Candle Product Photography for Candle Makers

candle product photography

So, you’ve made some awesome candles that are going to sell like hotcakes and now you need to market them online with photos. The biggest question you might have is how take candle product photos that will show off your product giving them the right amount of image quality.

The good news is that it is not as complicated as it seems to take great product pictures, and you can even do it without buying lots of expensive equipment or cameras. You can even use your iPhone or Samsung galaxy to take the pictures.

Let’s take a closer look at what it takes.

Why you need good product photos

Image these days is not about what is in the photo, but the ambiance they represent when it comes to comfort and practicality. Candles are a deep message that raises awareness of a by-gone era. We no longer use candles for seeing in the dark and are a symbol of hope that’s representing family traditions and holistic well-being.

But as any good photo will suggest, that picture will reveal one thousand words worth of feelings that can be interpreted in so many ways. You can direct these feelings through careful photography that not only sells your candles to a targeted audience but strikes a nerve through great candle photography. You don’t need to be an expert, but this area of product photography is one of the last steps in marketing you need to know.

This highly focused guide can give you better tips and tricks to make your candles look incredible and highly sought-after items. They should be enticing enough to help beautify your home yet bring back that sense of American values. Back to the time when we looked at candles as a valuable item that every home needed, just like bread and water.

Candle Product Photography

Here is what can make your candle photography even better:

How to take good candle product photos

Here are some of the ways you can take a good candle product photo.

How To Take Good Candle Product Photos

  • Use good backgrounds
  • Use natural settings
  • Use contrast
  • Use supporting props

Let’s get a little more in-depth at what makes a good candle product photo.


I come from a family that has had plenty of experience with being photographed every day of my life. So, it’s no surprise that knowing about the basics of photography has made my photos better than usual. But when it comes to photographing candle products, this requires a special touch.

Your background needs to be natural yet simple and can be a variety of materials. If you decide to use a background that is made from natural material, you’re already scoring massive points! This creates a backdrop that gives you credit for being down-to-earth and in touch with your own values.

I’m not talking about the typical Sears photo background if you’re as old as I am, but the idealism of using a material that drapes from your wall over a kitchen table with a couple of push pins. Use a blanket that’s neutral to the color of your candle so you can see how these colors give better clarity to the type of candle you’ve made. In other words, don’t use the same color background but something that will make your candle obviously stand out. If you don’t understand how this works, use a color wheel to see how colors are opposite to each other.

Use this chart for how color wheels work to identify which colors are opposite and which will give you the best results visually. This is a great program that lets you choose the color of your candle and match it with the desired background that best matches the perfect photo. You can’t ask for a better guide for choosing which background to use.

Natural setting

Maybe you don’t want to use a colored background and that’s perfectly fine. There are natural settings that make a picture speak volumes about what your candle is all about. Barn house and rustic settings work best in this case, yet with all of that being said- trust your gut. Open fields of vivid flowers, cornfields, and colors that direct your vision to a candle are iconic.

What you don’t know is that you need to add the element of a window. Just the edge of a wood-framed window or window frame will invoke the feeling of being at home. We all look out the window sometimes, and what candle isn’t by the edge of a window frame?

If you aren’t nostalgic about country settings or living in the countryside, what homeowner doesn’t dream of living in open spaces? Your target audience should match what you believe in, so get your background as specific as you can to encapsulate that feeling. Just as you would feel comfortable living in your lifestyle, let others know through a photograph what you hope they enjoy as well.

Plenty of contrast

I grew up learning to see life through the eyes of an artist without ever having to go to art school. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn to do the same using simple principles of light and shadow. All pictures need to have ample amounts of contrast that give your photo more impact and dramatic exposure.

Contrast is a stark reminder of what we see in a photo. It can include heavy shadows with incredible highlights. This is often enough to motivate people to heavenly levels that see a power that we respect and honor.

Yet contrast is hard to describe unless you have a good eye for making a deeper impact with product photos. The easiest way to describe contrast is by combining dark and light, which gives plenty of interest within a photo. While this is easy for Hollywood film magicians, you can find this from following these suggestions.

Plenty of supporting props

Do you remember that song that included a few of your favorite things? I know that gives me a special age bracket, but that doesn’t limit you from having a list of favorite candle-related items. Seriously, what looks good when it comes to showing off home-crafted candles?

This is yet another way to offset your candle colors and give a photo more appeal without saying a word. Yes- indeed, candles go with food, vegetables, meat, fruit, desserts, and nearly anything edible. If it’s something in your kitchen, then you’ve got a recipe that goes straight to an appetite for country kitchen living.

