Baotris Blog

7 min

Master ecommerce product photography on a budget with our comprehensive guide.

For ecommerce shop owners, product photography is not merely an option; it's a necessity. High-quality product images have the power to influence buying decisions, boost your brand, and significantly enhance product listings. This article offers a comprehensive guide to help you capture stunning product photos on a budget and introduces the burgeoning field of AI product photography.

The DIY Approach to Ecommerce Product Photography

  1. Utilize Your Smartphone: Contrary to the belief that high-end cameras are a necessity, smartphones today come equipped with powerful cameras capable of producing excellent photos. Experiment with different settings to adapt to various lighting conditions and environments. However, while smartphones can suffice for beginners, as you progress, you might want to invest in a DSLR or mirrorless camera for more complex shoots.
  2. Stabilize Your Shots with a Tripod: Using a tripod can provide consistency across all product photos by maintaining a steady orientation, eliminating any inadvertent sliding during the shoot. Tripods are available in traditional and flexible models, and mobile grips are handy for securing smartphones.
  3. Master Lighting Techniques: Lighting is key in product photography. Natural light (sunlight) is ideal for outdoor shots or products used by people, while artificial light (light bulbs) works well to accentuate product details. Embrace natural light by positioning your product near a window for soft, evenly distributed light. Be sure to stick with one type of light per photo to maintain consistency. For artificial lighting, consider budget-friendly options like softbox kits or umbrella lights.
  4. Minimize Shadows: To prevent harsh shadows, use a fill light, a bounce card, or a standalone bounce to soften the shadows cast by your main light source, thereby enhancing your product.
  5. Choose Appropriate Backgrounds: The right background should complement your product, not distract from it. Use a sweep for a seamless white background or employ your camera's portrait mode to blur out real-world backdrops. The choice largely depends on the desired product perception.
  6. Vary Your Images: Customers appreciate multiple perspectives, so don't limit yourself to one photo per product. This is especially important for items like clothing, which should be shown on a contrasting surface, on a mannequin, and worn by a person for a comprehensive view. Provide multiple shots from different angles such as close-ups, eye-level shots, and bird's eye views. Incorporating lifestyle photos showing your product in use can give customers a practical perspective.
  7. Post-Production: Editing is critical in product photography. While Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are excellent tools, free alternatives like GIMP or Snapseed can also be utilized. Master basic photo editing techniques such as cropping, color correction, and background removal to enhance your images.

The Advent of AI in Product Photography

As technology continues to evolve, artificial intelligence has entered the realm of product photography. Companies are developing AI tools that can create realistic 3D product images from simple sketches or even generate human models to display clothing items.

Pros of Using AI for Product Photography

  1. Cost-Effective: AI technology can save you from investing in expensive photography equipment or hiring professional photographers.
  2. Time-Saving: Once set up, AI can generate images more quickly than traditional photography, making it a more efficient solution.
  3. Scalability: AI makes it easier to produce a large number of high-quality product images in less time.

Cons of Using AI for Product Photography

  1. Lack of Authenticity: While AI can create realistic images, they may lack the authenticity and personal touch that comes from actual photography.
  2. Technical Difficulties: Learning to use AI tools may require some technical knowledge, and not all platforms may integrate smoothly with your existing systems.

AI Product Photos Vs. DIY Product Photos

Choosing between AI product photos and DIY product photos largely depends on your needs, resources, and skills. While AI offers speed, cost-efficiency, and scalability, DIY product photography gives a more authentic touch and can be more appealing to consumers.

SEO Considerations for Product Photos

Using product photos effectively, whether they are DIY or AI-made, can also improve your ecommerce website's SEO. Here are some best practices to consider:

  1. File Name: Give your image a descriptive file name. Instead of uploading an image with a generic file name like "IMG_001.jpg," rename it to something relevant like "blue-wool-sweater.jpg." This helps search engines understand what the image represents.
  2. Alt Tags: Always include an alt tag (alternative text) for your images. The alt tag should accurately describe the product image. This not only helps visually impaired users to understand the image content but also aids search engines in indexing your image properly.
  3. File Size: High-resolution images can slow down your site's loading time, negatively impacting your SEO. Therefore, it's essential to optimize your images for the web. Use compression tools to reduce file size without compromising quality.
  4. File Format: Different file formats can impact your SEO differently. JPEGs are generally a good choice for product images because they offer the best balance between quality and file size. PNGs can be used for simpler images or when transparency is needed. Lastly, WebP is a modern image format that provides superior compression and quality characteristics.
  5. Responsive Images: Make sure your images are responsive, meaning they adapt to different screen sizes. This ensures that your images look good on all devices, which is crucial for user experience and SEO.
  6. Schema Markup: Use structured data to provide more information about your product to search engines. This can include details about the price, customer ratings, availability, and more. Rich snippets can make your product stand out in search results, improving click-through rates.
  7. Image Sitemap: Include your images in your website's sitemap or create a dedicated image sitemap. This can help search engines find your images more easily.
  8. Captions and Surrounding Text: Search engines also consider the text around your image to understand its context. Ensure that your captions and content support and describe the product image.

By following these best practices, you can ensure your product images are not only appealing to customers but also enhance your ecommerce website's SEO performance.


Mastering product photography might seem challenging at first, but with practice, the right tools, and a dash of creativity, you can create stunning, conversion-boosting product images. While AI emerges as a compelling alternative, remember that nothing beats the appeal of well-shot, authentic photographs. Whether you choose DIY photography, AI, or a mix of both, make sure your product images represent your brand and resonate with your audience.

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