Nov 6, 2023

DIY Product Photography: Pros, Cons & Tips for Success

DIY Product Photography: Pros, Cons & Tips for Success

In today's eCommerce landscape, compelling product photos are an essential ingredient in a successful brand & marketing strategy. For many small businesses, however, hiring a professional photography studio to capture their product photos is intimidating and seems cost-prohibitive (more on that later). For this reason, many entrepreneurs turn to do-it-yourself (DIY) product photography to capture the images they need to set up a store, launch a new product, or update social media. In this article, we will visit the pros and cons of DIY product photography and how to get the best possible photos for your brand.

Pros of DIY Product Photography

They're Cheap

Perhaps the most glaring advantage of DIY product photography is the cost savings. By opting to snap your own product pictures, you can potentially cut out the expenses associated with hiring a professional photographer.

You Have Control

DIY product photography allows you to maintain complete control over the creative process, which is great is you have a creative eye. You can experiment with unlimited styles, compositions, and lighting setups without external limitations.

You Know Your Products Best

As a business owner, entrepreneur, or brand leader - you are closer to your product than anyone else. This knowledge, when applied thoughtfully, can translate into images that effectively showcase your product's unique features and benefits.

Cons of DIY Product Photography

They're Low Quality

The truth is, while smartphones have amazing cameras they are not designed to capture the studio quality images you need for your products. Smartphones and consumer cameras capture compressed images typically in a JPG format with a very small file size. Professional cameras used in studios capture raw images with hundreds of times more detail, allowing editors to pull so much more out of the image before it is finalized and delivered to the client.

More importantly, DIY product photo equipment does not allow you to achieve the secret to great photos, professional lighting and composition. The DIY kits you can order online are extremely limited and simply don't allow you to set up and capture properly lit, well-composed image.

Lack of Expertise

Professional product photographers have honed their craft through years of trial and error. DIY photography lacks the keen eye of a professional, which impacts the overall quality of your images. And let's face it, running a company or leading a brand is hard enough - learning a new specialized skill like product photography is probably not the best use of your time.

Quality aside, professional product photographers also have deep insights into things like the number of photos you should have on your listing, the most effective angles, optimized file sizes/formats, industry trends, and so much more. The thousands of photos they have captured allow them to produce top-tier images that are far more than just "checking a box."

Arguably the primary value a professional photographer brings is their ability to tell the right story about your product, using product photos as a medium for visual communication & storytelling. A well crafted photo doesn’t augment the text in your product listing, it replaces it. This is important because shoppers always look at photos, but tend to read very little text.

It's Really Time-Consuming

Product photography involves way more than just putting a product against a white background and taking a photo, the workflow is long even for a simple product image. You have to set up the scene, prep the product (remove wrinkles, dust, scratches, etc.), meticulously set up lighting, and capture multiple angles/variations to end up with a raw image ready for editing. Now repeat that for every SKU. Oh yeah.. and then there's editing!

If you're not a seasoned photographer, knowing how to manage each step of this process is challenging to say the least, and you are likely to end up with photos that do not properly reflect the quality and value of your product. As an entrepreneur or brand leader, your time is better spent on strategy and growing your business - not photography.

Lack of Proper Equipment and Space

Each image captured in a professional studio requires 5-10 pieces of specialized equipments to achieve the perfect lighting, reflections, shadows, and pixel-prefect quality consumers have become accustomed to.

Photography studios are like laboratories, the proper conditions are maintained to allow for photos without imperfections. Unfortunately, that kind of environment is very difficult to create in your home or office.

To conclude, do-it-yourself product photography is a viable option for many entrepreneurs and small businesses, however, you will sacrifice quality and professionalism by not working with a specialized studio. Your product photos are the core of you online store, and should be treated as such. Because of this, DIY products all too often negatively impact sales and hinder a brand's ability to grow. was created to provide top-quality, custom product photos to brands big & small. With professional images starting at $40, you won't be disappointed!

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