Skip To The Main Content

How to conduct a photoshoot for your online shop


Despite the fact that many consumers have migrated their buying habits to an online environment, they still want to be “sold” a product, which means that your ecommerce store site has to be highly visual and allow people to buy with their eyes.

Using generic stock images is simply not going to cut it if you really want to bring your site to life and drive sales higher. This means that you would do well to discover how to conduct a photoshoot for your online store, so you have the best chance of standing out from the crowd.

Here are some of the main points to consider:

Location and lighting

Before you even contemplate picking up the digital camera, you will need to prepare a suitable location and backdrop for staging your products ready for snapping, and you will also need to ensure that the lighting is up to scratch.

Aim to have a basic three-point lighting system, as well as setting up the shoot location for your products, using a sturdy table, suitable backdrop, some tape and bounce cards or umbrellas. It would also pay to invest in some good photo-editing software so that you are able to manipulate and enhance the images as easily and professionally as possible.

In terms of priorities, lighting is what will make a fundamental difference to your photoshoot.
Without the right lighting, you will definitely struggle to capture your subject correctly, so experiment with the location so that you can make the most of any natural lighting available as well as using a lighting system to bring the levels to where you want them.

The product shoot

The shoot doesn’t necessarily have to be a big-budget affair; in fact you can achieve some excellent results even using your smartphone camera, provided you have worked on getting the location and lighting right.

If you are going to take any pictures using models or in a public location, make sure you get all the required permits and licences for public shooting sorted out beforehand.

Try to use natural lighting where you can and, if needed, use the umbrellas or bounce cards to keep the right amount of light on your product that is being captured. Experiment with as many test shots as you want and arrange to take shots from various different angles, so that you have plenty of options post-production.

Get organised

If you are taking pictures of numerous products in the one photoshoot, make sure you have catalogued all of the items and use a number or tagging system that allows you to easily match up the images with the products when you come to put them all together for your online store.

Use the “rule of thirds”

It might seem a complicated concept at first if you are not an accomplished photographer already, but the rule of thirds is simply a way of getting good results on a consistent basis.

When you are composing your image, visualise a frame that is dividing your image into nine equal parts, created by making two vertical and two horizontal lines. The rule of thirds dictates that you place any important compositional elements of your product near the intersections of these imaginary lines. You could also try to use diagonal lines to make your photo more dynamic.

A Complete Guide to Ecommerce Photography ( will provide you with some more pointers, so that you can hopefully bring your product to life online.

Jake Rheude is director of business development and marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment