If you’re starting a website to sell your products on-line, then you will need some decent images to go with it. If it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words, then you’d better try to get that picture looking its best.
Fortunately, if you follow these simple tips, it’s not too difficult to take product shots that will sell, sell, sell!
Tip one: Use soft, natural light.
Set your products up to photograph with lots of diffused natural light. Close to a large window with net curtains is ideal. The diffusion will help to eliminate any glare or ‘hot spots’ on your objects, and create nice soft shadows. Don’t take all your photos at night, with the flash on your camera. This is a recipe for bad lighting and bad photos.
Tip two: Keep the camera steady.
Nothing is worse than a blurry product photo! Keep the camera nice and steady by using tip number one and shooting with lots of light – but also set your camera on a tripod if you have one (and if you don’t have one – get one)! You can get inexpensive mounts to support and stabilise your phone if you are using this to shoot with. Bottom line – make sure the shots are nice and sharp!
Tip three: Get in close.
If you want to show off your beautiful products, get in nice and close. If the object you are selling is just a small dot in the middle of the frame then you’re not showing it off. If you think you might do a lot of your own photography, it might be worth investing in a macro lens. These lenses are design specifically for getting close and product photography. And yes, there are macro attachments you can buy if you insist on using your phone.
Tip four: Keep the background clean.
Don’t have a lot of unnecessary clutter in the background of your photo. If you want a customer to focus on your product, the last thing you want is a lot of other distracting elements in the background. Ideally, don’t have anything else in the background at all. A lot of product photography is done using a white seamless background. This isn’t as hard to replicate as you might think. A home ‘studio’ can be set up with just a white sheet of paper curved up against the wall. This will create the expensive studio look for next to nothing!
Tip five: Shoot in low-resolution for the web
If you are loading your best shots directly onto your website, then you don’t want (or need) the high resolution files that come from your camera. Most digital cameras (and phones) allow you to choose a lower resolution image which is ideal for the web. Even the lowest resolution setting on your camera should be fine for products shots that will only appear on the internet. A word of warning though – remember to change it back to a higher resolution after you’re done, or all your family photos will come out too small to print! You have been warned…
By Wayne Lorimer
Visual Communications Designer
Tai Poutini Polytechnic
Phone 0800 800 411