Product photography is an important part of any eCommerce business. It helps customers understand how a product works, and it also makes your website look professional. But there are many things that can go wrong when taking photos for online stores.


Poor Lighting

One of the biggest mistakes people make with product photography is using bad lighting. This is a big subject but I will scratch the most important parts. 


If you use too much light, your subject will appear washed out and unattractive. On the other hand, if you use too little light, your subject will be dark and hard to see. You need to strike a balance between these two extremes. 


On the other hand, you need to use the appropriate direction for each scenario and goal, the direction of light is part of what makes a quality light. This means how the light source is modified before hitting the product. 


See the light temperature as saturation for the light, usually measured in Kelvin degrees. Generally, daylight is the most common and it is around 5600K. A typical 10 am on a sunny day.


Bad Backgrounds

Another mistake people often make when taking photos of products is choosing an inappropriate background. A good rule of thumb is to avoid backgrounds that distract from the product. Usually, textures and patterns that are not very strong could be a good combination as long as the background doesn’t compete against the item. Depending on the purpose of the photo you could use different backgrounds, but solid colors usually work great, especially when you combine the product and the background. A good practice is to use pure white when photographing products for e-commerce, it is clean and pretty much industry standard.


No Depth of Field

If you’ve ever taken a photo of a product and noticed that there was something off about how it looked, chances are it had something to do with the background. When photographing products whether you use a solid color, a texture, pattern, or a lifestyle background you really want to create some depth between your product and the background to make it stand out and avoid distractions. In many cases, you can create depth of field adding some elements in the foreground. This technique is very useful to create a more interesting composition. 

An interesting study found that consumers were more likely to purchase a product if it was photographed against a neutral backdrop rather than a busy background.


Too Much Noise

Another mistake people make when photographing products is using too high ISO which makes the image too noisy or grainy. Noise is at any level of ISO but the lower it is the less visible is to the naked eye. To avoid introducing too much noise to an image you need to lower the ISO so the image is clear and crisp. This comes with a price and is to have more powerful lights, since the lower the ISO the more light you need to properly expose the scene, whether it’s natural or artificial like strobes or LED lights.


Poor Composition

If there is something that you really need to pay attention is the composition. This is the most important aspect when taking any kind of photo since it is the way the viewer navigates the photo to understand and engage with it. A quick tip is to make it simple, try to fill the frame with your product other than props to avoid distraction, and try to use a grid to position your item in one of the strongest spots of the frame. Check this composition article to know more about this subject.


Wrong Angle

Very often you need to think out of the box when photographing products, you don’t always get the most appealing item to photograph so angles are key to spicing up the composition. Getting the wrong angle is very easy and to avoid this you need to experiment with different angles until you or your client are happy with the result. It’s a good practice to try different angles to highlight product features, top-down, down up, and sideways. Sometimes a good idea is to move your product in a way that catches your eye.



There you have it, 5 product photography mistakes that you should avoid while photographing your products for your online store. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get it right the first time. Practice practice practice and pay attention to little details.