Product Photography Online Portfolio

Product Photography Online Portfolio

Learn how to build a solid portfolio with this comprehensive guide. We'll tackle the different types of product photography, must-haves in a portfolio, and tips for landing clients.

The rise of online shopping has created a window of opportunity for photographers. Without a physical shop, sellers need top-notch shots to convince consumers that their wares are worth the buy. But how can you convince shops that you're the right photographer for them?

A portfolio lets you collate all your best work in one place, and allows you to share it with potential clients all over the world. Here, we take a look at everything you need to build your professional portfolio and get the ball rolling on your business—from the top tips to portfolio templates that work best with product photography.

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How to Start a Side Business in Photography

Anyone can start a product photography business—as long as you have the right tools and attitude. Here are five essentials for starting your new venture.

Get Your Gear

What is a photographer without a camera? Investing in a reliable digital camera is the most important step in establishing a career. Aside from a camera, a new photographer should look for a tripod, a few lenses, and a reflector. You also need to research on the best light equipment within your budget, along with some white backgrounds for your "studio" shots.

Study Post-Processing

Even with the right camera, most advanced lenses, and best light setup, you'll need to touch up your images to deliver the most professional output. Download software like Photoshop and Lightroom, then practice post-processing at home.

Find a Suitable Workstation

Whether you choose to work at home or in a studio, you should build a space that's conducive to shooting whatever it is you need to shoot. You'll want your workstation to have a ton of natural light, space, and proper ventilation.

Start with Friends and Family

You need a solid portfolio to attract more clients, but you also need clients to build a portfolio. It's a bit of a conundrum, especially for novice photographers. An easy solution? Offer up your services to friends and family first. Tap into relatives who are small business owners and convince them to let you shoot their products. You get images for your portfolio and they get free shots! It's a win-win for everyone.

Get the Word Out

You can't expect to get a business off the ground without anyone knowing about it. Share your work and your portfolio on social media, invite friends to like and follow you, and always include a link to your folio in your emails and business cards.

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5 Different Types of Product Photography You Need to Know About

There are five main types of product photos. Try to use at least one of each in your photo folio.

1. Studio shots. Also known as white background images, these are your standard photos. They're characterized by images placed before a plain (often white) background with minimal editing and styling. You'll want to take studio photos from all angles, as the purpose of these images is to show interested buyers just what they can expect.

2. Lifestyle shots. Also called action shots, these are photos of products in use. Oftentimes, you'll have a model using the product in the photo. The environment or background is also important. When taking lifestyle images, you have to make sure it's being used in its natural environment.

3. Scale photos. These are images used to convey scale or size. Often, it's placed next to another object so that the buyer can better visualize how large it is.

4. Detail shots. These are close-ups on the finer details. For example, if it's a smartphone, you'll want to take photos of the phone's camera, buttons, and screen to show every component.

5. Grouping shots. If it comes in more than one color or size, grouping images get all of the variants in one photo so that buyers can see everything at a glance. It also helps buyers compare variants, seeing how they look next to one another.

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How to Build a Product Photography Portfolio

To build a professional portfolio, you will need to do the following:

Narrow Down Your Images

You don't need to present every photo you've taken in the span of your career. Stuffing your website with too many images can overwhelm and turn off potential clients. Instead, narrow down your images to 20 to 30 of your best pieces. Try to build a collection of images that is diverse in theme and style, and that shows off your strong points as a photographer.

Write an 'About' Page

This is where your academic and professional background goes. Depending on your brand, you can also add details about your creative philosophy, your journey as a photographer, and the kinds of services you offer (you can also make a separate services page if you like). Don't be afraid to talk about things like hobbies and interests, as these tend to make you a more interesting photographer!

Don't Forget Your Contact Details

The use of a portfolio website is to act as a photographer's virtual business card. Always include relevant information such as your email address, your phone number, and links to your social media pages.

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Product Photography Portfolio Tips

Even if you're new to the game, you can make sure your website stands out in a sea of folios. How? You can start with these three tips:

Optimize Your Images

First, remember to optimize your images. Image optimization could mean two things—ensuring that an image has a high resolution while remaining small enough to load quickly even with slow internet, and changing image titles and descriptions so that they can help boost your search engine performance.

Be Ready to Get Crafty

A new photographer might not have the funds to get all the best light equipment, so you need to know how to improvise. There are tons of how-to videos and blogs that talk about DIY-ing lightboxes, shooting tables, and busts. Do your research and experiment with different materials and set-ups until you find the best solution for you.

Request Testimonials

As you build up a client base and get more work, make it a habit to request testimonials. You can send out a form via email and ask clients to review your work based on your communication skills, process, and output. Once you get enough reviews, you can compile these into a page on your website, where you can show prospective clients just how reliable you are.

Product Photography Portfolio FAQs

If all of this sounds new to you, that's okay. You can brush up on all the necessary basics again with our FAQs:

Client Photo Galleries and Review Tools

Ready to Build Your First Photography Portfolio?

For first-timers and photographers who don't want to be hampered down by website maintenance and hosting, Format may be the perfect solution for you. Whether you're a wedding, food, fashion, or portrait photographer, Format makes site building incredibly easy. In fact, it takes just six steps to put together a brand new portfolio.

Format offers a variety of easy to use templates and useful add-ons, from a store to an SEO editor to a blog. Try Format for free for the first 14 days, then continue to use the site for just $7 a month!

Create My Product Photography Portfolio