When you’re only starting out with your online business, getting things done right could be a challenge. These tasks include product photography. It may sound simple, but if you’re not a professional photographer, you’d notice the drastic difference between your product photos and the images used in established e-commerce websites. The commonly used white background radiates so much professionalism and class, but how come you can’t pull it off?
If the products you sell are something as small as jewelry, then photography gets even more exacting. Their tiny size makes it hard to get focused on some lenses, and they’re also highly reflective, so there’s the challenge on lighting, too. Fortunately, jewelry pieces and photo retouchers are available, so sellers can do the bare minimum and the professionals will do the rest. When they return the edited version of your jewelry photos, you’d be blown away by how much they’ve looked so more presentable and sale-ready.
But if you’re keen on learning how to photograph products the right way, here’s what you need to know:
Mistakes To Avoid
One common product photography mistake is not showing enough detail. When you sell online, your customers are unable to see how the products look in all angles. If your product photos are taken on a single angle only, customers may get frustrated and look for another store. Avoid this mistake by making sure you’ve taken photos of your product in all angles. Use 360-degree photos if it’s an option.
Apart from missing angles, missing details are also a common mistake. If you’re selling bags, for example, make sure you’re showing every part of it: exterior, interior, all zippers, pockets, etc.
While white-background photos can be good enough, it’s sometimes necessary to do more than that. This is important especially if your product isn’t the most unique in the market. To encourage customers to buy your product, post photos of them in the environment they should be in. If it’s swimwear, for instance, have models pose in a beach or at a pool.
Bad lighting like too much shadows and glare is also a common mistake. If you’re using natural light, using a reflector will help in bouncing some light. Avoid taking photos in dimly-lit places, because if anything, fixing overly-lit photos is easier than brightening dim photos.
Lastly, never use low-resolution photos. If file size is a problem, there are software applications available to fix this issue.
How to Take Good Product Photos
Pros may need complicated gear to get started, but in the DIY route, a camera, tripod, white background, foam board, tape, table, and a room are everything you need. You can also use your smartphone as your camera.
Assuming that you’ll shoot on day time, place the table near the window, ensuring that no windowsill shadows are seen. Make sure the lights in the room are also switched off, and that direct sunlight isn’t hitting the product.
Next is laying the white background or sweep. If the table is against the wall, secure the sweep using the tape. Once your sweep is ready, place the product in the middle of it, and then you may start setting up your camera. In a manual mode, select AWB (Auto White Balance), disable the flash, and set the image settings to “Raw” if your camera has it. If it doesn’t, select the largest JPG setting. For the ISO, set it to 100.
When zooming in, stick to the optical zoom, because digital zoom lowers the quality of the photo.
The foam board will serve as your light reflectors. You may position them in any way you see fit. Light reflectors are used to bounce off the light so they won’t cast shadows on your product. After setting them up, you may take photos and carefully examine how they look, as well as how you can make them better. Afterwards, have them edited and retouched, preferably by a professional.
Learning product photography takes time, but as you continue, you’d naturally improve and be better at it. Don’t hesitate to try different methods and styles until you achieve your product photography goals.