How to Take Photos for Your Online Store with Your Smartphone

One of the most important factors in whether or not people buy your products is the picture that you take of them.

Product Photography

There are many ways you can get high-quality photos of your products.

1. You could pay a professional photographer to take them – but if your products change regularly this might not be practical.

2. It is possible to do it yourself of course. To get the right quality, you could spend a lot of money on a good camera and lens…

3. But it is possible to take great pictures with the camera that most of us carry around in our pockets: the camera on our smartphone.

In this post – drawing on advice from Shopify, our e-commerce CMS providers – we provide you with some tips on how to get the most from your phone’s camera.

Is Your Phone Up to the Job?

Probably. Most modern smartphones are. What you want is a phone that has autofocus and has a high number of megapixels. Recent iPhones and Samsungs all have autofocus. The iPhone 5, 5c 5s and 6 all have 8 megapixels. The Samsung S5 has 16 megapixels.

What Else Do I Need?

You will need a few other bits to make your images look perfect. Here they are:


First things first. If you’re going to photograph something then you need to be able to see it. Rather than using lots of expensive studio lights, the best solution is to use a window. Although if finding natural light is an issue you could try using a large lamp. Lighting with the window to one side of your product and then using a piece of white card to reflect the light back across usually works well and reduces shadows.


Simply enough you need something to raise your product off the floor and into better light. We recommend a table.


Your background should be either white or light grey to allow your product to stand out and it’ll reflect the light better. You can easily make a good background with a roll of white paper that you attach to the ceiling and then drape down onto a table. By draping down at an angle you can have it go both behind and underneath your product without creating a join.

If you need help imagining how all this looks then check out this set-up.

A Tripod

However stable you think your hands are, you’re going to need a tripod to hold your phone if you want a proper image. Here are a few cheap examples:

Joby GripTight Gorilla Pod (£16.60)

This can stand up or the flexible legs can be wrapped around a beam or similar. It’s the number 1 best selling smartphone tripod on Amazon and will fit pretty much any smartphone you can think of.

Abonnyc Mini Flexible Tripod (£6.99)

A cheaper tripod that does the job and also will accommodate pretty much any smartphone.


Surprisingly enough, you can put different lenses onto your smartphone and there are lots of relatively inexpensive options available. Always check out the reviews first and shop around to see what’s available. With that in mind, here are a few for you to look at:

XCSOURCE 3-in-1 Lenses (£5.99)

These are cheap lenses that will do the job and work on pretty much all smartphones. With this kit you get a 10x macro lens a wide angle lens and a fisheye lens.

Olloclip 4-in-1

These are better quality lenses and less fiddly than the XCSOURCE ones. However they only work on iPhones and you need different ones for the iPhone 5/5c/5s (59.90) and the iPhone 6/6 Plus (£69.99).

Do I Need Special Apps?

Possibly. But, like the lenses, make sure you check out the reviews and check out al that are available.


For taking the perfect picture, you’re often best off using the camera app that comes with your phone. But if you feel you need some different options then there are plenty on the iPhone App Store and the Android Store


There are again a lot of options for photo editing. Photoshop is the best known of these – it’s pricey on the computer and you can only rent it (£8.57 a month, based on a monthly plan) – but you can get the Photoshop Touch on you iPhone for £3.99 (although at the time of writing the latest update has some negative reviews about how it saves images).

However, if you’re looking for something that’s both free and functional, you can edit your photos on your computer using GIMP, which is a completely free alternative to photoshop.

By using all these bits together you should be able to come up with really striking images of your products.

To learn more about product photography read the original Shopify blog here.

If you’d like to work with Web Wise on either creating or enhancing your online store then please get in touch with us.

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