Photography Crash Course For Better Looking Amazon Listings

Ask yourself this, what usually makes you want to know more about a product? You may think that it’s the price, but think harder and you will realize that it actually was the image.

A well photographed product image is the secret marketing weapon that companies use to get a buyer’s attention.

When it comes to Amazon, one could argue that everything on the search results page looks the same. But why is it that when you the search results come in, there’s this one listing that instantly gets your attention?

Don’t get me wrong, price indeed plays a huge role. But a well photographed listing is needed to separate it from the rest.

Sadly, not everyone has the knowledge of how to capture a good image. And being a photo hobbyist myself, paying a few hundred bucks for a photographer to hand me an image of a product in front of a white background sounds ridiculous to me.

So what’s the next best thing, go DIY of course!

In this article, I’ll teach you all the basic of shooting products for your listings. And no, you don’t even need a fancy camera. All you need is a smartphone, good lighting and a piece of white paper.

Before we jump into the meat of things though, let’s talk about what Amazon requires from your product images.

Technical Requirements For Your Amazon Product Images

Your photos must:

  • Be in one of these formats TIFF (.tif/.tiff), JPEG (.jpeg/.jpg), GIF (.gif) and PNG (.png)
  • Be no less that 1000 pixels in dimension
  • Be in CMYK or sRGD color mode
  • Have product identifiers in its file name (UPC, JAN, EAN, 13 digit ISBN or Amazon ASIN), followed immediately by a period, and ends with appropriate file extension (Example: B000123456.jpg or 0237425673485.tif)

Note: Keep in mind that dashes, spaces or the use of additional characters can prevent your image from going live.

For images named by product identifier without a variant code or named with the MAIN variant, and display as the main image on the product detail page, Amazon maintains the following site product image standards:

Amazon Product Image Site Standards

  • Image must be a professional photo or cover art of the product that you wish to sell. Use of sketches or drawings are prohibited
  • Image must be free of additional materials irrelevant to the product that you wish to sell
  • Image must be well lit, in focus and must show the exact color of the product you wish to sell
  • Images for Videos/DVD’s, Music and books must use the cover art of said products and encompass 100% of the image frame. Use of promotional stickers, cellophane or jewel cases are not allowed
  • Product image must fill at least 85% of the image frame
  • The product that you wish to sell must be in frame
  • Background image must be in pure white
  • Image should be free of any insert images, graphics or any additional text
  • Image must be free of any offensive or pornographic materials

With that out of the way, let’s try and see if I can turn you into a photographer overnight.

Things You Need For Your Amazon Product Shoot

Photography Crash Course For Better Looking Amazon Listings


If you have a DSLR, much better. But if you don’t know how to use it outside of “Auto” mode, then just forget about using it, or we will be here till next week. Just get your smartphone instead.


In photography, there is no substitute for natural light. But if you only have time to do your DIY product shoot during evenings, then go get all the lamps that you have around the house.

When looking for lamps though, make sure that the bulbs are white and not yellow.

Three lamps is enough, but if you have more, better.


Since Amazon prefers plain white backgrounds for its product listings, what you do is go find yourself the biggest white bond paper you can get your hands on. If you find it too small for your product, then just try to get the biggest flexible white paper available to you.

No, you can’t use several small bond papers to make a huge one as its edges will show in your photos.

Amazon Product Photography Set-up 

There are two ways you can go about doing this. One would be to make a “lightbox”, and the other calls for the use of placing a table near a wall. Both can get you pretty good results. But for this article, as I don’t want to make this any longer than it is, let’s just use the “table to wall” method.

  • Get a small table and put it against a wall, or any flat surface
  • Get your white paper and stick one side of it on the wall with tape, and allow the other side to drop freely on the table
  • Go get your product and place it in the middle part of the paper that is touching the table
  • Get your lamps and position one on each side of your product, with one positioned on top of it

Your setup should look something like this.

Photography Crash Course For Better Looking Amazon Listings

Before you take your photo, you need to first adjust the positioning of your lamps.

The lamps on each side must illuminate the sides of the product, but not too much. In order for the sides to stay well illuminated and retain its contrast, try to adjust the distance of each lamp from the product.

Do the same for the lamp that is illuminating your product from above.

Lastly, make sure that your product does not cast any shadows on its background if you can. To get rid of shadows, either adjust the lamps where the shadow comes from, or adjust the angle of you picture to hide the shadow.

Finding The Right Angle

Finding the right angle can either make or break an image.

So when it comes to finding the right angle for your product, take your time and come up with several shots from different angles. Try to look for one that appeals the most to you. When you find it, then go and experiment with your angles a bit more. The more photos you take, the more choices you have to choose from.

Here’s a tip for you:

If you want people to look at your product as if it was offered to them, tilt your camera to the right. And if you want to instill the idea of it walking away, tilt your camera to the left.

Enhancing Your Photos

Once you’ve taken several images and is satisfied with them, now it’s time to enhance your photos.

If it was all up to me, I would suggest you use Adobe Lightroom. But since this article is supposed to cater to DIY culture, then I suggest you use, Canva.

Canva is a powerful online editing tool for photos. It allows you to edit, crop, resize and add filters to your images.

But with the photos being in your phone already, you can also make use of photo editors like the one from Instagram and VSCO.

But don’t get carried away though. Remember, you’re going to post it on Amazon. So keep it clean and simple.
Personally, I’m happy to share what little knowledge I have in photography and relate it to improving Amazon listings. It’s not everyday that I get to do this, and I do think this will be the first and last, so I do hope you got a little something out of this.

So if this article has helped you take your first DIY Amazon product photo, do post your experience, or maybe an image or two, on the comments below.

Or if you are a professional photographer and would love to add a few more tips and tricks, that would be awesome too!

As always, have a great day, and see you next time!