Whether you are an amateur photographer who wants to upgrade his skills or a bootstrapped business that requires a product photoshoot, here's an effective guide to DIY product photography that can help you produce high-quality professional visuals.
Not every business understands the need for high-quality visual content for its products, which, however, is an effective way to increase revenue, establish a brand image, and improve brand visibility by allowing the customers to stay longer on the website.
Over 75% of online shoppers say product images play an influential role when they are deciding on whether to purchase the product online or not. The demand for online shopping has increased prominently with 80% of users preferring to buy online.
What convinces a shopper to make a purchase? Or if you are a seller on a marketplace such as Amazon, you must learn why a buyer would choose your product over your competitor selling the same product on the same platform?
What makes your brand or the product different?
The answer is very simple. It is the way you display your product. Visual is the first thing where our eyes land. It is because our brain processes visuals 60 thousand times faster than text. Also, 90% of the message transmitted to our brain is visual.
So, it is the high-quality visual content of your e-commerce catalog that impresses and keeps your visitors engaged, not just the written copy.
Product images not only display the quality or the features of your product but they also develop the first impression in the viewer's mind, creating a tipping point as to whether or not they'll continue browsing and finally make a purchase.
Not every e-commerce brand has enough budget to hire a professional photographer for high-quality aesthetic product photography, it especially is difficult for those who are just starting. However, DIY product photography gives an alternative to all those bootstrapped online businesses to take compelling photos of their products in an affordable budget. We'll guide you through the process of executing the DIY product shoot.
Before moving any further, let us quickly understand the two basic types of product photography.
1 - Product-only Images:
These images include images of your featured products, displaying the product from various angles. These images are clean-cut, white background images. Below is the example of IKEA's dining table product-only shot.
2 - In Context Images:
These are the images that display your product being used in the real environment alongside the complementing objects. Product-only images are mostly followed by in context or lifestyle images that provide the user with a view of its real use in the real environment. Below is the example of IKEA's dining table in-context image.
Now you must know the types of equipment you'll need for DIY product photography and the process.
1 - A camera
2 - A tripod
3 - A Shooting table and Sweep
4 - Bounce card - white foam board
5 - The Lightroom
1. A Camera
The first thing you must keep in mind is that you don't need a fancy camera to take beautiful product images, a camera is just a piece of your photoshoot setup. The final photography results depend on lighting, style, exposure, and post-processing. You can start your product shoot with the camera that is handy for you, and then observe the results.
If you're using a DSLR, here are some settings you should consider during the DIY product shoot.
- Don’t use a wide-angle lens for product photography unless you have to depict the in-context view of the product. It might distort your product.
- Use the right aperture. A wide aperture (say, f2.8 or f4.5) can narrow the depth of field, which can leave parts of the product out of focus.
- A small aperture (say, f8 or f11) will provide a wider depth of field, keeping the entire product in focus.
- Correct your white balance. Most of the experts suggest that during shooting, you should set the white balance to the same Kelvin temp as your lights.
2. A Tripod
During the shoot, keeping the entire product in focus is the most important thing. With a small aperture, which provides a wider depth of field, it becomes tricky to hold the camera steady and get the focused image - without blur.
To stabilize your shot, you need to use a tripod for a perfect shot. However, you don't have to overspend on a tripod, even simpler ones can help you maintain focus, consistency, and stability.
3. A Shooting Table and Sweep
If your products are small, it is recommended to use a DIY shooting table that will allow flexibility and control when it comes to your lighting. You can use a foldable shooting table anywhere, making it convenient and portable for the process. A shooting table with a sweep (a bendable sheet of paper) will help you capture a perfect image with no blemishes or corners.
A sweep (which acts as your white background) is a flexible sheet that curves up into the wall behind the product and acts as a surface below the product, making the curves behind the product invisible on camera, highlighting the key product details and the attention spot of the picture. Using sweep as your white background makes your post-production easier due to its invisible curves and minimal shadows.
The white background allows you to professionally display the product-only images to your viewers, giving them a uniform and aesthetic look at your inventory.
4. Bounce card - white foam board.
When you are shooting near a window with the natural light, bounce cards are inevitable to use. During the shoot, the light will brighten up the one side of the product while leaving a little shadow on the other side of the product, this white foam board will act as reflectors to reflect the hard light back on the product, stabilizing the light on the product from all sides.
You can easily find the white or black foam boards for DIY product photography on e-commerce sites such as Amazon or Flipkart.
5. The Lightroom
Since you don't want to invest in three-point lighting or any other form of expensive lighting setup, we recommend you to use the natural light. Build your DIY setup in a room with maximum windows, the more windows, the brighter the natural light in the room. Shooting closer to the window will create soft light and soft shadows and being farther from the window will provide more light but with a shaper, lighter shadows.
So, if you have understood the process, it will help you accomplish the DIY product photography successfully else if you want to look for the on-demand photography company that can help you in shooting and as well as the post-production, then Spyne is the best fit for your business. Explore here what Spyne can do for you.