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In the past, getting good product photos was only possible by professionals with high-end cameras and equipment. Today, you have everything you need to get professional-looking product photos using just your smartphone, free photo editing apps, and a little bit of creativity.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Your product photos are the first thing that potential buyers will see when they come across your product, so it is important to make a good first impression.
Before You Get Started
We know you are excited to start taking photos but preparing your camera and setting will take your photography to the next level.
Invest in good lighting
Photos taken in low light situations can appear grainy or blurry. Investing in a good lightning solution will help your camera capture the fine details of your products and produce sharp photos that capture a buyer’s attention. If you cannot invest in lighting, taking photos outdoors can be a great alternative. For outdoor photography, it is best to take photos in the morning when the light isn’t too strong, or on overcast days when the sunlight is even.
Turn off the flash
Flash is a great tool for taking photos in low lighting situations. However, as we previously covered, you should be using a good lighting solution or taking your photos outdoors. We want our products to be evenly lit, something your camera flash will not provide.
Make sure your lens is clean
When it comes to phone photography a clear lens is essential. If you are like me, your phone has been through some tough times. Whether it’s been dropped or in dire need of a cleaning, giving your lense a quick wipe will help your photos appear sharp and detailed. I recommend using a microfibre cloth, like the ones used to clean the lens on glasses. Try not to use tissues or clothing as the fibers might leave small scratches on your camera lens.
Don’t Zoom In
Digital zoom is not great for product photography. When you are using a phone, avoid zooming in at all costs.
Setting the Scene
Use simple props
When it comes to using props, avoid getting overly ambitious. Remember the focus of the image should always be on your product. The props you use should complement your product but not take away the attention. When it comes to props keep them simple, aligned with the color scheme, and relevant to the setting and product.
When in doubt stick to a plain background
Unsure of how to set your products? There is nothing wrong with using a plain white background. A simple background highlights your product and is free from distractions
Taking Your Photos
Keep your camera steady
One of the best options for keeping your camera steady is investing in a small tripod. Eliminating camera shake will make a big difference in your photos, and allow you to keep the same angle when shooting multiple products. Remember consistency is key. Keeping your camera in one place, and taking photos of multiple products will create a professional storefront for your customers to view.
Shoot multiple angles
Customers want to see as much of the product as possible before making a purchase. Make sure you take photos of your product from all angles and get close-ups of important product features. It always helps to take photos of your product in use so customers can visualize having your product in their lives. For example, take a photo of a candle while it is lit, or a mug that is filled with coffee.
Take lots of photos
There is nothing worse than spending the day taking photos and realizing you missed a shot. Don’t be afraid to take hundreds of photos if needed, you can always delete the ones you don’t like.
Most important… have fun
When it comes to product photography, the possibilities are endless. Embrace spontaneity and let your personality shine through.
There are a plethora of free and paid apps that you can use to edit your product photos directly on your phone. Some of our favorites are Snapseed, VSCO, Prisma Photo Editor, and Adobe Photoshop Express. Using a photo editing app will allow you to play with the contrast, temperature, white balance, saturation, and more.
PLAY WITH YOUR SETTINGS – Take the time to adjust your camera setting and test different camera modes. Change one setting at a time and see how it affects the final image.
USE AN APP – Many camera apps offer increased functionality from the default camera software.
DON’T OVERDO EDITING – While editing your photos make sure you avoid overdoing the editing. Your photo edits should enhance the photo, but too much editing can make the photo look like a Snapchat filter.