The 10 best product photography ideas

  (photo credit: Tsour Lee Adato)
(photo credit: Tsour Lee Adato)

Are you looking for product photography ideas? I know exactly what you mean. When I first started out in product photography, I struggled to come up with ideas. I can only compare it to writer's block. Professional authors or writers say they struggle come up with new ideas. 

Eventually, I realized that one of the best things you can do is to come up with personal ideas. It is a matter of thinking outside the box. Of course, you should keep the brief in mind. But, at the same time, you shouldn't be afraid to experiment. When it comes to product photography, both the conventional and darn right crazy works. 

Anyway, I have taken the opportunity to gather my thoughts and put pen to paper. Here are my top 10 Product Photography Ideas

Top 10 Product Photography Ideas

1 Make a Splash

I have to admit I love splash photography. On my blog, I talk about splash photography in greater detail. 

What makes splash photography great? What I love about it is that it instantly adds movement and interest. Instead of producing a stagnant image, you immediately have an image with something going on. 

It could be the splash of a drink or the splash of a bottle of hair shampoo as you put it down. 

2 Using Models

Models are not always called for, but I think using models is another great idea. That does not mean all of your models need to be human. 

They say you should never work with animals, but do you know what, it is not a bad idea. First of all, many people like animals. Secondly, animals have appealing faces. 

Human models are great, but there is nothing that says “buy me now” more than a pair of puppy dog eyes. 

3 Play With Light

Working with lights often seems daunting when you first start out as a product photographer.

Studio lights are not cheap to buy. If you are just starting out, you can purchase lighting kits. They are often excellent value for money. 

Playing with light lets you experiment with shadows and brightness levels. Doing so can add both depth and interest to an image. 

4 Working Outside

Many product photographers don't like working outside. As I did not start my photography career specializing in photographing products, working outside is something I love. 

Take a walk around your home town and find places that inspire you. Make a note of them, and if you have an assignment that would work with one of the settings, go there and shoot it. 

5 Hang Up The Products

Not everything should be photographed on a flat surface. Try to come up with goofy ways of photographing everyday stuff. 

How do you photograph shoes? Most product photographers like to place shoes on a flat surface and snap a photo. Okay, that is one way of photographing shoes. But, there are ways in which you can create more of an impact. Have you ever thought about hanging up a pair of shoes and photographing them? It really looks great! A buyer will instantly remember the photograph.

6 Macro Photography

When I am not shooting products, I like to photograph small critters. Yes, you guessed it, I am one of those weird people who like to photograph bugs and butterflies. 

Thanks to my experiments with macro photography, I have learned a lot about the technique and how useful it is to us as product photographers. In particular, it can have a huge impact on high-end products such as brand watches. 

When you shoot a more exclusive product emphasizing the finer details adds value. 

7 Photo Editing Software

Never underestimate the value of photo editing software. I am a bit old school when it comes to product photography. Making sure the photograph itself is good is of utmost importance to me. 

However, I have learned to play with photo editing software such as Adobe. You can add special effects and make sure your photograph is 100 per cent perfect. I certainly think photo editing software has a place in product photography. 

8 Different Backgrounds

Playing around with different colored backgrounds also helps. If your client has a color theme they like to stick to, you should try adding that to your background. 

Corporate or product identity colors are more popular. You have probably realized this yourself by now. When you think of certain brands, you instantly see a particular color in your mind. 

9 Adding Props

Do you work with props? If you don't you should learn how to explore this wonderful world of ideas. 

You can apply props to almost any product photography setting. I use props all of the time. Let me give you a couple of ideas. 

If you are photographing foods, you can add the herbs that have gone into making the dish as props. For instance, when photographing Greek food, go out and buy a couple of bulbs of garlic and an oregano plant. Both are popular ingredients in Greek food. 

When you are photographing a natural skin cream, see if you can find the ingredients that went into making the cream. Plants and herbs make good prop companions for skincare and beauty products. 

Nice jewelry calls for props such as flowers and perhaps a bottle of something fizzy. You want to imply there is a celebration coming up. 

10 Add a Personal Touch

Don't be afraid to come up with your own personal ideas. As long as you stick to the client's brief you should be okay. 

Unique and off-the-wall ideas often sell products much better than run-of-the-mill images. Fresh ideas are what makes an image stand out. If you run out of ideas, check out platforms such as Pinterest for inspiration. 


I could go on and talk about product photography ideas forever. At least, you have some ideas to get you started. Don't forget what I said – never be afraid to experiment with new ideas and techniques. 

This article was written in cooperation with Tsour Lee adato