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Product Photography for Instagram: How to Take Great Photos

Product Photography for Instagram

Content Directory

With more than two billion active users on Instagram, you can reach a wide audience for your business. The key is to make your Instagram page look stunning and take great product photos. After all, Instagram is all about visuals.

You can take great product photos for Instagram by showing the products in action, taking BTS pictures, creating the perfect background, doing lifestyle product photography, having a consistent style, and much more. Once you understand how to take great photos, you will have a wide reach in no time.

Here are all the tips you can follow to take great product photos for Instagram.

1. Show Your Products In Action


As a business, you must captivate your audience in some way so they can stay on your page. When you show the products being used in some way, it will enable the audience to visualize using your product too. The best part is that there are many ways you can show the product in action in a photo.

Here are some of the ways you can opt for:

Use The Body To Create Movement

One of the top things you can do is use your body to create movement in the product shot. For example, if you are selling a skirt, the model can twirl in it. On the other hand, if you are selling scarves, the model can adjust the scarf in the shot.

people photo
show off your skirt

Even a still image with some movement will make your product photo more captivating. You can decide the type of movement shots you want to create for the product photos. Once you do, you will get some fantastic product images.

Interact With The Product Meaningfully

Another way you can add action is by interacting with the product in a meaningful manner. For example, if you are selling wine glasses, you can pour wine into them in the shot. You can also sip the wine from the glass to showcase the use of the glasses.

If you are selling activewear, the models can run or do various exercises in the clothing items. The secret is to remain creative and find ways you can show the use of the product. It will help you add more life to your images without trying too hard.

Put The Product Away

Another way you can help the audience imagine using the product is by keeping it away in its home. For example, if you are selling cereal, you can show a model keeping the cereal box away in a cabinet. If you are selling clothes, someone can hang them in the wardrobe.

All of these things will help the audience to visualize what you are selling and how they can use it in their homes. Taking such Instagram photos will help tell a story and engage your audience.

2. Take Pictures Of Behind The Scenes

Users on Instagram want to connect with the brands they use. They want to learn who you are and that you are more than just a brand. That is why it is crucial to take some behind-the-scenes product shots for your page.

Shooting Highlights
show off your skirt

Such videos and pictures will be unique to your business and set you apart from your competitors. Here are some great behind-the-scenes ideas you can implement in your product photography for Instagram:

Production Process

You can shoot the production process to show your customers how your product is made. Consumers love transparency from brands, and they are curious to know what goes on behind them. You can satisfy this curiosity by taking some fantastic behind-the-scenes product shots and posting them to your Instagram page.

You can also take shots or videos of the various bits and pieces of the creation process. After that, you can turn these bits and pieces into a reel for the best Instagram post.

Sneak Peek

Another great behind-the-scene idea is to show sneak peeks of your collection and production. It will create excitement in the audience as they will get to know a little bit of what is about to come. This is especially a great product photo strategy for any new product or collection you plan to launch.

Such pictures make the audience curious to know more about what you are doing. Be sure to include the date in the sneak peek product photos so your audience can check your posts that day.

People That Make Your Company

Finally, it is important for you and your team to show yourself on social media of your business. It gives a face to the brand and helps people understand that it is a team of people working and creating the best for them. You can take great product photos by showing the people in your company.

Shooting Highlights

For example, you can take shots of “a day in the life” at your business. Even your team can use the products, and these will turn out to be great shots. You can also add such shots to your website.

3. Create The Perfect Background

The perfect background is the one that will allow your product to be the star of the image. That is why many people and businesses opt for a white background for product photography. However, this doesn’t mean that even you have to take pictures with a white background.

Instead, you can also choose neutral or grey backgrounds for your basic product photos that will stand out. These colors will enable your product to remain the star while not looking too boring. We recommend that you avoid using any bright colors for the background.

Such colors will take the attention away from the product as your audience will only notice the color of the background. If you want to take horizontal product photos, we recommend that you get a backdrop photo paper in the color you like.

The paper will fit seamlessly into the product shot, and it will provide you with a light and flat background. One of the best things about such a paper is that a seam will not be exposed where the background meets the horizontal surface you will be shooting the products on.

