In an perfect world, you should get a pro photographer to shoot your products, however, if you are on a tight budget, or if you are familiar with the camera, you can certainly DIY.
Here are some product photography tips that will help you to achive better results. Ambient light works quite well for any type of photo and very often is underestimated. Normally, shooting in the early afternoon will work best.
There are no rules for good product photography, there are only good Product photographs.
Harsh shadows VS soft shadows – The most common property that makes light harsh or soft is how smooth the shadows are. This is not to tell what is good or bad, just to give it a name so you know what we are talking about. Shadows is created by the angle of light. For soft light, the angle is very broad, for hard light it is narrow. With a narrower angle, it takes a longer distance for a shadow cast by hard light to become soft. If you used softer light, the shadow would be softened so much that it would be less visible.
If you want to aim for soft shadows go for big windows or the outdoors. To avoid a harsh shadow, dont shoot in the direct sunlight. Try shooting on an overcast day with softer light.
In product photography, a white background will look best as it creates focus on the object itself. To create a perfect white background, put a roll of white paper and bend it to create a curve. If you are using a window light technique, dont forget your white reflector card. Its purpose is to bounce light back onto the product. The light will bounce off the card and fill in all the shadows.
As you are shooting, even the slightest movement can cause camera shake so a tripod can be very handy.Even a cheap tripod will make a big difference. I did a quick search on Amazon and found something that would work for less than £20.
Alternatively, you can use a lens with VR (Vibration Reduction) or IS (Image Stabilization).
If you sell , for instance, a hat in a variety of different colours, show your customers all the options that they can choose from. A group of photos showing them all will make your product look more attractive and will improve your sales performance.
Don’t trust the image on the back of the camera, instead wait until you download the images to your computer. Images look very different on a bigger monitor.
Cameras typically have an optical zoom and a digital zoom. Don’t use the digital zoom as this will lower the quality of the image - it’s essentially just cropping the digital image.
Your camera might have a “close-up” and it appears on most cameras as a tulip-like icon. This is often used when you shoot small items like jewellery or flowers. The result is a narrower depth of field and a different perspective.
Next comes the the touching up. Simply upload your pictures images to your computer, and get to business. Cropping and color correction can make a big difference in a photo.
Once you’ve retouched the image, it’s time to export the final images for upload to your website.
The important part is how you set the file settings and image sizing:
Image Format: Jpeg
Quality: Between 70 – 80, 100 is typically not necessary.
Resize to fit: Width and Height – match your crop size
Resolution: 72 DPI (this is a standard screen res)