What Does it Take to Be a Product Photographer?

Product photography is a form of commercial photography that focuses on capturing the details and features of products for marketing. It’s a highly specialized field that requires both technical knowledge and creative thinking skills. Start by practicing with everyday objects that you own—shoot batteries, shoes, camera equipment, office supplies – anything that is small enough to photograph.

Product Photographer

Product Photographer must have a strong understanding of lighting and how it affects the appearance of a subject. They must also have the ability to troubleshoot problems that may arise during a shoot. This is especially true when working in a studio environment. Product photographers must be able to solve problems quickly and effectively while still maintaining production schedules. They must also be able to work with a team and supervise assistants.

The best lighting conditions for product photography are soft and even, with a low contrast. This ensures that the subject will be crisp and clear, with no blurring or shadows. In addition, the lighting should be consistent throughout the entire image. The photographer should be able to control the direction and intensity of the light, as well as set the desired color temperature.

There are a variety of lighting options available to product photographers, including natural and artificial. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Natural light can provide a more authentic look and feel, but it is unpredictable and can be difficult to control. Artificial lighting provides a more controlled environment but can be expensive to purchase and requires advanced knowledge to use effectively.

The quality of a product photograph is only as good as the quality of the equipment used to create it. Product photographers should have a variety of cameras, lenses, light sources, and other accessories to accommodate different types of products and environments. They should also have a knowledge of color theory and the ability to use post-processing software to enhance their images.

Product photography can be a challenging and rewarding career for those who are interested in a creative and fulfilling work environment. It can also be very competitive, as there are many talented product photographers out there. To succeed, it is important to have a unique style that sets you apart from your competitors. Many successful product photographers have a specialty that they focus on, such as shoes and apparel or technology and electronics. They should also have a high level of proficiency with Photoshop and Lightroom.


Props are all the objects in a scene that aren’t the main subject of a photograph. They’re often used to set a mood and tone for the picture, as well as enhance its overall appearance. Props can include anything from furniture to flowers to twigs, books, and more. Using creative props can help elevate your product photography and take it to the next level.

When choosing props for your products, it’s important to think about what kind of story you want to tell. You’ll need to select the right props to convey your message, and they should also work together with the product in terms of color, shape, atmosphere, or other elements. For example, if your products have a woody scent, you might want to use a wooden backdrop or introduce other wood-related elements into the shot, like pine cones and twigs.

In addition to traditional props, you can also utilize aspects of the human body to add a more personal touch to your shots. For example, you can use a model’s hands to hold a beauty product or drape their hair around a bottle of shampoo. These creative props can add a sense of intimacy and help your customers visualize how the product will fit into their lives.

Another way to make your product photos stand out is by incorporating fairy lights. These delicate lights can be used to create a magical atmosphere for your images and highlight the details of the product. They’re also a great choice for ethereal backdrops for beauty and fashion shots. They’re also a popular choice for weddings and other special occasions.

It’s important to consider your audience and brand guidelines when selecting props for your photographs. For instance, if you’re selling hiking gear, it might be best to shoot outdoors in natural settings instead of a studio. This will give the photo a more authentic feel and make it look more appealing to potential buyers.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect props for your photographs, you can bring them to life with post-processing. This process includes using editing software to enhance the colors, brightness, and contrast of your images. It can also be used to add filters and other effects to create a unique style for your images.


A good product photographer should have a strong understanding of the use of props. This includes how they can be used to communicate a message or evoke an emotion in the viewer. They should also know how to arrange a scene using the props to create a cohesive look. Styling is a process that can take time to master. It is important to try different things and see what works best.

A great way to showcase your skills as a product photographer is to create a portfolio. This will help you get more work and build your reputation. Your portfolio should include a variety of images that demonstrate your versatility and style. You should also make sure your portfolio is optimized for the web, so that it can be easily accessed by potential clients.

You can start your search for a product photographer by looking at online listings and reviews. You should also consider asking friends and colleagues for recommendations. Once you have found a potential candidate, review their portfolio and check for references. It is important to find a product photographer who has experience with tabletop photography and who can provide a consistent level of quality.

It is also important to note that the product photographer must be able to balance image quality with production speed. Creating a perfect image can often take 50% longer than a good one, which can cause problems for the client in terms of meeting deadlines. Therefore, it is important to hire a photographer who can deliver the results you require within your budget.

In addition to product photography, some photographers specialize in other types of genres, such as lifestyle or food. The main difference between these genres and product photography is that the latter is about promoting the products, while other genres focus on the art of the photographs.

Whether you are interested in product photography or other genres, it is important to understand the importance of styling. This is a skill that all photographers need to learn, but it can be difficult for beginners to master. Fortunately, there are many resources available online that can teach you the basics of styling. By following these tips, you can take beautiful, engaging product photos that will appeal to your target audience.


As a product photographer, you must have a strong understanding of Photoshop and image editing. You need to be able to make small touch-ups and edits such as removing dust or blemishes, adjusting color balance, adding textures, or even creating a composite image. Having this skill is especially important if you are shooting high-volume images. A good product photographer will shoot with image editing in mind and capture images that are easy to work with. They will adjust lights and camera exposure to ensure the background is clean and ready for retouching or manipulation.

The most successful product photographers have a solid grasp of lighting and are able to capture quality, high-resolution photos. They may have a bachelor’s or associate degree in photography or a related field, and many begin their careers as photographic assistants to build experience and their portfolio before becoming a professional product photographer. Many freelance product photographers own their own equipment and will work independently of a studio or agency.

A strong product photographer must be able to solve problems that arise during production and communicate effectively with all project resources. They will also be able to manage their photography assistants and stay organized. It’s not uncommon for a product photographer to need to shoot hundreds of products in a day, so they must be able to streamline the process and ensure efficiency.

Some companies require specific file formatting for their product images. For example, they may need to meet GS1 standards which requires a connection between the product’s Global Trade Item Number and the file name of each image. This can be difficult and time-consuming for a photographer to do manually so a good product photographer will have the ability to use software to automate this process.

Product photographers tend to have a niche or signature style and some even focus on specific types of products, such as shoes or apparel. This is because it’s important that the product photographer’s style meshes with the brand and the company. If they don’t, the results can be inconsistent and less than ideal.