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Understand What is a Packshot: The Ultimate Guide

A Packshot is a type of photo of the product and its packaging, usually on a white background. Packshot photos are the standard of photos in the e-commerce industry. Well-made packshot photos are the key to the success of selling products on the Internet.

Product photos for online stores, usually called packshot’s, if properly made, help to present the product while strengthening the company’s brand. How should packshot product photos be created? We will try to answer this question in this article.

What exactly is Packshot?

a black bag with the letter b on it professional product photography
Packshot photo on a white background.

Internet, catalogs and billboards, the demand for product photos is constantly growing. Marketing and sales need new product photos, how else would they do their job? Packshot, or actually product photography, is a huge part of e-commerce that is constantly growing every year. The most important goal of the photos is to accurately represent the product. Packshot photos should present the entire content of the product along with additional accessories, the same content that the customer will receive after opening his package. Contrary to what advertising photography offers, where the photographer, when creating photos, focuses on making the product offer more attractive, packshot photography focuses on faithful reproduction of the product. Well-made product photos should not differ from reality, and at the same time should encourage you to buy. Depending on the needs, the photos can also show the product packaging and additional information about it.

The purpose of a well-made packshot should be to encourage a purchase without distorting yourself about the product itself.

The most important rules of Packshot photos

A large lamp on three legs
Packshot photos for online stores.

When creating product photos, you should keep a few rules in mind:

  1. Products and packaging should be clean and should not have too many scratches and imperfections. This will make your work in post-production easier
  2. Look carefully at the product, think about how to set the lighting to emphasize its most important aspects and avoid glare or shadows
  3. If you can, use the appropriate equipment to illuminate the product. It is true that the Internet is full of guides on how to take product photos without equipment, but it is true that studio equipment is expensive and not without a reason, it carries the quality that can be seen in the photos
  4. Remember that post-production is not about adding “effects” to your photos, forget about filters. Post-production in product photography serves only to remove imperfections and enhance the lighting and the product itself.
  5. The background of the product should be plain and white. Do not add accessories, make sure that the background is evenly lit and perfectly white.
  6. The camera should always be set to “manual”, so we leave nothing to chance, so that each photo is exactly as we want it to be.
  7. Make sure that the colors are properly reproduced. The professional product studio uses a reference color table for this purpose, so that the colors are always 100% reproduced.
  8. Take additional shots of the product. Experiment with the product, check how it looks from different angles. Perhaps setting the product at a different angle will allow you to show information about the additional features of the product.

Packshot photo standard for e-commerce sites

Photo of three scissors for the online store.
Product photography on a white background.

What size should packshots be? It depends on where we want to post the product photo. E-commerce and social auction sites have different specifications for product photos. The table below presents the latest data on photo sizes for auction sites and social networks.

Online serviceFile resolution
Facebook2048px x 2048px
Instagram1080px x 1080px
Pinterest2000px x 3000px
Twitter1200px x 1200px
Amazon2000px x 2000px
Allegro2560px x 2560px
eBay1600px x 1600px
OLX1200px x 1200px
Currently, the best photo resolution for e-commerce websites and social media websites for 2022.

In addition, some websites require that the photos of items on a white background take up a certain amount of space, eg Amazon requires that the products take up at least 85% of the photo.

What do you need to take Packshot photos?

Product photo of the golden watch
Time is also important.

To take correct packshot product photos, you need a few basic tools and programs. We will not discuss here how professionals take product photos, what they use and what programs are used in professional studios, if you are reading this, you probably want to take product photography for your own small business.

To create packshot photos you need:

  • Camera or smartphone
  • White background, a piece of white paper
  • A table and some space
  • Tripod
  • Basic lighting, they can be permanent lighting lamps or high-power bulbs
  • A computer for image processing or a phone application

When photographing products, it’s best to use a camera, which gives you control over each setting. It is true that the phones have better and better cameras, but sometimes the software does not always allow for full manual settings and, consequently, controls and repeatability of photos. When taking photos with the phone, often even using manual settings, the software will still affect the photos, changing the white balance or darkening the white background. When creating Packshot photos, we want to create photos with a perfectly white background.

How to set the camera to take good product photos?

Product packshot photos on a white background.
Always try to shoot with the manual settings for the greatest control.

Camera with manual settings, allows you to control. Change the ISO settings to as low as possible, Aperture to around 11-13, shutter depending on the power of your lamps. A tripod will be useful for us to shoot from the same level and at the same angle every time, thanks to which our photos will look consistent and the store will be transparent and professional. We suggest using your own, artificial lighting, and not the natural light from e.g. a window, because the light outside is constantly changing, its intensity and color, so the photos can come out very differently. There are many programs that allow you to edit raw camera photos. The most important thing is that the program allows you to improve the white balance, light intensity and overexposure of the white background. We want the background in RGB value to have 255, which means that it should be perfectly white.

Is it worth taking pictures yourself?

Photograph from backstage of recording a the photography studio
Photo from the photo studio

It depends. If your company is just starting out and you have a lot of free time and you already know a bit about photography, creating photos on your own may be a good idea. However, if you are trying to create a professional offer and present your product in the best quality, there is no other way than delegating this task to an external company. The day only has 24 hours, focusing on creating the company and everything related to it ourselves, we must take into account that not everything will be perfect. Photos are the most important aspect of any offer. Professional product photos, however, do not have to be expensive. If you’d like to find out what influences the price of product photos, check out our previous post on this topic. We encourage you to take advantage of our offer, contact us and evaluate your products, create a professional offer and start selling.

Bartłomiej Skolasiński

Expert Product Photographer With over 10 years of experience working with e-commerce leading brands, Bart is a trusted partner for businesses looking to showcase their products in the best possible way. As a professional product photographer, Bart has developed a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of what it takes to create high-quality images that help sell products. Whether it's capturing the unique features of a new product or highlighting the texture and color of a well-established brand, Bart's expertise and experience ensure that his clients' products are showcased in the best possible light.

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