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Product photography is an integral part of making your products look appealing to consumers. If you don’t use proper lighting or take care to create a desirable impression with your photographs, your products won’t look their best.
If you leave it the sole responsibility of your product description, that’s going to end up lowering your sales conversions. Let’s look at some product photography tips to help showcase your items and make them stand out.
Stick with the same light setup every time you shoot photos. By using freestanding lights in the same configuration, you’ll be better able to get a consistent result with your photos. You shouldn’t bother recreating your setup every time. It’s much more efficient to note down what light configuration works best and stick with it. You can make notes on different light configurations for the best setups relative to where your products are to be seen (such as putting product images only for use on your own website versus 3rd party marketplaces like Amazon).
Don’t make the mistake of using too much lighting on the background. Some people try to throw as much light as possible on the background behind their product to try to get a pure white. Instead of overdoing it, try to throw in just the right amount of light to get a nice white finish. Too much light gets you what is called light spill (more commonly known as light pollution). That light’s going to bounce off the walls and hit the front of your product in an unflattering manner.
You can also try using an enclosure around your product for the best photo quality. A photo cube reduces your reflections on your product which helps to soften the shadows. You can buy photo cubes in various sizes, and they usually have a front panel that affixes with velcro for easy access to the inside.
You should set your camera on a tripod to give your camera a firm base. Using a tripod will help prevent camera shake. You can set the aperture for as large a depth field as you need. Combined with setting the ISO low, this will allow the camera to choose its own length of exposure.
Pay attention to product preparation for the photo shoot. When you receive a new shipment of goods from your customer or client, you need to pay a lot of attention to the product’s condition. If you’ve just received a batch of garments, for example, you should start steaming and ironing them before their product shots. It’s a total disaster if your items look like they’ve been photographed in a rush and just look a mess.
Take care when framing your subject. You’ll want to place your product so that it takes up just the right amount of the frame. You want to put your subject in a frame and make sure there isn’t too much negative space on either side. If you leave too much negative space around your subject, that can end up distracting the focus from your product.
It can also help your product shot if you know the subtle ways of coaxing out a perfect photo. Try to keep around a few tools that will help you get the best possible product shot. Every profession has their special tools, and photography is no different. If you’re selling clothing, it’s unlikely that an item is going to be a perfect fit on the mannequin every time. A fix for this could be as simple as just taking some bulldog clips and pinning the fabric back in places. You’ll see a much better fit reflected in a sharper looking image.
Use exposure compensation to correct for white (or black) backgrounds. If the camera sees a big expanse of white or black, it will try to get that to a grey. So if you’re photographing something on a white or black background, you need to use the exposure compensation on your camera to make the photographed image lighter.
Don’t use a wide-angle lens. A wide-angle lens will give you too large of a frame for a product shot. The problem with a wide-angle view is that your product will end up being distorted. A lens that has a narrower view will help keep your angle view nice and tight.
Take your product shots from multiple positions. The challenge is to get the best possible product shot, but you first have to try some different positions. Altering viewing angles for your shot will tell you from which vantage point your product looks the best. You can work through different camera angles until you find one that flatters your product.
By using a small aperture, you’ll get the greatest depth of field. If you need a smaller depth of field for certain websites, then go ahead and leave the aperture wide open.
Photo-editing software to help your pictures look as clean and professional as possible. You’re always going to want to edit things in post production. Besides Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop products, IrfanView and Picasa are two free photo editors great at working with RAW image format files.
You should also pay close attention to detail when post processing your images. There is no point in taking product pictures unless those images are the best quality that they can be. After opening up your images in Photoshop, spend a few minutes looking at each image. Try and see if there are any ways you can tidy up and improve it. You should also get in there and crop it to make sure it looks to be in proper proportion.
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