But don’t forget that candles also spell out the SOS for romance in the air. Adding some living room or dining room images will invigorate senses without getting too specific. If you decide that bedroom photos make the background setting more romantic, don’t forget that bathtubs and luxury beds make a great impact within a fuzzy background.

This is probably the reason you don’t see pictures of candles with puppies and babies. These will be the two props that are the least likely to score you any points for being relevant. But when it comes to candle photography, you can never beat the feelings that come to feel safe and nostalgic.

Different types of product photos explained

There are basic rules when it comes to product photography that will apply to any type of product. Your candle is not going to be any different, so any or all of these will work great for getting the right picture you can use to help sell your candles.

Different Types Of Product Photos

  • Simple white background
  • Using props for scale
  • Group photos
  • Ambient backgrounds
  • Detail shots

Let’s take a closer look.

Simple white background

You might say this is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works wonders at showing off your product without hiding anything. You can use a large piece of white paper and bend it against the edge of a wall so there is no sharp line showing. This gives your background a clean and professional look.

Using props for scale

Find items related to your candles that will help give a sense of scale showing how big or small your candles really are. These props should also be common enough that everyone will recognize their size and further gives your candle an immediate perspective. Depending on how you arrange these props, they help beautify your candle additionally.

Group photos

Perhaps you have a set of candles that are part of a gift set or collection of scents. Grouped candles can also show off an entire series that you’ve created that shows all the different sizes, shapes, and colors that you offer. These shots are effective for selling gift packs or holiday collections. It also helps to show the variety of candles you have to offer.

Ambient background shot

As I mentioned before, ambient backgrounds help to set a select mood that you want to express. Think of backgrounds that bring an emotion or feeling that your candles will invoke. Also, think of backgrounds that are calm and serene or an image that will bring back memories of traditions and celebrations.

Detail shots

This is also called the ‘money shot’ since these are photos that dig deep for focus and impact. You can get up close to show off details of how fine your labels appear, or the details of your cast wax. Even the delicate detail of wicks can further give a professional and hip appearance. It’s not uncommon these photos are shot at odd angles and used as inserts.

The best cell phones for taking product photos

Smartphones are getting a lot of credit these days since most of them have built-in 4K cameras. When you can’t get your hands on a decent DSL camera, using the camera on your phone is quick and easy.

The Best Cell Phone For Taking Candle Product Photos

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Google Pixel 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Huawei P30 Pro

The best apps for editing product photos

Nearly all new smartphones include built-in photo apps when you buy them, but there are better photo editing tools you should be using for candle photography. These take a bit of skill but are all easy to navigate and select many options for improving the look of your finished candle photos.

The Best Apps For Editing Product Photos

  • Adobe Photoshop Camera
  • Pixlr
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Canva

Candle photography tips

Not everyone can be a great photographer but having the practical skill to compose your product photos beforehand makes a world of difference. I recommend making thumbnail sketches that can guide you when arranging your candles. These will act as a storyboard and speed up your photo-taking process. The top tip for taking photos is having good lighting and plenty of practice.

Thankfully, digital photos make it easier to get great shots but don’t forget to have a tripod mount to steady every shot you take. Take advantage of available light from nearby windows since this type of light is more natural than a camera flash. Don’t rely on the flash since this can wash out the translucent quality of wax. With natural light, you can use this to backlight candles creating a warm and appealing inner glow.

Whatever photo you decide to take, try different angles that give you plenty of choices. Don’t forget to start with a wide shot, and medium shot, and a closeup shot. Don’t be afraid to be creative and experiment with your thoughts and ideas. You can also look at great sites like Pinterest to get creative ideas. The best ideas will often come when you create a theme around your candles that pushes mood and emotion to help sell your candle products.


In conclusion, taking your product photos is easier than you think it is and the pictures are of the most importance to your business. Without great product photos people that see your shop will not know how great your product is.

If you want people to follow through on a purchase of your candles you need to have a quality product pictures of those candles.

In addition, having great photos that are pleasing to look at can help bring in more traffic through sites such as pinterest. Pinterest is a great source of traffic and can drive sells for your business.

Candle Product Photography

Carl Adamson

Hi, I'm Carl Adamson, one of the founders here at Candleers. A few years ago I got really into the art and craft of candle making, initially with soy wax container candles. My friends started asking me to make candles for them and pretty soon it turned into a nice side-business. I started this website as a way to document what I've learned over the past few years and hopefully help others in the process. I still love candle making but I'm learning that what I enjoy even more is the business side of things - and for this reason I've started consulting others on how to start and grow their own candle-making businesses and side-hustles.

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