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Ecommerce photography 101: how to shoot beauty product photos

You’ve started your private label cosmetics business but you can’t quite seem to capture the perfect photo that shows off your winning makeup products. Having attractive and clear product pictures is crucial to ecommerce marketing, which can make the task of product photography overwhelming! Don’t worry, we’re here to help give you ecommerce photography ideas!  Not only can high-quality photos attract new customers, but they can also help communicate your branding through product staging.

To help make things easier, we have compiled 3 ecommerce photography steps to walk you through how to take professional-looking product photos at home:

  1. Curate product photography ideas
  2. Stage and shoot your product
  3. Post-processing

Curate ecommerce photography ideas

Before you even take a photo, you need to figure out how you want your products to be staged so you can have a clear vision going into your product photoshoot.  

 

Popular types of product photos

Flat lay photos provide an alternative perspective to simply standing your product upright. These are typically taken from a bird’s-eye view but other angles work great, too! The Flat lay is an aesthetically pleasing style perfect for your Instagram or Blog. 

Group photos are commonly used to show off product bundles or to display collections of the same product.  The latter purpose is especially useful for beauty businesses! For example, if you’re starting a lip gloss line, a group photo could be used to flaunt the scale of your shade range.

Lifestyle photos communicate how your product will fit in consumers’ everyday life. This can be done by having a model directly interact with the product, or just by having the product staged in a home setting or among other everyday products.

Each of these styles can also be used in combination with each other (e.g. a flat lay photo with a group of different products). 

We recommend creating a mood board to organize your product photography ideas. This board can feature other people’s product photos that inspire you or include abstract photos that convey the color palette and vibe of your desired product photoshoot – the world is your oyster! You can create a digital mood board with free design tools like Canva or Figma using your own photos or ones from online. Often, the simplest way to create a mood board is by saving pins to a dedicated board on Pinterest.

💡 Blanka Tip: You can also create private Pinterest boards to keep your ideas to yourself.💡

 

Screenshot of Blanka beauty product photography inspiration mood board on Pinterest

Did you know:  Blanka already has a beauty product photography board for all your inspo needs on Pinterest?

Stage and shoot your product photos

Once you’ve collected your product photography ideas, it’s time to start staging your photoshoot! 

You don’t need a fancy studio to do high-quality ecommerce photography, all you need is a good quality camera (or smartphone) and a creative mindset. Take the TikTok account @Parkerlanephoto, for example. They share their process of creating professional-looking product photography sets at home:

Here are three things to consider in your own product staging:

1. Find a neutral background

If you already have a plain wall or surface in your house, then this step will be easy for you! If not, then you can also create a seamless neutral backdrop for your photos by placing (or laying) your products on top of a sheet of neutral or colored card paper or fabric. Check out the behind-the-scenes set up of ecommerce photography experts Weekend Creative. Just hang a sheet of paper and you’re good to go!

Behind the scenes of product photography photoshoot

P.S. Don’t worry if there are minor imperfections in the photo background, these can be cleaned up when you edit your images!!

2. Incorporate props

If you feel like your staging setup is a little too minimalistic for your liking, feel free to add props!

Some of the most popular (and our favorite) props include leafy plants and flowers. Here’s an example of how we’ve incorporated greenery into our product photos:

Blanka lipstick flatlay with leaf props

You can also include everyday objects to create lifestyle product photos as we previously mentioned. These can give off a more editorial feel, just like this photo we took of this Blanka lipstick and matte lip stain:

Blanka products lying on table amongst sunglasses and jewellery

Again, you can get inspiration on what props to use by creating a mood board before your photoshoot! Our Pinterest board is also a good place for seeing what materials other creators use in their product photos.  

3. Ecommerce photography lighting

Lighting is something that can either make or break your photo. 

To get the best lighting, we recommend picking a photoshoot spot next to a source of natural light like a large window or taking your set outside for direct sunlight. However, if a good source of natural lighting is difficult to find in your space, look into purchasing a ring light that can mimic professional studio lighting!

💡 Blanka tip: shooting your product photos at “golden hour” (the first hour before sunrise or last hour before sunset) will give you soft, natural light that can make for a dreamy Instagram photo.💡 

Another way lighting can be involved in your product photos is by playing around with shadows to create interesting effects. If you take a look at our beauty product photography Pinterest Board, you can see that casting light in different ways can totally change your photos! 

Take a look at how we’ve played with lighting by adding leafy shadows (left) or by creating dramatic shadows behind our products (right).

Post-processing

After you’ve taken your photos, it’s time to edit & touch them up before sharing them online! If you’ve followed our steps up until this point, and taken your photos under good lighting conditions, then you shouldn’t have to make any significant edits. 

If you have access to Adobe Photoshop or even Adobe Lightroom, these are great programs to remove small things like random shadows, harsh lines, or any other imperfections. 

Clean up your photos by using the “Spot healing brush”, “Clone stamp”, or “Patch” tool on Photoshop, or simply by using the “Spot Removal” tool on Lightroom.  However, if you don’t have access to these platforms, you can also find free apps on your mobile device with healing functions such as Snapseed

💡Blanka tip: Find tutorials on Youtube to watch how the pros retouch their photos. Following Photoshop videos like this one while simultaneously editing your own product photos is the best way to learn!💡

Conclusion

Ecommerce photography should be an exciting part of creating and marketing your small beauty business. 

By following these 3 simple steps, you can easily create high-quality photos that you can share across all your online platforms!

If you’re looking to start your own beauty brand, check out our app and get a 14 day trial for free.

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