Product Photography – Product Only Images Vs In Context Images

Apr 8, 2020

Product Photography – Product Only Images Vs In Context Images

Take the time to think about the last few items you’ve bought online or the websites you’ve browsed recently. Did they show the products on their own, or with some kind of background or context? Each website will do things slightly different and it can be challenging to decide on the best course of action for your business. This is where a product photography expert can help!

Product Only Images

The majority of customers choose to remove any kind of background or colour from their images and focus on the product itself. There are some benefits for those who choose this route and they include:


Choosing a plain background, or no background at all will ensure that all products on your e-commerce website will conform to a single design and vision, even if they are on different pages or platforms.


People get distracted very quickly and you only have a few seconds to attract someone to your website before they move on to a competitor. If the only thing they can see is your product, the emphasis is on that and nothing else. This could potentially attract those customers to spend a little longer on your website and lead to a sale.

Time and cost

Perhaps two of the most important requirements you will have when engaging with a product photography service – fast service and value for money. Using a plain white backdrop and not requiring models, props and locations will reduce the project timeline and minimise expenses.

It’s getting easier to see why people choose this option, but that doesn’t mean its necessarily the right one. The opposite to product only images are in context images.

In Context Images

When we talk about in context images, we mean displaying the product in a setting that shares a story without distraction. For example, for those needing jewellery photography, it is likely you will want to show off the jewellery on a model, to allow people to see what it looks like on them. There are some simple benefits to choosing this option that make a big difference:

Speaks to your audience

People are often drawn to products that they feel fit their style and the easiest way to show this is to display products on models or in settings that reflect your target audience. If you’re selling fitness clothing, then showing people working out in your products will let them visualise how they will look in that real-life scenario.

Builds your brand image

You’re not just selling a product; you’re selling your brand. This is important whether you’re a small business or multinational corporation and using context within your products can help build on this concept. Add in colours, brand logos and environments that remind people of who you are and what you do.

Complementary products

You may have a range of products that complement each other and using a product photography service that creates in context images, will allow you to subtly display other products or ideas for your customers, hopefully generating more sales and brand loyalty.

Two different approaches – which is right?

Ultimately, there is no single right approach and the best piece of advice is to make the most of both, budget permitting. If you can incorporate some beautiful in context images into your marketing plan, as well as the standard product only images, you will maximise attention on your products and increase conversion rates.

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