Blog

Product Photography Ideas

10 Product Photography Ideas to Copy for Your Next Shoot

10 Product Photography Ideas to Copy for Your Next Shoot

Shooting on a white background doesn’t always have the “go to” for product photography. You should aim to mix it up a bit and consider the uses of your product photography (will the images be used for an e-commerce shop, advertising, or social media?).

To help you come up with some ideas for your next shoot and inspire your creativity, we’ve put together this list of 10 product photography ideas for you to try out. Give them a look, and if you have any of your own ideas, leave them in the comments below to help out the rest of our community here on Grid50.

Shoot on a White Background

I know! We just said there are other options besides shooting on a white background. But, we at least need to list the most obvious and most popular choice for product photography.

Shooting on a wide background is the “go to” choice for most photographers capturing products for an Amazon shop or an e-commerce website. The white background allows the product to stand out and ensures the background is not distracting.

There are many different ways to shoot against a white background. Keep in mind, though, all methods will still require a bit of editing. Even when shooting against a well-lit white background, the background will not be completely white in the final image. The images levels will need to be brought up in post.

Here’s the basic process for shooting against a white background:

  • Set up the white background. You can do this by:
    • Using a photo lightbox. These are relatively cheap and work for smaller products.
    • Using a white muslin or paper backdrop. A white seamless paper backdrop is usually best but it can be tough to store.
    • Using white foam board. This can be purchased for under $10 from Walmart.
    • Using a white piece of paper. If the product is small, you may even be able to get away with just a few sheets of paper.
  • Set your camera’s settings manually. When adjusting your settings, you should:
    • Set your camera’s ISO as low as possible. This will reduce grain in your images.
    • Set your exposure manually. Make sure your histogram shows that the white or black levels are not blown out.
    • Use a tripod. More than likely, you’ll need to shoot at a low shutter speed which will result in a blurry image if you’re shooting handheld. Using a tripod will eliminate this problem.
  • Shoot your image
  • Edit the image using Lightroom, Photoshop, or a similar editing program. For some shots, you may just be able to bring up the levels of the image but for others, you may need to remove the background completely and replace it.

Examples:

White Background Product Photography Example

Image source: New Balance

White Background Product Photography Example

Image Source: Rudy’s Barbershop

Shoot on a Colored Background

Shooting on a colored background can not only give you a different look but it can make editing easier when shooting lighter products. Let’s say you’re shooting a light product such as a white t-shirt and you want to replace the background completely.

Shooting this on a white background and editing it later will be difficult since the white shirt will blend into the background. You will have to spend a lot of time manually selecting the product in order to delete the background.

A workaround can be to actually shoot on a colored background such as a light tan or gray background. Bright green backgrounds are often used for this purpose, but when shooting light objects, especially white clothing, it can cast a green hue onto the product which can be difficult to remove later.

However, by shooting on a  light tan background, it’s much easier to remove the background in Photoshop. You can use “Select Color Range” to select the tan background and remove it that way. Or, if you’re simply using the selector tool, the tool will have a much easier time discerning the background from the product making it easier to select.

Examples:

Colored Background Product Photography Example

Image Source: Glamour

Colored Background Product Photography Example

Image Source;: Wired

Shoot in an Organic Setting

Now, we’re moving beyond the standard e-commerce shop look. In this idea, you would actually place the product in an organic setting as it might be seen. This can be great for additional images on a product listing or for use on social media or in advertising.

An example might be shooting a bottle of shampoo in the bathroom.

Examples:

Organic Setting Product Photography Example

Image Source: Kicks on Fire

Organic Setting Product Photography Example

Image Source: 1800 Vodka

Use Props or Add in Complementary Products

Going right along with the idea above, you can also add some props to the frame. If again you’re shooting a shampoo bottle, you might throw in a colorful shower cap, bath bombs, or any other products you might see in the bathroom.

You don’t want to distract from the product but you want to set that stage a bit. On top of using props to create a unique shot, you may use the opportunity to subtly add in complementary products.

For example, with our shampoo bottle, if this company also sells hair conditioner or body wash, you may add those to the background of the image.

Examples:

Product Photography Example

Image Source: Amazon

Product Photography Example

Image Source: Bacardi

Shoot All Products at Once

While this idea won’t work for every company’s line up of products, this type of shot can be great for use on a company’s website (such as the featured image on the homepage), for advertising purposes, or on social media.

