Tips for Better Product Photography
Tired of below average product photos? Are you looking to up your product photography game? Want to create better photos for your Instagram page? The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take awesome pictures! Here are some basic tips to make your product photos stand out.
Use Natural Lighting
This is probably the most important tip of all. The first thing any expert will tell you is that lighting is the key to a good shot, and natural lighting is the best (and cheapest) way to improve the quality of a photo. Try to add as much sunshine to your pics as possible. Open a few windows. You’ll get your most beautiful masterpieces outside in the morning or early evening. Mid-day (when the sun is directly above you) isn’t the best time to take photos, because you’ll have a lot of shadows to deal with. If you have to take photos at that time, look for a tall building, tree or other structure that casts a shadow.
Add Depth To Your Pics
A picture that doesn’t have a sense of depth to it can look very boring. Have a few objects in front of your subject when you are doing portrait still-shots. If you’re taking a selfie, then try to get some interesting colors in the background. Depth of field (or having a semi-blurred out background) is your friend when it comes to photography. You can get this look with a macro lens or try Portrait Mode on your iPhone.
Quit Over-exposing Your Images!
I can’t stress this enough. Don’t over-expose your photos or you’ll lose all your contours, shadows, and colors. There are lots of apps (VSCO, FaceTune, Enlight, etc) you can use to make sure your art has the right balance of color too. The last thing you want is a photo that looks like it was captured on a flip-phone. This is what separates the good product shots from the bad ones.
Use a DSLR Camera or Edit with an App
You should really consider using a DSLR camera for taking your product shots. Smart phones have come a long way, but you’ll always get better photos with a DSLR. If your budget doesn’t allow, never fear! A little editing can go a long way. Start with a clear, crisp image taken in daylight. Then, use one of the many programs (Photoshop, LightRoom, or some of the phone apps mentioned above) that will help optimize your media for the most professional look. You can get apps that balance sharpness, improve color, blend sharp edges, and correct your photos.
Try Adding Props
Instead of just a photo of a product by itself, add some props! Try arranging flatlays (AKA product photos taken from above) with things like: flowers (dried and fresh), jewelry, sunglasses, gemstones, headphones, notebook and pen, art and fashion books, magazines, candles, fruit and other food, coffee/tea…honestly the options are endless! Another trick is to take a photo through an arrangement of flowers, so the image is in focus but the flowers are blurred (see example above). Bonus tip: If you’re taking a photo of yourself, grab a drink, scarf, hat or bag, or put your arm around a friend to make yourself look more natural and less posed.
Use A Tripod
You don’t HAVE to have a tripod to hold your camera or phone, but it will definitely improve your results. If that’s not an option for you, then you can always pretend that you’re the tripod. Prop your elbows on a surface (or even try lying down on the floor), and be as still as you can. You’ll get shots that look more crisp and focused.
Clean Your Lens
If you’re using a DSLR camera, then you already know how important this is. If you take photos with your smartphone, then you might not notice. Go grab yourself a small microfiber cloth. Take it with you when you know you’re going to be snapping a lot of photos. Keep your lens clean for crisper images.
Now Go Take Some Awesome Product Photos!
Put all of these great product photography tips to good use! You’ll be amazed at how making a few small changes will really get people talking. It might even get you some new Instagram followers. You can do it! Click here for more travel photography tips!