From packshot photography to lifestyle photography, we’ve explored so much of what product photography has to offer us and how we can take the best product photos ever. When discussing the best ways to get those winning product shots, one hot tip that keeps cropping up is always about angles.
Angles dictate what is caught in your photograph. If you’re taking packshot photography for your product, the right angle will get the best shot of your product’s label, capturing its design and all the right information to help boost your eCommerce. That’s just one example, and it’s already easy to see why angles are as important as they are. With this in mind, it’s high time we explore the best angles for your product photography.
The best angles for your product photography
We all have our favourite go-to angles. Whenever we pick up a camera, we always head straight for this shot, but with eCommerce photography, it’s important to stop first and consider exactly how we can show off the product in its best form.
There are six main angles you should be considering when looking at photographing products:
- The front angle
- The Profile angle
- The 45-degree angle
- The back angle
- The top shot
- The macro shot
Each angle harbours its own strengths and depending on what product your business sells, you’ll likely be using one angle more than any other. Here are the best angles for product photography and how they’re useful:
The front angle
The most commonly used one out of the lot is the front angle.
When you’re browsing through products online, the front angle is probably the first image you see. This angle mimics how we might first encounter a product if we were to encounter them physically in-store rather than online, which brings about a feeling of familiarity and confidence. On top of this, the front angle will generally show off most of the product’s key features, especially if you’re taking packshot photography. Since the consumer will likely be browsing through a collection of the same product to find one that suits their need, having all the information they might be looking for without them having to open your product page will increase buyer interest.
A bonus of the front angle is that they’re quite easy to take. With the use of a good white background and a tripod, you can easily take a winning shot that shows off your product well. Or, if you’re interested in creating an interesting shot, the front angle can be easily decorated with different details.
Even if you’re looking to show off different angles of your product, it’s useful to grab a shot of it using a front angle so that buyers can get a good look at what they might invest in.
The profile angle
Any photograph which shows the side view of a product was taken using the profile angle.
How useful this angle will largely depend on your product. For example, a simple tub of moisturiser might not have much if anything to show off on the side of the product, whereas a nice branded pair of trainers might show off details and branding. In an instance where the branding is placed on the side of a product and where it’s the main selling point, such as a pair of Nike shoes, the profile angle will likely be the first image shown when browsing through products.
Just like with the front angle, a profile shot is easily taken with the help of a good background and a tripod. If the sides have different details, first feature a photograph of the more important side, such as the branded side or the outer side of a shoe, then show another profile shot of the other side in a separate photograph.
The 45-degree angle
The best of both worlds. Similar to the front angle, the 45-degree angle simply shifts the product’s position by about 45-degrees (believe it or not) to show off two different sides of the product.
Imagine you’re looking at buying a new car. Each part of the car features different details, both feature-wise and when looking at cosmetics. If you were to look at a photograph taken from a front angle, you’d see an entirely different view compared to a photo taken from the profile angle. Each shot shows important details, but neither captures everything. The 45-degree angle, however, can catch most of the details offered by both shots in one single photograph.
One note to keep in mind while taking a photograph like this is that your photo doesn’t need to be taken at exactly 45-degrees. To get the best shot of your product, play around with the exact angle of your photograph until you get all the necessary details in one good-looking shot. If you plan on taking more photographs of similar products or the other side of your product, take note of your angle if possible.
The back angle
The back angle is an important shot for any product where its information is shown on the backside. This shot tends to be one of the last images shown on a products page, as it doesn’t tend to show any branding or eye-catching design.
This angle might be more or less important depending on the product you’re trying to sell. For example, the details listed about a medical product are more important than the product details on the back of a packet of sweets.
When taking a back angle shot, try to keep the image simple as the shot should usually just be to show off any description. Use a simple white background and take a clear shot so that the viewer can easily process any information.
The top shot
Often known as the bird’s eye view, the top shot is simply a photograph taken from the top-down, looking at it as if we were on top of it.
Mostly featured in flat lay photography, the top shot is a great angle for any product featuring different sized and shaped items as it captures everything featured in the package. This shot is also great if you’re offering your products as part of a bundle, as it can catch everything in equal view compared to, for example, a front shot of a hamper where many of the products obstruct one another.
The top shot is usually a very difficult angle to get right as it can be difficult to get the lighting right while getting a steady shot of your product.
If you’re interested in the top shot and flat lay photography, check out our flat lay photography guide for eCommerce.
The macro shot
When taking great photographs of your product, you sometimes need to zoom in to capture or emphasise an important detail in what is sometimes known as a close-up shot.
Consumers usually want to take a look at all the specific details of a product before taking the plunge into buying it. Maybe they’re interested in the pattern on a shirt or the design of a brand’s logo.
The macro shot is more of an addition to your shot rather than the angle itself. It can be used with any of the previously mentioned angles depending on what it is exactly you’re aiming to capture.
For a full beginner’s guide on macro photography including 7 great pointers, check out our blog on macro photography tips for beginners.
Other ways to play with the viewpoint
These 6 angels are considered the best ways to get winning shots for your eCommerce photography. Each angle offers a different detail, a different way to show off your product in a way that should highlight the things that make your product worth buying.
That being said, there are other ways to play with the angles further, getting a different perspective from a simple shot: using different viewpoints.
The eye-level shot
The shot you likely use the most when taking product photography will be the eye-level shot.
This is where the photograph is taken at eye level, or in other words, directly looking at the product from a flat angle. This shot is known for its simplicity and will easily capture all of the details from your chosen angle.
The low shot
This is any shot where the camera is near the bottom of your subject, looking up. If your product is larger, you’ll likely be thinking of using a low shot.
An example where this might be used is if you’re selling properties, where the photo will be taken near the bottom of the property.
This shot is not only great for emphasising the height or scope of your product but is great at adding a dramatising effect if you’re trying to tell a story or promote a childhood theme, for example.
The high shot
The complete opposite of the low shot is the high shot. If you’re taking a photograph of a small product, you’ll likely only be able to take a photo from higher up, looking down.
This shot is usually used when you’re taking 45-degree angle shots, but can also be used to take shots to the opposite effect of the low shot. It’s also a fantastic shot for products where the lid might show details or branding, such as a tub of hair gel or moose.
So there you have it, the top angles to show off your product with eCommerce photography.
If you’re interested in seeing more specifics on how product photography boosts eCommerce, as well as the different styles you can utilise such as the before mentioned packshot and flat lay photography, check out our blog on product photography and eCommerce.
Anybody in marketing will tell you just how important product photography is, especially as the world of eCommerce is becoming more and more popular. If you need professional photography taken of your products, our photographers offer quality photo sessions for an affordable price. If you’re interested in what we have to offer, take a look at our product photography portfolio and contact us today.