How to take photos and videos for product reviews

Photos and videos help product reviews stand out and can increase their effectiveness. Learn about how to take the perfect product review photos and videos below.

Adding photos and videos to your product reviews on Trustpilot can be what takes a review from being good to great. Making sure those photos and videos are the best they can be, is what takes it all to the next level. Here’s our tips for making sure your product review photos are top notch.

Quick tips

  • Take your own picture or video of the product. Don’t use a picture or video of the same product that you downloaded from the internet.
  • Don’t take photos in a dim environment. Find another spot with more light or bring a light source to the product.
  • Make sure it's clear what the product you're reviewing actually is.
  • Avoid unrelated objects and use a clean, neutral background.
  • Focus on the product and not on the background.
  • Hold your camera steady. 
  • Consider holding your camera horizontally.
  • Check the picture or video before uploading. If the quality is not quite there, maybe it's blurry, dark, cropped...take a better one!

Choose your camera

You don’t need a fancy camera to take great photos. Smartphone cameras are better than ever, and can take high quality images without the need for special equipment or lenses. Decide what camera you want to use and get familiar with it’s settings.

image with cameras

Consider your settings

It’s a good idea to choose the biggest file size and highest resolution settings that your phone allows for. This way, you’ll get the most clear and detailed image possible. You don’t need to reduce the file size - upload the original. If your phone or camera is in auto mode, direct it towards the object and tap the object on the screen (or half press the camera’s button). Let the camera focus and get the proper color balance - usually it doesn’t take more than a second or two. Then, take a picture.

Get the right light

tomato plant under a table lamp

Light is the most important aspect of photography. If you don’t have enough light, your pictures might end up blurry, colors can be misrepresented, or the photo might be too dark. Natural sunlight is the best if there's enough of it, but even a table lamp is better than nothing. Place your product facing towards the light and your camera facing against it. To avoid shadows, try moving the product slightly to the side or placing your light source higher.

Avoid flash

It may seem like a good option to add light to your images, but the flash on most phones isn't great for quality images. It can wash out images and make colors appear different to how they are in real life.

Find your focus

an out of focus image vs. image in focus

Focus on the product and not on the background. Keep the camera steady while taking the picture, and avoid having unrelated objects in the picture so it's clear which product you're actually reviewing.

Optimize your background

Clean up your background and make it as clear and simple as possible. Try to choose a different color background than your product to have a bit of contrast.

Use digital zoom with caution

There are two kinds of zoom: optical and digital. Optical zoom means that the camera uses its own optics (lenses) to magnify an image. Digital zoom enlarges the image by cropping an image down to the chosen area, which results in a lower quality image. You lose detail when digitally zooming with consumer grade cameras.

Most of the time, it's better to move closer to the object instead of using digital zoom. That said, sometimes digital zoom can help avoid blurry pictures. For example, if you need to take a close-up picture, your camera might not be able to focus on the product because it's too close. In these cases, move the camera a bit further away, until it can focus properly, then zoom in. You'll have a slightly lower quality image with less detail, but it'll be in focus. See the example video of how it is done.

Stay away from filters

Even though it may be tempting to slap a filter or several emojis on your image or do some Photoshop magic, it’s usually better to keep it natural. Editing photos and videos too heavily can misrepresent the product and be misleading.

Pay attention to the details

People reading your review will want to see as much as they can before they make a commitment. If you’re highlighting something particular about the product in your review, make sure that you take a photo of that specific detail to illustrate your words.

Show some angles

Take as many pictures as you can, and use some variety! Don’t just take photos from one angle. You can move the product around to show different sides and give viewers a 360 degree view of the product. It’s also a great idea to use video to show a product in action and provide a holistic view.

More is more

It’s always a good idea to take more pictures than you think you need. Snap away, and then you can go back and choose the one that looks the best and delete the rest.

Video and language

Videos can be used for more than just showing the product. You can also explain your experience with the product and provide commentary. Just be sure not to swear or use inappropriate language while recording the video.

 

Once you’ve got your images just right, it’s time to post your review. For tips on how to write product reviews, check out this article.

And as a last note, to maintain the integrity of our platform, we have some guidelines about what can be included in Trustpilot reviews, and all photos and videos must follow them. You can read them here.