There should be no excuse for poor product photography nowadays, particularly with the quality of cameras in our mobile phones. We do understand, however, that just having a good camera does not lead to epic images so here are our top tips on how to improve your photography at home.
1 Natural Lighting
Natural light is still the best for ensuring a beautifully soft appearance to your product. So, if you use a table or surface placed next to a large window it saves on investing in any lighting equipment. It is crucial that you strive for consistency in your photography so, if you are using sunlight, photograph at the same time of day. It’s best to use a North facing window, but if you do not have access to that, you can easily diffuse the light by placing diffusion material, such as tracing paper or w white bed sheet, across the window.
You need to be careful about the shadows that can be cast when lighting with a window light. To counteract the dark shadows cast on the product, use a piece of white card to reflect the light back into the shadows.
2 Sharp Images
A tripod is essential for taking high quality product images and a tripod for your phone can be purchased very cheaply. Once you have selected your optimum angle, you will need to ensure you have focused on a clear point on your product. Automatic focus can struggle to accurately recognise the focus point you require, similarly manually focusing can sometimes be difficult if there isn’t an area of high contrast for you to focus on. A barcode is a really useful focus point which you can then move out of shot.
A key piece of advice is to check your images on a computer screen once you have taken it as it is important to see whether it stands up to enlargement.
3 Positioning and Composition
It is important to have a style plan for your product photography so that your images are on brand. Keeping your camera angles standardised is a really good way of ensuring this. A top tip is to shoot straight-on to your product rather then using oblique angles as they can be distracting.
Making use of the rule of thirds is a really good way of composing your shots. If you’re composing a shot where the background is out of focus positioning the product centre frame can work well, but otherwise asymmetry works as it looks a little more natural and less staged.
Make sure you interrogate your shot composition carefully to ensure you do not have any background distraction.
Take some time to experiment with your product photography in terms of lighting, positioning and composition.
You will need high quality product images but for social media (and your website, blogs or PR) it is important to create a story in your photography. Lifestyle images are the best way of encouraging your consumer to visualise using the product and see it in its natural environment. The key is to encourage your customer to think about why they would like to purchase your product and aspire to owning it.
Thinking about the ideas behind your product, and the context that it would be used in, will help dictate how it will be photographed. You will need to be careful when taking lifestyle images that the product you are selling remains the most important feature in the photograph. Aim for clean, simple surroundings – clutter is very distracting. While you’re doing this don’t forget that your image needs to accurately describe the product and convey its tangible elements.
Here are our top apps for editing photography using your phone:
2. Adobe Photoshop Express
3. Adobe Lightroom
4. Photo Editor by Aviary
8. Apollo: Immersive Illumiation
10. Obscura 2
Stay on brand.
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