A step-by-step guide to taking your own product photos
We've been in the photography business since 2008, and by now we've edited countless product photos with our photo editing service. There is one problem though: a lot of the product photos are not photographed correctly. We've decided to create a step-by-step guide to taking your own product photos to help out online retailers who want to take product photos that look a lot more professional.
Choosing the right camera
Nowadays that's not such an important point anymore. Most smartphones take amazing pictures, and compact cameras can also be used for product pictures. If you do own a DSLR camera, you should consider using it to take your product photos though.
Let's take a picture using auto mode
Yeah, no dice. The product is way too light, there are too many lights everywhere and the product casts a shadow.
You should not use flash for your product photos.
1st rule: No flash!
Let's try taking a photo without flash. That's better: the weird lighting is gone, but now the picture is blurry and the colours are off.
2nd rule: Use natural lighting from one source
Alright, that's much better! We also got rid of the blurry effect by using a tripod. The manual exposure time was too long to take pictures by hand.
3rd rule: Use a tripod or something similar
If you're using a tripod, use the timer. By pressing the release with your finger, the camera moves and the picture may become blurry.
4th rule: Choose the right distance
Set up your camera in the right distance and use the optical zoom instead of the digital zoom. Using the digital zoom reduces the quality of the image.
5th rule: Choose a neutral background
It's best to choose a light background without any texture. A simple sheet of paper can work miracles. You'll have to adjust the exposure though; overexpose by +1 or +2 to make sure that your picture does not get ruined by lighting that's too dark.
6th rule: Overexpose the camera by +1 or +2
Looking good! But the lighting could be even better. Use a light sheet of paper or a styrofoam board to direct light where it is needed.
7th rule: Use reflectors
Even better. This product photo almost looks professional. The last step is removing the background and you'll have a professional product photo in no time!
8th rule: Image editing and post-production
There are a lot of ways to refine your product photos. The background can be removed in a way that still preserves the natural shadow; it's not always necessary to create a new shadow from scratch. Another possibilty is sharpening the image and adjusting contrast and luminosity.
With some DIY and a partner like PimpYou you can easily take your own professional product photos.