What are Context Shots you ask me?

Well let me explain.

Have you ever bought something and been really surprised by the size of the item on arrival? Way back in 2014 when I was doing grocery shopping online for the first time I ordered a bag of flour to make bread. I ordered looking at things and didn’t think to check the size, I mean it looked like a regular bag of flour! What arrived was more of a dolls house version and was never going to amount to a good slice of bread never mind a loaf. Yes, the size was there in the description, and no, I didn’t think to double check. But the photograph wasn’t in context. It looked identical to another full size bag of flour. What was missing was the context – and yes a knowledge of how not to grocery shop!  

However when it comes to taking photographs of your products context shots really matter. If you have a product in different sizes then its good to showcase the difference in appearance having them together, so different bottles lined up, different case sizes etc.  It may be that you have a something delicious that could be used instead of a more common thing, such as a different pudding instead of Christmas pudding, showing it in the right setting or context can lend more appeal to the idea.

Reflective jugs.

This is three jugs together to show the range in sizes, much more useful to the prospective customer, and illustrates the context of size.

Also you may be aiming at expanding the appeal of a product, so showing it in that context could be useful. Whether you’ve a food product that is a great addition to a picnic, or perhaps you want to sell more sloe gin all year not just at Christmas then showcasing some summer cocktails using it would be useful. Or perhaps you have something that would make a great alternative to a traditional favourite?



Instead of just explaining what something does, better still illustrate it!


You may have one chance to get your point across and illustrate your USP – showing all the advantages in context can really help here.

Maybe you have a pizza and you want to show it will feed x number of people – then a shot showing it divided up and being enjoyed would be good.

Or show the item being used or enjoyed:

Showing a product in context being enjoyed.

It can be useful to create lifestyle images showing your products in use to give context to them.

So have you thought about what your business might need to take into account with regard to showcasing your products/services in context? Need some help?

Further Action:

Read my blog from last week about What Image format should your images be?  Or start at the beginning of the series What images do you need in 2021? If you’d like to work with me to get beautiful imagery for your business OR to find out more about my photography coaching, then get in touch. I work with people across Northumberland and the North East but also right across the UK  – its a simple matter to courier items to the studio and you can even have a quick remote peak at proceedings if you wish.

If you’d like to see how my work is received by others then take a look at my posts on LinkedIn.