4. Do Lifestyle Product Photography

Lifestyle product photography is one of the best things you can do for your Instagram feed. Such pictures look like they are taken of things happening in daily life. For example, it would show the product being used by a person on a daily basis.

lifestyle photos

Such product photos are relatable for your audience because it allows them to envision the products in their lives. Here are some pros of using this type of product photography for your Instagram image:

  • You can make use of natural light to ensure the pictures look even more natural
  • You can use models to give a human element and touch to your product photos
  • The viewers will find it easy to visualize using the product
  • It will help sell a lifestyle that the viewer can relate to

Research is important here because you need to understand the kind of lifestyle your audience will like to have. Once you figure this out, you can create product shots that will help you sell this lifestyle with ease. Remember that you have to offer context to the audience when you take such pictures.

5. Ensure A Consistent Style On Your Instagram Grid

lifestyle photos

Consistency is one of the most vital things for your social media feed. If you are not consistent, your audience will not trust you at all. Because of this, you have to remain consistent with your brand voice, product pictures, and much more.

The key is to streamline your product photography, so it remains consistent. We recommend that you create a style guide that you can refer to before each product photography campaign that you do. You can include various things in it, such as colors, props, style, lighting, editing, and much more.

When all of these elements are consistent, you will become a more credible brand in the eyes of your audience. Such consistency will guarantee that your brand also remains memorable. Sit down with your team and think of a product photography style guide for your Instagram. 

Then, before each campaign, you can refer to this guide and create a photoshoot around such guidelines. In the long run, referring to the guide will help breed consistency in your images.

6. Create The Perfect Lighting

Never underestimate the power of lighting because it is everything when taking great product photos for your Instagram. Whether you are doing photography from a DSLR or iPhone, you need great lighting. We recommend that you use natural lighting as much as you can, especially during the golden hour.

However, it is challenging to have control over such lighting, and you need to go around the timings of the sun. A studio environment is one where you can control the light level and the color balance in the product photographs. If you are a new business with no access to such equipment, we recommend that you make use of natural light for your product photos.

Here are some tips you can follow to get the most out of the natural lighting:

No Direct Sunlight

Always take your product photographs in an area that has rich light but not direct sunlight. For example, a north-facing window or door will be well-lit without any direct sun. Of course, you can face this to the south-facing window if you live in the southern hemisphere.

Be Mindful Of The Timing

If you want to use natural light, you have to be mindful of the timing when you want to take the product shots. Golden hour is one of the best times to get a consistent yet soft light. We recommend that you steer clear of taking pictures in the afternoon as the light is the brightest at that time, which means harsh product photos.

Keep An Eye On The Weather

Always keep an eye on the weather before you step out to take any product pictures. For example, overcast weather is not good at all, and it will not provide you with sufficient lighting to take a fantastic image. You must take your product photos on a clear day with sufficient lighting.

Ensure There Are no Obstructions To Light

Finally, it is crucial that you ensure there are no obstructions to the natural light you have outside. These include walls, trees, and many other external objects that can obstruct the light you receive for the product shot. Once you are mindful of these things, you will have fantastic natural lighting for your product photos.

7. Take Wide Angle And High Definition Shots

Imagine you take some great sets of photos, but you start the editing process and find out you can’t use or edit these images because there isn’t enough space to crop. Because of this, your image selection will be limited. You won’t be able to use many of the pictures you took for Instagram, and the shoot will go to waste.

You must save yourself from this problem by always taking high-definition and wide-angle shots. You need to know the accepted aspect ratio by Instagram so that you can crop the pictures later. When you take such pictures, it will leave room for you to crop, edit, and use the images in any way you like.

Of course, you need to be able to do all of this without losing definition or clarity. We recommend that you always keep your image setting on high-definition and utilize a wide angle. When you combine the two, you will have perfect Instagram images that you can edit and crop in no time to upload on the platform without a hassle.

8. Do Flat Lay Photography With The Right Arrangement

A good flat-lay shot is an interesting way of capturing your product photos for Instagram. The best part about such a shot is that they are also quick to capture. You can begin shopping around to find the best props that will work great in these shots.

Flat lay photography might seem boring, but with the right arrangement, you can make your images pop on Instagram in no time. For example, you can begin by investing in classic props that work with most products. These include candles, faux flowers, coffee mugs, a textured throw, and more.

