Product photography is one of the most important features of your e-commerce store and social media presence. The quality of your images plays a major role in customers buying decisions, so make sure you get your product photography right from the beginning. Here we’ll take you through the steps of setting up your own in-house photo studio, give you some tips on how to make the most of your photos on a small budget, and go over what equipment you require to get started. If you implement these tips, you’ll be able to create a cohesive-looking online store with images that will make your products look more desirable.
Product-only images are suitable for showing your products in the best light from all relevant angles. Most big brand online stores that you see use plain white backgrounds in their product photography. You can create this style of a photograph by placing your products in front of a plain white background, this helps keep your website cohesive and with just a bit of photo editing after your shoot, you can easily create flawless product shots.
If you’re selling white or light-toned products, use a contrasting background, otherwise, your product can fade into the background, making it harder to see the details.
Make sure you position your products in front of the white background on a flat and stable surface. You can always create a white background on a budget by setting up a shooting table or a light tent. Alternatively, if you have a bigger budget, you can purchase lightboxes from many online stores as well. The easiest way to do this is to set up a shooting table, which in the case of smaller products, can be a chair, or an actual table pushed up against the wall, in case of bigger objects. The only things you’ll need are a wide enough roll of white craft paper and clips or Blu Tack to fix the paper to with the chair or the wall. Then just simply let the paper fall onto the ground to create the perfect curve that’ll serve as the transition between the vertical and horizontal planes.
Daylight is a brilliant light source for product photography and it costs nothing to use, so it’s perfect for low-budget in-house photo-shoots. The problem shooting with daylight is that the light comes from one direction, and depending on the weather outside, the end result could vary quite a bit. You should try to avoid direct harsh sunlight as well as a strong back-light in order to make sure you don’t end up with any unwanted shadows. On the other hand, if there is too much light coming through your window, you will have to diffuse the light to get the outcome that you desire. You can do this with a sheer white curtain or just by placing white paper over the window.
When using studio light, you must have two lights set up on either side of your product. One will serve as your primary light source and the other will be your fill or back-light. Your key light should always be in front or slightly to the side of your object and your fill light on either the opposite side or above. Once you have the initial positioning of your lights, you can experiment with angles and strength until you get a soft, evenly distributed shadow. If you have no means to adjust the strength of your light, you can always use a white cloth to diffuse it, just as you can with natural light. Feeling a little on edge, don’t worry product photography can be quite simple if you possess the right skills. If not, we offer in-house product photography that you can use to display on your website.
Use a tripod
Using a tripod will bring consistency, stability and better focus to your images. When you hold your camera with your hand, it’s easier to produce blurry images while you’re trying to fit the whole product in or just trying to keep your hands still. A fairly good tripod will serve you for years so it’s recommended to invest in one, but if your budget is really tight, you can simply use a chair and a stack of books as well to position your camera in the desired angle and height.
Pick A Camera
But don’t worry, with the right setting and shooting technique it’s possible to shoot photos with the desired quality with almost any camera currently on the market or even with your smartphone. The most important thing is understanding your camera or phone’s capability and using the right settings to create the most desirable images. To get the best quality image with your smartphone, avoid predefined filters, zoom or cropping, as these will all lessen the image quality. Leave the editing for when you’re doing the retouching of the raw images in photo editing software. There are several apps that you can download to control manual settings, and it’s recommended to use the auto-focus by tapping on the product itself prior to taking the photo to keep the edges sharp and clean.
Retouching your images is an important step in order to create the polished look your products deserve. Even with images shot by a smartphone, editing can make all the difference. If you’re not a Photoshop expert, do not worry, there are plenty of photo editing apps and all-in-one editing tools available online, which are easy to use and several even have free versions you can try. These can help you adjust the lighting, correct colours, and remove unwanted details. With all these tips and tricks, now you’re ready to shoot your products and transform your e-commerce store into a professional-looking page. Although this may all seem like it’s a lot of extra work and effort, even a bit overwhelming, the time invested to get it right will definitely be worth it in the end. Once your photo corner is all set up and you get the hang of getting the lighting right, you’ll be producing stunning images in no time. If you work with us, then you don’t have to worry about curating images yourself. We offer in-house photography and editing services to get the best pictures for your website. For more information feel free to reach out to us.