product photography for beginners!

product photography for beginners!

Tired of your product photos turning out like the dark photo above? Learn how to achieve the best possible product photo you can using just your phone camera, free resources and things you may find around your house.

We understand the cost of hiring a professional photographer is high (and well deserved as those photogs work hard), so until you have a budget to burn, this is a great alternative that can help take your proStore to the next level!

Watch the video below to learn from our brand director, Paige Cody, who has also been a photographer for the past six years. She will teach you the three basic product photography rules to follow in order to achieve the look of the kick-ass camera photo above.

Video Recap! 

So just to sum up the video above, here are the three rules, as well as additional information you can follow!

1) Lighting

The light makes or breaks the photo. Natural light is the best and cheapest alternative to professional lights, just make sure your asset is well positioned so the light isn’t too harsh!

Lighting Tips:

– Take a picture of an item near a window (around 2-4 feet away so the light isn’t too strong. You know it’s too strong when you can no longer see all the detail on the asset where the light hits.
– Shoot **indoors** mid-day (11:00 – 2:00 generally) when the sun is above your home. Find a room with the most soft light and work there.
– If you are shooting 90 degrees to a window, I recommend using either a reflector or any smooth white surface to bounce light back onto the darker side of your asset. It makes the light stronger on that side and editing will be easier for you.
– make sure artificial lights are turned off as they will give your photo a yellow tinge or mixed lighting like the dark product photo at the top of this page.
– Make sure nothing is blocking your light source (including yourself). If you subject isn’t getting enough light, it will be dull and grainy.

2) Background/Backdrop

A good photo background can make all the difference, and it doesn’t need to be fancy at all! In fact, the more simple, the better!

Indoor Background Tips:

– Find a neutral hard service that will fit your asset comfortably if your camera is in square mode. Make sure the sides are clear of clutter or strong light.
– Don’t use fabrics as wrinkles are messy and distracting.
– Don’t have a neutral coloured wall? Head over to home depot and get beadboard, drywall sheet or anything thin, over 4”x4” and white for under $30!
– If you are using your floor, make sure it doesn’t have a shine. If it does put a white carpet or white drywall sheet down against the baseboard.
– Make sure the surfaces you use are clean, as pesky dirt and dust can appear when you sharpen the image later.

3) Composition

I have also included camera angles and how many images to aim for while shooting a single product. Aim for a minimum of three images unless the product is pretty straight forward.

1) straight on shot of the item (feel free to do this for all relevant angels of the asset).
2) Angle shot or top shot (Get a shot at an angle from above or straight on from above. Consider it the more “artsy shot” that looks great as your main image.
3) Context/Action shot. Ask someone to model with your product, or do it yourself by including something simple as a hand in the picture (make sure your fingernails are clean).  You can also just place your asset next to something relatable, like a door. This helps the renter gauge the size visually, and it’s been proven that items sell/rent better when a person is included in the photo (people build a connection with the image when done correctly and not creepy).

Composition Tips:

– For straight-on shots hold your camera straight and not tilted.
– Turn your phone camera grid on by going into phone settings – camera mode (or google how to do it). This helps you keep the image straight.
– Leave enough padding around the bottom, top and sides (but not too much – find a balance)
– Keep your asset far enough away from your backdrop so you don’t get a harsh shadow on the back and you can’t see the details in the wall.

product photography for beginners!

We hope you guys found these tips helpful! If you have any questions or want to share your work feel free to leave them in the comments or send them on over to us via email! Email Paige directly at pcody@ruckify.com. Stay tuned for the next video on editing!

​Happy Ruckifying!!

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