What is product photography?

Taking photos of products for commercial use, is product photography. Product photography can include any type of product, including food, clothing, jewelry, or handmade items. Product photography images are meant to entice shoppers to purchase the photographed products. They can feature product details, features, and product descriptions. The idea is to give potential buyers a full impression of the product.

Most retail giants require at least one product image. For Amazon and other e-commerce website shopping, six images and one video are recommended. Fashion brands use an average of 8 photos per product.

Here is what Amazon recommends for their website: images should be clear, informative, and attractive. The first image on the product detail page is the “MAIN” image and is shown to customers in search. The MAIN image must show only the product for sale on a white background, and the product should fill the image frame. Additional images should show the product in use or in an environment, different angles, and different features.

Images should be a solid white background, (R:255, G:255, B:255) with no

ground shadows.

  • All images must be in focus, professionally lit and photographed.
  • Images must be in color.
  • Products in the images should be clean (unscratched, unblemished, undamaged, no fingerprints, etc.).
  • Images should be centered in the frame.
  • Images should be cropped with a 5% border from the edge of the product image to the nearest edge of the frame. Depending on product shape (tall vs wide), this will be either the vertical or horizontal. White space should be present on the smaller image dimension to achieve the square image aspect ratio.

Product photography terms: Silos and Packshots

A “silo” (aka “knock out,” “cut out”, “white seamless,” “white background,” and “silhouette”) is an industry term for images shot against a seamless white background. Unlike a traditional silhouette, the subject is lit. The benefit of the silo is that the subject can be easily extracted from the background for countless uses.

A “packshot” (aka “pack shot,” and “packaging”) is one of the most common forms of product photography. It is effectively a clean and simple photograph of a product on a plain background. It displays the packaging or label, and the features of the product in the best possible light.

Packaging product photos

Believe it or not, customers care about packaging. Packaging product photos are the images that go on the box, bag, label, or whatever packaging holds your merchandise. It’s especially important to consider this if the packaging hides the product, which is commonly seen with food and beauty items. From browsing websites to making a purchase and receiving their product in the mail, customers seek a shopping experience that is consistent from start to finish. Packaging shots, feature not only the product itself, but also the product packaging.

Silo / Packshot studio process

A professional photographer is recommended, because a professional has the experience needed to properly set lighting, focus, camera parameters, etc. Post-processing is always required. In most cases the photographer must correct the image, change colors, make amendments, remove the background, and add shadows.

The whole process is a bit complicated and time-consuming, but thanks to this, the user can see the product as it really is. A silo / packshot can offer great impressions to potential buyers. In e-commerce business it is a very important aspect of product presentation. A product that is well-presented to the end user with all the details (accurate colors, real shape, perspective view) and features, decreases the numbers of returns and complaints..  Good silos / packshots can be profitable to e-commerce and business owners and are useful to customers.

The value of professional product photography

As with all areas of photography, experience and an eye for detail is extremely important. In addition, product photography requires understanding that images are being produced to sell a product is primary. Many companies will try to take their own product photography to save money. However, it’s almost always obvious which companies used an experienced photographer since their products will look much more impressive.

Businesses only have a few seconds to favorably impress a potential customer.  Since first impressions of a business usually determines whether potential customers buy its products, looking professional is key.  Customers are far more likely to buy  products from a business that looks professional. Key to a business’ image is high quality professional photos.  Poor product photography that is inconsistent and inferior could result in the potential customer shopping elsewhere.

In fact, when it comes to product photography specifically, one Weebly survey found that more than three-quarters of people find these images to be “very influential” to their purchase decision. Therefore, it’s a key area to invest in for your business.

Why is it important for your business to hire a professional product photographer?

Over 30 years of experience as a professional photographer, Cheryl Barton specializes in commercial / advertising / product photography. She has worked with companies across the U.S. photographing products for use on websites and in advertising, flyers, and brochures.

Cheryl has extensive experience in producing high quality silos, creating consistent and clear images to encourage sales both online and printed catalogs. She works closely alongside clients to make their vision a reality and exceed their expectations. She can deliver images on time, within budget, and with enthusiasm. She works both in the studio and on location depending on the clients’ needs and requirements, as well as the practicalities of the products themselves.

Some of the industries Cheryl has worked with include:

  • Food
  • Hair accessories
  • Hi-tech
  • Furniture
  • Home furnishings
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Publishing

Cheryl produces exceptionally high-quality photos and would be delighted to work with you. Please get in contact if you are interested in having any silos / packshots product photography. Click to get in touch with her regarding your next photoshoot or to get a quote.