So you’ve got a product you’re excited to showcase. Awesome!

But snapping a quick photo with your smartphone won’t cut it.

Ever wondered, “How do you stage photos for products?”

If so, I’m here to help.

This guide is chock-full of staging product photos tips, ideas, and the secret sauce to make your products look irresistibly clickable.


Staging Product Photos is an art - like this macro closeup of Chamomile Tea


What is the Meaning of Staging a Product Photo?


Confused about what “staging” really means?

In a nutshell, product staging is the art of presenting your product in the most appealing way possible through photography.

The photo is about your product, but the staging is about the background, the lighting, and even the angles.

Think of it as setting the stage for a play where your product is the star.


Things to Consider When Staging a Product


Before you set up your camera and start snapping away, there are some key things to keep in mind.

Why? Because a well-staged product photo is more than just eye-candy; it’s a narrative.


Providing a Customer with an Accurate Story of What the Product Is


Your product has a story to tell, and it’s not just about how it looks.

Is it an eco-friendly product? Stage it with some greenery.

Is it a luxury item? A plush setting might do the trick.

Always remember, you’re not just selling a product; you’re selling a lifestyle.


Answer the Question: What Does the Product Do?


If it’s a hammer, show it next to some nails.

If it’s a skincare product, maybe stage it with a soft towel and a seashell to imply smooth skin.

The setting should be a silent salesperson, whispering hints about the product’s function.


Help the Customer Visualize Themselves Using the Product


Where would your customer use this product?

In the kitchen? On a mountain hike? In the office?

Place your product in a setting that helps the customer see themselves using it.

This is where the magic really happens!

Remember, the goal is to make the customer hit that “Add to Cart” button not just with their mouse, but with their imagination.

Beverage Photography


Product Staging Background: Setting the Scene


The backdrop is like the unsung hero of product photography. Did you know that the right background can make or break your photo?

Here are some options:

Plain Backgrounds


• White or Black: Great for e-commerce shots. Keeps the focus squarely on the product.

• Pastel Colors: Adds a bit of flair without overwhelming the product.

Textured Backgrounds


• Wooden Boards: Perfect for rustic or organic products.

• Marble or Tile: Ideal for beauty or kitchen products.


Contextual Backgrounds


• Lifestyle Settings: Place the product in a setting where it’s typically used.

• Outdoor Backgrounds: Great for sports and outdoor products.


colorful background creative product photography of bottle with shadows
Model product photography - hand model
textured backgrounds for staging products


How Do You Stage Photos for Products?


Ready to get into the nitty-gritty? Here’s how:

• Plan Ahead: Know your angles and shots before setting up.

• Light it Up: Natural light works wonders, but a good light setup can also do the trick.

• Focus on Details: Zoom in on unique features of your product.

• Experiment with Scale: Use objects to show the size of your product.

• Edit, but Don’t Overdo: Post-production is essential but keep it natural.


Product Staging Ideas: Shots to Consider


Alright, let’s talk types of shots. Each type tells a different story and serves a different purpose. Intrigued? Let’s break it down.


Individual Product Shots


• On-White E-commerce Shots: Clean, crisp, and to the point. Ideal for online retail.

• Detail Shots: Close-ups that show off the texture, material, or intricate details.


Group Shots


• Pack Shots: Showcase a range of products together. Great for kits or bundles.

• Scale Shots: Use everyday items for scale to give viewers a sense of size.


Lifestyle Shots


• In-Action: Show the product being used in its natural habitat.

• With Models: Human interaction gives a sense of scale and adds a personal touch.


Special Types of Shots


• 360-Degree Shots: Give the viewer a full tour of your product.

• Before and After: Ideal for products that promise transformation.


Best Product Photos In Maryland


Staging Styles by Product Type: Get Inspired

Inspired by the examples you’ve seen?

Time to roll up your sleeves and stage like a pro. Here are some staging ideas tailored for various types of products:


Hair Care Products

• Place shampoo and conditioner bottles in a shower setting, maybe even with water droplets to suggest recent use.

• Showcase hair gel or pomade next to a stylish comb or brush.


Food and Snacks

• Stage a box of cookies next to a glass of milk or a cup of coffee.

• Lay out an array of snacks on a picnic blanket in a park.


Beverages (Soda and Alcohol)

• For soda, consider a setting with popcorn and a movie night theme.

• For wine or spirits, a romantic dinner table would be an ideal setting.



• Place a set of screwdrivers next to a half-assembled piece of furniture.

• Display a hammer and nails against a backdrop of a DIY project in progress.



• For headphones, place them around a laptop or a book, suggesting use during work or relaxation.

• Stage a smartphone next to a travel mug and a briefcase, indicating its utility for busy professionals.



• Place a lipstick next to a small purse and a dinner invitation, suggesting a night out.

• Stage skincare products on a bathroom counter, perhaps with a soft towel and some aromatic candles.


Each of these staging styles can be adapted and tweaked to fit your brand’s unique aesthetic.

The goal is to create a setting that not only showcases the product but also tells a compelling story.


Staging Product Photos Tips: Go the Extra Mile


So, you’ve got the basics down. What’s next? Here are some pro tips to take your staging game to the next level.


For Individual Shots


• Use a Tripod: Stabilize your camera for that perfect shot.

• Play with Shadows: Use shadows to add depth and drama.


For Group Shots


• Symmetry is Key: Align your products to create visual harmony.

• Mix and Match: Use complementary colors and shapes for diversity.


For Lifestyle Shots


• Storytelling: Create a mini-narrative around your product.

• Use Props: But remember, the product should still be the star of the show.


For All Shots


• Quality Over Quantity: Better to have a few fantastic shots than a bunch of mediocre ones.

• Test and Iterate: Take multiple shots and pick the best ones.

Hair care product styled in a bathroom scene
lifestyle product photo for beauty products

There you have it! A comprehensive guide to staging product photos.

I hope these tips and ideas can give your product photos that extra oomph and spur your creative juices.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and start staging!

Ready to turn your ‘meh’ product photos into ‘wow’ product photos but don’t have the time?

Contact me using the form below to arrange a free consultation call. I’m happy to hear about your products and brand to determine how I can be of service!

Let’s get staging!

Any outbound links to ecommerce websites for recommended products are affiliate links. If you click them, you pay the same amount, but I may receive a few cents for telling you about them. Rest assured that I do not recommend products I haven’t used myself. If I didn’t like them, they wouldn’t be listed on my site.

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