10 Product Photography Tips
As a business owner, you are aware that product photography is important, images can help your products stand out, and attract customers to your store. But what makes a good product photo? Here are some tips to make your product photos pop:
Use a plain background.
A busy or cluttered background can distract from the product. You want your product to stand out, so use a background that is simple and clean. Regular standard backgrounds that are used are white, black or a green screen. A green screen is used when you want to superimpose your product against another background using photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.
Get close to your product.
Use a macro lens or zoom in so that the viewer can see details of the product if you are using a DSLR camera. If you are using your cellphone pick the close up setting (macro) whenever possible or the ‘food’ setting.
Close ups are great to show the unique details of your product.
Use natural light whenever possible.
This will help the colors of the product stand out and look more realistic. But if that’s not possible, then use diffused lighting. This will soften shadows and help the product stand out.
You can set up diffused lighting by using a light source that is not direct sunlight and is instead covered with a diffuser. This could be a translucent sheet, cloth, or even your own hand! If you have a professional lighting set, it usually comes with the white sheet with Velcro attachments that covers your light shade.
Product placement is important.
Make sure the product is centered and angled so that it is easy to see. Make sure the surfaces and the products are clean and no marks, scuffs or fingerprints are visible. Before shooting make sure you clean your lens! The worst thing is to do a shoot and then once in editing mode to find out that there is a miniscule fluff that made it into your image.
Edit your photos.
Remove any blemishes or distractions from the photo so that the focus is on the product. You can also use filters, add text, backgrounds and more. Personally I prefer using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for my editing work, but there are a ton of programs out there that you can use. If you are mostly using your cell phone there are some great editing apps out there for Android and iPhone, such as Snapseed, VSCO Cam, and A Color Story.
Use props sparingly.
Sometimes props can help show off the product, but too many props can be distracting. Make sure the props don’t take away from your product. You can use white or black stands, natural props such as rocks, trees (outdoors) or even water. Some of the creative and inspirational photographers I personally like to follow on social for ideas are Eric Kogan, Krause Media and on TikTok @edworththecreative (Edwar Amean).
Product photos should be high resolution.
This will ensure that they look good when printed or viewed on a screen. Always keep in mind where you will be using your product pictures. Why? Because different platforms have different requirements. For example, if you want to use your product photos on your website or blog, you will need to ensure that they are at least 72 dpi (dots per inch). But if you want to use them for marketing purposes, such as on flyers or posters, you will need to ensure that they are 300 dpi.
Take lots of photos.
You never know which photo will be the best one, so take lots of shots from different angles and with different lighting. This will give you plenty to choose from and work with when you are editing.
Consider the mood you want to portray.
Product photos can be fun and creative or more serious and straightforward. The tone of your product photos should match the tone of your brand.
Create a mood and story board for your product shoot, so you have a clear idea of the style and look you are going for.
And last but not least, have fun with it!
Product photography doesn’t have to be boring, get creative and experiment with different ideas until you find what works best for your products. Now get out there and take some amazing product photos! If you would like to share some of your creative ideas, comment below!