There are a lot of questions surrounding product photography and with more than 60 million “buyable pins” on Pinterest and 550 million people using Facebook Marketplace (according to our recent report) you are really going to need to stand out. We are here to answer the biggest question – “Where do I start?”
Use this quick-tip guide as your go-to resource for getting started.
1) It’s OK to Use a Smartphone
Most smart phones these days are better equipped than your average point and shoot. They are easier to maneuver, sharing is more convenient, and with thousands of smart phone apps dedicated to photography you can edit right there on your device.
2) Use a Tripod
You can swear that you are steady shot, but let’s face it – there is a lot of room for human error. Using a tri-pod creates consistency across your product images. And lucky for you tri-pods these days have gotten easier to manage and also more affordable. Here is a recommended buy with close to 2,000 reviews for just $13.98 on Amazon.
3) Natural vrs. Artificial Light
Natural light meaning, just as it sounds – natural, the sunlight. Natural light creates a softer, ’rounder light’ as opposed to a direct light source shining on your product. Natural light is great for products that are meant to be used outside or for shooting people using your product. With natural light you always want to use the #TyraTip “Find Your Light” meaning look around the area you are in until the natural light warms your face. If you are behind the light, it will create a cold dark light that will create a silhouette.
Artificial light is a ‘hard light’ to refers to anything that is introduced into the space via a flashlight, a candle, a light bulb, a lamp etc. In general you should pick one either Natural or Artificial and stick with it for that shot.
4) Fill or Bounce Your Light
Fill lighting is meant to counteract the main light source and prevent shadows. Place your fill light opposite your main light source with your product in middle.
Bouncing your light is referring to re-directing your light source to soften it before it hits your subject/product. Those big shiny looking shields photographers are always carrying around? That’s the one. Find an affordable option on amazon to fit your needs for as low as $11.99.
5) Use Sweep or Portrait
‘Sweep’ simply means creating a clean background. Even if you have a crisp white wall imperfections can sill be see. In order to create a clean sweep all you need is a piece of white paper that sits under your product and sweeps up behind it onto the wall for a seamless look. See example below.
Portrait these days is becoming more and more mainstream – you know “portrait mode” on your iPhone? Yes it comes as a standard feature on most phones now. When shooting in the real-world choose to make your image the focal point and everything else will fade into the background.
6) Shoot & Choose a Variety Of Images
This is a no-brainer these days. Think about what you want to see when searching for a product. You don’t want to just see it head on. It’s important that after you put all the work into your set up, you get a full variety of images to choose from.
And that’s a wrap! You don’t have to master these tips all at once, but hopefully we have inspired you to up your product photography game and you can move forward with confidence.