Getting beautiful product shots might be difficult, but it’s easier than you think.
As a seasoned product photographer, I’ve spent years honing my art. And it is my intention to convey everything in this article:
- How to Maintain High-Quality Images
- How to Light Your Product Photography for the Best Results
- How to keep your clientele as pleased as possible
- Much, much more!
Are you ready to improve your product photography skills? Then let’s get started, starting with my first tip:
1. Get your camera on a tripod
Tripods are vital in product photography.
For one thing, they guard against blur. Once your camera (or smartphone) is mounted on a tripod, you may increase the shutter speed as much as you like without risking camera shaking.
And, as you might guess, keeping your photos sharp is critical.
After all, if visitors can’t properly see the goods, they’re more likely to move on and find a new source! Examine the two photos below and ask yourself: Which of the two is most likely to persuade me to buy the dice?
So, which tripod should you get? There is a wide range of tripods available, each with its own set of characteristics and pricing points. As long as the tripod is robust enough to support your equipment, you should be alright — however if you can afford it, consider getting a tripod that can bend your camera over at 90 degrees. You’ll be able to simply snap popular flat-lay images for Instagram this way.
If you’re on a tight budget and can’t yet afford a tripod, you have two options:
- You may prop your camera up on a stable surface, such as a table or a stack of books.
- You can use a relatively quick shutter speed to photograph (to prevent blur due to camera shake)
The first option works, but it doesn’t provide much versatility (and you can’t use it to shoot those trendy flat-lay photographs!). The second choice is generally preferable, especially if you want to photograph your goods from various perspectives, but keep in mind that you’ll need to boost your ISO unless you’re working in bright light (which will increase image noise).
Another advantage of tripods is that they keep your camera still while you work on your composition. If you’re taking styled shots rather than flat e-commerce photos, it may take a few tries to get the shot just right. You may set up your camera, arrange your product(s), and take a picture. You may then review the results, make modifications to the arrangement, and shoot some more – all while keeping your camera angle constant.
2. Use the right lighting for the product
Let’s dispel a myth: good product lighting does not have to be costly or time-consuming.
Yes, some product photographers may spend hours or even days lighting a single setup to perfection. There are also product photographers that operate in a studio with a few strobes and a slew of modifiers. While slow, sophisticated product photography has its place, it is not essential for all product images, and you can surely take amazing product shots without such demanding lighting settings.
In reality, you can accomplish product photography with only natural window light; simply place the object on a table (or even the floor) near a window, ensure it’s properly positioned, and begin shooting. (Many people photograph things well on a table brought up to a light window!)
Alternatively, you may use the product outside and still have excellent results (try shooting during golden hour or on cloudy days for some soft, beautiful light).
A product photo doesn’t have to appear like it was taken in your kitchen, living room, or front yard if you use the correct backdrops and accessories.
Simultaneously, you should not use any light. Analyze your product carefully, consider the brand you’re dealing with, and select a lighting style that complements it.
For example, if you’re photographing a sleek, high-tech object like a laptop, you’ll want your lighting to have a more artificial feel to it. Going outside, on the other hand, will produce excellent results if you’re photographing some rough leather boots. Does that make sense?
3. Shoot the product from multiple angles
Product photography is all about making sure the buyer knows exactly what they’re buying. And when individuals buy online, they are unable to pick up or touch the thing.
As a result, it is your responsibility as a photographer to transmit all of the little nuances to a possible buyer.
What’s the best approach to go about it? Make careful you photograph the merchandise from a variety of perspectives.
Shoot from the sky. Shoot from the left and right sides. Make sure to highlight every aspect of the product, including the smallest nuances.
In fact, if the object has complex features, get up close and personal. That’s exactly what I did when capturing this lovely item:
Close-up photographs are very crucial when selling handcrafted items. By coming near, you may show the artisan’s care and regard for their work. These small touches are what distinguishes handcrafted items from mass-produced alternatives, so don’t be afraid to flaunt them!
And filming from numerous perspectives has a significant advantage: it provides a lot more content for social media accounts. Many company owners want to post on social media on a regular basis, but often struggle to develop enough material; providing them with dozens of photographs taken from various perspectives may really help them out.
4. Determine how the photographs will be presented.
Product photos are utilized in a variety of ways.
For example, a customer may want to utilize your images on social media, or they may want to use them on an e-commerce website. Furthermore, various merchants will have varied requirements for how images should appear on their websites. Some people enjoy 3:2 landscape photos, while others only deal with square files.
Bottom line: Ask clients ahead of time how they intend to utilize their photographs.
Then you should modify your product photographs to their requirements.
For example, if you are shooting for someone who has an Etsy store, they may want photographs that would look fantastic on their product page (often portrait-orientation shots) and will function well as search thumbnails (these are landscape-oriented). As a result, you should take care to capture photographs that appear nice when cropped to portrait and landscape orientations. (You may want to leave a lot of white space around the product, which you can later remove in post-production.)
Instagram might be a particularly difficult medium for which to photograph. Photographs should ideally be displayed in a 5:4 ratio to take up as much room as possible while users browse through their feeds – but, images on user profile grids are automatically cropped to a 1:1 square format, which means you’ll lose information at the top and bottom! In addition, Instagram Stories uses photographs with a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is substantially taller and skinnier than the feed.
You may approach this in a variety of ways, but I normally photograph with the 16:9 ratio in mind since I know I can almost always crop other ratios out of that basic image.
Also, make sure to investigate or inquire about the picture sizes used by each web site. When your product photographs are too tiny, they may seem pixellated or fuzzy when posted.
5. Don’t forget the packaging
Because a large portion of product purchases occur online, the packaging of a product has a significant impact on the initial impression of a brand.
As a consequence, artisan firms and small businesses frequently spend a significant amount of time thinking about their packaging and branding – which means you’ll have a lovely, complimentary prop to use in your photographs.
You can take a lot of pictures of the goods and the package. Try photographing the product inside the box, on top of the box, and next to the box. Shoot it on its own if the package is fascinating enough.
This will liven up your photographs, highlight the brand, and demonstrate to the consumer that their item will arrive safely. (This is especially crucial if you’re shooting a breakable item or one that will be given as a gift.) If you can demonstrate well-made packaging, it will help create trust in the brand!)
Furthermore, on platforms such as Etsy, the business owner will have many spaces to add product photographs. Packaging images are fantastic for showcasing the product in a fresh light!
Hopefully, you now feel prepared to take some stunning product shots of your own.
Just keep in mind the advice I’ve given you, and you’ll be OK. Of course, practice makes perfect; soon, you’ll be snapping product photography like a pro.