The idea is to shoot a group of products all in one shot. For example, if you’re shooting a line of scarves, you could lay the scarves one over another and shoot them in a horizontal, landscape shot. If you’re shooting a line of bathroom products, you could line all of the products up in a “v-shaped” line on the bathroom counter.

This idea is great for showing off product lines.

Examples:

Product Photography Example

Image Source: Dove

Product Photography Example

Image Source: Things Remembered

In-Use Product Shot

Another idea is to capture the product in use. For example, if you’re hired to shoot a bottle of lotion, you may shoot someone applying it to their leg. If it’s a pair of headphones, you may shoot someone sitting on a couch and listening to music with the headphones.

These are great opportunities to showcase products in advertising and for posting on social media.

Examples:

In-Use Product photography Example

Image Source: New Balance

In-Use Product photography Example

Image Source: Morganbullard.com

Shoot Different Angles

This might seem like an obvious one, but often companies only shoot products straight on. If you’re hired for a job, you should recommend the company to take multiple angles of their products. Potential customers often want to inspect the product as closely as possible and having multiple different angles will allow them to do that.

Consider what aspects of the product are important to capture. For example, photographing the side of a lotion bottle may not be necessary but photographing the side of a phone would be (since it would show help show the thickness of the phone and the button placement).

Examples:

Different Angles Product Photography Example

Image Source: Autonomous

Different Angles Product Photography Example

Image Source: Amazon

Shoot Close-Up or Macro Shots

Running right along with the idea above on shooting multiple angles, make sure to shoot close-ups as well. This gives you the opportunity to really show off the fine detail of the product.

For example, on a pair of jeans, you might take a close up of the pocket stitching, the pants zipper, or the button.

Examples:

Close-Up Product Photography Example

Image Source: The Jeans Blog

Close-Up Product Photography Example

Image Source: Odyssey

Take a 360 Degree Shot

360-degree photography is becoming more and more popular. Having a 360-degree image allow potential customers to really inspect the product and view from any angle.

In most cases, you will need a rotating table to do this type of photography. Here’s a helpful video to show you how to take 360-degree photos:

Take a Ghost Shot

This type of shot can work well for clothing. You will need a mannequin or a model to do it. The idea is to shoot the product, in this case, let’s say a t-shirt that is placed on the mannequin.

To create this shot, you would set the lighting and shoot the image as normal but later in editing, you would remove the mannequin from the image. This would leave just the shirt so it’s “floating” in the image.

It also gives the clothing a more “3D” look and overall it more eye-catching.

Examples:

 

Ghost Product Photography Example

Image Source: Uniqlo

Ghost Product Photography Example

Image Source: Amazon

Now, it’s your turn. We want to hear your ideas for shooting product photography. Leave them in the comments below!

The Best Place to Sell Used Camera Equipment

The Best Places to Sell Used Camera Equipment

The Best Places to Sell Used Camera Equipment

Looking to get rid of some of your used camera equipment but still get the most amount of money for it? Then, you’re in the right place.

In the post, we’ll cover some of the best (and worst) places to sell your used gear so you know where to get the most back for your equipment and which places to avoid. So, let’s right into it.

Sell Your Camera Gear at These Places to Get the Most Money:

Grid50

Grid50 is a marketplace website catered specifically for photography and videography people. The site lists all different kinds of camera equipment including lenses, lighting, DSLRs, pro video cameras, and more.

It’s similar to eBay in that people can list their own used or new equipment and browse hundreds of listings of equipment to buy from.

However, unlike eBay, you’ll keep a lot more of your money when you sell your gear on Grid50.

Whereas eBay charges 10% of the final sale value, Grid50 only charges 3.5%. So if you sold a camera lens for $100, eBay would take $10 of that sale. Grid50 would only take $3.50.

grid50 screenshot

This can add up when you list an expensive piece of gear (and we all know how expensive camera gear can be) or when you sell multiple items. You’ll keep a lot more of your money when you list and sell on Grid50.

Additionally, since it’s marketplace website built specifically for photographer and videographers, there’s likely a good chance there’s someone looking for exactly what you’re selling. In other words, there is a target market of potential buyers and you’re not limited to selling to only a specific geographical area as you are with a site like Craigslist.

Craigslist

Craigslist can sometimes get a bad rap. While there have been some horror stories from people meeting on Craigslist, these are rare and Craigslist still remains one of the best places to buy and sell camera equipment.

If you’re worried about meeting someone in person, just make sure to meet in a public place. If you’re buying or selling an expensive item, bring a friend or two along and keep your money in your car at first.

