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Product Photography: Tips for Better Photos

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So you're looking to get started with product photography? Whether you're looking to photograph items for Ebay, your shop or just for fun, we have a great selection of top tips to help you get the very best images.

1)  Know Your Camera

With so many camera options on the market today, its important to know what your camera will and won’t do. So, as boring as it sounds, read the manual to get a better understanding of your hardware. Following that, check out Youtube videos for your camera model. Most manufacturers have a dedicated channel offering lots of helpful information. Seeing others and following is a great way to learn little tricks or solve small problems.

2)  Step Away from the Automatic Setting

Taking photos on the Auto session is fine and its great to experiment with some of the Autio settings (Landscape, Macro etc.) but in order to get control over your exposure you will need to play around with some of the settings on your camera (which is where Tip 1 will come in handy).

Remember if you have your ISO and aperture settings low you will need a tripod to eliminate blurriness from camera shake.

3)  Use Soft Lighting

When it comes to product photography, a soft shadow looks much better than a hard one. You will rarely get this effect from the camera’s own flash. Instead you must diffuse the light by using a soft box or light tent like the PhotoGeeks Light Tent Kit.

4)  Go for An Unusual Angle

The aim of product photography is to sell the item you are photographing. Don’t just settle on the straight-forward eye-level shot. Make it captivating by using different angles. It doesn’t have to be crazy (you don’t want it to look silly!). Something as simple as a high angle can give your product a sense of depth and make a much more engaging photo.

5)  Create an Engaging Composition

Sometimes it helps to see a product in its natural environment. When taking product photographs, I always add an extra image to my collection to show the product in use. For example, a t-shirt being worn on a model or a glass being filled with fruit juice. It brings your product to life which can make it more appealing to potential buyers.

6)  Create a Sense of Scale

Sometimes if your products are not easily recognisable, try adding a sense of scale to your product photographs to help customers judge the size of an item. It could be something as simple as a coin or a pencil. If you’re feeling really creative you could also try and work it into your composition.

7)  Taking a Detailed Product Photograph? Try Using Macro Mode

We know we told you to experiment with your camera’s settings. But sometimes the simplest will do. Most cameras have a Macro mode (it looks like a flower on your camera) which allows for very close up shots. This is a great technique for jewellery or heavily detailed items.

8)  Don’t Mix Different Types of Light

Light is the key when it comes to taking great photos, not just in product photography. Because different light sources have different temperatures, you run the risk of creating different colours in your photos. Choose your studio set up location wisely and not next to a window where natural daylight will interfere with your lighting kit.

9)  Not Everything Has To Be Done With The Camera

Post-Production is a vital part of any photographers workflow. Don’t worry if you didn’t achieve everything with your lighting, or if you have to reposition items. Sometimes you have to spend just as much time in Photoshop as you do shooting.

10)  Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

Practice. It’s what makes everything perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your product photography. If you find something you like, document it down in a photo log. Record your settings and the effects. Write it down even if you don’t like it so you know to change things in future.

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