New Ideas for Product Photography

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

As you know high quality product images are so important when you sell online. Now, you always need one product shot on a white background for editorial purposes. However, since most marketplaces and e-commerce templates let you display more than one image, you can make the other images something more creative and attention getting in order to stand out in image search results. Obviously, if you look like everyone else, you will not stand out.



The online store, Modcloth, has some interesting product shots that, to me, would definitely stand out in image search results, plus are more likely to get shared and circulated on social media.

As you know, overhead layout style images are hot right now, but almost too popular. So Modcloth took a different approach and used a monochrome color background and threw in some other objects just to make a more interesting photo in order to promote this dress. I even like that they added some text since quotes are so popular on social media:

new ideas for product photos

Below are some other good product images from their store that may inspire you. The photo on the left is interesting because the model is posing in front of a really vibrant background (which could be something as simple as a graffiti wall in your city) that still matches the colors in the dress. The next photo is similar to the one above, an overhead shot with a contrasting but coordinating background with pops of color. The third and fourth photos are another emerging product photography trend where you shoot the product from slightly above, and then crop the image to really zero in it and intentionally making it off center.

product photo ideas

Try these ideas with just a couple of your product shots to see if they make a difference in bringing you  more traffic.


© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

You’ll Sell More If Your Product Photos Show Solutions to Customers’ Problems

by Gail Oliver

I have written before about how to Up-sell More of Your Products Using Vignette-Style Photos, and How to Make a Photo Sell Your Products, but I wanted to give you an example of a photo that got me to buy.

I saw these framed letters at Ballard Designs recently and thought they were nice, but felt that I had no need. Then I saw the second photo on their design blog. I had been looking for something to fill up a long narrow wall in my home and this was the perfect solution. But as a customer, I had walked away initially because I didn’t understand right away how I could use these letters. Not only does the second photo solve the decor dilemma I was having, but they just sold 4 instead of 1.

How to Take Effective Product Photos



Product Photo tipsHow to Get a Product Photo That Solves a Problem

As I have mentioned many times in my consultations and ebooks, not everyone is decorating savvy or fashion savvy or immediately understands why they need your product. Sometimes a visual that creates a need and/or solves a problem works a lot better than words. For example:

  • If you are selling décor products, think of a decorating dilemma (what to do with a long narrow wall)
  • If you are selling fashion, think of a fashion dilemma (what to wear to a wedding)
  • If you are selling kids products, think of a parent’s dilemma (is this product safe for my kids)
  • If you are selling vintage products, think of a buyer’s dilemma (will this work with my current décor or wardrobe)
  • If you are selling food products, think of a cook’s dilemma (how can I use this in tonight’s dinner)
  • If you are selling wedding products, think of a bride’s dilemma (will it make my wedding more unique)
  • If you are selling gadgets, think of a buyer’s dilemma (how will it make my life easier)
  • If you are selling pet products, think of a pet owner’s dilemma (is it durable enough for my big dog)
  • If you are selling beauty products, think of women’s most common dilemmas (will I look better)

And now think of a photo that will immediately capture the solution to this dilemma.

PLEASE NOTE: One of my clients, Shed, The Eclectic Home, also sells the above prints in her online shop.

My FREE Offer of the Day!

Tell me the product you are having trouble selling and I will give my photo suggestion for you in an upcoming blog post (plus a link to your business).



Product Photography I Love –

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I gave across this online shop the other day and I was blown away by their product photography so I had to share. is a father and daughter team where the father, Lance, hand crafts beautiful kitchen and serving ware in wood, ceramic and metal and his daughter, Nikole, an established photographer, styles and shoots his creations. The results are very inspiring.

examples great product photography

 What Makes These Product Photos Work

  • Showing the product in use
  • The addition of pops of color against a white background
  • Creating interest by having others items leading the eye off-center
  • Including the shadows makes it less sterile
  • Keeping a little of the messiness of eating makes it realistic
  • These are magazine quality images that editors will use and people will share on social media

great product photography

How to Get Professional Photos for Free

I’m going to give you a tip that I include in my Marketing Ebooks. If you cannot afford professional looking photographs, local photography students may do it for free. Simply go to your local community college, see if they offer a photography class, and then ask the professor if they would be willing to do a class project whereby they shoot your products for you. They get a class project, you get free photos. Photography students are also in need of subject matter for their portfolio, so you could also approach individual students about shooting your products for this purpose. You can barter with them and/or offer a credit/link to them on your site.

product photography tips

More Links to Click

© 2013 – 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Product Photography I Love! Cosmetic Companies

by G.B. Oliver

Cosmetic companies have some of the best product photos and they are getting more and more creative. Great photographs get highly circulated on social media and act as an advertisement for your business. So see if these are some ideas you can borrow, regardless of what you sell.

