How to Demonstrate the Size of your Product in Photos

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.

Showing the size of your work is an important part of product photography & selling online. Without a point of reference, customers may have a hard time determining if your item is mini or extra large and would fit their needs. Even with measurements in your item description, it is best to show a visual reference.

You want to use a reference item that people will easily recognize, and that makes sense with your product. One thing you should avoid is shots of your product next to a ruler, or next to pocket change, which are clichè and don't relate to your product.

Use your hands or models
Holding your product or using a model is a good point of reference, and feels personal & is easy to relate to.

Since they are made from scraps of fabric, Lu & Ed's stuffed monsters come in a variety of sizes. By holding this monster in her hand, Lu & Ed shows the dimensions of the monster.

Hi Tree's image of the Maple Tree Friend keychain demonstrates the scale by using her hand, and also has a creative background using duplicate items.

Pieces to Peace's has beautifully models shots of her head bands, both on adults, children & babies, demonstrating how they fit & look on women of ages & sizes. 

Use props as a way to show scale
Props that relate to your product demonstrate size and can represent the use of the product at the same time, instilling a sense of purpose in your products & making them more desirable. Crop the photo in a way that insures your product is the main subject, but still makes your prop recognizable.  

Polder's Old World Market uses a head of garlic and a few cherry tomatoes to reference the scale of their wood scoop

GipsonWands uses an open book as a backdrop to show the size of the wood bookmark. 

Show the product in use
For a storage item, like this crochet rope basket from Twisted Thread and Hook or a Mon-Stor from Lu & Ed, an image showing familiar items being stored is a great way to show scale & make the items feel purposeful and desireable.

As always, take time to experiment to find what works with your product! When showing scale, you want your subjects to be relevant - putting a quarter by an earring isn't relevant subject matter, but showing them on a model, laying in the palm of a hand or displayed by an antique hand mirror are all great ways to demonstrate scale while making the images feel feminine & making a connection with the product's target audience.

Questions to keep in mind when selecting props or settings to show scale:

Is this relevant to your product? 
Does it draw your eyes to the products, or distract from it? 
Does it seem natural?
Does it relate to your branding? 
Is it easy to relate to for consumers? 
Would someone unfamiliar with your products know right away how large or small your product is from this image?

How do you show scale in your product photos?