We have a huge selection of studio product shots at Media Bakery, but sometimes you need something custom, something so your customer knows exactly what your product looks like. So, whether you’re a professional photographer looking to capitalize on the ever-growing market of product photography, or a business owner looking to increase sales and beautify your website with the best pictures of your product, you’re in luck. Photography has never been more accessible, efficient or important than it is right now. We are a visual culture, and a beautiful picture can mean the difference between income and indifference. Just look at the popularity of Instagram and infographics. Or the old adage: "people buy things based on emotion, not logic." A product description, while important, can only take you so far. Your customers need to visualize what your product will look, feel, even taste or smell like before they bust out their credit cards. Here are the top tips to take your own product images from wow to wallet. It’s easier and more affordable than you many think.
The first step to a great picture is a great camera. But you don’t have to buy one or rent one that you don’t know how to use. There are so many options, one being your iPhone. The most inexpensive option for taking your own product pictures is right in your pocket. And with a minimal investment of $20-$100 on Amazon, you can get a complete setup that transforms your phone into a professional piece of equipment. Things like a tripod and Bluetooth remote control for stabilization are just the basics that will boost your look. You might consider a macro lens as well. You’ll be amazed at how incredibly crisp and clear these will make your photos.
The Studio Shot
If you’re a professional photographer getting into product shots, you’ll probably have an easier time with lifestyle-type photos than the all-white background shots, but it’s important to have a good mixture of both for clients to choose from. It’s as important for customers to see products in their entirety, with a white background and no distractions, as it is for them to see the product being used in real life. The white background can be tricky. Investing in a light box or building one yourself out of PVC pipe and butcher paper will save you endless hours of editing and diffuse light to get rid of shadows and glare. Turn off the flash for these shots and use soft boxes or natural light to capture your object as cleanly as possible before you even think about fixing it in Photoshop.
The Lifestyle Shot
My favorite way to shoot products is through lifestyle photography. Grab your brother, sister, mother, child and have them touch or hold or wear whatever it is you are trying to sell. Let them feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, embrace the awkwardness and start taking pictures. As they move or fix their hair or look around, capture the moment. This is all about candidness and making sure the product is seen in real life by real people. Best of all, use as much natural light as possible.
Every aspect of your setting counts. Customers also respond well to consistency. Do you have a lovely windowsill and table? Check out FTD's consistent photos. Or use the same wall in your home. Look at Anthropologie's backdrop for inspiration. These are examples of a product hallmark. Take all your pictures so they're consistent — you can do that by taking photos in the same place or same color palette. Here's another sneak peek example from our exclusive series!
Remember, shooting into a light source will make your product look dark. So either add another light source (or two) or pick another spot, where the window isn't in the background, like a brick wall or a nearby park. The background should be beautiful and interesting, but never loud enough to take the focus off the product. Try different angles, distances and focal points. Plan on taking a few dozen pictures the first couple of times to figure out the best approach. And don’t forget, it’s an artform, not a science.
We're excited to see what you can come up with! Feel free to email us pictures!