What Does a Product Photographer Do?

product photographer

Product Photographer understands how to deliver high-quality photos showcasing a customer’s products. This can include crisp, clean shots on a white background and lifestyle shots that provide context for the product. To get started in this field, you can practice by using your products. You can also look at other photographers’ work to gain inspiration.

Product photography requires special lighting conditions in order to make the products look attractive and visible. This type of photography is usually done in a studio, using specific studio lighting and sometimes props or models. A good product photographer knows the importance of proper lighting and can use natural and artificial light. They also know the difference between continuous and strobe lights.

A good product photographer will use different types of lighting depending on the product, the desired mood, and the desired result. For example, a soft glow can add a warm and inviting feel to the image while a hard light can bring out sharp details. They will also know how to utilize reflectors in order to control the direction and intensity of the light.

It is important to note that the lighting for a product photo can greatly affect its quality and success. A poor light setup will result in a dull, dark image that doesn’t showcase the product. It is important to have the right equipment and skills to produce high-quality images for clients.

Product photographers must pay attention to the background of the image, as well as the color balance and tone. They should also be aware of any shadows that may appear on the product. This is especially important for jewelry or small, delicate products.

Another important consideration for product photographers is how to portray a sense of depth in the images. Some products, such as shoes and clothes, may look better with a little bit of shadowing to emphasize the creases and folds of the product. However, adding too much depth can make the product look flat and cheap.

For more complex product images, a product photographer may need to use a light box. A light box is a type of studio that has lights built into the sides, top and bottom of the box to create a uniformly lit environment. The lighting in a light box is usually continuous or strobe.

Before a product photographer starts working with actual products, they should practice in their home studios. This is a great way to get a feel for the work and determine if it is something that they would like to do for a living. They should also start by shooting simple objects, such as shoes, batteries, and camera equipment. This will help them to build a portfolio and develop the necessary skills for a successful career as a product photographer.


When shooting product photography, there are some things you need to keep in mind to ensure that the images you capture will meet or even exceed your client’s expectations. It’s not enough to take a good camera and some diffusers; you also need to know how to make the most of your studio environment. This means taking the time to set up a proper lighting system and incorporating unique styling into your shots.

For example, glare is a common problem in product photography, and it can be caused by a variety of factors such as reflections or light coming through windows. To prevent glare, you can use a white studio background, diffusers, and a continuous light source. You can also try experimenting with different angles and poses to see how they affect the appearance of your product.

You will also need to familiarize yourself with basic camera settings such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These settings are crucial for capturing sharp, detailed photos. You should also learn how to use the camera’s image correction options, which will save you time in post-production. These features include distortion correction, which helps eliminate barrel and pincushion distortion.

Another important aspect of product photography is using a color checker to ensure that the colors in your images are accurate. This is essential because it will help you avoid a color cast that can cause the product to look dull or unappetizing. You can also use a light box or bounce cards to direct the light and avoid shadows.

While it’s possible to create compelling product photos with a simple camera and a few Instagram filters, the process takes practice and skill. If you’re serious about becoming a product photographer, it’s recommended to start out by practicing with products in your own home. You can shoot anything from kitchen utensils to tents, and it will help you determine whether this is something that you really want to do for a living.

Product photographers typically work in tightly controlled environments, so they don’t need the same high-end camera equipment that professional portrait photographers require. For instance, a product photographer will rarely need to shoot at night or in a dark environment. In addition, a product photographer will typically not need to shoot video or photograph moving objects.


A product photographer needs a lens that offers high quality and good sharpness. They also need a lens that can produce a stunning bokeh effect without creating any unwanted distortions. These conditions can be met with the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens. This lens has a wide aperture that allows photographers to capture detailed images. It also reduces chromatic aberration, ghosting, and flare. The lens is also versatile, making it ideal for both close-up and macro shots.

The choice of a lens can have a big impact on the final image. A good option for product photography is a prime lens. These lenses are not as expensive as zoom lenses and they have the same optical performance. They are also not prone to the problems of zoom lenses, such as distortion or vignetting.

Choosing the right lens can be a challenge because there are many different lenses on the market. To help you make the decision, you can use a website that compares lenses. This site will list all of the features and details of each lens in a clear table. It will also give you information on how the lenses perform and their compatibility with your camera.

Another important factor to consider is the minimum aperture. A larger aperture will create a shallow depth of field. This can be a problem for product photography because it will make the background and the detail on the product blurry. You can avoid this by using a lens with a smaller minimum aperture, such as f/5.6 or f/11.

There are also a number of other things to consider when buying a lens. It is important to look for a lens that is compatible with your camera, so it will fit securely on the camera body. It is also important to check for any optical flaws that may be present in the lens. These flaws can include chromatic aberration, which can cause color fringes on the edges of a white background. A lens with chromatic aberration is not ideal for product photography because it will be difficult to remove in post-production.


Once you’ve shot your product photos, it’s time to take care of the post-production process. This includes color correction, removal of unnecessary objects and retouching, which makes your images look flawless. Retouching is especially important for ecommerce product photos, which are typically displayed on websites and mobile devices where the viewer has a small screen to view them on.

While you can use your smartphone to take product photographs, a professional photographer’s studio has a number of tools that help them produce stunning shots. They might have a white backdrop, black and white cards to create highlights or shadows, and c-stands for mounting products on. They may also have a variety of lenses for different perspectives and angles.

A good product photographer will take multiple pictures and evaluate them after each shoot to ensure they’ve captured everything they need. They might then create a shot list to keep track of the products they’re photographing. This can be a great way to maintain consistency and get more bang for your buck.

There are a number of ways to make money as a product photographer, from shooting product-only images for ecommerce sites to taking complex lifestyle photos that show a product in action. The most important thing is to build a portfolio that showcases your skills and can be shared with prospective clients. Aim to include a variety of different shots and styles so that you can appeal to clients with a range of needs.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, starting your own product photography business can be an exciting venture. The demand for product photography is growing rapidly as online shopping continues to dominate retail sales. And with the right equipment and know-how, you can set yourself up for success in this lucrative industry.

If you’re interested in becoming a product photographer, start by building a portfolio of your best work and sharing it with potential clients. Then, start experimenting with lighting and composition to see what works best for you. With practice, you’ll be able to capture the perfect shot every time!

Homer Harting