You can also take pictures of different products with a similar arrangement on the same day. Doing this will keep everything aesthetically cohesive on your Instagram grid. You will not have to spend much time post-processing to ensure the same style.

Here are some of the top flat lay photography tips for the perfect arrangement in your Instagram product photos:

Incorporate Texture

One of the top things you can do for fantastic flat-lay photography is to incorporate texture into your photographs. You can incorporate this by using fur throws, knitted blankets, flowers, leaves, and much more. It will enable you to create an arrangement that will go together with everything.

Save Inspiration

It is always good to take ideas from your competitors or aesthetic Pinterest boards. We recommend that you save inspiration for some of your favorite flat-lay product photos. You can refer to these shots while doing product photography so you can create a great composition for your Instagram grid.

Create A Faux Background

If you are tired of the same background, you can create a faux background for your flat-lay product photography. For example, you can use a fur carpet and arrange your product on top of that. Besides that, you can also use marbles or wood for some textured background.

Keep It Simple

Finally, the secret to amazing flat-lay photography is to keep it simple. You should always provide some space in the image, so it doesn’t end up looking cluttered. If there is too much going on in the picture, it will take the focus away from the product, so keep it simple.

9. Create The Right Composition

Creating the right composition might seem easy, but you have to take a lot of factors into account. However, one of the best composition rules is to compose your product photos for Instagram based on the rule of thirds. This is a classic technique, and it utilizes overlaying imaginary lines on the picture.

You have to separate the picture into thirds vertically and horizontally, which will create nine squares. After that, you have to compose the product photos along these lines. Once you do, you will have taken an aesthetic photo in no time.

If you are doing iPhone photography, you will notice that the camera already has these lines laid out for you. You only have to fit the composition in the boxes and take fantastic pictures. Such a composition will help you sell products on Instagram directly to your audience.

10. Utilize Photography Applications

After you are done taking photos, you have to use an application that will help you with editing pictures. Such applications have the best filters and other tools that will make your images perfect. You can even turn an average product photo into a high-quality one with such an application.

If you don’t have a high budget and you are doing iPhone photography, here are some of the apps you can download:

  • Snapseed
  • Layout
  • Color Pop
  • Quick
  • And many others

Each photography application offers something unique to the user. You can try out many of them and decide which one will suit your product photography best.

11. Don’t Forget The Power Of A Great Caption

While taking great pictures for Instagram is a given, you must not underestimate the power of a great caption. It is a way for you to tell your story and captivate the audience so that they can understand what you are offering. You must keep it short and powerful to grab the attention of your audience.

Be sure to use keywords and hashtags that will reach your target audience. You must conduct research to help you optimize your captions for the best results. Once you do, you can gain a higher audience with consistency.

12. Take The Help Of A Product Photography Professional

Finally, if you don’t know where to begin with taking product photos for your Instagram, we recommend that you hire a professional. They have been in the business for a long time and know how to take the best product photos for your Instagram page. The professionals will also offer you suggestions and tips on how you can make your product photography even better.

There are many professionals that will suit your budget and take your Instagram product photos without breaking your bank. You will have to conduct extensive research and find such professionals in your region. You can also outsource your photography by sending your products to another region and letting the professionals take care of everything.

There are endless options at your disposal, and you will have to select the best one for your business and needs. We recommend that you follow this guide and implement the tips for amazing results. Only if you are stuck or can’t get the right results must you hire a professional to ease your burdens.

Final Words

That was your complete guide to the best product photography for Instagram. These are all the ways in which you can take great photos and put them up on your social media for your audience to see. Instagram is all about aesthetics and visual appeal, which is why you need to work hard to achieve this aim on your grid for your audience to stay.

If you can’t get this to happen, only then do we recommend that you hire a professional to take great Instagram product photos. You will only have to tell them the vision you have in mind, and they will bring it to life using their knowledge and skills. Of course, this option is only for people that have a budget to hire a photography professional, as it can get expensive.

Joey Lou
Joey Lou
Hi, I'm the author of this post and I've been in the e-commerce marketplace since 2012, so I understands the visual presentation needed to attract buyers. If you want to take product photos or videos, please feel free to ask me any questions.
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