent hours and hours in the studio learning to use the equipment and playing with different lighting techniques. 

Since those days in school, I've been fortunate enough to find work within my industry and wanted to share some of the experience I gained shooting product over the last 20 years. Here are, what I believe to be, a few key elements of good product photography.

Use Negative Space

I use a lot of negative space when composing images in the studio. Product photos often get placed in busy layouts and I find that a good amount of negative space is needed to achieve a pleasing visual balance. This also helps keep the focus on the product!

Play With Natural Lighting

While using artificial lighting is often necessary in product photography, I find that that natural light brings such a beautiful quality to product images and I often choose it over strobes.

Objects look like museum pieces under a soft, filtered, directioal light and it can really help evoke an emotion from the viewer and help tell a story.

Give Attention To Details

It's important to give a lot of attention to details when shooting products. I find that the details are just as important as the overall image. Detail shots also allow the viewer to soak in all the beautiful craftmanship that was put into the object and really get a feel for its quality.

Composition Is Key

Building a strong composition is key when shooting objects that are simple in form. Playing with the positioning of the objects can often result in a stunning photo. You can also use multiple products to create repitition which adds interest.

Remeber the rule of thirds and keep your negative space in mind but don't be afraid to break a few rules in the process. You're looking for something that makes your product stand out and many times the best images come from experimentation!


Showing products in context is essential for size referencing and it also suggests to the viewer a way to use the product. Setting up a shot in context will require a bit of styling. Styling a photograph can be a lot of fun and a way to express your unique perspective. I like to start with a blank slate and add elements in one at a time. Then some fine tuning to dial it in to the perfect composition. Bringing in props or greenery is also very helpful and can add a more natural element to your images. Check out my blog post on Styling For Product Photography.

Let's Recap The Elements Of Good Product Photography

1) Spending the time and effort to get exceptional images of your products will help your customers feel good about making a purchase.

2) Use negative space to keep the viewers eyes on the product

3) Using natural light will give a beautiful quality to your photos and help tell a story for your customers to engage with

4) Don't overlook the product details, they are very important in expressing the quality of your item

5) Take time to create an interesting composition and make your photos stand out

6) Style your shots to help customers gauge size and give them ideas on how to use your product

Ready to invest in some professional photos?

I'm Here To Help!

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a San Diego based photographer specializing in product and interior photography and I would love to learn more about your photography needs!

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