1. Highlight the Main Feature of Your Product


When it comes to selling nail polish, it is all about the color, and this one definitely conveys the richness of this shade. A stunning photo by nail polish company, Essie, not only is this photo eye-catching, but it is the kind of photo social media loves. Continue reading “Product Photography I Love! Cosmetic Companies”

Product Photography I Love! One King’s Lane’s Text Fly-outs

by G.B. Oliver

Are you using your product photos to point out or highlight unique features and/or uses for your products? It can be a really effective selling tool.

Online retailer One Kings Lane is a great example of a shop that uses  text fly-outs on their product photos to show the customer the value, use, target market and prominent features. You can add text to your photos using any photo editing program, so I thought I would give you some inspiration.

How to Use Your Photos to Sell Your Products


Describe How It Can Be Used: Remember it is not always obvious to people what use they may have for your product and that could be why they end up not buying it. So point out how to use it, how to display it, how to wear it, etc., but keep it short and simple.

Continue reading “Product Photography I Love! One King’s Lane’s Text Fly-outs”

Product Photography I Love – Upsell More of Your Products with Vignette-Style Photos

by G.B. Oliver

When you group a variety of items together in a manner that works and compliments each other, it is called a vignette. Photos in which products are incorporated into vignettes can be highly effective for selling your products in many ways.

  1. Helps people visualize how to use your product
  2. Helps show the perspective of size
  3. Helps upsell your other products if they are shown in the photo

Take this product photo from the online store, Wisteria:


Why It Works: This photo is for the textual wall art on the left. What I like about it, is that it gives you an idea of how to use the wall art, plus you get a good idea of the actual size (maybe not as big as you initially thought), and it helps upsell the other Wisteria products in the photo, such as the oars, the fish, the mirror, even the table, because it all looks so great together.

You can do this kind of photo for virtually any type of product, from wedding products and vintage items to pet and beauty products.

How-to-photograph-your-productsEven if you just sell one type of product, display them together, as in this photo from One Kings Lane.

Why It Works: If you sell candles, why just promote one candle? Have a photo that shows how a mix of your candles look together. It may be enough to convince a buyer to buy them all because they want to duplicate the look.

Great-product-photography-tipsIf you sell a variety of products, why not show them bundled together as part of a gift basket like this one from One Kings Lane.

Why It Works: You don’t necessarily have to offer the gift basket, but it does make the buyer think about maybe including your product in one, or how buying several of your products would make a great gift.






FINAL WORD: Photos can always sell products, especially with the current popularity of visual social media sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr. Just try to find creative ways to photograph and display your products that will encourage customers to buy more. 

Not Making Sales? Need Some Creative Marketing Ideas?

Since I specialize in helping small business selling online, I offer extremely affordable consulting services that will make a difference for your business. Just fill in the form below for more information, email me at to inquire or see my Marketing Services page.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Product Photography I Love – March 2013

by G.B. Oliver

I love great photography. It really does help sell a product. Here are some favorites I found, and I will explain (in case it’s not obvious) what works that makes this a photo that sells.

Beauty Products


Why It Works: I love this product shot by Crabtree & Evelyn for many reasons. One, I think by including the oranges in the shot, it really does convey that you will find them in the product. Two, I love how they positioned the bottles on this white washed table, making it feel like a very natural, fresh product. Finally, grouping all four products together really does help upsell, making you want the whole set.


Vintage Products


Why It Works: The vintage shop, Dreamy  Whites, does an amazing job of shooting their vintage finds with magazine quality photos. The soft lighting makes the vintage product feel like it will fit into any type of home today. Showing the product in use is always a good idea. If you just saw a photo of this basket on its own, empty, would you be as inclined to want it?




Pet Products


Why It Works: This is a great product shot from a company called Kurgo selling on HSN. You can never go wrong showing a cute dog, and this one is a great model. Again, showing the product in action helps me visualize it in my own car and with my own sized dog. And they make it look just too adorable to pass up.


Paper Products


Why It Works: Invitation company, Luscious Verde, shows various aspects of the design in one photo, really highlighting nice details you might have otherwise missed. Doing a collage is a great way to ensure the customer see all the features and benefits.



FINAL WORD: Photos really can sell a product if you use them to highlight use, need unique features. Plus, with today’s image-hungry online environment, top quality photos are more likely to be “pinned” and “liked” helping your products to go viral.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.