The Beginner’s Guide to Product Photography

The Beginner’s Guide to Product Photography

If a photo is worth more than a thousand words, then an amazing product image can be worth a thousand web visits. Even though I don’t have the proof to back this assertion (yet), the product photography is extremely beneficial for your strategy of e-commerce.

To reach the people who are more likely to purchase online, you also should provide your customers clear, attractive images and descriptions of your products.

6 Product Photography Tips (and Examples) for Taking Pictures That Sell

Here are some suggestions and examples and tools you’ll need to take effective photos and promote your products with a style that attracts your customers and potential customers want to purchase.

1. Don’t be afraid to use your smartphone’s camera.

This is where I’m trying to convince you buy a top-of-the-line fifty-megapixel (MP) camera equipped with 100-millimeter screw-on lenses. However, I’m not going to make that happen.

If you have a camera that meets the description above, make use of it. However, for different kinds of products, it’s perfectly acceptable to take product images on smartphones.

Modern smartphones feature cameras with powerful lenses and settings that allow you to adjust your photos for the various lighting and situations you may capture.

2. Shoot from a tripod for photo consistency.

Before I go into the subject of tripods, I’m obliged to start with a basic rule: Never use your phone to prop it against anything solid to point your lens at the target.

It’s too simple for this arrangement to shift throughout the shooting and create inconsistencies in your photograph’s appearance. If you set the camera upon, for example, or a stack of books, make certain that this arrangement isn’t altered during the shooting.

It’s not a bad idea to hold your camera when you shoot only a couple of product photographs for your online store. However, as your business expands and you take more photographs of your products, It can be difficult to establish a standard for the perspective of the product in each photograph when you shoot handheld.

For consistency across your products, to ensure consistency across your products, you’ll require the use of a tripod. The good news is that purchasing one isn’t as big an industrial, huge investment that it was in the past.

Here are two types of tripods to consider.

Traditional vs. Flexible:

This is a tradition tripod — there are traditional tripods available for both cameras and smartphones.

A flexible tripod can be manipulated in a number of ways. You can bend its legs and place it on different surfaces to get the angle you need.

product photography tip: use a traditional or flexible tripod when shooting your products

3. Choose natural light or artificial light.

Do not underestimate how certain kinds of lighting can help (or make) or hinder your product photography. Be aware that buyers will get the best glimpse of the item in person to see all the information they require before buying. The proper lighting arrangement can help you reveal the crucial product attributes when all site customers have a picture.

A single lighting configuration may not be suitable for each product. A lighting configuration that is suitable for some products could degrade the design of others.

There are two kinds of light that you can select to be your main source of light: natural and artificial light.

Natural Light

Natural light is a reference to sunlight – easy as that. It’s also called “soft light” because the sun emits a wider soft light than the light of a lamp directly on the product. E-commerce product images are best in natural light conditions if

The product shoots outside or is intended to be used outdoors.
The product is worn on or shot by an individual (people generally look better in natural lighting).
You’re trying to draw attention to the product’s surroundings instead of focusing on specific characteristics or features of your product.

Here’s an example of a shot using natural light:

Artificial Light

Artificial light includes candles, fire, and more commonly, light bulbs. It’s also referred to as “hard light” because it produces a smaller but more focused light surface. This type of light caters to products with physical details that need to be highlighted to impress an online shopper.

Here’s an example of artificial light being use to shoot:

4. Fill or bounce your light to soften shadows.

Whether you use natural light or artificial light, you’ll need to lessen the shadows that any potential hard light casts on the opposite end of a product.

There are three ways to do this:

Fill Light

Add a second, less intense source of light to complement your primary light source. This light source is called “fill light” and serves as a counterbalance to soften the natural shadow that your primary light source produces behind the object.

To do this, put your fill light in the opposite direction of the primary light to place your product between the two lights.
Flashbulb Bounce Card

A bounce card, also called a reflector card, is a compact card which “reflects” or “bounces” the light source back to the surface underneath the product to diminish shadows.

A few bounce cards are attached to the flashbulb on the professional camera lens to block the light of your camera’s flash. This card scatters softer light on the object from above the set instead of aiming straight down at it to avoid having long shadows that trail behind the subject you’re photographing.

There are two variations on this product below. Both the white (left) and foil (right) screens can diffuse the flash.
Standalone Bounce Card

A bounce card isn’t a viable option if you’re using an iPhone using a flashbulb since you don’t own an actual flash to connect to. Instead, you can create your standalone bounce card that is placed opposite your main light source.

For those new to product photography, This bounce card can effectively replace your fill light that counters the hard light coming from the camera’s flashlight or lamp pointing towards the top of the product.

5. Use a sweep or portrait mode to emphasize the product.

There’s no set way to arrange your product lighting and bounce cards. They can change drastically depending on the background. However, don’t pick the background that’s most simple to design. The background should reflect the way you want buyers to see your product in the online world.

Think about whether you’d prefer white backgrounds or a more vibrant real-world background. There’s a simple way to create each.
A White Background Sweep

For white walls, it’s not so easy as putting the table on a white wall. Even smartphones may pick up tiny marks on a white wall that aren’t visible to an eye. To get a flawless white background that doesn’t have flaws or corners, you can make use of the sweep.
Oblong is a stretchable piece of paper that acts as the base for the product and is then curved up into a white wall behind the product.

In-camera, the sweeping curve is not visible, highlighting important product specifics and letting the product capture all the attention of a website viewer focus.

This comparison shows why it’s important to sweep:

product photograph tip the importance in using sweeps when photography

Real-World Background: Portrait Mode

Real-world-like, dynamic backgrounds are extremely appealing when photographing products that have a particular purpose or are designed by an individual, like you can see in the photo from the briefcase in the earlier part of this article.

It’s also easy for backgrounds from the real world to distract the eye from the photo, leaving it difficult to determine which product in the image you’re selling.

Give your product an extra dimension and focus with portrait mode, which is an option found on many professional cameras and available on a variety of new smartphones. The setting blurs the background so that the meaning of the product is visible, but it is not competing with the product itself.

6. Shoot a variety of images.

The final eCommerce photography advice for you is never to limit yourself to one image per product. Like how your customers view, touch, and even try on items in a shop, the website should take several photos to replicate this same experience.
If you’re photographing clothing, for instance, take a picture of the clothing piece by itself (that is laid out on a white background and on a model whose color contrasts the color of the product.

And, for additional photos, model the garment on an individual, which allows you to snap pictures of the product by observing the model’s different postures and angles.