Photography marketing

Product Photography Part 15: Creating an Image from Start to Finish

Throughout this series, I’ve covered how to shoot and edit products that appeal to shoppers and drive conversions. This final episode is a recap, applying all the concepts I covered to a single image using just my iPhone and three editing tools.

So far, I’ve covered all the hardware aspects of selecting equipment, staging shots, and improving images in the following: “Part 1: Choosing Backdrops” , “Part 2: Selecting Tripods”, “Part 3: Basics of Artificial Lighting”, “Part 4: Angles and Viewpoints”, “Part 5: Choosing a Camera”, “Part 6: Selecting Lens”, “Part 7: Magnification and Close-Ups”, “Part 8: The Basics of Composition”, “Part 9: Advanced Composition”, “Part 10: Lines as Design Elements”, ” Part 11: Image Editing”, “Part 12: Color Correction and Presets”, “Part 13: Special Modifications” and “Part 14: Optimizing for Speed, Search”.

Image from start to finish

I will be working with a vase that I created in my art studio.

I discussed the importance of using a white background for most product images. For this shoot, instead of a professional backdrop, I used standard seamless white paper. The quality of the paper was not great and there were several creases.

The backdrop is a standard white seamless paper with multiple folds.

I compensated for these shortcomings by using natural lighting to push the shadows to the left of the vase. I could have used artificial lighting if the natural light was less or if I wanted to suppress shadows.

I didn’t worry much about the composition of the image as I wanted it to look like what is typical on the Amazon marketplace or an independent e-commerce store with the item in the foreground displaying as many information as possible.

I moved the shooting sight back for an eye level vantage point at a 45 degree angle. Using my iPhone and my studio tripod, I captured a bland image, perfect for demonstrating editing on a mobile device.

Photo focusing on the green phase on the white paper background

The shot is an eye level vantage point from a 45 degree angle using an iPhone and a studio tripod.

I started the editing process by deleting the superfluous objects in the upper right corner (which I’ve marked green below) using Touch ReTouch’s brush tool.

Screenshot of the Touch ReTouch Brush tool

Delete superfluous objects in the upper right corner (marked in green) with Touch ReTouch’s brush tool.

I then removed the background shadows created by the horizon of the image (again, marked in green below), leaving only the shadow of the vase itself. To do this, I again used Touch ReTouch’s brush tool.

Screenshot of Touch ReTouch tool showing background shadows in green

Remove background shadows created by the horizon of the image as shown in green.

After sorting the shadows, I fixed the brightness and color levels of the image. I used Snapseed to increase the brightness to +92. This instantly made the vase more attractive.

Snapseed app screenshot

Adjust image brightness and color levels with Snapseed.

But the picture was still not perfect. The color was wrong. So using Snapseed I adjusted the saturation to +42 and added some contrast. It brought out the whole picture. I showed it to a friend, who said she would buy my vase based on the photo!

Screenshot of saturation screen in Snapseed

Use Snapseed to adjust saturation to +42 and add contrast.

I then cropped the final image using my iPhone’s native editing tools. I made sure that the lines of the shadow drew viewers’ eyes to the center of the vase. Finally, I offset the composition by leaving extra white space above the vase, increasing its appeal.

Photo of cropped vase

Crop the final image using native iPhone editing tools.

I could have used Adobe Photoshop from a desktop computer to do all of this. But my goal was to demonstrate how to get great results with a smartphone alone. In addition, switching between computer software and mobile applications on a single image becomes unnecessarily complicated.


I completed the whole process by changing the filename of the credits photo IMG_3880 at carolyn-mara-blue-tie-dye-swirl-vase – which is search engine friendly. After making sure its file format was a JPEG, I posted the image on my website, where I added alt text to ensure accessibility for visually impaired shoppers and for maximum exposure on Google.

This whole process took about 20 minutes. It illustrates how easy it is for both new and experienced marketers to create quality product photos using only a smartphone.