In today’s world, online shopping is no longer just a trend, it’s a necessity. With the rampant spread of e-commerce sites, it’s essential to make sure your products stand out and drive the attention of potential customers. From product shots of what you carry in your store, to food bloggers, shooting your art or craft items, to architect and real estate photography everyone need to see what it looks like before they purchase something. So, providing top notch photos is essential in selling.
One of the most crucial elements in selling products online is having high-quality product photos, but it can be challenging for small businesses to afford to hire a professional photographer. Keep reading we’re going to share some tips on how you can take pictures that sell!
What Type of Product Photography do you Need
The first step in creating top-notch product photos is to know what type of product photography you need. Depending on your industry, product size, and context, you may require different approaches. If you have a retail store, you might want to take pictures of your products to sell online, or you might want to showcase your finished design work as a landscaping/hardscaping company. Crafters and artists may need to take pictures of their crafted work. Regardless of your industry or products, your photos need to be clear and structured- leave no doubts with the customer and showcase the product accurately.
Spend some time watching YouTube videos that offer tips, talk to your local camera shop sales team, and explain what you need for your end result, and they will guide you to the best equipment within your budget to start with. They also offer classes on many photo topics that could help you.
Learn what Equipment you’ll Need
Secondly, you need to choose the right equipment to achieve excellent product photos. While professional-grade cameras and lighting equipment may seem necessary to create high-end product photos, you don’t need to start with a high-end camera or lighting equipment. Some people depending on what their product is can use their smartphone with proper angles, backdrops, and lighting. For other products that range in size significantly will need a digital SLR camera with a zoom or adjustable lens and pro lighting equipment. You can start by investing in good used equipment, and upgrade as you go. One of the most significant aspects of taking good product photos is lighting- avoid using the camera’s internal flashes or an ordinary lamp in your living room as light sources. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable LED lighting products available online that can help you get the perfect lighting for the shot.
Composition & Background is Key
Thirdly, it’s time to focus on the nitty-gritty of the actual photo- the composition. Whether you’re photographing your products outside or indoors, make sure that the background is clean and free of any distractions. This can mean using a seamless white backdrop or setting up a table with a white photo studio box enclosed on all sides except where you place your product to compose your shot. For the framing aspect, make sure your product is the focal point of the photo, and it takes up most of the frame. This way, potential customers can see your product, and it is clear it’s to be sold. Using a tripod to stay steady and level is important, making sure your focus is sharp and clear, and that the product is centered within the frame. Depending on you lens type, don’t use wide angle shots unless you are shooting something large like in landscape or real estate photos. A 50mm lens will work for most items, but a zoom lens will allow you to easily adjust for smaller items like jewelry or larger items like furniture.
Shoot Multiple Images & Learn How to Edit
Finally, it’s time to start shooting. Take pictures from different angles, which can help showcase your product’s features appropriately. Don’t just take one shot, take plenty of them. Consumers like to see different angles: front, back, and side views. Go through the photos, narrow down the image and sort out duplicates, then review your top choices and edit them. You can crop them, adjust brightness, and contrast, and remove any blemishes that distract from the product. There are also fantastic free photo editing apps available that can guide you to that perfect finish product photo.
And once you have edited a lot of image, you’ll learn how you could have taken a better picture in the first place: You needed more lighting, your angle wasn’t attractive, your image wasn’t centered etc. Take that knowledge back to the shoot and you’ll pay more attention to getting it right the first time, in turn, becoming a better photographer.
Industries who Need Product Photos & Best Method to Shoot
Inventory products in store to sell online or catalogs/flyers/brochures. Or product to sell on Amazon or eBay that range in size from small jewelry to larger items. Food Photography- Images for recipes, or photos of food meals to ship for monthly orders.
For smaller items you need to have a photo studio box, lighting, and a good zoom lens for shooting at different angels to show off the product in detail. For larger items like lamps, computer equipment you’ll just need a larger set up photo studio box. You can create your own with white back drops, tri pod for the camera, and lighting. If you’re into food images and have a nice kitchen background, you might be able to shoot on the island or table and stand above and shoot down to the prepared dish.
Art or crafted products for sale on website stores like Etsy. New or repurposed furniture to sell on your website.
These larger items are going to need a larger area like a photo studio white backdrop wall. Use one wall of your home or work studio to be set up for photos of finished products. It’s the same idea as a smaller photo studio box, just a larger area. Again, use a tri pod to stabilize the camera steady and level, use portable lighting placed above the product, straight on the product and then the sides as test shots to see which one is the best for lighting each product.
If you’re shooting framed prints, the glass can be tricky if using a flash of light. Shoot the art without the glass on it is the best solution, otherwise you’ll need to shoot the art at an angle.
On location photos- Real Estate photos- for listings online. Automotive photos for online stores. Landscaping/hardscaping companies finished designs for website samples.
For these projects you will not be in a studio as you’re working on location. For real estate photos you need a wide angle lens and an attached strobe lighting for you interior shots, where you aim the flash up toward the white ceiling to disperse the light around the room. And for shooting the exterior, hopefully the sun is working in your favor for the outdoor photos, if not try different angles or adding a flash. Be careful while using a wide angel lens that you don’t go too wide which distorts the image causing crooked walls or trees etc.
For landscaping finished properties or automotive photos you’ll want a zoom lens that ranges from wide angle to close up for detailed shots of smaller subjects. When shooting outside, position yourself so when you are taking the photo the sun is behind you for best results. Basically, don’t shoot right into the sun as a backdrop as it makes the subject very dark in comparison to the bright background. If you are stuck having to shoot into the sun, then add a top strobe light attachment to your camera and flash the subject to bring both the subject and background to equal lighting.
In summary, taking high-quality product photos is imperative, and with the right equipment, proper lighting, and composition, anyone can create stunning photos that will sell your products on e-commerce sites. Consider investing and selecting the right camera, lighting equipment, and backdrop to showcase your product appropriately. Don’t be afraid to take multiple shots and edit them, and always ask for feedback on what works and does not work. Find your local camera shop for advice. Adding better photos to your portfolio is a necessity and with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating impressive product photos that communicate your brand’s message, aesthetic and increase your sales!