What is product photography anyway?

We all know that product photography is important, but what types of product photography are there? And why is each important for your growing business. Here are four types of product photography and why each is so important.

Product photography can be divided into four main categories: product in use, product on a model, product in an environment, eCommerce, and product packaging.

Product in Use (Product Lifestyle)

This type of product photography shows your product being used in its intended environment by its intended demographic. For example, if your product is a fitness tracking watch, it makes sense then to photograph the watch on the wrist of a fitness model with close-up images of them using it in its intended way.

It’s a great way to show off features and how the product works. This type of product photography is often used in things like instruction manuals or online tutorials. Images like these are also great for social posts, especially in connection to relevant copy that explains the features of the product.

Product on a Model (Brand Lifesyle)

This type of product photography is similar to the product in use but focuses less on close-up images informing the viewer how it works, this captures the context of the product. It sets the scene and is meant to tell a story. This product photography is about the product as part of a lifestyle.

A great example of this would be Apple product photography. They don’t just show you pictures of the product by itself but rather pictures of people using them in their everyday lives. These images are idealistic and optimistic, they are designed to show what’s possible. They are a polished version of real life.


Another type of product photography is eCommerce product photography. This is when the product is photographed by itself without any context or background. The focus here is on the product and nothing else. This type of product photography is often used for things like catalogs or online stores. It’s used to convey information and show the product up close so the prospective buyer can see the product from various angles.

These types of images should be used on websites like Amazon listings, product pages, or (less common these days) printed in a catalog.

Product in the environment.

These images show the product in a real life setting. This type of product photography gives the viewer context and shows how the product can be used. It’s often used in things like advertisements or social media posts.

Product pack shots.

This type of product photography is used to show the product in the packaging. It’s common on product pages or when the product is being sold in a store. Often, online retailers require this image as part of the product image suite

In conclusion

When launching and marketing a product, it’s best to have a broad collection of images that capture the product in its best possible light. This will help potential customers understand what the product is and what it can do for them. With the right product photography, you can make a great first impression and set your product up for success.