As the e-commerce business grows, businesses large and small are migrating to selling their products online. While online marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy are the most commonly used platforms for online sales, businesses are making use of the e-commerce store capabilities in their company websites as well. To give yourself the best shot at selling products, you need to take great product photos. In this article, I will explain the 7 steps to complete your first product photo shoot.

Step 1: Find a Good Shooting Location

Make a decision on whether you want to shoot in an indoor or outdoor setting. For most products, indoor shoots are preferable because you can control the lighting conditions; however, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. If your product will look best outdoors and you have excellent outdoor lighting conditions (overcast weather and bright light), try shooting outdoors.

You need an empty space which is large enough to accommodate your product. The space should preferably be white since any other color will change the color tone of the product, but you can play around with this as well.

Step 2: Gather Your Equipment

After you’ve chosen your location, you can figure out what equipment you need to use. It’s better to use a good DSLR camera (you can find a used one pretty cheaply online), but you can use a phone camera if absolutely necessary. If you’re shooting indoors, you’ll need good lights--either invest in an affordable studio lighting setup, or try to rig your own using household lamps or flashlights at different angles.

Step 3: Set up Your Shoot

Prepare your shoot by gathering any props you need, hanging sheets if necessary to create a white background, and setting up your lights. This can take a lot of troubleshooting and adjustment, based on your experience. Be patient with yourself ask others for input, if possible!

Step 4: Clean Your Products

Before you start shooting, you will need to clean the products you want to shoot so that they are dust free and have no marks. Glossy products show dirt very easily, so keep this in mind. After you’ve cleaned your products, wear gloves while handling them to keep fingerprints from ruining your photos. This small step can make a big difference!

Step 5: Start Shooting

To start, place your product in front of a solid background, preferably white, and make sure there are no distracting tears or creases in the background. Arrange your lights and begin shooting. Once you’ve gotten a few good shots of different angles with a plain background, you can experiment with different backdrops and props. You can also take videos at this time; taking a 10-second video of a product being held or used allows your customers to envision themselves using the product.

Step 6: Edit Your Photos

Once you’ve taken your photos and videos, you’ll want to select your final images and do some basic editing. Adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your images--just don’t edit it to the extent that it’s a different color or otherwise unrecognizable. If you took a video of someone using the product, you can add text to the video to give customers instructions and context!

Step 7: Upload and Share

Now you’re ready to upload your images and videos to your e-commerce website! See how your sales grow as your images improve--and don’t forget to share new products on your business social media accounts. If you’re still having trouble getting started, you can take a free online course to learn more about product photography!