Product Photography: 3 Things to NOT Do

This post is brought to you from Melanie of Violet's Buds. Melanie has Bachelors of Science in Photography and provides product photography advice and services to entrepreneurs. 
Creating the best photos to represent your products takes time and practice. Here are three tips of what not to do that will help improve your images.

Don't photograph clutter, photograph your product
If it's not your product, your model, or your props, it shouldn't be in your photos.

Clutter takes away from the detail of your products - too much going on in an image pulls the eye every which way, making it difficult to focus attention on your epic awesome handmade item! Keep product photos for listings & promotions simple and clutter free. If it's not your product, a model, or your props, make sure it's not in the photos!

 A dog nose, a child's wandering chocolately hand,  a rogue piece of laundry or other such sights like crumbs, pet hair, papers, or general clutter saps any professionalism from an image and can make people perceive your products as low-value or unsanitary.

A background that is too small and doesn't fill the photograph can be an issue when items are visible in the background like kids playing, laundry, papers on the desk, dishes in the sink, or even just blank space, all of which draw the eye away from your beautiful work.
Don't crop out your subject

When you don't center your product fully in your photos & crop part of your product or model, the photo looks unbalanced and unprofessional, and customers may not get an adequate idea of what your product looks like or think that you cropped out a damaged corner of the item.  Zooming in for detail shots should be done tastefully with a mind of what should be captured in the close up, but each listings primary photo should show the product fully to give buyers precise knowledge of what your listing is for and encourage more people browsing marketplaces to click your thumbnail to view your product!

Don't lay products the floor or ground

Unless your product is supposed to be used on the ground, like a rug or shoes, fans may perceive the item as dirty.  Sure, you may vacuum, sweep or mop three times a day, but people browsing the internet don't know that. They see a floor and immediately associate it with feet, shoes, animals laying on it, food crumbs, dirt & dander. 

Worse than shooting on the floor is shooting outside on concrete, pavement or grass, for obvious reasons - bugs, dirt, grass, animal feces and urine, car tires, bike tires, and garbage all come in contact with most outdoor services, and you don't want people to associate that with your products. 

Carefully select a background that makes sense and flatters your product and make sure that the props & items in the photo are conveying one or more of these things:

The products use

The products size

The need for the product. 

To learn more about selecting the right props for your photos, visit this post.

Product photography is difficult, but you don't have to have a degree in photography or hire a professional to get amazing images! That is why every Friday we publish new photography tricks and tips to help you succeed! Keep checking back!


  1. An amazing post. Thank you Melanie for this fabulous advices.

  2. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!