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Product Photography Tips

Want To Use Props In Your Product Photos? Check Out These Quick Tips!

When it comes to props in product photography, you can create really beautiful photos that attract customers. They can help you tell the story of your product, your brand, and who you are.

On the flip side, props can also make your products and photos look amateur. They can make your product photos (and brand) look unprofessional and turn off customers which when you’re selling online isn’t really the vibe you’re probably going for, right?

So let’s talk about a few things you should keep in mind the next time you’re ready to use and select props for your product photos.

It needs to have a purpose

The first thing to remember is that just because a prop looks nice or is trendy doesn’t mean you should use it.

It’s my belief that a prop needs to be used thoughtfully and purposefully. Otherwise, your prop can look random next to your product which isn’t appealing. Plus, it can potentially dominate a photo and distract your customer from looking at your actual product.

A few things to ask yourself is:

  1. How is this prop related to my product and/or brand?
  2. Does this make the photo better or worse?
  3. What’s the story and/or feeling I want to communicate to my customer?

If you sell handcrafted tea scented soaps, use the actual tea as a prop in the photo. Don’t use a random cup next to your soap because most people don’t associate handmade soap with a mug.

Be intentional with your props!

It shouldn’t dominate the photo

One of the biggest problems I see when makers are using props in their product photos when a prop can distract away from what you’re selling. This goes for backgrounds too since they can be used as “props” so to speak.

If you’re photographing a handmade product next to another item that’s competing to be the star of the photo, it’s going to look off.

Make sure the props you’re using are not competing with your product. Selecting props that are a more muted color can help. Also selecting props that are smaller (or that can be partly cropped out yet still add some context) than your product can help too because if the prop is bigger than your product, it may visually draw attention away from your work.

Don’t clutter and put too much in

I feel like I say this a lot, but less is more in product photography. Keep it simple!!

The more things you add to a product photo, the more you need to ask yourself is “Does this make my product look or not look better?”

When you start adding more and more props into a photo, you run the risk of your product getting lost in the photo which isn’t what you want. You want a customer to look at your product photo and easily understand what you’re selling and what you want them to focus on.

Sometimes it may make sense to add more props to communicate the story of a product, like these walnut shells that hold pieces of a specific board game. Adding the items to the environment a customer would actually use them provides context but also provides them a visual of how their setup would look with these products.

Props are a lot of fun to use in your product photos so don’t be afraid to experiment. Take a lot of photos to test out what props look best with the product you’re photographing and what your brand is. And as always, check out and see what other brands who sell similar products are doing. It can help a lot with figuring out what could help create the story and feeling you want to communicate to your customer.

Have fun!