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Handbag Photography: How to Photograph Handbags (5 ways)

How to Photograph Handbags

Handbags play a crucial role in fashion and style. Many women love to accessorise their outfits with different handbags. Whether it’s a casual or formal occasion, there’s always an ideal handbag for every situation.

The worldwide handbag market was worth $47.57 billion in 2020. The industry is anticipated to rise from $49.63 billion in 2021 to $78.46 billion in 2028, with a CAGR of 6.7 percent between 2021 and 2028. Clearly, the handbag industry is booming, and businesses have a lot of potential in this space.

If you’re running a handbag business, it’s essential to have quality product photos. Your website and social media posts should showcase your bags in the best light possible. But how do you take great photos of handbags?

In this guide, we will share five ways you can shoot beautiful handbag photos and how you can use product photo editing services to enhance your images.

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5 Ways to Photograph Handbags for Your eCommerce Store

You will need two kinds of images for your eCommerce store: your main product photo which will be used on your product page, and lifestyle photos which can be used for social media or other marketing purposes.

The first image is pretty straightforward —you will want to show the bag as it is, maybe with a few different angles. The lifestyle photos are a little more creative and can be used to capture the feeling of using the product. Either way, both will require out-of-the-box thinking to make sure your products are shown in their best light.

  • The Detailed Shot

This is great, especially for handbags with many details like a chain or a buckle. You want to ensure the customer can see all the bag’s features. That is what gives your product its distinction and makes it more appealing to your consumer.

To take a detailed shot:

  1. Place the handbag on a white or neutral-colored surface.
  2. If possible, use a light box to evenly illuminate the bag.
  3. Use a macro lens to get close-up shots of the details.If you don’t have a macro lens, you can use your phone’s camera. Simply zoom in as much as possible and focus on the detail you want to capture.
  • The 3/4ths Shot

The 3/4ths shot is perfect for showing the shape and size of the bag. This will give your customers a good sense of what the bag looks like without being too close up.

Basically, the “3/4ths shot” is a product photo taken from another angle so your customer can see the object from a different perspective. A great method to make your bag 3/4ths style is to hang its chain up (if it has one) so it appears as if someone is holding it. To create this effect, add a hook with a magnet and hang it against your backdrop.

It’s definitely okay if the chain gets a bit out of the frame. What you’re attempting to convey is to show specific elements of the bag.

To take a 3/4ths shot:

  1. Place the handbag on a white or neutral-colored surface.
  2. If possible, use a light box to evenly illuminate the bag.
  3. Angle the camera so you are taking the photo from the side or above.
  • The Open Shot

An open shot is something where you can see the insides of the bag – labels, pockets, divisions, etc. It can be a challenge to achieve this look without the bag being distorted. But with some weights and strings, you can achieve the desired effect. In doing an open shot, you must focus on the bag’s edge as this is what you want to mostly show off.

This type of shot works well for bags that have a lot of intricate details on the inside. It also gives your customers a sense of the bag’s capacity. You can use these product photos for your website, online store, or social media posts.

To take an open shot:

  1. Place the handbag on a white or neutral-colored surface.
  2. If possible, use a light box to evenly illuminate the bag.
  3. Weigh down the bag with some small weights so it doesn’t move around.
  4. Use a string to keep the bag’s shape and then carefully remove it once you’ve taken the photo.
  • The On-Body and Action Shot

An on-body shot is designed to show how the bag is used in real life. It help give your customers a better idea of what the bag looks like in action—walking or sitting or any means the bag is carried like how it is in everyday life.

This type of shot is great for social media because it’s more relatable. It helps them visualize how it is worn by an actual human. And that’s what you want—for your customers to be able to envision your bag as part of their everyday lives.

To take an action shot:

  1. Have the model hold the bag in her hands or wear it over her shoulder.
  2. Angle the camera so you are taking the photo from the side or above.
  • The Flat Lay Shot

A flat lay is when you take a photo of an object from directly above. This type of shot is perfect for showing off the bag’s shape, color, and texture. It’s also a great way to showcase how the bag fits perfectly with other fashion items like clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc—much like in a style guide or lookbook.

To take a flat lay shot:

  1. Place the handbag on a white or neutral-colored surface. If possible, use a lightbox to evenly illuminate the bag.
  2. Angle the camera, so you are taking the photo from directly above.
photo editing handbags

Handbag Photography: More Tips!

Here are some more general tips to help you take great product photos of handbags:

  • Get Your Bag Stuffed

A good-looking bag is one that is stuffed and perky. You want to demonstrate its shape and capacity. Stuffing the bag is a good technique to show the bag’s form. This will give your customers a sense of how the bag looks when it’s being used. You don’t want it to appear too empty or sloppy.

You can use either paper, old newspaper, bubble wrap, or tissue paper, which all do well at making your bag look shapely.

  • Clean Dust, Smear and Stains

Make sure your bag is free from dirt and dust. These small details can make a big difference in the overall look of your product photos.

Unlike a wet cloth, a compressed gas duster can clean dust particles without making a new smear or stain. Studio lighting highlights any smear, making it difficult to achieve a clean look in your final images. Instead, use a dry duster to polish the surface.

  • Highlight the Straps

Straps are one of the most distinctive features of many handbags. So make sure that the straps are positioned correctly so that they may be seen while not looking out of place. You can either hang the item from the ceiling or use a magnet to cling it to your backdrop for a creative effect.

  • Avoid Direct Lighting

Too much direct lighting casts harsh shadows on your product photos. It creates an unflattering and unrealistic look. You want your bag to appear natural, so use soft, indirect lighting instead.

  • Get Rid of Reflectors

You need to be cautious of any reflections in the material of your bag if you’re shooting anything shiny, such as leather or patent. Reflections can be reduced after editing, but avoiding them while shooting is always preferable.

  • Shoot with Context

Shooting with context allows you to communicate to your customers how the bag is intended to be used. Is it a cosmetics bag? Is it a work bag? Is it a beach bag? Show your customers how versatile the bag is by using it in different settings and scenarios.

For example, if you’re selling a beach bag, include a photo of the bag on the sand with a towel and sunscreen. Or if it’s a work bag, shoot it with a laptop, notepad, and coffee. This will give your customers a better idea of how the bag can be used in their everyday lives.

Handbag photography can be fun and exciting. It can definitely get your creative juices brewing and help you see your products in a new light.

handbag picture

Best Product Photo Editing Services

However, even the greatest digital photographs need a bit of retouching and editing. Especially with handbags, you need images that create a mood and feel that tingles your customers’
You need an editing company that has experience dealing with different types of handbag photography, from e-commerce to lookbooks. It’s important to find a company that understands your needs and can provide you with the best possible edits.

Pixel by Hand offers high-quality product photo editing services that will take your handbag photography to the next level. For years, we’ve worked with multiple online retailers to enhance the look and feel of their product photos. Whether you need 10 images edited today or 100, we got you!

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