Things to Avoid When Taking Product Photos

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There are certain things that you need to keep in mind when you are taking photos that will be used on your website. If you get things wrong, then it could leave you open to having legal action taken against you. If there are people, branded products or certain locations in your photos then you may have to gain permission before they can be used for marketing purposes. One way to avoid this is to make sure that you have nothing in your images that could cause you problems further down the line. The advice that can be found below will help you make sure that all your photographs can be used as you want them to be in your marketing.

Faces of People

If you are taking photos in a public place, then there is a good chance you will get other people in the shot. However, as long as you ensure that these people are only passing by, you should not need to get their permission to use the image. You could try and take the shot in a place where there are not many people about, but this is not always possible.

Price Tags

Price tags can be unappealing to people who see them in an image so you should try to avoid capturing them in your photographs. If this cannot be avoided, then you could always try to Photoshop them out at a later date.


As long as children are not personally identifiable then in theory there should be no issue with having them in the background of your shot. However, one thing to be aware of is that parents may have objection to their child’s image being used at all so it may be a good idea to get permission just in case.

Distracting Backgrounds

If there is too much going on in the background of your image then it can distract people from what it is you actually want them to see. You should try and keep the background as simple as possible so there are no distractions.

Brand Names and Logos

You may be in breach of copyright if you include a brand name or logo in your image and so these should be avoided at all costs. The photo should be taken at an angle where the logo can’t be seen, or you can edit the image with Photoshop to remove it.

Public Buildings

You will usually require permission to include images of public buildings in your photos and so this is something you may want to avoid. It can be worth double checking whether the building that you want to use has any intellectual property rights attached to it before taking the photo.

Distinct Characteristics of Products

There are certain products that are instantly recognizable as soon as you see them because of certain characteristics that they have. You should take as much care with photographing these characteristics as you would with taking a photo of a logo or brand name.

License Plates

If you are shooting an image with a vehicle in it, then you can’t include the license plate. This is because people would be able to use this information to identify who the car belongs to. Using fake plates could be an option, or you may be able to blur out the license plate.

Unintentional Shadows

You may think you are taking a great shot, only to realize that there is an unintentional shadow which has ruined the whole image. Avoiding shadows will come with practice but it is always best to use natural light when possible.

Product Packaging

Some products have packaging which can be quite reflective and this often does not make a good photo. If the packaging is interesting and you want it to be included, then you can take the product out and have the packaging in the background.