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Packshot Photography: Images for E-Commerce

Product Photography - Catalogue Photography on white - Sample-8

Products on White - The Role of the Packshot Photographer

Packshot Photography is a form of product photography used mainly for E-Commerce sites. Essentially, packshots show products on a white background. They have become most commonly known in association with businesses such as Amazon for online retail. The aim is to give the customer a clear view of the product to facilitate the buying process. You may also have multiple views to show the  item from various angles. Sometimes this includes the packaging as well. It is important to check any requirements of any 3rd party sites you want to list your products on. If you would like help with this please do let me know.

There are a few different options available for how your images are presented. I offer cut-outs with no shadow, the product with its shadow below it or in some cases with a reflection in the surface underneath it. The choice is partly dependant on the item itself, but is also down to how you prefer to present your products.

A distinct advantage of having all products  on a white background is that it enables images to be grouped quite closely together. This is particularly useful for busy e-commerce pages. Below is a simple illustration of this point with a wide variety of products that if styled would no longer be able to sit comfortably side by side like this.

Packshot of Men's Watch
Children's toy - packshot photography sample
Duck toy on white background

Choosing a Packshot Photographer

The quality of images can vary enormously from one packshot photographer to another. Some suppliers will offer very basic shots with no retouching. Higher end services will put more time and effort into ensuring your product looks great. Having good lighting can bring out a product’s features more clearly and give more of a 3d feel to its shape. One example of this is this bottle of gin from St Giles Gin. The red lettering has a metallic look to it, so I didn’t want it to appear flat and even in the final image. Also, to emphasise the shape of the bottle, I added the vertical reflections on the front on either side. Careful retouching ensured that no distractions remained and the bottle looks like the high end product that it is.

The cost of packshot photography is lower than advertising images and other types of product shots. This is especially true when several items are being photographed with the same setup. I offer cheaper rates to photograph larger numbers of similar products in the same session. Please enquire for details.

I believe that it is important to value every image that you use to sell your product. So, I make sure that each shot looks good in its own right and will maintain the high standard of your brand. Yes, you can find cheaper services elsewhere. But, they are unlikely to take the time needed to make sure that each image is just right. Do you really want to just make do? Don’t undersell your product with poor images. Let me create the images your product deserves.

St Giles Gin - Bottle of pink gin
Vinyl Records Boxed Set Packshot Photo
Sample packshot photography - study booklets

I have worked with numerous companies looking to sell on Amazon. So, I am aware of and able to work within the Amazon guidelines to give your images the best chance of being accepted. As well as producing the basic required images for you to sell online, I can also create a more styled look. This can still be done with a packshot feel, but can add extra interest and appeal, like the examples above. I normally deliver optimised jpg files for use online. Or, if you prefer, I can create png files with a transparent background, allowing you to change the background at a later stage if you wish.

360 Rotating Packshot Photography

In addition to static images, packshot photography can also include 360 product photography. This can take the form of an automatic infinitely spinning image (normally an mp4) or a more interactive 360 view that enables the customer to rotate the object as desired. This can reduce the number of images that need to be displayed to cover the various angles of the product. It can also help to increase the amount of time people spend browsing on your site by giving them the option of interacting with their potential purchases. The following two images are automatic 360 rotations in mp4 format. For interactive examples, please see my 360 product photography.

© Joe Lenton – not to be reproduced without permission

Please do get in touch to find out more about the process and for a quote. I normally process small items in my own studio in Norfolk. For large items such as kitchen appliances or furniture we can hire a large shooting space locally. If you would like to learn how to do your own packshot photos in house then I am available as a consultant to train photographers and for advice on equipment.

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