THREE ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR PERFECTING PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY
Having high-quality, beautiful product photography is extremely important when it comes to running your e-commerce business. Because the shopper can not touch or handle your items, having photos that are detailed, clear, and from different angles will allow them to see your product in the best possible light. While there are many tips out there that can help you achieve beautiful product photography, I believe that the three I listed are the most important ones to follow.
1. BACKGROUND CHOICE
Try not to choose a busy background because it will distract the viewer from the product. The product should be the main focus. My work is colorful so I shoot with a white background. I use two white poster board sheets, one for the bottom and the other as the backdrop. The white poster board will also help reflect the light. Depending on your brand aesthetic, you may want to experiment with different background textures for your photos. On occasion, I like to use props such as a wooden crate and flowers to give the photos a rustic, homey vibe. Adding props can add a special element to the photos as long as there aren't too many textures that can distract the viewer from the actual work.
2. NATURAL LIGHTING
Try to photograph your products in locations with bright and diffused natural lighting. I like to shoot my photos right next to a window or outside on my porch on a cloudy day. You want to avoid direct sunlight hitting your set. Direct sunlight is harsh and will make your products look washed out.
3. PHOTO EDITING
You don’t have to be a Photoshop professional to make your photos look perfect. There are many user-friendly options for editing that allow you to lighten, enhance, and crop your photos easily. When I am taking photos on my phone, I use the Afterlight app for editing. It costs $0.99 cents to download but I honestly think it's one of the best investments I've ever made. After downloading it more than three years ago, it is still my go-to app for editing. The app has all the traditional photo editing tools, plus an option for you to create your own filters. Other than that, when I'm taking photos on my DSLR camera and uploading it to my computer, I usually use iPhoto's built-in editor to adjust brightness and straighten photos. Try not to edit your photos too much; too much editing can cause the product to appear different in photos than in person.
For example: the photo on the left is an unedited photo that I took with my DSLR camera and the photo on the right was edited with the iPhoto's editor. I increased the brightness and brought down the warmer color temperature (making it slightly cooler). I also straightened and cropped the photo. These little adjustments can dramatically change the look and feel of the photo.
NOTE ON DSLR CAMERA VS. PHONE CAMERA
Photography is a creative hobby of mine so I've had my DSLR camera for more than six years now and it's still working great. I shoot with a Nikon D3000 and it's only $450 new (or around $200-300 used). Having a DSLR camera is a great investment for your business but if it's too much of an expense, using the camera on your phone is just as great.
For example: the photo on the left was taken with the iPhone 6, while the photo on the right was taken with the Nikon. Both photos are bright, clear, and the colors are true to life.
I hope these tips will help you take more beautiful product photos!