Ecommerce photo taking - CQCD

Ecommerce photo taking

In the world of online commerce, the perceived value of your products and the credibility of your company are often judged by the quality of your product photos. You need to offer, through your images, the flavour and added value of your products (e.g. in the culinary field – make people salivate!).

#1 – Needs

Determine what type of photo you need: photo of a product, a service, the team, a building. Do you have access to good lighting? Will it be for a product page or for inclusion in a banner (perhaps with space for text)? Will the image need to be printed?

#2 – Equipment

A recent digital camera or smart phone should be sufficient, two sources of lighting (well-lit window + reflector or two lamps), a background (white and/or ambient) and a tripod. For small products, a light box with built-in lighting can include the background.

#3 – Taking the picture

Prepare your own little studio. Set up with a light box, window and reflector or a light kit and background. Start by placing the product in the centre of the background with your light sources at a 45 degree angle to the product, move the lighting around depending on the effect you want to achieve. Take pictures of your product from different points of view (at least three).

#4 – Image processing

Take the time to retouch your images (try to find your recipe) for colour, contrast, framing, with an application or software. Copy your retouching recipe and try to keep it consistent afterwards. If you are mainly using images from a supplier/distributor, do this step anyway to harmonize your visuals.

#5 – Integration into the website

Save your images at a reasonable size (follow your platform’s recommendations) and weight (ideally less than 500k); think about mobile devices. Name your image file by describing it (three or four keywords related to the image, dash separating each keyword, no capital letters, no accented characters (SEO), without forgetting (ideally) the Alt Tag field.


In-house studio equipment (If you are getting images from a supplier or from an image bank*, go directly to Image Processing)

  • A subject or subjects (products) to be photographed
  • A digital camera or a recent smartphone
  • Two light sources: window and reflector, light box or lamps
  • Background: white and/or lifestyle background and/or flat
  • Tripod: tabletop or standard to unify your viewpoint
  • Time and a little preparation

Image processing:

  • An image processing software or application
  • A certain recipe for retouching according to your brand guide
  • Pay attention to the size and resolution
  • The file name should describe your image
  • Insert the images into your platform

Tips and tricks:

  • Allow the product to “breathe” – negative space
  • Use a prop to change the lighting
  • Don’t light the background (ideally)
  • Find your recipe


*Ensure that images are copyright free and, if possible, identify the source/author.

This article is part of the Digital marketing and eCommerce toolkit, an initiative offered as part of the free digital marketing and e-commerce consultation service for retailers of the City of Montreal.

Offered in collaboration with :

Logo Ville de Montréal