Product photography can be difficult to master. Here are some of my tips on how to take the best photographs for your Social Media or online store. Whether you're using your camera or mobile phone. These steps will help increase your photo quality and vibrancy.
Here's an example of one of my recent photos. This photo was not only taken with my mobile phone but was edited with my phone too! Keep reading to see the before!
Step 1: Lighting
Lighting is key, natural light is the best for photographing your products. However a ring light can work too. It also comes down to positioning.
If photographing in natural light; Choose a space in your home or even outside that is shaded but has plenty of natural light (like under a tree).
Near a window is perfect if you don't have access to an outdoor space.
Make sure that the light is behind you but not shining directly on to your product. I take most of my photos during the evening just before the sun goes down or especially on an overcast day.
If you are using a ring light, the same rule applies; make sure the light is behind you.
Make sure your flash is turned off too!
Step 2: Choosing a Background.
Ideally white is the best background to bring out the colours in your item and will remove any distractions. However, depending on the product or your brand story, choosing a complimenting colour can make for a fun image too.
For example, if your item is hot pink, choose a white or a lighter pink background.
Here are some stock images I found to give you inspiration.
To create a coloured background you can simply purchase a large art poster you can find at your local news agency for as little as $2.
Or find a painted wall in your home or go outside and explore your city for a feature wall, my local town is surrounded with art. There is inspiration everywhere you look.
If you are creating a flat lay, have some fun by framing your picture with items that compliment your product. For example, using Gardenia flowers to frame a Gardenia scented candle, or coffee beans for a coffee scented candle.
Step 3: Clean Your Camera Lense!
This step speaks for itself and I can't stress this enough. Clean that camera lens! It honestly makes such a huge difference.
Make sure you clean your lense as you go too!
Step 4: Angles
Take as many photos as you can and as many angles as you can. I also suggest using the level feature on your phone, (f you have one) and keep your phone straight and aligned with your product. When taking full room shots, I will set my timer and press my phone against the wall to get as much background space in the photo as possible. You can always crop later!
Step 5: Resolution, Zooming & Focus
Make sure your phone is set to the highest resolution, you can find this in settings on your camera app.
Always keep your image in focus.
Also, please don't zoom in. Instead, move closer to your item rather to take a close up image, as zooming will take away resolution and quality from your image. Editing on top of that will pixelate and ruin your photo.
Step 6: Editing
Once you have taken your photos, I suggest downloading an editing app. I use Snapseed and Lightroom to edit my photographs.
Both are available on the App Store.
Google Play- Snapseed
Apple App Store- Snapseed
I will then increase the brightness and contrast only the slightest and increase the detail.
Snapseed is essential as you can select different sections of your photo to edit by using the 'selective' tool.
So, if a sneaky shadow has made its way into your photo, you can use the selective tool to select the area of the shadow and increase, or decrease your settings to make it less visible or even look like it was never there at all. I also use this feature to make items in my photos look whiter, like my yellowing air conditioner for example or the background to some of my images. Use the 'healing' tool to remove any unwanted imperfections.
I also suggest using the 'perspective' tool to straighten up your photo too, if you don't have the level feature on your device.
Play around with your image and have fun!
Below are some before and afters of images I have recently edited using all of the above steps.