When it comes to taking product photos it can be hard to know where to begin, and what really sells. Product photography is so important, especially in the digital age where online shopping and digital marketing is paramount. So what exactly makes a brilliant product photo and what do you need to know?
Lifestyle Product Photography
Lifestyle images sell well as they allow the viewer to really picture themselves using the product and the type of feelings your product will evoke for them. Consider hiring models or even using the products yourself to really showcase your product in a natural setting that your customers can identify with.
Flat Lay Images
Flat lay images are all the rage right now, but with good reason. These quirky photos are similar to lifestyle images in that they help develop a mood for your product and customers can see how they may fit into their life, or to showcase a few of them at a time.
Include a Human Element
Including a human element in your flat lay images will once again help your customers identify with your products, a classic example of this is by placing your hand(s) in the image.
Choose The Right Props
When designing your lifestyle or flat lay images it's important you choose the right props. Not only do they have to make sense but they have to fit well together. Things to think about are the size, proportions, colours and textures of your props and ensuring they fit your brand.
Choose The Right Backdrop
Similar to choosing the right props for your images choosing the right backdrop is just as essential. Whether you simply hunt for backdrops around your home, using your flooring or blankets or make your own DIY backdrops with tiles, vinyl or craft paper the options are endless. Don't be afraid to get creative and experiment.
Lighting for your Product Images
Lighting can feel like an overwhelming topic, but there are a few simple rules you can follow to make things easier for yourself.
1. Never Mix Colour Temperatures
Say whaaaat? It sounds confusing, but don't fear! Each type of lighting, from natural light (outdoor) to artificial light (lamps) have their own "colour" to them, and mixing them will give your images strange colouring or more technically, an off white balance. Stick to only one type of lighting to avoid this.
2. Never Use Pop Up or a Phone Flash
Let's be honest, using pop up or a phone flash rarely ever turns out very flattering. These flashes are just too small and harsh and are best to be avoided.
3. Aim for Soft Light
Soft, even lighting is the easiest and often most complimentary to product photography. Aim for larger, broader light sources such as natural light or softboxes.
Natural light is our go to and the easiest if you don't have any lighting experience. Stay close to your windows, which actually works as a giant softbox - this is often easiest on over cast days.
If you don't have the means of using natural light consider investing in a large softbox to help give you that nice even lighting.
4. Golden Hour
The golden sunset light is a photographers dream for lifestyle photography and affectionately called Golden Hour. Waiting for this time of day to take your images is well worth it and will give a dreamy warm light.
5. Product Lightbox
So far we have covered more natural and lifestyle images, but that's not to say that traditional white background product photos don't have their place. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a light box. Why not check out our portable mini studio light box?
DSLR VS Phone Photography
Often the question is should you shoot with a DSLR camera or will your phone be enough? Honestly, it all comes down to what you are comfortable with and the amount of control you feel you need. We often shoot our flat lay images with our iPhones but opt to use our DSLR cameras when taking portrait lifestyle images.
Editing Your Images
Once you have taken your photographs it's time to move on to the next stage of editing them. Often product images don't need too much retouching except for brightening, contrast or simple fixes. This is why we usually edit our DSLR images in Lightroom for quick and easy editing. If you would like to make things even more simple you can check out our presets here. If you are shooting with a phone there are several apps you can use, such as A Color Story or VSCO.
There you have it, How to Take Brilliant Product Photos that Sell for your Small Business. We'd love to hear from you on