product photos

How to take better product photos to boost your social media sales

Social media is a visual marketing tool. For that reason, putting brilliant product photos on your social media and website is paramount.

I spent a long time being terrible at social media imagery. My go-to phrase after posting a string of rubbish pictures on social media was that “I just don’t have a creative eye”. But as Instagram took off and my iPhone camera got better and better, I was not only out of excuses but endangering the quality of my social media work.

I don’t (yet) sell actual tangible products on Heart and Soul Digital – everything I have is digital-only. But I have social media clients with products, of which showing them in the very best light was of paramount importance.

And what happened when I took the time to practice a few good photography basics? My client’s stuff started selling more. Like, loads more.

Sure, it helps that their product is chocolate, but that bottom line went up as soon as their photos improved. For that reason, I figured you might find it useful if I passed my knowledge onto you too.

As mentioned, I’ve taught myself the steps below and haven’t had any formal training. Plus everything I shoot is on my iPhone, proving that better product photos can be achieved with little base knowledge and even less equipment…

Oh, and the photos dotted about are those from my client, Chocolate Lodge. Enjoy!

Tip #1: Banish shadows

The bain of my life is lighting and shadows. Think carefully about your angles and positioning to eliminate as much shadow as you can (unless shadows are part of the image you want to capture).

Bonus tip: For an easier time eliminating shadows from your product photos, schedule your shoot for when the sun is highest in the sky (usually 11am-2pm).

Tip #2: Clear up

Give yourself as much clear space as you can to work. Trying to crop out clutter from the background of a photo can drive a girl crazy.

Tip #3: Use natural light

Work with as much natural light as you can (although not direct sunlight – your pics will be really overexposed).

Invest in a studio light or two to knock shadows out of the image too.

Tip #4: Mix up your shots

product photos pumpkins

Take a variety of shots for each product, like a flat-lay and a situational scene, to cater to different marketing requirements. 

Tip #5: Use landscape and portrait

product photos chocolate bombs

There will come a point where you’ll probably need both. Make the most of your shoot and get both ratios done!

Tip #6: Use what you have

product photos walnut peak

Use what’s around you to enhance your pictures. Take a look at the picture below – you won’t believe what a few leaves and an acorn did for Walnut Peak sales!

Looking for a content planner to plan your snazzy new photos into? Check out the award-winning all-digital Heart and Soul content planners!


Content planning needs a revolution

Content planning needs a revolution

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