Whether you’re one of those awesome photographers whose hobbies don’t end with your camera, or you’re a full-time photographer looking to make some money from home in a new niche, product photography is undoubtedly an option you should look into .
As the popularity of e-commerce continues to grow and new small businesses are opened daily that need high quality photos for their brand, there is always a demand for commercial / product photography.
In fact, 93% of consumers prioritize an item’s visual appearance as the most critical factor determining whether or not they make a purchase, according to KISSmetrics research.
This means that The images of these products can do business or break.
Regardless of whether you want to take product photos for your own company or for another company, we have some excellent news for you: You can work successfully on a small budget or at home in product photography.
Here we show you exactly what kind of equipment, techniques and other practical know-how you need to start photographing killer products.
1. Lighting is the key.
Do you remember how important the appearance of an item is for consumers? Well, the lighting can leave this visual first impression or destroy it. Orange or muddy light from a low wattage light bulb can make pictures appear dingy or unwanted.
However, too much sharp light directly from a camera flash can also affect the perceived quality of the product.
At the simplest level, you want to understand when it is best to use natural light for a photo and when you should rely on artificial light instead. This mainly depends on the product. For example, if the item is used outdoors a lot, natural light may be best. If it’s heavily structured or you want to highlight details, stick with artificial light!
Be careful not to mix artificial and natural light, as this usually doesn’t do you a favor. It is best to make a single selection for each product.
2nd Your home studio needs a strategic setup.
Do not worry … “strategicallyDoesn’t have to be expensive. For the minimal studio setup that allows you to get off to a good start with smaller products, all you need is a shopping list with items from your local craft or hardware store. Aside from a camera and tripod, you can set up a budget-friendly but effective home studio with:
- A white background (even white billboard will work)
- White foam sheets as a jump card to reflect light (or black foam sheets if you want to deepen shadows while shooting a white product against a white background)
- A table, stool, or surface that is stable and clean to capture the subject you want to capture
- Duct tape or other tool to attach your boards to a table
Ideally, you want to choose a room with windows next to a wall. Experiment with the position of your table, diving boards and backdrops to achieve the perfect balance between soft, natural light and shadow.
However, if you invest a little more in artificial lighting, you can really create a studio setup in any room in your house (yes, even in a garage, guest room, or storage room).
3rd A tripod is a must.
We just talked about how important lighting is for product photography so we can explain why a tripod is important. Even for advanced photographers, finding the perfect frame and setup for your shot can be tedious.
Once you’ve spent time perfecting the composition of your shot and designing the product the way you like it, the last thing you need to do is adjust the lighting.
With a tripod, you only have to set your frame correctly once. Even after you’ve spent time perfecting the lighting or messing with other minor adjustments, your camera is exactly where it was when you left it.
There are tons of tripods on the market, but you don’t have to invest in the most expensive ones.
For projects at home like this, any tripod that keeps your camera stable is sufficient. No light, weatherproof or expensive model required! After all, this is used in a controlled environment, not in the wild where you encounter rain, wind and uneven terrain.
4th Cleanliness is crucial.
After a few practice runs with a white background and focus on keeping your photos as sharp and sharp as possible, you will quickly find that the painterly clarity that you work so hard for is so clear that it contains dust and dirt stains , also.
This can be a particularly challenging roadblock if you’ve chosen a storage room or garage as your home studio. However, we promise that the time it takes to thoroughly clean every corner in and around your studio will make a massive difference in the result of your photos.
Keep a few cotton swabs and some alcohol ready to remove these tiny dirt particles and make your product look crispy.
Remember, the more perfect your product appears during the photos you take, the less work you have to do in post-production to correct mistakes.
5. Get to know Lightroom & Photoshop.
As much as we love Lightroom Classic for organizing, managing and basic photo editing, its options are not always sufficient for the requirements of commercial product photography. However, you can certainly include Lightroom Classic in your editing workflow just for these organizational functions.
If you run product photography as a company, you will benefit significantly from just learning the basics of Photoshop.
Start by just learning some editing techniques, but learn them very well. For example, you can use the tools to remove stains, clone stamps and heal brushes on a large scale to perfect small blemishes and make your photos perfect for an online storefront.
Don’t worry if you’re on a budget – you don’t have to invest in the entire Adobe Creative Suite. Instead, you can only buy Photoshop for one month at a time to meet your needs.
Even after post-production corrections, you still have some work to do by tweaking your photos for an online presence. Using an appropriate file name to describe the image, adding metadata such as keywords, and reducing the image size as much as possible without sacrificing quality are some useful tricks to consider when preparing your photos for publication.
Otherwise, the steps we’ve outlined are really all you need to get a stunning start with professional quality product photography in your own home with a minimal budget.