Product Photography for Ecommerce

Outstanding photos are essential to any handmade website and social media account…but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to implement into your online presence.

The key to getting sales for your skin care line is showing your audience exactly what they will be getting and how to use it.

This is easier than ever between taking well-lit studio shots for your ecommerce listings, sharing lifestyle photos on social media accounts, and filming tutorials and product demos for YouTube or other video-friendly platforms.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase. This is at no cost to you, and I only share products that I use and love myself.  Please read my disclosure for more information.

Is buying a DSLR worth it for my ecommerce shop?

Depends on your long-term goals!

If having a shop like Etsy or Shopify is simply a hobby that you enjoy tinkering with, it may not be worth the price tag to buy a DSLR if funds are limited. There are countless phone photography courses that can teach you how to make the most of your phone’s camera.

If you are wanting to turn your skin care shop into a career, the control and details a DSLR can capture is worth the beautiful advertising visuals you’ll be able to create.

Best studio lighting setup:

Studio lighting helps create the best product pictures when placed at a 45° angle on either side of your photo subject. For best results, photograph in a completely dark room with lights turned to 5500K (pure white light).

For suggestions on how to use different types of lighting setups for natural skin care products, please visit our blog post at Natural Product Photography (without Natural Light).

How to choose a camera tripod:

Camera tripods are not one-size-fits all, and it is likely that during your ecommerce career that you’ll need to acquire a few different types.

If taking flat lay photos and images of your products being used (lifestyle photos), a 2-in-1 tripod (see below) is your best bet.

If the majority of your photos are portrait shots or similar short distances within a photo tent, a smaller desktop tripod would be a better investment.

Choose your tripod depending on the majority of the photo types you will take in the beginning and add to your camera accessory collection as your business grows.

Photography Equipment

Nikon D7200 • Best DSLR Camera for Product Photography

While cameras on phones continue to improve, they are still no match for a professional camera. A DSLR has more sensors in it that can capture more detail, does better in low light situations, and gives you more creative control.

The Nikon D7200 has been labeled as the best choice for product photography due to its incredibly sharp and clear image production. Suitable for low light and moving subjects, this camera will bring out the necessary details in natural products and photo props to set your branding apart.

Photo Light Box • Best Studio Shot Accessory

A small light box like this one is all you need to create a vivid white background for your products (which is highly recommended for natural skin care product listings). Light box photography creates soft shadows or can eliminate shadows completely for easy background removal.

Adding a collapsible light tent to your toolkit allows you to have a portable photo studio if you need to shoot in various locations or to set up a mini photo studio in small space that can be put away after each session.

Softbox Lighting Kit • Best Flat Lay and Lifestyle Photo Equipment

Not all product photography compositions can fit inside a light box, and maintaining consistent and professional lighting is a must for a high-converting website and product line. Adding a softbox lighting kit to your studio will give you the flexibility you need to take lifestyle photos, larger flat lay spreads, and even to create a set to film videos of you making product for marketing purposes.

Photography lighting equipment can get a bit involved, so purchasing in a kit like this makes it easy to make sure you have all the required accessories. Though it looks complex, this is a fantastic option for any level of photographer, beginner to professional.

LED Ring Light • Best Tutorial and Selfie Equipment

Light rings are different than standard photography lights, as you put your camera (phone or DSLR) in the middle of the circle light so that the person/item is evenly lit. This reduces shadows for viewers to see detail more easily – ideal for close up demos and video.

Show your customers a tutorial on how to apply your DIY skin care or cosmetic products, record an unboxing example, or take a video of yourself making their products from scratch – all fantastic content that will generate the coveted like/know/trust factor!

Desktop Portable Tripod • Best Tripod for Studio Product Photos

Most product photography is within a close range and requires crisp, clear edges for professional quality. This look is achieved with the use of a small tripod that allows the camera to sit directly on the same surface as the light box.

Getting up close to your products with the help of a camera stand like this one allows for your products to be enlarged for advertisements or for customers to use the zoom feature on your e-commerce product listing online.

This compact design allows for eye-level studio shots (white background with lots of light), group shots (showing multiple products together), and packaging shots.

Flat Lay Tripod • Best Tripod for Flat Lay and Lifestyle Product Photos

Flat lay photography is a very popular composition choice for smaller personal care products and is ideal for keeping shots composed the same. This aesthetic requires that the camera be directly above the layout, which is not possible with standard tripods.

This Neewer model has a rotatable center column design to position your camera directly over surface and has a super heavy load capacity so that the tripod doesn’t tip over with the weight of a large camera.

A fantastic 2-in-1 camera tripod, as it is a standard height to help capture lifestyle photos that are highly recommended for greater conversions on your e-commerce website.

Photography Tutorials

Photography Super Bundle • by Ultimate Bundles

If you’re interested in learning how to take better pictures for your shop, this digital photography tutorial bundle includes tons of information for super cheap.

In one download, you receive 21 different products that cover editing, lifestyle photography, lighting & composition, organization, phone photography, and DSLR photography.

Blog Post: Natural Product Photography (without Natural Light) • by DIY Skin Care Mompreneur

This is a blog post by yours truly that covers exactly what product photography is (and is not), some embarassing examples of my own photography journey (yikes!), how to position lighting for well-lit shots using photo tents and softbox lighting, effective photos to include in ecommerce listings, and more tips to make your handmade items stand out online.

Blog Post: 8 Ways to Repurpose Product Photography • by DIY Skin Care Mompreneur

Another blog post by myself that shows you how to work SMARTER, not HARDER. With just one amazing product photo, you can create a listing photo, a basic product pin (for Pinterest), an Instagram post, a lifestyle pin (for Pinterest), a holiday pin (for Pinterest), a blog post, a seasonal blog post, and a photo grid.  This tutorial walks you through how to do all of the above, step by step.

Photo Editors and Graphic Design

PicMonkey • Photo Editor and Graphic Design Maker

I think I have the smallest list of monthly fees of any other maker/blogger I know. One that I don’t EVER see myself giving up is my PicMonkey subscription. This is where I create every product listing photo, every Instagram post, every Pinterest pin, every featured blog image, every banner for my various sites, every everything.

In your subscription, you get a background remover, stock photos you can’t find anywhere else, super awesome templates, cloud storage, tutorials, and an app so you can also edit from your phone. It is without a doubt the backbone for my skin care business in an industry that demands modern, attractive designs. 

Kapwing • Content Editor for Images, Videos, and GIFs

Kapwing is a completely free online tool (it does have a paid option, but I don’t use it) that allows you to edit visual content and download it without any watermarks. 

While there are TONS of features on this site, I personally love using it for my Instagram videos. You can upload a video from your phone and then resize it, add frames, captions, text overaly, and even cut out or trim certain parts that you don’t need/want.

I know there are several programs out there that do this, but I love the simplicity of this site, as well as the easy-to-follow tutorial posts they have available (with inspiring examples). Such a wonderful discovery for my business!

Get on the List!

Join our community of handmade skin care entrepreneurs and get business ideas, tips & resources to boost your online sales and presence.