Product Photography Made Easy
Updated: Jan 28, 2019
Every photographer knows the best equipment available won't get you amazing shots if you don't know how to use it.
So, it's not surprising that the same principle applies for capturing spectacular shots of anything you're photographing. You have to know how to capture the image, what's going to make it pop and how to stage it.
Product photography can be a pretty daunting task when you're just starting out or if you have an overwhelming amount of inventory. BUT it is a must!!! Capturing appealing, beautiful photos of your product is the easiest way to grab your customers attention. "A photo's worth a thousand words" and all that.
If you have the budget to pay someone you may want to look into it especially if you're not a photographer or have huge inventory counts.
Otherwise here's some advice to get you started. And remember, this should be fun; if you make it feel like work you're never going to want to do it.
Lighting is the single most important thing when taking photos and natural light is always best. Think about the mood you want your brand/product to give. Are you going for dark and soulful, warm and earthy, or fun and fabulous? How can you best use the natural light you have to convey that message?
As you see, each image tells a different story and evokes a different emotion. Take time to play around with your products and really figure out your message.
"Less is more" is strongly recommended here. You want your product to be the center of attention not your props. As with lighting, use your props to tell your brand/product story and make sure they are always, ALWAYS relevant to the specific product. If you're selling winter wear you obviously don't want a swimming pool or flip flops in your shot. The above photos are great examples of minimal props and proper usage of them.
Consider using other people or household items in your shots. People love seeing how your products are used, what they look like on someone else and how the size/shape actually looks in real life situations. A close up of a product is great but people are more likely to purchase when they can see themselves (or others) using your product.
If you're shooting outside use natural elements like trees, bushes or grass for your backdrops. When inside cabinets, blankets or simple pieces of paper can easily become the perfect backdrop.
Also, make sure to look at everything within your shot. Sometimes we are so eager to capture we don't take everything in. We get that perfect shot only to realize there's a tree branch, color variation or some other blemish in the shot.
Be sure to experiment with different camera angles. Shoot from above, get down on the level with your product, do closeups and wide angles. You'll never find that perfect shot if you don't mix it up.
Quality vs. Quantity
Several shots of each image is definitely recommended especially when shooting from different angles but save yourself a lot of time with some quality planning. As discussed above starting with the right props, lighting and backgrounds will greatly increase your productivity and lead to less frustration. A thousand different shots will get you nothing if something is off.
'til next time,