Taking pictures of your products
Here are some tips that I’ve collected for product photography now that I’m ready to take pictures of my soaps that I’m going to sell.
Setting up tips:
1. Use a tripod or stack of books with a t-shirt/cloth on top to steady your camera. It matters.
2. Turn off your flash. If you need additional lights, set them up.
3. Use natural lighting if possible. Think about a good place to shoot near windows.
4. Consider using a lightbox. It’s an easy way to provide consistency across your product photos.
5. You many want a more complex lighting set-up. Google the phrase “basic product photography lighting setups”. A really easy set-up uses 3 lights: 1 from behind generally lower than the product pointed up (gives a glow around the product), 1 from front high up (creates shadows and depth) and 1 in the front at the same level as the product (fill light). A 3 light set-up will dramatically improve your photos.
Taking photo tips:
1. Take as many photos as you can stand. From many different angles and vary how close you are to the product (super close ups, mostly product, framed by space, etc).
2. Make sure your digital camera is set-up to save pictures in the largest size. Here, size really does matter.
2. Take your time. Stop and really look at the viewfinder - is what is there really something you’re gonna put up on the web?
3. Have a friend, partner or child take some photos of the product(s). Notice how different styles affect the look.
4. Try taking photos in multiple locations, especially if you don’t know which locations are good yet for lighting, background, etc.
5. Do not use zoom on your digital camera unless it’s an optical zoom. You can zoom in after the fact while editing your photos with better quality if you only have digital zoom on your camera.
Preparing your photos:
1. If you don’t want to learn photo editing, consider hiring a graphic artist for cheap on Fiverr.com (or elsewhere - art schools are a great place to find students who will work for cheap to build a resume) or have someone else edit your photos.
2. The most important things to learn in photo editing are: cropping, resizing, adjusting light levels, adjusting contrast and adjusting color.
3. Spend the time to learn how to use whatever photo editing program you’re using.
4. Have a friend or partner help pick the best pictures. Another set of eyes is really useful in choosing great pictures.
5. Use the right type of file format. If it’s a photograph - you want jpg. If there is text in a picture, you want gif. Text (and other straight lines) are never great in a jpg because of the way it compresses the picture.
6. If a product isn’t selling, take new photos of it.