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The Different Types of Packshot Photography


What is packshot photography? Packshot, or packaging shot, refers to a photo or image of a product that generally includes the product’s packaging and label. Packshot photos are often featured on a brand’s website or communications and constitute a key part of the platform’s advertising material, giving consumers a concrete idea of what to expect when they order the product. Quality packshot photography can be an excellent tool to boost your brand’s image and perceived value, and convey the message you want to communicate about your product. Packshot images can come in a variety of different types, offering you different choices when it comes to displaying your product. Learn more about how to choose the right packshot photos for your products.

Selling Your Product with Packshot Photography

The type of packshot you need depends on the nature of the product you’re looking to sell. Naturally, the same photography approach that’s effective to bring out the beauty in a handbag won’t necessary be the best choice for a car, for example. The goal is to choose the best type of shot that highlights the product’s qualities and makes it as appealing as possible to potential consumers. The best way to choose the right type of packshot is to discuss your product and advertising goals with a photographer specialised in packshot and commercial photography, who advise you on the best packshot techniques for your brand and products. While it may look simple, mastering packshot photography requires expert knowledge and advanced equipment to optimise lighting, position and other factors to show off your product’s quality.

A pair of sunglasses

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Photo by Jesper Riknie

Studio Product Photos 

When it comes to having packshots taken of your products, your first option is to have the photos taken with a studio background. This is particularly effective when the product is sensitive with regards to lighting conditions, depending on the materials of its packaging. For example, it is often best to take photos of goods packaged in bottles in the studio, since the reflections from the bottle will have to be carefully managed. A studio background for products of this type will allow the best qualities of the product and details of its packaging to be displayed. Studio packshot photography also offers the advantage of quick set up time and the ability to change the product featured in the photos efficiently, without having to completely change the lighting and background. 

The most popular form of packshot involves photographing the product against a plain white background. This type of packshot puts the most emphasis on the product, and can help get the the potential purchaser’s attention and allow them to imagine it without the distraction of a busy background or its influence on their vision of the product. A clean, white background helps prevent the customer’s attention being drawn to other things, allowing them to focus on the product in detail. 76% of listings on Amazon have opted for this type of packshot, proving that they are considered to be simple and effective the world over. To create this type of packshot, it is important to call on a professional photographer: without the correct training, equipment and photo-editing software, it is difficult to create the desired effect of the product floating in mid-air. 


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Photo by @element5digital

Grouping Products in Packshots

In some circumstances, it can be advantageous to have certain products appear together in a packshot. Product grouping can be useful to advertise items such as beauty products that include different shades of makeup, or shoes and articles of clothing. By arranging the products togetther, you can give a more accurate impression of how the products you feature will look in real life, alongside one another. This also allows the potential customer to make a comparison of the different products side-by-side. Product grouping can also be an efficient way to efficiently feature many items at once on your website, to communicate a more general image of your brand. Despite the advantages, grouping products in packshots naturally leads to some of the detail of each individual product in the range being left out, due to overlap and arrangement. It is often best to use this kind of packshot in conjunction with an individual studio shot to make sure that customers get a complete overview of the product. 


A person in a tent

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Photo by Patrick Hendry

Lifestyle Product Photos

An increasingly popular style of packshot photography is to use “lifestyle” shots, featuring the product in the circumstances in which it will be used. Lifestyle product photos are often popular for products which are marketed to a certain target demographic, such as products associated with travel, adventure, or sports. For example, the best way to show off items such camping equipment or outdoor sporting goods is often to shoot them outdoors, even in action. A lifestyle approach can also be used to display items in more everyday locations, showing their use in daily life. For example, in order to sell home goods such as dishes or décor accessories, you might choose to have it placed in an inviting-looking sitting room. Showing the product off in use, in a nicely decorated setting can help give your potential customers a good impression of the item and imagine using it, making them feel like they could recreate the same atmosphere in their own home. 


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Photoo by Zara Walker


Close-up Packshots

To make sure customers take note of the fine craftsmanship and intricate details of your products and creations, you can also opt for close-up packshots. Close-up shots are also best used alongside another type of packshot image, to give viewers the full picture. Zooming in on the product gives you the opportunity to show customers the details of its texture, as well as any particularly intricate and impressive craftsmanship that may have been involved in its manufacture. You can use this type of photograph to highlight specifics of the product which you feel make it particularly appealing or speak to its quality, for example the stitching on a handbag or pair or shoes, or the shine on a car bonnet or piece of jewellery. 

3D and 360 Packshots

Looking to show off your product from all angles? Still photos aren’t the only option for your packshot photography project. There are also a couple options available to create moving images, even allowing the customer to interact with your product. One way to create 3D packshots is by rendering the product image in three dimensions using CGI. An increasing popular form of product photography, 3D images can be more costly to produce but can be a great tool to grab customers’ attention and catch their eye.

It’s also possible to create moving images that offer a similar effect, displaying a 360-degree view of your product. 360-degree packshots can be created by special machines, that rotate the product while shooting multiple images that are then stitched together. They can also be created manually by a skilled photographer, by maintaining the same camera angle and positioning while manually turning the product.



Interested in creating packshots of your products to boost your brand? Find photographers near you specialised in product photography and get in touch today to bring out your products’ best qualities through packshots.



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