5 Easy Tips for Product Photography

Having strong, clear photographs on your website will help you stand out to your readers, clients, followers, whomever, and boost sales!  You do not need any fancy equipment or an expensive camera, in fact, all of these tips can be applied with your smart phone!

Here are some easy tips that anyone can apply to their own business:

1.  Lighting

Natural light is the best light, turn off all over head lights!!!  All you need is a window or an open door.  I happen to have large windows in my house, but you do not need a large light source to capture yummy light!

Avoid harsh light.  It was cloudy, gray day, which is perfect and allows soft, diffuse, even light to come through the windows!  Think opposites here, snap photos by West facing windows in the morning, or East facing windows in the afternoon to avoid those harsh shadows. 

I also placed my product on a table, 90 degrees from my light source.  I also used my reflector to bounce the light back onto my product.

2.  Background

Nothing fancy here!  I happen to be borrowing some lighting equipment, which comes with three different color backdrops.  But you don't need to spend tons of money here.  White or black mat board (from Michael's, Walmart, etc.) works great!  Remember those boards we used for middle school science fair projects, those work the best!  Plus you can use one side as a reflector!

If you want to get a little bit more creative, think of things you already own!  Cutting boards, rugs, a table top, baskets, the list is endless!

I kept it simple with a white cloth backdrop (you can also use a white sheet).  To save time, I just threw it over some boxes and so you wouldn't see how messy my office is!

*bonus tip:  Remember to keep it simple!

3.  Perspective

Change your angle & perspective.  We tend to shoot straight on, missing out on other other angles & any speical details.  Think of a circle here, shoot from above, below, from the side, as well as the front & back.  Also, how should your product look, should it be hanging, folded, standing, laying down?  Think of different ways to place your product on the surface.

Remember to capture the whole scene, as well as up close shots!

4.  Focus

Unless you are being creative and playing around with depth of field-- (photo below), everything in your scene should be in focus.  If you are shooting with a camera, make sure you have a wide aperture (f-stop).  Mine stayed around f/2.8 (2.5-3.2), but if your product is larger, you can push it wider.  If you don't have enough light, set up a tripod or place your phone on a gorilla pod, or rest it on a stable object, so to avoid blurry images.

5.  Get Creative

This can be with your setup, composition, angle, lighting, focus, etc. 

Adding props can add depth and make your photo look more realistic.  Tell the story of your products!  For example, if you are photographing food, add flowers, utensils, or place it on a fun plate.  Adding textures & colors can help pull the shot together.

(I kept it simple here, but I arranged my oils in a fun, unique way to add some depth and dimension).