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A packshot (also pack shot) is a still or moving image of a product, usually including its packaging and labeling, used to portray the product's reputation in advertising or other media. It is an important stimulus to sales, with the goal of triggering in-store, on-shelf product recognition.[1][2] The term packshot also refers to product placement in a movie or television show.[3] Pack shots often dominate television commercials, taking from two to five seconds of a thirty-second commercial.[4] Forged or leaked packshots for unreleased products have led to controversy or increased interest in the product.[5][6] Packshots can be a simple photograph of the product on a white background or can entail the use of elaborate props. Products sold as digital downloads, such as software, sometimes have digitally generated packshots when no physical product or packaging exists.[7][8]

There are a few goals that good packshot must has. First of all, photographed product should be centered on the picture and almost fit the canvas. All letters and captions on the product must be legible. Company logo and brand should be exposed centrally. Lighting should be set very precise, because it should provide 3-dimensional perspective of photographed object. Colours should be rendered in its natural tones.

Making packshots combines elements of aestethics, art and technique.

As consumers we see ready images, that are perfect. But we must keep in mind that end-effect is achieved with using some techniques and preparations.

Packshots can be produced manually by photographers or by machines.[9]

In the first case professional photographer is needed, because only professional can set lighting, focus, camera parameters etc. Very often post-processing is required. Unprocessed photographs from camera rarely can be add directly on the website or to web store. In most cases photographer must correct image, change colours, make ammendments, remove background, add shades. Also photographic studio is required to make those photographs, because working conditions must be very good.

In the end, ready photographs can be presented to end user. There are a few possibilities. Firstly, user can see static images of the product, for example from front, top, bottom, from different angles. In this case it’s a gallery and user can browse it. Second possibility is 360-degree view. In this case user can spin the product around X and Y axes. Higher possibilities offers 3D view, where user can see product and spin it in 3 dimensions.

Example of 3D packshot image.

The whole process is a bit complicated and time-consuming, but thanks to this user can see product as it really is. In conclusion, packshot can offer users great impressions and thanks to it user (potential buyer) is able to see it as in front of it. In e-commerce business it’s very important aspect of product presentation. If product is very good presented to end-user with all the details (deep colours, real shape, perspective view) and features, then numbers of returns and complaints will decrease. Good packshots can be profitable to e-commerce and business owners and it is useful to customers.


  1. ^ Baker, Mike (2004-07-01). "Further steady growth points to healthy future for great outdoors; influential sectors are throwing their considerable advertising weight behind the rising profile of outdoor media and aiding growth.". Marketing Week. Retrieved 2009-02-19. Outdoor also suits highly competitive sectors in which a brand name-check, visual image or product packshot are important stimuli to a sale 
  2. ^ Bullmore, Jeremy (2004-04-16). "On the Campaign Couchlose-Up: On the Campaign Couch ... with JB". Haymarket Business Publications. Retrieved 2009-02-19. The function of the pack shot is to trigger what marketing persons like to call in-store, on-shelf recognition. 
  3. ^ "Claire Beale on Advertising". The Independent. London. 27 November 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-19. If no money changes hands and the pack shots are handled appropriately, the proliferation of well known brand names in TV shows is deemed to be a legitimate part of the programme-making process. 
  4. ^ Bouville, Nathalie (2006-02-24). "If there was one thing you could change about TV beauty ads, what would it be?". Paris: Communications International Group. Retrieved 2009-02-19. Also, pack shots are very dominant, sometimes there are two, five second shots in a 30 second commercial 
  5. ^ Stokes, Ted. "Left 4 Dead". Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  6. ^ "Call of Duty 5 Pack Shots Leaked?". 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  7. ^ "Box Shot 3D". Box Shot 3D. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "TrueBoxShot". TrueBoxShot. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Automated Photography Solution". Automated Photography System. Retrieved 9 September 2016.