Product Photo Tips
To make your products really stand out on Etsy, eBay or your own website you need to be able to photograph your products in the best possible way. High quality product photos can influence the customers’ decision hugely so how can you make your product photos stand out?
Consider a tripod
You don’t need a really expensive, incredibly complicated piece of equipment, you just need something that’s going to be steadier than your hand. No matter how still you try to stay your hand will move and the photo will never be as crisp as a photo taken on a stationary camera. You can get some really effective, flexible and affordable tripods but they are usually limited in size. If you aren’t in a position to buy a tripod you can try and create a makeshift stand for your phone/camera but you’ll need to be careful that it is secure otherwise you might have some ruined photos or a broken phone/camera.
Assumptions are usually made about the camera, you might think that you need to buy a high end camera but the truth of it is your average smartphone camera is more than capable of taking some really good shots. Most of the modern smartphones have a lot of different settings that you can use to create interesting shots, this will reduce the need to edit the photos as much. You can amend the “temperature” of the shots depending on the lighting you’re using, eventually you might find an optimum set up that gives you a signature look.
Think about Lighting
Lighting is a huge aspect of product photos, think about the feeling that you’re trying to convey with your photos for example, bath bombs might benefit from well lit photos with a white background, this set up conveys a clean and fresh image. Darker colours and shadows evoke feelings of mysteriousness and glamour which might be perfect for your halloween bath bombs photos. Depending on your product, you might want a more natural feel, so don’t be afraid to use natural light, keep in mind the golden hour of sunset can produce some beautiful hues that make great pictures.
Try and change it up but keep to a theme or concept. If you’re photographing a lot of products it can be easy to fall into more catalogue style photos where you use the same settings, lighting and props, simply switching the products out. This will get the job done but won’t be very exciting looking on your website or online shop, nor will they drive social media engagement. If you are capturing a set of photos for various products, consider using different props that are the same colour.
Look into basic photo editing courses
Photo editing doesn’t need to be complicated, you should think of it as nothing more than finishing touches, if you have to make a lot of changes, you should probably think more about the photos and make changes at that point. There’s plenty of classes online about photo editing and there’s a few that are free and still full of great information and you might be able to find a few basic editing programs as well to help you.
Don’t crowd the product
When you are moving out of your comfort zone and taking your first few sets of product photos it can be easy to not know when to stop, you keep faffing, adding bits and generally just making changes but you can lose sight of the main focus of the photos, your product!
It can be exciting when you first start looking around for props especially if you’re doing some sort of holiday theme like Christmas but crowding a photo makes it hard for the customer to figure out what you are trying to sell them, it can work however if everything in the photo is your product, if you’ve created a whole line of things and snapped them class photo style.
Look into colour theory
There’s a lot of guides on the internet about how best to pair colours together to evoke certain emotions, it’s clear that the film industry has bought into colour theory completely, you might have noticed that a large proportion of film posters use blue and orange for any film with action in it. Red and green are reserved for christmas projects, Pink and blue paired with a white background for rom coms. Even Indie filmmakers get in on the action, a predominantly yellow background will almost always be an independent film, because they need to stand out against the blockbusters. There’s a lot of research that’s already been done for you so if you have a specific vibe you’re going for with your photos, consult your nearest colour wheel.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of photography tips but it’s a really good base to start from, there’s a whole bunch of dedicated product photography websites out there to help you further as you advance in skill.
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