Most photographers know the basics to good product photos – using a tripod, setting your camera to the widest aperture, using a white background, creating an out-of-focus background, and more. But what about those really unique product photographs? You know the ones. They simply don’t look like a normal product photo you’d see in a regular catalog. These are usually used for full page features in a catalog or in ads for top brands.
While the photographers of these inspiring photos did follow the most important product photography rules, they also played around with breaking some of these rules. If you are too timid and unsure in your photography to step out of the box, you will probably never produce a truly unique product photo, such as what you see with Nike or the Anthropologie print catalog. If product photography seems lightyears away to you, and if you can’t even imagine shooting for Nike or Anthropologie catalogs do not worry! Every great photographer started from somewhere and here is a great beginner guide for how to become a photographer, if you are planning to get your hands dirty.
However, if you are ready to take the plunge, you may want to try one or more of these 10 tips for truly unique product photography.
1. Hang Products
Now, hanging products for better view is not necessarily an unusual practice in and of itself. Creative hanging, however, is. Maybe you should hang the product upside down, sideways, or in an unusual location. Suspend it from wires or ropes that remain a part of the photo. Go grotesque, sexy, or humorous. Play around with it and be sure to take way more photos than is necessary, and definitely be sure your lighting is perfect. Check out some of these creative photos with interesting suspension for some ideas:
2. Shoot from Strange Angles
Usually photographers place the camera at the same level as the product so that the shot comes out at eye-level. Most of the time, you want to be careful about shooting from odd angles, simply because it can distort a product. However, sometimes you can get away with this, especially if distortion is a look you are going for or if the product is one that will be difficult to distort. You may even want to try hanging the product normally but shooting from underneath or above. Here are some more photos shot from odd angles:
3. Try Some Macro Shots
Keep in mind that most macro shots will probably need to be ones that are used in conjunction with normal product photos. However, they can be a great asset to a series of photos for, say, a feature page in a catalog, or an eye-catching poster ad. Just be sure that your lighting is phenomenal so that the tiniest details show up. The following are examples of excellent product macro photography:
4. Show the Product in Weird Use
Grab the product, a piece of paper, and a pen. Now write down every use you can think of for the product. You may need to start with the more normal, everyday uses to get your brain up and running, but eventually try to come up with some ideas that are really out there. Then look over your list and circle the ones that have great potential for a unique product shoot. You may need to do some digital editing/illustration or costume/set design with this, so plan out your idea fully before starting the shoot. Here are some creative product uses:
5. Use Photo Manipulation
This secret goes hand-in-hand with tip #4 above. If you don’t have any skills with photo manipulation, you may need to hire a graphic design artist for help. However, this could be a great opportunity to learn Photoshop and Illustrator for some seriously original product photos. Check out some of these very interesting photo manipulations:
6. Incorporate an Interesting Background
Many product photos stick with the rule of a plain background to put the focus on the product or to add another image in the background. Staging a unique background and props with the main product in the foreground can really add interest and even improve how desirable a product is. Take a look at some of these intricately staged product photos:
7. Keep Your Background in Focus
Wait, what? Yes, an off-focus background keeps the eye on the main product. Sometimes, though, you may want to place, say, a food product with similar foods to suggest uses. In this case, keeping your product slightly in front but keeping the background clear can help promote this idea. Although, you can also try switching it up at times and place the product alongside the props or even in the background. Here are some great product photos with (mostly) focused backgrounds:
8. Place Products Above a Reflected Surface
A reflection adds quite a bit of depth to an otherwise boring photo. And don’t get stuck using a mirror. Try using photo manipulation to reflect the image on water. Or place the product in a shallow pan of water. Use lighting to enhance the reflection and edit later to further bring out the reflection. The following are some great product reflections:
9. Use Unique Stands
Setting products on fancy stands is a great way to add appeal to a photo. Take it to another level, though, by using items that you normally wouldn’t use for stands. An old box, another product turned upside down, a hand, a belly, the top of a head, geometric shapes, or even a photo manipulated stand. Below are some quite unique stands in use for products:
10. Add Personality
Humanize products in your photography. Or create a story that surrounds it. Give it character. Ask your client what it is that makes their unique product better or simply different than a competitor’s. Use your photos to portray this aspect of the product for which the brand is known. These following photos certainly add personality to the products:
Do you have any more great tips or ideas for creating unusual, outstanding product photos? Please share with the rest of us in the comments below!
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Really useful tips for photography. Thanks
Thanks for sharing great tips for product photography.
It's really helpful for product photographers.
Please share more such amazing tips in future.
This is a very informative piece of writing. I would definitely try your photographic techniques. The photos are lovely and the color combinations, immaculate. Thank you very much for sharing.
I have started photography recently, so I have a lot to learn and deal with. This article really helped me a lot to get started with it. And I’m satisfied studying your article.
Another one I found similar to this industry – check them if you don’t know -
Learned a lot of things about product photography ideas. Probably I knew some of your techniques but your explanation was really very informative. Thanks for sharing these tips with us. I really appreciate it.
Thanks for share this post this is a very informative article. And one thing your product photography that amazing.
Thanks for this amazing post.. its really helpful.. surely going to share this !
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Thanks Again !
Very informative article. This article will give a good idea to the beginner for unique product photography. I am sure one can get a lot of help from it and don’t need to go anywhere.
Your images represent your product’s apparent worth and quality. They speak legitimately to your intended audience, making your product page and substance more relatable.
I am sure this is the best content regarding product photography. I hope people will share this content with their own profile. Really effective content and we fixtheretouch.com is the helping hand for the product photographer.
"Shoot from Strange Angles"
This part was helpful to me.
Product photography, especially indoor photography is on the rise. Some offer you tips that are very basic and irrelevant while the other offers you costly solutions-
I suggest that as a beginner it is better to capture the product photos using different angles and try some macro shots and use adobe Photoshop and illustrator to take some original product photos and make regular practice on it this will helps you a lot in gaining the command over it. Visit us at
Great tips Tara! I came here via a Google search for hanging product photography, which I wanted to try for a mini workbench I made of very nice oak wood. I will try this outdoors hanging under a tree. Br, Stefan
very nice article.Useful tips for photography.
I have struggled with getting good photos of my product for years. I’m excited to try some of these tips. Thank You
Very nice article and very useful tips for product photography.
Thank you so much for sharing with us...
Great post, very well described material. Thank you for sharing.
very nice tips artikel.Great I love the uniqueness of some of the photos. :)
[…] 10 Beginner Tips for Unique Product Photography […]
[…] 10 Beginner Tips for Unique Product Photography […]
nic artical i like & this side saport me for my shoots thanx
Hi Tara! I am grateful to land on this very post of yours through Google search. And as a beginner into product photography, this post has helped me a lot. Thank you Tara :)
Just stumbled upon this article when doing some research for my next blog post. Great article - and especially the sample images you included. Some pretty incredible shots! You are absolutely correct when talking about the context of these images - im not so certain they'd be a good fit for eCommerce site product pages - but very nice for supplementary images.
Great tips I love the uniqueness of some of the photos. Adding a unquie spin on your product photos can really add personality to your online store
Great tips and great example. I'd like to add "show the texture"... as a viewer, I like to be able to almost "touch" the product.
Love point number 10. Personality and character are really important.
Great article Noupe.
I would even add to say, use the product, ask a few users about what they feel about the product! Coz more personal you make the product, the more creative you could be and be able to reach out to them consumers!
I really like all the image shots here, a good inspiration :)
For food products I could say, a little spillage of cheese, chocolate sauce, butter gives a better effect :)