A Beginner’s Explainer: Better Product Photography
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A Beginner’s Explainer: Better Product Photography

Over the past couple of years, product photography has improved considerably. With the major boost of ecommerce, product images have never been more crucial. Are you a beginner looking to get started with product photography either for your own business or as a hobby that could become a freelance business? This blog will serve as an explainer of the basics.

Product Photography

As the name suggests, if something is for sale and there’s a photo taken of it meant to help it to sell, that’s product photography. It’s also called commercial photography, and it’s meant to persuade shoppers into buying the products that were photographed. Product details and features are highlighted through this, paired with product descriptions as well as the written copy. That way, possible buyers would have the best, most informed view of the product.

Product photography can also be used as a more general term as well. In that case, renderings or renders can also fall under this classification. 3D graphics that are life-like and can actually pass for an actual photo and can be considered under this field. These are most common on ecommerce websites such as eBay or Amazon. 

Of course, some people prefer sticking to the strict definition. In those cases, images of a real object taken with a real camera are the only ones that count towards the term “product photography.”

Here are popular types of product photography:

  • Contextual – These usually feature products in use, which are great for shoppers. It’s a clear demonstration of how the products can be used in everyday life. A good sense of scale is also brought about by these. When these photos are already at play, then people can better see themselves actually using the product.
  • Detailed – Small elements don’t always get enough attention or get shown in standard product photos. This style is usually at play for the likes of accessories, apparel, and footwear. Stitches on luxury bags, particularly intricate designs in necklaces, and the like are key examples of product photography.
  • Lifestyle – Contextual and lifestyle product photography has a lot of overlap. A key difference is that lifestyle photography generally focuses on people; contextual shots don’t always have humans in them.
  • White Background – These are seen on ecommerce marketplaces online such as AliExpress, eBay, and Amazon. Sometimes these are called “individual product photos,” though there are cases when multiple images are in white background shots. In terms of popularity, this is one of the most (if not the most) used types of product photography.

Object Photography

This is when an inanimate item is photographed; product photography is object photography. If the product is living, like an animal, then that no longer counts. Object photography is generally for items that are still or don’t move at all.


Product photography is the best way to persuade customers to buy products or services. More than photos taken specifically for advertising purposes, they can highlight an offering’s benefits and uses. Popular types include contextual, detailed, and lifestyle photos—all of which can make your product stand out.

Looking to pursue professional product photography? Reach out to Armitage Photography! John Armitage is a professional photographer in Norcross, GA that offers high-end digital imagery, product photography, and more.

For more information and how to book services, please reach out via email at aphoto.ja@gmail.com or via phone at 404.247.5458. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn for exceptional photo inspiration as well as photography tips and tricks.

John Armitage

John Armitage is the founder of Armitage Photography, Inc. in Norcross, Georgia. He's passionate about product photography and hosting classes teaching various elements of professional photography in Lilburn and Atlanta, GA.

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