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Get Started with the Square Photo Studio App

Who is this article for?
This article is for owners and staff who want to create professional inventory photos to feature when selling online with Square.

About the Square Photo Studio app

The Square Photo Studio app makes it easy to take professional-looking product photos in just a few simple steps. With your mobile device, you can snap a picture of your menu or retail item, select a photo style and edit the background color. Once finished, you can choose to sell the item online with a payment link or add it to your Square item catalog.

Before you begin

The Square Photo Studio app is free, and doesn’t require any in-app purchases or a website. While a Square Online account isn't required to use the app, you'll be prompted to create a Square account if you want to save photos, sync photos to Square items, or create a Square Payment Link.

For retail businesses, Square Photo Studio is accessible within the Square for Retail POSapp. To use Square Photo Studio with Square for Retail, your team members must have the Grant access to create and edit items permission enabled.

The Photo Studio app is only available on iOS at this time.

Using the Square Photo Studio app

Take photos with Square Photo Studio app

To get started with the Square Photo Studio app:

  1. From your Square Photo Studio app, center your item within the camera frame using the stabilizer icon.
  2. When the indicator turns yellow, tap the shutter button to capture your image.
  3. Tap Save to keep the photo or Retake to try again.
  4. Style your image, and choose to either set up a payment link or add it to your Square item catalog.

When taking photos, you’ll get the best results by placing your item in an evenly lit area against a light background. If you plan on photographing many items, consider investing in an inexpensive lightbox. Oftentimes, you can quickly purchase one online.

Edit photos with Square Photo Studio app

Once you select a style preset, tap Edit to change the background color, shadow, layout, and levels.

  • Shadows: pick between a drop and directional shadow, adjust the angle, and change the intensity of the shadow.
  • Layout: change the size of the item, rotate the item, position it in the frame, or choose a different aspect ratio.
  • Levels: use our auto-adjustment tool, or change the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, and saturation.

Style and customize image backgrounds

The Square Photo Studio app instantly removes the background from your pictures to allow for custom background styles. You can choose a preset style and optionally customize the color, or use a transparent background. When editing your photo:

  1. Tap on a background tile to preview it with your picture, then tap Edit to change the color or scene. Note: The Edit option isn’t available if you select the transparent background tile.
  2. On the edit screen, choose from our color palette or use the eyedropper to pick a custom color. You can also enter your own hex code for a more precise color selection, or choose from our background scene options.
  3. When you’ve selected a background, tap Next.

You can use the background remover to remove the background of your pictures. The background remover uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect the primary object in the picture and automatically removes the background. The AI tool does all the background removal editing work for you so you don’t need to take any additional steps. If there are any issues with removing the background, you can select Refine background and make adjustments by selecting Add or Remove.

Once the app removes the original background, you can use the photo with its transparent background, or add a crisp, white background for ecommerce use. Select from a variety of preset color backgrounds for social media selling, choose a styled two-tone background, or enter a specific hex code into the custom color picker to get a background that perfectly matches your brand.

You can also choose from a curated selection of scenes to place your item on a realistic surface like a tabletop. The app makes it easy to create a whole new image in seconds without having to retouch or resize.

Sell items directly from the app

You can create and sell items with your pictures directly from the Square Photo Studio app. Create a payment link for your item, or add it to your Square item catalog to sell online or in-person. To start:

  1. Shoot and edit your photo from the Square Photo Studio app.
  2. Tap Sell Now or Add to Square.
  3. Log in to your Square account or choose the signup option to create a Square account.
  4. Follow the prompts to finish setting up your payment link or catalog item.

After creating a link, you can edit the item title, price, or image at any time. You can also copy the payment link or embed code to add the payment link to an external website. To do so, go to your Square Payment Links page in your Square Dashboard.

Learn more about getting started with Square Payment Links for more information on payment links.

Save or share your photos

You can also save your pictures to your phone’s photo album or share them with others. To start:

  1. From the style screen in the Square Photo Studio app, tap Next > Save to Photos. You may need to allow the app permission to access your photo album.
  2. Tap Share to open your phone’s share menu and choose one of the options for sharing.

Saved file formats vary depending on the type of image format being saved. Images with backgrounds are saved as JPG files. Images with their backgrounds removed are saved as transparent PNG files.

Edit photos from Instagram

You can also choose and edit photos from Instagram. Square’s Instagram integration makes it easy for you to import the photos from your Instagram feed into our app. To start:

  1. From your Square Photo Studio app, select Instagram at the bottom of your Photo Library.
  2. Log in to your Instagram account and select the image you’d like to use.
  3. Edit the photo as needed and add the image directly to Square.

Quickly capture menu items

Square Photo Studio App Image Library EN

If you don’t have time to prepare and photograph each item on your menu, you can add and customize photos of commonly sold items from our in-app library. To start:

  1. From your Square Photo Studio app, select Image Library to choose the image that best represents your menu item.
  2. Select Style to choose a background style, then tap Next.
  3. Tap Add to Square or Sell now to log in to your existing Square account or create a new one. These images are free to use with your Square item catalog.

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