Do you want to take better photos of your products but not sure where to start? Surely 5 tips would be simple enough to implement right away?
I have been photographing professionally for over a decade and these are the core top tips that make images stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s flatlays, product shots or mockups to add your own text or website to, these tips will have you shooting like a pro in no time.
For those who would rather spend their spare time sipping mojitos on the beach, just subscribe to our stock photo service (coming soon) and get amazing styled stock images for under $1 each.
You need bright consistent light. The brighter your light, the lower ISO your camera requires, meaning sharper, crisper photos. I shoot in my office which is wall to wall glass windows and French doors, they are covered in soft white curtains which means amazing bright, even light. It’s always a great idea to shoot undercover out doors, so if you have a portico or porch set up a table out there you can run out and shoot on. Watch out for direct sunlight that can give you streaks of bright light or ugly shadows.
Pay attention to the direction of the light and the shadows it casts. If you don’t like the shadows then bring in more light to those areas using flash or a bounce card. The easiest bounce card is a big piece of white cardboard (and it’s cheap too).
I am a huge believer that the best camera is the one you have with you. You can get incredible images from an iPhone as long as you know how to optimise your environment. Check out point number one, the brighter the light, the crisper the images – EVEN out of an iPhone, neat huh! For high resolution images I use my Canon 5d Mk II’s and Sigma fixed length lenses so I am sure to always get sharp clean shots. I use a reflector for fill light and off camera flash for brighter light when the sun isn’t out.
I use sheets of heavy white cardboard for my backgrounds. When they get dirty I just move on to the next one and let me kids draw all over the old ones, turn them into art projects. I also have a few painted boards, some chalkboards, old pieces of timber and a slab of marble. But you can get similar effects with wallpaper or scrap booking pages for very cheap.
(thanks cheeky helper for spreading cacao oat bar all over a clean board, he secretly wants it for himself!)
Photos need to feel balanced as you look at them. If you intend to leave negative space to fill with text later, that’s ok. But if you are trying to fill the frame then make sure you balance out the elements. In flatlays or product shots, start with your Hero piece and then add smaller complimentary pieces until it looks right. Step back and snap a shot, does it look right? If not, move some things around. Add or subtract something and then try again till you get it right.
You don’t have to be a master retoucher to get great images on your blog/IG/Facebook. I take photos on my smart phone a lot of the time for my social media posts. The high resolution teamed with the ability to edit fast and on the go is so appealing to me. I use picsart app on my Samsung Galaxy s7 to edit my photos on the go. I increase brightness, contrast and bump up the highlights if I’m shooting on a white background.
I never use filters, but if you do, make sure you choose one and stick with it. Higglety pigglety filters all over your social media can really break up your theme and look messy.
So there you have it, five very easy and affordable ways to improve your product photos today. If you have any questions please ask in the comments section! I’d be happy to help.