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How to Take Product Photos

Any e-commerce market, whether it's Amazon, Etsy, TikTok Shop, or your own website, needs good product photos. Because online shoppers can't pick up an item and inspect it, your photos need to be clear, accurate depictions of your products that show everything a customer needs to see. At Angela Wolf Video, we offer product photography in our studio. Keep reading for our top three tips for how to take product photos for Amazon and other e-commerce sites.

Tips for Taking Product Photos for Amazon

1) Plan and Prepare

These photos will be a customer's first impression of your product, so they need to be top-notch. It may be tempting to use "tester" or "sample" products out of convenience, but they're really not an accurate representation of your items. Any small defects or scratches will come up on camera. Instead, prep your products to be photographed. Make sure to use brand new, top-quality, clean items that will represent your product as accurately as possible. For clothing, make sure that the articles are steamed/ironed, have no pulls or stray lint, and are the correct size for the model. For jewelry, make sure everything is polished, cleaned, and all the stones are in place. It's also crucial that you closely inspect any items made or finished with resin, epoxy, or varnish to ensure that coats were applied evenly and cleanly. After prepping your products, it's time to plan! Determine what type of photos you need--a small variety is best. One type of product photo is the Flat Lay. As you may have guessed, the product is laid flat on a plain background, and the photo is taken directly above it. Another option is the Lifestyle shot where you show your product in action and how it is intended to be regularly used. Lastly, you can't go wrong with a clear background. To accomplish this, you'll need a PNG file with a transparent background. By having no background at all, it allows the viewer to really focus on the product. This works especially well for photos being used on a website, as it helps integrate the image with the webpage rather than looking like a picture that was slapped on.

2) Check Product Photo Requirements

What good are high-quality, professional photos if you can't even use them? Each e-commerce site is slightly different, so you need to know the requirements before you start your photoshoot. Trust us--it's not easier to fix this in post. It saves a lot of time and energy to fulfill photo requirements on the set, as opposed to trying to reformat or edit in post. When taking product photos for Amazon, it's especially crucial you hit all the requirements: Product must fill at least 85% of the image, be at least 500px (but recommended at least 1600px on the longest side for optimal zoom), have a pure white background, be a professional photo of the literal product (no mockups, graphics, or illustrations), and the main image must show the product outside of the package. Amazon will reject your product photos if they do not meet these guidelines. While other websites such as Etsy aren't as nit-picky with their photo requirements, it's still good to keep Amazon's outlines in mind to provide high-quality representations of your items.

3) Use a Professional Camera and Lighting

Using professional equipment can make all the difference when showing of your products. When taking product photos for Amazon, make sure you are using a professional DSLR. The photos need to be large, in-focus, and high-res (no, your smartphone's camera will not achieve the photo requirements nearly as well). When we shoot product photos, we use our trusty Canon 5D MKIV. It's a tried and true photography camera. For lighting, we use a set of off-camera studio flashes with soft boxes. The soft box is the key to giving off soft, even lighting. In last week's blog post, we stressed the importance of this type of lighting in product videos. The same, of course, applies to product photos. The goal of these photos is to show off the item itself. It might be tempting to go the social media ad route and get creative with lighting, shots, and aesthetics. While those are fun ways to advertise, they're not representing your item as clearly and accurately as possible (and, after all, that is the goal of product photos). Click here to learn more about getting your product photos taken with Angela Wolf Video.


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