3 Easy and Cheap Ecommerce Product Photography Hacks


Exceptional product photos set the stage for a seamless buying experience. If the item looks nice and the photo appears professionally done, buyers are more inclined to trust your business. If they trust your business, they will feel comfortable purchasing online. If their purchase arrives quickly, in neat packaging and with a custom packing slip, they will likely buy from you again. The whole process of encouraging purchases and courting repeat customers begins with great product pages and professional looking product photos.

You don’t need to budget in a professional photographer to get outstanding product photos, however. With these three simple (and super cheap) hacks, you can take skillful pictures of your items like the best in the business.

Aim For Soft Shadows

There is a science to good lighting. When taking product photos, it’s best to avoid hard shadows. A “hard shadow” occurs when the size of the light source or available light is smaller than the object being photographed. If you took a photo of a large handbag with only one overhead light available, your image would have hard shadows. Conversely, soft shadows are created when the size of the light source is larger than the subject. The best way to guarantee soft shadows is to shoot where you get a lot of natural light (like by a big window) or outdoors. Likewise, you can soften and diffuse the light of your flash by covering your camera’s flash with white tape or a white bag. See below an example from Wix.com of the difference between hard and soft shadows.

hard-soft-light via WIX

Source: Wix

Get A Pure White Background

Amazon requires an RGB 255 x 255 x 255 background for product photos, and with good reason. An all-white space creates the perfect backdrop to highlight your items and bring product details into focus.  Even on your other marketplaces or websites where you can have a variety of photo layouts, it’s a good idea to include a few product pictures with a pure white background to offer clear, unobstructed views of the item. You can accomplish this with a light box or an infinity curve.

An infinity curve is set up when you place a white piece of paper or fabric upright and gently bend it so that the bottom is horizontal to the floor.

infinity curve for ecommerce product photography


Using the infinity curve, Handmadeology has a great tutorial on how to make a lightbox. They also have tips on creating studio quality photos with household items for less than $12. If you want to make a lightbox with an infinity curve but are limited on space, try this Instructable.com tutorial on how to make a collapsible lightbox on the cheap.

Experiment With Macro Setting

Most cameras have a setting hardwired into the lens that allows you to take closer than usual photos. This setting, called Macro, is often accessed by pressing a tulip-like icon on your camera. If you sell tiny products – like jewelry, beads, collectible coins, etc. – this setting can really help bring your products into focus and offer a different, more unique perspective. If you take your product photos with a smartphone, read this tutorial on how to make a DIY Macro lens for your smartphone for less than $6.

With_Without_Macro_Lens2Ready to revamp your ecommerce website to increase conversions? Take a look back at our tips on how to nail perfect product pages, and make sure your website is set up to discourage shopping cart abandonment.

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About the Author

Tiana Byers


Tiana is a content marketer and writer. Her favorite author is Oscar Wilde and she is a self proclaimed Etsy addict.

Tiana Byers3 Easy and Cheap Ecommerce Product Photography Hacks

Comments 2

  1. marry

    Thank you Admin Its really a helpful post for a small businessmen like men. I am also a amazon seller and i will apply those tips for my shop.

    Thank you!!!

    1. Post

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