Product Photography Made Simple: A Book Review

Posted March 3, 2017 by Thirty-Something Angie in Business & Productivity / 1 Comment

When I started my first business in 2009, I had no idea how important product photography was. I've come a long way since then and want to help you, too!

When I started my first business back in 2009, I had no idea how important product photography was.  I had a nice camera and took a lot of pictures of my daughter, but really hadn’t explored the idea too much.  Looking back on that day, and those first pictures I published to the internet, I’m a little embarassed.  (I mean, not really, because everyone starts somewhere, but bless those first few customers that bought from me).

As time went on, I began to learn about product photography, and how important it was to my online business.  Pictures are what catch the attention of a customer.  They’re what make us feel confident enough to make a purchase on an item we haven’t held in our hands. Bright, clean, and well-composed images make the best first impression on new customers!

Because of this, I began learning about photography in my free time. Pretty soon, I became what most would call a hobby photographer.

This love of photography, and the constant desire to learn more about it, helped turn me into an established Etsy seller for years.  With practice, I went from dark and drab to clean and bright.  This change brought me features in the Etsy newsletters, on their front page, and on many blogs.

Photography is My Number One Advice for New Businesses

This post contains affiliate links.  See my full disclosure here.

People come to me for advice about their businesses all the time.  I would say 90% of the time, the main problem that they have is their visuals, even if they think their photos are fine.  I’ve learned to have an extremely critical eye when it comes to product photography.  Some things to consider when you are taking pictures of your products are:

  • Is it well lit?
  • Does it show your product well?
  • Can you see various details of your product?
  • Is it consistent?
  • Are the colors accurate?

Product Photography Made Simple

Recently, my friend Rose, from, invited me to review her new ebook: Jewelry and Other Small Item Product Photography. If you’re struggling to get the sales you need, or know that your product photography has room for improvement, I can’t suggest this book enough.  Rose really does break everything down to it’s simplest form to help even the most novice of photographers improve their photos.

I think my very favorite thing about her advice is that she teaches you to take great pictures before editing.  When you can get a picture right on camera, you save so much time in post-processing. (That’s everything you do once you upload your files to the computer).

Related: My Top 10 Photography Tips for Small Businesses

You Don’t Have to Be a Photographer to Take Great Pictures

I’m not a photographer.  Like I said above, I’m a hobbyist at most.  My camera is about 9 years old (a dinosaur by camera standards) and I’ve never taken a real course on photography.  I’ve simply studied articles online, talked with photographer friends, and practiced a lot to achieve the look I want.

Product Photography Made Simple
Example photo from my knitting business.

If you’d like to improve your photography, this book is a really great place to sart.  Whether you need help with lighting and colors, or you want to learn more about editing, you’ll find it here.  I think that this book is basically a steal for the price she’s offering, so I hope you snag yours before she realizes that, too!  A quick run-down of what is offered:

  • Why good product photography is important
  • Key terminology
  • Camera recommendations
  • Getting started
  • Lighting basics
  • Using a lightbox
  • Props and styling
  • Basic cropping and editing
  • The exposure triangle
  • Shooting in RAW
  • Editing in RAW
  • Social media sharing

Plus: 8 Reasons to Use Lightroom

Everyone Starts Somewhere

It doesn’t matter if you are still shooting your product photos with a smartphone.  You can still improve your photography with a few simple tips and some practice.  You really don’t need expensive equipment to get started!

Photography Advice for Starting a Small Business

Have you been working on your product photography?  What area do you struggle with the most? Let me know in the comments below.

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