Product photography can make or break a website. We’ve all ordered something online and been surprised when the colors or textures don’t quite match up with the photos we saw. Everyone’s computers and phones have different settings making products look differently from one person to another. If you are selling something physical your customers are going to be happier and more likely to buy multiple times if they have confidence that what they see online is exactly what they are going to receive.
In today’s article we are going to talk about some of the tips and tricks for improving your product photography that can be applied to blogs, home clothing sales, etsy, ebay and more.
Use Natural Light
No matter what kind of camera you use, natural light is going to help create the most consistent look for your photos. Typically, natural light blends better with the environment around you, making it look softly lit without bright hot spots on any one area of the product you are shooting. The best kind of natural light is what you find in the shade or during early morning or late afternoon. You want a light that is soft and consistent, not the fullest part of the day.
If you are taking photos inside your home, turn off the lights and pick the room with the best light coming through the window. Turn off the flash feature on your camera and angle the products so that the light is falling on the front portion of the item. You always want to have light on either the front, or three sides. Never photograph with a single backlight as it will be difficult to see your product.
Select a consistent backdrop
Whether you are launching a shop or starting a blog, having a consistent backdrop can brand your business and help those following you instantly recognize your images when they come across them. This is particularly important for Instagram as you want to create ‘thumb stopper’ images that inspire the viewer to stop, look and like.
One easy solution for a consistent backdrop is purchasing an item like a Replica Surface.
Replica Surface's are lightweight and can go from room to room, allowing you to set up photos wherever the natural light is in your home. With 4 different background options, you can choose a setting that works best for your brand and stylize photos from there.
Upgrade your camera equipment
If you rely on photos as a core part of your business, upgrading from a cell phone or point and shoot camera can be a game changer. A DSLR Camera like the Canon Rebel T5 is a great entry point to photography that can improve your photos and help build your brand.
Picking up a DSLR camera can be overwhelming at first but there are tons of tutorials online [including a few on Daily Mom] that will help you get comfortable with the settings and lenses.
Once you’ve mastered the camera itself, its time to upgrade the lens. For product photography the Canon ‘Nifty 50’ is your new best friend. This fixed length lens is a great price point for starting out and is perfect for product images. The Canon 50mm allows you to drop the aperture ensuring that only the foreground [and product] is in focus while the background blurs into what is known as bokeh.
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Use photo editing software
No matter how hard you try to layout the setting the same every time, light differences or shifts in location can alter how similar your images look from one another. Photo editing software can help create more consistency and allows you to emphasize what’s important for the viewer to see.
As you start out, free software online or for your phone can help build an understanding of what you need to do to create consistent, well exposed images. Using the same filters and crops can go a long way towards creating a polished and professional look.
Once you have upgraded to a nice camera, using a professional software program like Adobe Lightroom can help process photos quickly and save hours of time editing. For just $10 per month you can access the three of the best photography programs on the market: Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Photoshop.
For product photography, Lightroom Classic is the best solution. Lightroom allows you to upload a batch of images and apply the same edit to each one in the set in minutes. Similar to learning a camera, starting off with Lightroom can be overwhelming but there are many online tutorials that allow you to learn the ins and outs.
Practice makes perfect and after you are comfortable in the software you’ll be able to get product photos done 3 times as fast as uploading each one individually to a free editor. Once you’ve found an edit you like, you can even save that setting as a preset and use it every time you upload images.
Now that you know the tricks to taking amazing product photos, get out there and start shooting!