Merchandise Photography: DIY Techniques vs. Pro Precision


Merchandise photography, or product photography as it is more commonly known, is a vital part of eCommerce.

In a world filled with scams and knock offs, consumers are more wary than ever about making a purchase from a business they are not familiar with.  

Since a buyer can’t actually hold the product in their hands, how your products look online is how they look in reality to your customers.

Quality merchandise photos become the storefront of your online brand.

While snapping product photos on your phone is a start, there’s a blend of professional expertise and DIY enthusiasm that can truly elevate your look, and therefore your brand.

This article will explore the cozy middle-ground between hiring a professional photographer and doing it yourself.

Related DIY Articles:
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The DIY Photography Adventure:


Photography isn’t just clicking a shutter button; it’s about telling a story. Here’s a quick dive into some DIY tips to kickstart your merchandise photography journey:


Understanding Your Camera:

Whether it’s your smartphone or a DSLR, get to know your camera. Explore different camera settings and see how they affect the image.

Looking to improve your camera quality and set up with out breaking the bank?  Read my article: Essential Product Photography Equipment for Beginners.


Lighting Essentials:

Natural light is a photographer’s best friend. It’s all about timing and angles to get that perfect shot.

To go more indepth on merchandise photography lighting, read my article: Product Photography Lighting Tips.

You can even save money by creating your own product photography lighting as described in the article: Maximize Your Online Sales with Professional Photography: A Comprehensive Guide


Setting the Stage:

Your product should be the star of the show. A clean, uncluttered background lets your product shine.


Capturing Different Angles and Details:

Variety is the spice of life. Capture your product from various angles to show off all its fantastic features.


The Professional Edge:


Now, let’s look at what a professional photographer brings to your brand:


Expertise and Experience:

With years of experience and photoshoots under their belt, a professional photographer understands how to make your product look irresistible.


High-Quality Equipment:

Professional photographers have the right tools to create high-resolution images that capture every detail.


Time Efficiency:

Time is money. Professional photographers have a knack for getting the perfect merchandise shot faster than you could do it yourself.


Advanced Post-Processing:

Making a photo pop happens in the editing room. A professional merchandise photographer can enhance images to perfection while keeping the colors correct and the style of your brand intact.


“Merchandise photography is the art of making eCommerce products tangible and desirable to the consumer.”

Based on a quote by: Destin Sparks
Revised by: Tom Crowl


Should You Take Your Own Merchandise Photos?


As a budding online entrepreneur, taking your own photos may be the quickest way to get your products online to sell.  Without sales, you don’t have a business.

If you talk to other online business people though, the successful ones will tell you hiring a merchandise photographer is the way to go.

DIY photography takes your skills away from the money making aspects of your business, bogging you down in the minutiae.

Unless you’ve spent a lot of time learning the skills of a product photographer and practicing countless hours, you may struggle to get the look you want for your online store.

Those same business people will tell you that after they hired the right professional photographer, sales soared.

The high-quality images highlighted their products beautifully, attracting more customers. Their stories will illustrate the power of professional photography first hand.


Merchandise Photography Portfolio Showcase:


Let’s take a visual stroll through some of the work that has helped my clients’ brands shine online.


hair care product photography by Tom Crowl
creative studio photography for small businesses.

I’m so glad I found Tom for my product photos. He was incredibly easy to work with – from the initial phone call to making a mood board, to a quick turnaround time with all my edited images. The final images were exactly what I was looking for and he nailed the vibe of my brand. I will definitely be working with him in the future for more photos!

Jaclyn G.

Founder, Miribel Naturals

Maryland Business - Product Photography
Photoshoot for Oasis Humidifiers
Premium Product Photography Services In Bethesda, Maryland

I have used a number of commercial photographers over the years for my business, Oasis, Inc. While all of the photographers were competent, Tom Crowl takes his photography to a higher level than any previous photographers.

We make humidifiers for musical instruments that shrink as the water evaporates. Tom put together a sequence of photographs that show this process in action…quite remarkable. All of his other photos were excellent and showed our products off very favorably.

I am very glad that I found Tom and would highly recommend anyone wanting commercial product photography should contact Tom.

Dave Hepple

President, Oasis, Inc.

Check out my merchandise photography portfolio and case studies for more.

If you are a DIYer looking for unique or creative merchandise photography ideas, or even merchandise photo ideas for beginners, you may also want to check out my Pinterest profile.


Why Merging Both Professional Photography and DIY Works:

There’s a magic in merging the DIY spirit with professional expertise.

While DIY projects are fun and personal, combining them with a professional’s touch can take your brand to new heights.

It’s like having the best of both worlds, where creativity meets expertise.


Services Offered:


If you’re looking to take your brand’s visual presence up a notch, professional product photography could be your next step. From product shoots to consultations for DIY enthusiasts, there’s a range of services designed to meet your unique needs.


Wrapping It Up:


Taking a photography journey, whether DIY or professional, is about creating a visual narrative for your brand.

Whichever path you choose, remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, and the right picture can be worth a thousand sales.

Ready to explore how professional photography can elevate your brand? Let’s chat!

Discover How Professional Photography Can Elevate Your Brand

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