Do you have an online store or do you need to design your e-commerce website? Taking photos of products is a challenge for those who started to advertise and sell on the Internet and don’t know about the importance of creating product web pages with a beautiful design.
This type of photo is very different from selfies and other pictures we shoot in our personal life moments. Product Photography is important for customers to see the details of products when they’re deciding whether or not to complete a purchase. In addition, your online sales page enhances its visual quality with images of the products.
In this post you get an overview of Product Photography, you will will discover the importance of Product Photography for online marketing and how to take photos of products.
Let’s get started!
The Importance of Product Photography for Online Marketing
Product Photography is a part of the marketing world that is highly expanding due to the growth of the Internet and of the growth of online sales.
Photos of products that are sold online have become a marketing strategy for advertising and for increasing online sales because they allow potential customers to analyze the quality and the features of a product.
Big companies but also personal brands promote a wide variety of consumer products online from multiple categories, such as jewelry, clothes, shoes, food products, makeup products and many others, and the photos are the best way to show to potential customers the features and details of any product.
Through the photo, a potential customer can see the appearance of a product, but also its color, shape and overall quality. Another important thing is that when photos are of clothing products, potential customers can see the quality of the fabric and the fit through photos.
You will need different set-ups for the scenery based on the type of product you are going to photograph.
Now let’s see how you can take photos of products by following some techniques that best suit this type of photography.
How to Take Photos of Products
It’s highly recommended that you use a Professional Camera to take photos of products because you can change the lens, you have more ways of adjusting brightness and adjusting focus, you also have a better view of the photo framing, you can change the shutter speed, the photos get higher quality of details as well as more resolution for editing later and other extra features. If you can’t get a Professional Camera right away, we give you some tips on how to use your smartphone as a camera for this type of photography at the end of the post.
Now let’s see the techniques you can use for taking great photos of products:
Work on the Lighting in the Photo Scene
The first thing you need to set up is the lighting in the photo scene, which is the space you will organize to place products to be photographed. Natural light (sunlight) is great for any type of photo and it’s recommended that you use it whenever possible.
Ideally, you should have at least two sources of white artificial light to enhance the product details and bring more life to the image. One very popular type of artificial light for photography is the LED light, you can get white LED light rings or LED light panels to use in your product photo compositing.
If you’re taking photos of reflective products can (that reflect light on their surface). It is necessary to adjust the lighting so that the reflection doesn’t shadow the details of the product. However, the image must show to potential customers that the product is reflective.
Depending on the type of surface of the product, a polarizing filter can help a lot. You can also use a source of diffused light, for example. Another option is removing the white reflections through a photo editing software, but this should be your last resort because it’s not an easy thing to do.
Also, make sure that the light sources don’t make any shadow patterns appear in the product photos, you can take some test photos to check it up. If you use the camera flash to light the product, get a flash diffuser for your camera, they work with Professional Cameras. Instead of getting a diffuser, you can also cover the flash with a white ribbon or with white plastic.
Get a Tripod
The slightest movement of the camera can create blurred parts in photos. In pictures taken more closely, blur spots are more visible, and they can’t be corrected later.
To avoid that, the camera has to be fixed on a Tripod to ensure stability and the sharp images, with no blur at all. No matter how firmly you hold the camera, nothing can replace the efficiency of Tripod because it’s designed to make cameras shoot with the greatest stability possible.
You can also use the camera’s built-in timer to minimize the camera shake that happens when you press the shutter button. Using the camera timer even when it’s on a Tripod can be a powerful combination to guarantee even better results.
Work on the Photo Composition
As in all types of photography, photo compositing is essential to portray the product in a positive way, especially to contextualize the product. Composing a photo is the way you organize elements in the photo scene. In Product Photography, composing a photo is adding decorative elements to the photo scene to help potential customers visualize the product to daily life use.
For example, if you’re going to take pictures of a watch, you can put it on someone’s wrist. If the product is a book, you can take the pictures of it open on a coffee table and place a small fruit bowl or a cup of coffee next to it.
If the product is a miniature doll, you can place it next to a bigger object, such as a doll house or cushions. This way, your potential customers will be able to get an idea of the real size and details of your products.
When photographing jewelry, for example, you can also hire models to wear the jewelry so that the potential customers know how it will look on the body and visualize the jewelry size and height. This prevents the customer from being frustrated when receiving a product with a different size of way they imagined.
Even in photos with a white background, adding some elements in the composition can highlight the product and make a great difference.
Use the Infinite Background Technique
The infinite background for photography production is a technique used to highlight the product. In this style of photo background, no element appears in the background, what appears is just a view that is either completely white, completely black or of any other color.
To create this infinite background effect, simply put something white behind the product, that is called a white backdrop. The best options are a cloth painted with white ink or a white canvas because they are not reflective to light. Then, you stretch the edges of the white backdrop with hooks and leave a slight curve in it to give the idea of depth. For small objects, place the white backdrop on a chair to form a curve (without folding it).
Photograph Products From Different Angles
To take photos at different angles, you need to think like a consumer as if you were opening the website and visiting the product pages. Keep in mind how the custom is seeing the product. It’s essential to take photos from multiple angles because that shows to the potential customer the specifications and features of a product.
If the product has a special design or is made of a different material, it’s important to make that very clear in the photos. You can also take pictures from some unusual angles, play around a bit to get different close-ups and look for unique views. Place the camera at different heights and levels, such as: above the product, at the product’s side, below the product height, from the back of the product.
Don’t Add Color Filters to Photos of Products
Many people add color filters a.k.a. color effects to photos with editing software or editing apps to make them look more stylish, especially to photos taken with smartphones. However, that’s not recommended in Product Photography because when potential customers notice the color filter they may have doubts about the quality of the products and the company or personal brand can lose credibility.
If you really need to use a color filter or effect to enhance a product photo, be careful not to overdo it. The same goes to any adjustment you may need to apply to a product photo with an editing software, because if you overdo it, in the end, the product that potential customers see on screen ends up being completely different from the product in stock.
Tips for Using a Smartphone to Take Photos of Products
If you don’t have a Professional Camera to use in Product Photography, here are some tips on how to take product photos a smartphone:
- Take photos in natural light when the sunlight is the most intense and lighting the product.
- In low-light environments, don’t use the phone’s flash, use artificial lightning such as LED light rings or LED light panels.
- Photograph the product with neutral colored backgrounds to highlight its details.
- Test some camera enhancing apps in the smartphone to see if you get good results.
- Don’t add color filters or color effects to any product photos to avoid losing image details and quality.
- If you need to correct the photo in a photo editing app, try not to overdo it to avoid losing image quality.
Great! Now you know the importance of product photography for online marketing, how to take photos of products, how to work on the lighting in the photo scene, why you need a Tripod, how to work on the photo composition, how to use the infinite background technique, how to photograph products from different angles, why you shouldn’t add color filters to photos of products and you also know tips for using a smartphone to take photos of products. So don’t hesitate to put what you’ve learned into practice!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!