How to take your own Product Photos using your Smartphone | DIY Product Photography
Product photography is so much more than just taking a couple of pretty photos! It’s about showing your products in the best possible way that appeals to your audience and ensures your brand and business looks professional.
It's not only required for your ecommerce store but is also a big part of your marketing! And when you think about it, it's an extension of the product itself.
So, if your product photography is subpar, your audience are going to form the same opinion of your products!
When just starting out many small businesses don’t have the budget for product photography, especially when they might still be testing the waters as to what products they plan to stock or stick with in the long term.
Of course, with the ease of access to cameras now days (I mean should we even call it a cell phone anymore?) many small business owners are able to take their own product photos using their cell phone, however, I know many small biz mums who struggle with taking their own product photos that they envision in their head…
Want to take professional looking product photos using your smart phone?
I have written my very first eBook “Product Photography made easy for Small Business” where I explain exactly how to take product photography images the way you envision them.
If you have a product based business, your product photography is one of the most important aspects of your business and if you plan to take your own product photos using your smartphone, you need to learn to do it right!
I’ve created this e-book with the non-photographer, small business owner in mind. I know what it’s like trying to do all the things that come with running a small business (most of which are out of our area of expertise), and I also know that money and your time are likely to be tight...
This book focusses on keeping things as simple and low cost as possible. It’s going to give you the skills to take beautiful photos of your products using your smartphone and create a cohesive library of images that you can use for not only your ecommerce store but your marketing, social media and website.
But before I go too in-depth about the book, I want to give you some points if you plan to DIY your product photos.
Things to consider when taking your own product photography
Firstly, you need to know the various types of product photography and why/which you need. The ultimate goal of your product photography is showcasing your products so that your audience (customers) can see exactly what they are getting, any pertinent details regarding your product as well as the product in use. When done well, your product photography should appeal to your customer and create a desire to have your product in their life!
Types of Product Photography
There are two main types of product photography – very basic shots and then styled shots (which can be further divided into categories).
These are the front, back and sides of the product, usually taken on a plain background. They show any necessary details and are very minimal.
Here products are styled with various props to create some interest and desire. They can also show the use of the product. I group the styled shots into four categories (and often there is overlap between them)
Simple - Basic props to bring in some variation and interest.
Creative - Fun and creative styling to create a specific mood and feeling in your audience.
Lifestyle - shows the product in use or in a more true-to-life scene.
Flat Lay - Products are laid out flat and photographed from above. These can be in either a highly creative way or a more realistic scene.
The light you photograph in is so important. Natural light next to a large window is always my first choice, however, a soft box lighting system can also be used if you can’t find sufficient natural light. Never use the overhead ceiling lights as these cause unwanted shadows.
Plan and schedule your photography
You need to set aside time to getting your product photography done. It is a process that takes time but once you know what you’re doing it will go so much more smoothly.
Having a clear plan of what you’ll be photographing and what props you’ll need is going to make the whole process so much more streamlined.
Composition and styling
Creating interesting visuals all has to do with some basic composition rules of photography. Depth of field, rule of thirds and negative space are all ways to add a little something different to your imagery. It can be a bit of trial and error but the more you take the more intuitive it will become.
What you plan to style your products with should also be on brand and appeal to your target audience. For instance, consider how different your visuals and copy would be when selling lipstick to your gran compared to your teenage daughter...
How you style the shots should be in alignment with your brand, message and target audience.
Now stay with me here.. I don’t mean fancy photoshop skills to create an abstract composite image of your product in some obscure scene. I’m referring to basic editing like adjusting colour balance, exposure, contrast and shadows to create a consistent feel throughout all your images.
It’s not that difficult once you know how and believe me when I say, editing is what will add that polished and professional look to your images!
While I recommend Adobe Lightroom Classic (a subscription based desktop editing software), there are also other free editing tools that you can use once you know how to edit. Editing on a computer is also a must. Mobile devices are fine for one or two quick images, however, their screens are notoriously bad for colour accuracy.
Start taking your own professional looking product photos
My ebook covers all these topics in detail and walks you through the process of how to take product photos using your cell phone.
All you need is a smartphone, some basic office supplies and props (many of which can be bought at crafting or office supply stores). I also walk you through my editing process on a desktop computer using Lightroom Classic (paid subscription software with a 7-day free trial) and Photoshop elements (which is a free desktop editing software program).
The best part is that this ebook is super affordable! It tells you everything you need to know about capturing on brand product photography - all for only AU$29.
And during it's launch (24th Jan - 6 Feb) you can get it for half price (AU$14.50)!
I know it’s going to help transform your product photography so be sure to grab it at it's amazing launch price!