DIY Product Photography: How to Style Your Next Shoot


Every commercial photographer and ecommerce retailer know the importance of product photography. Most consumers want at least three pictures, choose product photography over user-generated pictures, and will depart your site if they can’t find the product content they seek.

And when it goes to customers’ woes, the second-largest objection is “ordering a product online that looks different than what I receive” (with “not enough pictures of the product” coming in at third).

78% of online purchasers want to see more pictures on ecommerce sites but acquiring all those high-quality product photos could be a challenge: from hiring a professional commercial photographer to understanding how to budget for your needs.

That’s why some DIY and innovation can help you save money without losing the quality of your product photos. A pro product photo stylist alone could charge hundreds of dollars for a single day, so here are some ways you can play the role yourself.


Though it might seem obvious advice, starting out with a documented plan could be your fastest way to success in your first go as a product photoshoot stylist. Your plan desires to touch on a few major areas: the logistics, the creative and the market.


When it arrives to any photoshoot, there are many small details that must be judged. It’s simple for something to fall through the cracks, particularly if it’s not written down. If you have colleagues or employees assisting you, it becomes even more crucial to document everything.

Creating a schedule is important to make sure you’re on track and everyone at the shoot is on the same page. If folks don’t know where to be and when, the shoot will become messy and not as productive as you’d hope it could be.

Set Up a budget beforehand, estimating extra costs for props you’ll have to buy, as well as other supplies that will help you style the photos.


As far as the creative performance and the styling you’ll be doing at the shoot, it’s continually helpful to start with a particular vision or inspiration.

Create a mood board of other pictures you like and will suited the brand. Make note of the exact styling selections in those photos and look for consistencies. Those are harmonies you’ll want to duplicate in your own way.

After you’ve recorded your dream, make sure you have the resources you need to bring that vision to life. It’s forever helpful to think of a central story you’re trying to tell about the brand or the product, and make sure every photograph ladder back up to that story.


While your own creative vision is fantastic, it’s also important to know whether it will resonate with your target market. At the end of the day, you require these photos to sell the product you’re shooting.

Study who your target market is (basically, they are your ideal consumers) and see what they’re talking about online as it connects to your product. Browse forums, look at social media, and eye your contest to collect insights into the market.

Get the Right Supplies

After you’ve known your plan, creative ideas, and audience, you’ll require to make sure you have everything to style the shoot accordingly. If you’re a specialist photographer, some of these items may previously be on your must-have list:

1. White background

2. White bounce cards made of foam

3. Table

4. Tape

5. Plenty of lighting

6. Tablecloths

7. Binder clips

8. Props


Props are one of the largest sections of a product photoshoot stylist’s job. The props established the area in which your product is living. Without the proper props, your pictures could fall flat. The first law of thumb is to have lots of props. You don’t intend to run out, and it’s always nicer to have too many than not sufficient.

Finding props

When you’re searching for props, stay eye out for fascinating elements, such as altitude, color, shape, texture, and dimension. The more exceptional the better.

Go to stores like Walmart or Target, hunt local vintage or secondhand shops, and browse artist fairs to stock up on items. If you intend to DIY the styling for several product photography shoots, it’s a nice idea to create an inventory of interesting and brand-cohesive props.

Remember to prevent props with logos (though we can edit those out for you), and account for color differences of your product. It’s perfect to shoot the different colors, but if you’re incapable to do so, we can also support you edit the colors to look realistic.

Sell the lifestyle

The supreme motivation for your consumers to buy your products is the lifestyle aspiration that accompanies the product. In fact, 78% online shoppers want pictures to bring products to life. Style the pictures so they promise the dream to life for consumers.

Showcase the product

Make your props viewpoint back to the product to always attract the eye back to what you’re trying to sell. This also helps to prevent overwhelming users with the absence of a focal point, as they’ll be visually produced where to focus their attention.

Shooting the Photos

About the same number of customers (38%) say they’re most likely to purchase a product if the pictures have a plain white background as the number who say they want to see photos contextually (37%).

What does that mean? You can’t please each person.

When you’re shooting the product photos, consider getting a lot of a selection. Try various backgrounds, isolate the picture, set the stage with lots of props, play with the lighting, and shoot from different angles.

You want to display the product in its finest light, and to different customers that could mean different things.

Play with lighting to produce different effects — adjust the light sources and the positioning of the lights to create the look you’re going for. For instance, light that’s clearly above the subject usually achieves a more neutral look, while more shadows add drama and depth.

Find other approaches to add drama and depth with the items in the shot, involving the product, props, and background. If you can add dimension somewhere, you’re likely to obtain a visually exciting shot.

Manage Expectations

If you’re a freelance product photographer, ensure you set strong expectations and deliverables with your consumers beforehand. Always create the budget beforehand and ensure you’re clear on who pays for the post-shoot photo editing (or if it’s included), who is accountable for prop expenses, and other potential incremental.

It’s also important to know what your client envisions creatively. Showing them some mock-up photos before the shoot to test the waters is always a great idea.

If you’re replying to a boss instead of a customer, communicate the amount of work, time, and budget necessary to pull off the styling for the shoot. It’s useful to document the whole thing (refer to your plan) so your manager can see everything in black-and-white.

S M Rishad
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