Product Photography Advice For Startups

My name is James and I have been involved with product photography in Dubai for the last 10 years. I have helped many of my customers achieve a leap in their online sales through my product photography. I understand that not every startup can afford professional product photography, which is why I have compiled this 5 tips to doing your own product photography.

If you want to transform your websites visitors into customers for your ecommerce website then you need to be prepared to put in some work on your product photography.

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You may not be aware but 67% of consumers believe that the quality on product images is very important when they look to buy a product online. Having a clear picture of the product they are intending to buy helps massively in the buying process.

Now that is a high percentage and not something to be ignored.

Your going to need to ensure that your website photos display the details and quality of the products as unlike a regular high street store, the customer can not hold, touch or get a close up inspection of your online product.

What Camera?

With DSLR cameras becoming more affordable as the years go on, if your planning to display a lot of products and images on your website then I recommend making the investment on one of these cameras.

However if you are on a limited budget then your mobile camera will be sufficient to get started with product photography.

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If you manage to get a DSLR camera then here are a few things to consider:

  • Avoid usingwide-angle lenses. Your products will become distorted easily.
  • Use a small aperture such as an f8 or f11 will keep your entire product in focus and crisp.
  • Set your white balance correctly.

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Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important things to consider when shooting product photography. No matter how expensive your DSLR camera is, if you don’t have the right lighting then your photos will not be good. Investing in some good tabletop lighting will set you back between $100 – $200 so reasonably cheap.

Tripod

Your camera will need to be as stable as possible to avoid any camera shake when taking a shot. A tripod will help solve this challenge. I would also recommend using a timer or a remote if you have the budget.

Get Your Lighting Right

Your first step is to decide on what background you are going to be using. White and black tend to be the go to colors for most product photography.

You can buy product photography tents online and from photography stores for around $50 however I personally find them restricting when trying to position and replace products. I prefer to use white or black card that costs around a $1 from any art or craft store and replace the cards once they get dirty or scuffed.

Attach the card using bulldog clips or tape. Having something like a cardboard box to attach the card to works really well.

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Your lighting should consist of at least 2 lamps. The bulbs should be cool colored and at least 5000k. Ask your product photography store to assist with these.

The lights should be placed facing down from the top and at a 45-degree angle to the front of the subject. However these are not written rules and you should position accordingly so that there is plenty of light on the product but avoiding any lens flares and light spots.

Post Production

I use Adobe Photoshop CC for all my product photography post production and I would highly recommend this software to anyone starting out. It’s affordable at around $20 per month.

Inside Photoshop you will be able to touchup and polish up your images as well as optimizing (making them smaller) for your website.

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Regular product photography

If you intend on making product photography a regular activity then be sure to take a photo of your lighting setup and write down the camera settings you used so that you can quickly and easily get the same results for future photo shoots.

Trust me, there is nothing worse than not being able to get the setup right when you need it in a hurry.

Finally

The most important thing of all is to take your time with product photography and don’t rush to get things done. Move your items and take multiple shots to ensure that you can cherry pick the best images.

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