How to take Good Product Pictures!
Finding product to take pictures is a hassle, but then once you get the products how in the world do you take good pictures?
I'm here to help!
There are 5 different things you need in order to get pictures that will be consistent and clear. Especially if your product is only sold online, it's important to know the basics of photography so you can create appealing media!
The 5 things you will have to consider are good lighting, a good camera, a good angle, background, and editing. It seems like a lot and might feel overwhelming, but I'm going to break it down for you here!
Ok, so you're coming into this article with little to no experience with lighting. Almost more important than the camera is the lighting. IPhones nowadays can take good photos, although not the best if you have great lighting it won't matter.
It takes time to get the eye for lighting but it will come after some practice. You can clearly see when the sun is shinning right on something that that light is harsh.
Harsh light can over expose colors making it less appealing and taking away from the item. Indirect light is usually better, I say usually because sometimes in cases direct sunlight can be a choice.
Finding light to come into your object from a side view is much better. Light that is bouncing off walls and floors to get to your object is better. You want your light to be white. The more white the light the less it will affect the coloring of your item.
Color should try to be preserved because the client or customer is going to want to be able to see the actual coloring of the item they are purchasing. Having poor lighting can result in color changing & this results in items being returned, which is just lost profit for a small business.
The best way to get better at lighting is to practice.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Look for shadows. You want them to be not too dark, and you want the light to be not too light. Back lighting is always a good way to get good lighting with a professional camera but if you're using an iPhone stay away from that!
Which leads me to my next point...
Having a nice camera doesn't mean going and buying the most expensive camera out there. Coming from a photographer who started and made it onto a big magazines website using only a $300 camera I know it can be done.
Shooting on a camera versus an iPhone though does allow you to get crisper and cleaner shots. When it comes to product marketing, you are trying to make that product as appealing as you can!
People are more likely to order something if they think it will look good on them or look good in their environment.
When creating content you really have to take into account the people you are selling to and how they haven't ever seen your product. This means first impressions really count, and a nice camera can help you capture that!
I would look for a camera that has a lens with an f/stop of no higher than 2.5 & an aperture of 1/250. Also look for an ISO that is quality. These are the settings that I use the most often when shooting on manual.
Even if you're not starting on manual it's important to have that ability so you can start that later! (Subscribe to my blog if you want to learn how to shoot manual, that blog is coming soon!)
Just like having a good camera can help to make your products look their best, so do angles. Having a model who knows what they are doing is so helpful. But if you don't have the kind of money to hire a model here are some basics.
Especially when it comes to selling online you want to have as many angles as possible. But the ones to look for and try your best to get is a little above, a little below, and right in the middle.
This way you are angling the product from all sides. Later when you are editing your photos you can decide which one gives the product the best look. Depending on the product you can find the correct angle.
Not only do you want to get the angles but also the sides. Make sure you're not hiding anything from the customer. Sometimes dresses can have an open back or a little detail. Make sure to snag pics of those things so that your customers are always in the know.
When a company is upfront with things it tends to create loyal customers who will keep coming back!
Picking a good background for the photos is important. Now this topic is tricky to talk about because it truly depends on the item you are trying to sell.
If I could crawl through my computer, look at your products specifically and help you I would. But I can't so just use these guidelines to help you.
You can absolutely never go wrong with a plain white background. Having a plain color in the back of your products makes it simple to have a consistent look.
However, themed shoots can be fun. What I always do is look at other businesses. If it's working for them then I can make it work. I'm not saying go copy them completely but there's nothing wrong with getting inspiration from others.
Pinterest is one of my best friends when it comes to mood boards. Create a mood board that fits the vibe you are wanting and stick with it. Mood boards truly do help you stay on brand.
Whenever I decide on where to take pictures of my products I often take into consideration the season we are in as well. If it's fall then maybe a shoot with some fall colors will fit. But again go to your mood board. Some companies live by a beach so they consistently use the beach and don't change with seasons.
Each company is different and the background of your photos should fit your company. Get inspiration from others and then create your mood board. Even if that's printing out pics and putting them all together on poster board!
Last, but NOT least. Editing.
Editing is very similar to your background. With editing the number one rule is that it should enhance your product and not take away from it.
If you have used Lightroom before then getting used to the program shouldn't be too difficult. But if you're completely new to Lightroom then I would suggest taking some time to familiarize yourself with it.
I spent a couple hours just watching basics of Lightroom on Youtube. There are so many videos with instructions on how to edit.
The biggest thing that Lightroom brings to the table is creating consistency. When you have a style, and an edit, and a background you create a brand. Brands are what make your products recognizable and what bring customers back to you!
Once you have familiarized yourself with Lightroom I would come back to this article! Pin it so you can come back!
Now that you're back....Presets are the easiest way to create that consistency. When you have a preset that you can use on every product then you are adding to your brand. Creating that mood board is so important.
When creating a business everything works together. So getting nice product pictures is important because that is the visual of your business. Some people hire photographers to take their product pictures but not every business has that kind of money.
These simple steps will help you be leaps and bounds ahead!
Thanks so much for reading! Have fun creating those awesome product pictures!
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