7 Smartphone Camera Tips for Stunning Product Photography

Publication date: April 11, 2024

Reading time:  5 minutes

Are you looking to elevate the quality of your product photos for your Etsy shop? Look no further than the smartphone that you already have in your pocket. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can instantly enhance the quality of your product photography and captivate Etsy shoppers. Here are seven smartphone camera tips to help you take your Etsy listing photos to the next level.

Tip #1: Clean Your Lens

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it is the most important—as well as the most overlooked—tip for shooting pictures with your smartphone. Before you start snapping photos, take a moment to clean the lens of your smartphone camera. Those fingerprints and smudges that have accumulated over time on the lens result in blurry or hazy images. By simply taking a quick minute and using a microfiber cloth or lens cleaning wipe to gently wipe away any dirt or debris, it ensures that you shoot crystal clear photos. If you handle your camera during your product shoot, repeat this tip as many times as needed to ensure your lens is always clean.

Tip #2: Shoot in Landscape Mode

When photographing products for your Etsy shop, opt for landscape mode to capture more of the scene and provide context for your products. Landscape orientation allows you to showcase your products in their natural environment and provides a wider field of view, making your photos more visually engaging. It also allows for plenty of room to ensure that you are capturing your product in a way that allows for a beautiful depiction in your listing thumbnail.

Tip #3: Use a Tripod and Bluetooth Shutter Release

Achieving steady and stable shots is essential for high-quality product photography. Invest in a smartphone tripod and a Bluetooth shutter release to minimize camera shake and ensure sharp, clear images. With a tripod, you can experiment with different angles and compositions without worrying about holding the camera steady.

When selecting your tripod, be sure that it has the height range that you need for properly aligning to your needs for your product photography. If you use flat flay photos of your products, look into a boom attachment for your tripod as well. The tripod does not need to be an expensive option—just simply one that holds your camera steady and can be adjusted to your specific requirements. Check out eRank’s Friend and Product Photography Coach Kristina Nicole’s video for her 3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Tripod for Product Photography.

Tip #4: Set Focus Manually

Don’t leave focus to chance—take control of your smartphone camera’s focus settings to ensure that your products are perfectly sharp and in focus. Tap on the most important part of the image to set focus manually, guiding the camera to prioritize the focal point of your composition.

Tip #5: Adjust Exposure Before Capturing

Before taking a photo, take a moment to adjust the exposure settings on your smartphone camera to ensure optimal brightness and contrast—either manually or with a third-party application. Increasing the exposure helps to brighten up your photos and bring out more detail in your products, especially in low-light conditions, resulting in less editing work being required for your photos.

Tip #6: Use Portrait Mode for Depth

Portrait mode is a powerful tool for adding depth and dimension to your product photos. When using this method, center your product and then set your prompts 6-8 inches (15-20 centimeters) behind the subject of your photo. By blurring the background and creating a shallow depth of field, portrait mode draws attention to the main subject of your image, making your products stand out against a soft, dreamy backdrop. See Kristina’s video How to Make the Background of Your Product Photos Blurry Using Portrait Mode on Your iPhone for more tips and tricks for achieving this look for your photos.

Tip #7: Ensure Ample Lighting

Adequate lighting is essential for capturing clear, vibrant product photos. Whenever possible, shoot in natural light to illuminate your products evenly and avoid harsh shadows. Position your products near a window or take them outdoors to take advantage of soft, diffused sunlight for a flattering and natural-looking glow. 

Ready to learn more about how to evaluate, diagnose, and cure your lighting issues in as little as five days? Product Photography Coach Kristina Nicole is opening her 5-day L.I.G.H.T Challenge for new students. The challenge includes daily pre-recorded video lessons, daily action steps, live critiques and Q&As with Kristina, the L.I.G.H.T Handbook, and downloadable videos to rewatch any time you need. The challenge begins on Monday, April 15th. Sign-up before this Sunday night in order to not miss a minute. 

Apply These Seven Tips for Product Photo Success

By following these seven smartphone camera tips—which were graciously shared with eRank by Kristina Nicole, you can instantly elevate the quality of your product photography and create stunning visuals for your Etsy shop. From cleaning your lens and setting focus manually to utilizing portrait mode and ensuring ample lighting, these simple yet effective techniques help you to showcase your products in the best possible light. With practice and experimentation, you will soon discover the perfect formula for capturing eye-catching product listing photos that attract customers to your Etsy shop. Combine that with great SEO from eRank, and you will have a winning combination!

For more information about Kristina Nicole’s 5-Day L.I.G.H.T Challenge, click on the image below. Learn how to make natural light work FOR you every time that you take your Etsy listing photos.


Also, Kristina is joining Starla and Pam for eRank’s Thursday LIVE Q&A and also will be on the Friday Bean with Starla and Marc. These are two great opportunities to learn more tips and tricks from Kristina, as well as ask her your product photography questions.