How to plan and prepare for your product photoshoot Product Photography Basics - Part 1


A product photography photoshoot begins way before the actual photographs are taken.

You may have already booked a photographer – or be about to do so – or you may be planning to take the photos yourself; either way, you need to be prepared, so here are a few suggestions to help you on your way.

In this section, we’ll cover:

  • Creating inspired ideas for your photos
  • Developing a shot list
  • Preparing your products
  • Props and backgrounds

So let’s get started and bring out the best in your products with proper preparation.


1. Get creative!

Start with jotting down any particular shots you already have in mind, or anything you have seen before elsewhere that you found inspirational.

Next, ask your photographer to see their existing portfolios of product photographs and again, use some of these ideas to generate some of your own.

While you are doing this, keep in mind that there are different types of product photographs and some will suit your product more than others.

There are also different styles of product photo – these two articles should also help you think outside the box and aid your creativity!

Once you have finished this process, you should have an idea of what images you want and where you are going to use them.

2. Draw up your shot list

Once you have your ideas gathered, it’s time to write out your shot list.

This can be written and quite brief or very detailed with sketches of how you see the finished photos. A quick doodle can usually explain an idea a lot better than description can; and no, it doesn’t depend on your talent as an artist! It’s just about communicating your idea.

As you go through this process, keep in mind where the photos are going to be used (advertising, in a featured blog) as well as your eCommerce site.

Think about specific angles that should be used, if you have detail on our product that you want to be highlighted, or if you want to use a photo as an infographic, for example.

Do you want any shots outside, for lifestyle or in-context images?

Once you have your shot list completed, send it over to your photographer to review. They may have questions or may need extra equipment for some of them. Now they have an idea of what you want, they may also have a few great suggestions as well. Your photographer is a professional, so listen to them when they have an idea.

Clothes on a sales rack - Product photography

3. Prepare your products for the shoot

Before the day of the shoot, get your products together and make sure they are ready.

Are they clean and new? If you find a problem with anything, you still have time to replace them.

If you are taking group shots or multiples, with several of the same items, then make sure you have enough of each prepared; you don’t want to waste time in the shoot scrabbling around for extra items while your photographer waits.

If you are taking packaging shots, have you got perfect examples? You may need some unused ones before the products are packed (depends on your packaging and the shots you want of it).

The bottom line is this – make sure you have enough of each item, plus a few spares, and make sure they are all in perfect condition.

For fresh products – food and other perishables – obviously ensure you have them ordered in for the right day, so they are in peak condition on the day of the shoot. Photographing food has its own preparation recommendations and you can find those food photography tips here.

4. Props and backgrounds

As with your products, get all your props and any special backgrounds prepared a day or two ahead of the shoot.

Use your shot list as a checklist and methodically work through all the extras you will be needing.

If you think of other props that may work, grab those as well – they may come in handy on the day, or the photographer may see a way to use them that you hadn’t considered. You don’t have to use them all.

If you have models arranged to be photographed with, contact them and confirm the date, time and location; make sure you are agreed on what they are going to wear if that’s a factor.

Honey being poured on pancakes - Product photography

The importance of your product photos

The final images are vital to the success of your sales; if you want more reading on this, check out this article about the quality of product photography.

Have a clear plan and follow it – but at the same time, be open to suggestions from your photographer even during the shoot, as creative thoughts can come at any time.

If you have not yet arranged your product photoshoot, keep in mind that Splento’s complete product photography service starts at just £29 per image – and that includes retouching. And still delivered within 24 hours.

If you need a remote service, no problem – during the social distancing, Splento is offering its full product photography services safely and remotely.

For more information or inspiration, check out Splento’s product portfolio, or contact Splento today with any questions.

So that is how to plan and prepare for your product photoshoot; for the next article in this series, click here to read more about finding a great product photographer.


Contact Splento if you are in need of:

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