Personally, I’ve bought and sold over 100 items on Craigslist and I have never had a problem.

Probably the biggest advantage of Craigslist is that there are no listing or selling fees. So you’ll keep 100% of your sale.

In addition, with Craigslist you don’t have to worry about shipping the item. Which in a lot of cases, can be more convenient than shipping. You can simply meet up with the potential buyer to sell your gear.

Lastly, you won’t have to deal with Paypal transaction fees as you would if you sold your gear on Grid50 or eBay (Paypal charges $0.30 + 2.9% of the total sale value on transactions).

Avoid Selling Your Camera Gear at These Places

eBay

eBay can be a great place to sell your gear if you want to get rid of it fast since the marketplace website has such a large number of users.

However, if you want to make the most amount of money from your sale, then you should avoid eBay.

As mentioned above, eBay charges 10% of the total sale fee. So if you sell an item for $100, eBay will take $10. If you sell something for $1,000, they will take $100. It should be noted, however, they do have a max fee of $750. So if you sell a really expensive item, the most you will be charged is $750.

ebay listing fees

That is still a lot of money, though, and it adds up when you sell expensive items or list multiple pieces of gear. The large percentage that eBay takes from your sale could be money invested into higher-quality camera gear, additional lenses, etc.

Your Local Camera Store, KEH, B&H, or Adorama

All of these places are camera stores that will buy your used camera equipment, then turn around and resell it for a profit.

In order for any of these places to make a profit, they have to buy your gear at a low enough price point to ensure they can resell it and still make a decent enough profit for it to be worth their time and investment (they often will clean the equipment afterwards, take quality pictures, list the item online, and keep it in their inventory until the item sells). There’s also a certain amount of risk if they can’t sell the item.

This concept means that you won’t get top dollar for your equipment from any of these places. Therefore, you can expect to earn about half of what the used value of your equipment is worth. So if you could sell your used camera for $500 on eBay or Grid50, you might get one of these places to give around $250. Of course, it varies by each store.

If you need to get rid of your gear fast, either because you need the money right away or you don’t want to hold onto the equipment until it sells, then these places are probably your best bet.

But, if you want to get the most money back from selling your used camera equipment, these places should be avoided.

Tips for Selling Your Used Camera Gear

Include the Original Box

When listing your camera gear online, if you have the original box it came in, make sure to include that in the item listing and even include a picture of the box.

Listings that include the original box tend to sell more quickly (and for a higher price) because it shows the owner is organized and likely took good care of their equipment. The original box may also be helpful to the new owner in terms of warranty information.

Clean Your Gear

Clean up your gear as best as possible. If you’re selling a camera lens, make sure to wipe the glass clean. If you’re selling a camera body, try to clean any dust and debris out from the cracks. It only takes a few minutes but it will make your listing more attractive to potential buyers.

Take Quality Pictures

It might seem obvious, especially to many of you who are photographers, but taking the extra time to take a few quality images of the gear you’re selling can help it to sell more quickly. Buyers appreciate when there are a lot of detailed pictures. It puts any worries at ease that there may be damage to the item.

While many of us don’t have a professional studio, there are still a few things you can do at home to capture quality photos. First, make sure the image is well light with natural lighting. You can do this by snapping pictures near a well-exposed window.

Next, make sure the image background is a solid color and free from clutter. Messy backgrounds can distract the buyer and they may not click on your listing.

Lastly, take multiple pictures from different angles. This will give buyers the chance to really inspect the item. If there are any scratches or other damage to the item, make sure to include those so they buyer knows what to expect.

Be Detailed & Honest

It will do you no good to leave out any important details about the condition of your gear. The buyer may receive an item that wasn’t properly describer and you’ll then be in a dispute over the item. Which will likely result in a return and refund of their money.

To make sure the buyer knows exactly what they are getting, be as detailed as possible about the item you’re listing. If there’s something wrong with it, just be honest. State that X feature doesn’t work or there is a large scratch on Y.

In conclusion, if you want to get the most from your used camera equipment, try selling it on Craigslist or listing your gear on Grid50. Signing up for Grid50 is free and you are only charged when and if the item sells.

We hope this post was helpful to you, and if you have any tips for selling used camera equipment, leave them in the comments below. We’d love to hear them!

Free Photography & Videography Resources

Signup to our newsletter to received weekly updates with the best resources published to the Grid50 blog.
Subscribe
close-link