We edit millions of product images at Pixelz, and I get lots of questions about how to improve product photography and image editing. Often the person asking assumes I won’t really answer: after all, why would I give away “trade secrets?”

I always answer! I love getting questioned and I’m happy to share, for a couple of reasons. First, if we don’t have anything more to offer than skills you can learn from 30 minutes of online tutorials, we’re doomed. Our value is in the ability to scale turnaround time, ease of use and consistency. Second, I think all education is a good thing: the more people know and care about their product photography, the better the ecommerce world will be for it. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Without further ado, here’s a list of resources you should familiarize yourself with if you’re a budding product photographer, ecommerce store owner, Photoshop guru, or digital asset manager looking to improve your skills.


Where to find them: their site, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube

Whether you’re new to product photography or an established studio owner, you can learn a lot by engaging with the community. Fstoppers.com is a tool for photographers that focuses on education, discussion and gear reviews. It’s not limited to product photography, but there’s tons of great product photography related content.

For example, one of the trickier tasks in product photography is shooting glass and other reflective objects. In this Fstoppers tutorial, a beer bottle is shot in editorial fashion. Lee uses a somewhat expensive five flash setup, but you can accomplish the same effect cheaper using a single flash –– it will just take you longer.

2. SLR Lounge

Where to find them: their site, Twitter, Youtube

SLR Lounge provides extensive tutorials by bringing you along on actual shoots. “The Best Way to Learn Photography | Photography 101” series will help you master shooting in manual mode.

This video will give you a taste of their style and guide you to finding the right starting point.

One of the more interesting things SLR Lounge does is provide a forum for critiques. Photographers regularly submit their work for constructive criticism from the community; here’s the critique section for commercial photography.

3. Chelsea & Tony

Where to find them: Facebook, Youtube

Chelsea and Tony Northrup are a husband and wife team who produce excellent YouTube tutorial videos and digital photography books.

Tony’s probably best known for his DSLR book, How To Create Stunning Digital Photography, which comes with 12 hours of videos. This isn’t just another eBook money grab. It has a 5-star Amazon rating with over 1400 reviews. That’s hard to do.

The Northrups do a good job of demonstrating the basics of photography, things like exposure and manual camera settings. Here’s a video that will explain how light, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO all work together.

4. DigitalRev TV

Where to find them: Youtube

Do you like watching Brits perform challenges while cracking awkward jokes and dropping knowledge, a la Top Gear? Then you’ll enjoy the DigitalRev YouTube channel.

In this video, they set up a product photography studio for 100 UK pounds.

If you like that, they tackle an even more extreme 30 UK pound challenge specifically for product photography. Fair warning, the joke meter gets cranked up to 11.


Where to find them: their site, YouTube

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a case of getting what you pay for. At USD $299, “The Complete Guide To Product Photography” is one of the most expensive tutorials out there –– but it’s also one of the best.

An exhaustive 20+ hour tutorial is filmed documentary style through multiple photo shoots, giving you behind the scenes access and technical demonstrations. It’s structured around catalog photography (which doubles for web images), editorial photography, small business (in-house studios) and big budget commercial photography.

Here’s Tony Roslund of RGG EDU describing how the guide walks you from pre-production through post-production.

6. Phlearn

Where to find them: their site, Youtube

For instruction in post-production, from your first time using Photoshop to advanced techniques, it doesn’t get much better than Phlearn. Their YouTube channel has about 900,000 subscribers, is organized into convenient playlists and puts out a couple videos a week.

If you’re new, their three-part Quick Start Guide is an in-depth introduction that will give you the grounding you need to grow. Here’s the first one:

If you’re a pro looking to sharpen your skills and stay up to date on all the latest features, you can find those videos too. For example, frequency separation is an advanced retouching technique that lets you separate textures and tones into different layers, giving you amazing results when working with skin, fabric and other subtle textures.

One of the things Phlearn does that makes them even more awesome is to provide downloadable Photoshop Actions accompanying their tutorials. That lets you see the steps that were taken, and possibly adapt it for your own use.

In addition to many excellent free tutorials, there are paid PRO tutorials for experienced Photoshop users looking to improve. Here’s a fashion four-pack.

7. KelbyOne

Where to find them: their site, Twitter

KelbyOne provides online training in Photoshop, Lightroom and photography through courses and tutorials. Let’s get the bad news out of the way up front: it costs USD $19.99/mo, with a 10 day free trial.

The good news is that training is in depth, and because they’re tied in deeply with Adobe, you get some content straight from the source. For example, here’s a lesson on how to use apps to get the most of Adobe Creative Cloud, taught by Adobe Worldwide Design and Photography Evangelist Terry White.

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8. Pixelz

Where to find them: their site, Twitter, LinkedI

We make it easy to optimize product images by providing a simple and powerful image editing service.

You create specs, upload your images and get them back in 24 hours or less, a process much faster and less expensive than doing it yourself or hiring a digital asset manager. You can edit new or existing images easily using our Bigcommerce app.

The blog is packed with info and there are guides for everything product image related, like tethering with lightroom, representing different product sizes, optimizing images for Google and using techniques like the Invisible Mannequin. Plus, if you want any additional information, you are more than welcome to reach out to me and the team. We’re always ready to answer questions, provide guidance or write up a detailed blog post to help you solve an issue.

And, that’s it! I hope there was something in the list worth a bookmark, follow,or subscription. Do you know of any other good product photography resources? What are you trying to learn? Let me know in the comments below!