Improve Your Product Photography With These Simple Fundamental Tips
A brand new Ferrari. The latest signature shoe of Kobe Bryant from Nike. The upcoming iPhone from Apple.
More and more products hit the market and bombard our senses, and this means even more people are dying to see them- even before they are released.
The primary lure factor big companies use is great product photography. It excites your senses and make you want to buy the product even if you haven’t seen it first hand.
You too can use the same tactics to entice buyers for your online even if you’re just a small business trying to make sales online or using home-made catalogs!
Good product photography can entice potential buyers to consider buying the product being advertised, while bad product shots can do the opposite.
All of these product photography examples have one thing in common: Proper Lighting
You can come up with a very nice photo using only the basic digital camera, even a phone camera, as long as you know how to manipulate light.
You don’t need to have the latest DSLR camera and the most expensive lens to create a stunning product shot. While these expensive and latest equipment can definitely help the photographer in coming up with a clear and crisp shot, bad lighting can ruin everything.
Whether it is available light (such as sunlight) or controlled light, using studio lights like the Elinchrom D-Lite4 kit, or continuous LED lights or even cheap table top lighting rig like PBL Studio Product Photography Table Top Kit, the use of light into the subject is very essential.
Tips to Better Product Photography
- Clean your products and surfaces well. You’d be surprised how many good product photography shots are ruined by fingerprints on the item or collection of dust on the surface the product is placed on.
- Find the ‘face’ of your product. Hold your product up or walk around your product, look at it from different angles and find the angle that shows off the most of your product’s main selling points. If you want to show the quality of the stitching for a bag, for example, make sure that shows up on the photo clearly.
- Find your ‘co-stars’ as well. The main ‘face’ of your product will anchor your online ad, but showing the other great features of your item adds credibility and eliminate many questions your potential buyer may have. Again, if you’re selling a bag, why not take great shots of how the inside of the bag looks, a close-up of the handles, perhaps? The options are endless! The more you show, the less hesitation your buyer will have on your product.
- Use a soft-diffused light source. Using soft light allows the most flexibility and forgiveness in product photography. The soft light can create shape-forming highlights and gradual shadows that is pleasing to the eye. Invest in a basic light tent and you can have soft lighting even if you’re just shooting in your back yard!
- Find the best light angle. Either move the subject around the light source or move the light source around the subject until the product’s shape, texture, and colors are best represented. Avoid aiming the light head-on like an on-camera flash! Frontal lighting takes away all shapes and dimension in a photograph!
- Use a clean background. Eliminate anything in the frame that will distract the eyes from concentrating on your product. How many times have you seen an eBay listing when all the living room junk can be seen around and behind the product? It makes the product disappear in the frame and that’s counter-productive when you’re trying to sell a product.
- Use a tripod. Sharpness is critical for product photography. By using a tripod, you allow yourself to use longer shutter speeds without worrying about camera movement that causes blurry pictures. You don’t even need an expensive tripod if you don’t have a big camera, an affordable but quality tripod like this Dolica Proline Tripod will help you out tremendously.
- Shoot your entire catalog of products in one session. Not only will you not need to set up your lighting and photography kit every time you post a product for sale, but shooting continuously in one session allows all your products to have the ‘signature’ feel and look on your product listing online. Saves you time and gives your brand a consistent look!
First impression may be your only chance to make a sale, you need to show your customers your product at its best immediately.
Take a look at the two images. Let’s say you want to purchase a Kodak C123 Waterproof Camera on eBay and you saw two ads listed. Which photograph would convince you to click the ad given that both ads have the same price and product info?
The two images above are of the same camera.
I just got the Kodak C123 over the weekend so it’s pretty new, but look how the first picture, the one with a dusty surface, camera with smudges, head-on flash, cluttered background (read the pointers again) just made the item look old and cheap!
Conversely, the lower photo just received some wipe-down on the camera body, then I placed the camera on top of a plain white art board and used a light tent and used natural daylight to light the whole thing up. In case you’re wondering, I used a smaller version of this light dome.
Same camera, same product, totally different results!
Superb product photography can do that with ease. Beat your competition by having better looking ads and photos and you already have a big advantage over them, especially when you sell online.
Enjoy better sales and feature your products in the best possible way with excellent product photography!