When it comes to running an eCommerce business, the visual presentation is crucial because it adds professionalism and brand value. That is to say, high-quality product images are essential to display on your eCommerce website.
This is where product photography comes in to help make product images look more professional and realistic. However, not every eCommerce business owner can afford to invest in product photography; in particular, newcomers may find it difficult to invest and spend a significant amount of money on it. But that shouldn’t deter you; the possibilities are limitless. DIY product photography is a fantastic alternative, and as long as you have the right tools and techniques, you can take stunning product photos.
Table of Contents
- Essential Equipment For Perfect Product Photography Setup
- Step-by-Step Process for Photographs Your Products On a White Background
- Must-Know Product Photography Tips
- Wrapping Up
- Product Photography FAQ
Essential Equipment For Perfect Product Photography Setup
- A camera
- A tripod
- A white background
- White bounce cards made of foam board
- The right room with a window
Every eCommerce business owner wants to increase their sales, but they often don’t know how to do so. It’s safe to say that showcasing products on your website with high-resolution images can significantly boost sales. Marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, for example, demand professional images created by professional photography and image editing services.
Product photography, image editing, and everything in between can be expensive for a beginner. Though good eCommerce photography is costly, it pays for itself over and over again. If you don’t have that kind of money, you can still take professional shots of your products with the help of some product photography tools.
We know what it takes to do professional photography and post-production processing because we’re an image editing company. Because you don’t have the budget, you often try to take your product photos with your phone or camera rather than hiring professional photography services. Have you considered taking your own photos using a do-it-yourself approach? It’s not as difficult as you might believe.
When taking photographs on your own, you can use a variety of product photography techniques. I’m going to show you how to make your product photography look more professional.
Professional photographers should avoid using these techniques. I’m going to share some information that may be useful to business owners who are new to product photography. In addition, I created this guideline to save money while still getting amazing shots.
There aren’t many great options for low-budget photography that are used in professional photography setup. You don’t need to spend a large portion of your budget on high-tech equipment because you’re a beginner. You can illuminate your products with just a $5 piece of card. If you already own a camera, you can probably do this natural light setup for $20 or less.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll need for your product photography setup.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on your setup, as I mentioned earlier. That being said, a full-frame DSLR camera system isn’t required. Begin shooting with the camera you already own or purchase a camera that fits your budget. You can still take pictures with your phone camera if you don’t have a camera budget.
You’re probably still undecided about which camera to buy for your photography, but don’t be concerned. You can buy a camera for as little as $300, depending on your budget, and still get great regulation images.
Because there are so many cameras on the market, it’s difficult to know which one is best for you. Instead, start photographing with the camera you already own or purchase one within your budget. Lighting, exposure, styling, and post-production processing are just a few of the factors that must be considered when taking product photos.
2. The Tripod
Image source: prodigi
Tripods might sound like a nerdy, unnecessary piece of technical equipment, but they make a huge difference in your product photography’s clarity and quality. And they are not difficult to use.
Very High-quality Tripod can level up your Job. It will help you more than a step to manage and move your camera step by step.
For any location, you have highly established the shooting zone for focus. The product needs a camera and high advanced Tripod to make your smooth experience. When a camera has a slow shutter, you can’t hand it, or the subject will blur, so a tripod is your answer.
Product images need to advance clearing from dust – so you need to pay attention to lighting and sharp shape for focusing the camera.
You are using a tripod that will reduce the blur if you want your product photographs to look professional and high-quality.
3. White Background
Choosing a perfect background is necessary. A colorful background goes a long way in advancing your visual story. But, again, you can do this without a big budget.
If photos have a terrible background and, like other colors, it is hard to edit the images quickly. The price will be automatically increased, so the background drop must be White to clean the background.
The benefit of choosing white background color means store consistency; white offers the most continuity in making different colors and styles of products look great. Plus, if you want to show your products with the most minor distractions, white backgrounds are the best way to do this.
4. White Bounce Cards Made of Foam Board
Image source: shopify
Natural light is great for photography, but it does have some drawbacks, such as a bright side and a shadow side. When the shadow is cast, you won’t be able to take photos because it will be too dark; therefore, you’ll need to use something white to reflect light back into the shadows and brighten them up. Because it’s right and white, a white foam board might be the best option.
To make the shadows darker, you can also use a black foam board. This is especially useful when photographing a white product against a white background. A dark edge on the white product can be created by adding a black foam board to the sides, just outside of the photo behind the product. For a more sophisticated lighting setup, use white bounce cards on the front and black bounce cards behind the product.
Foam boards can be found on Amazon or at a local drugstore. Keep in mind that this is just a white card, so you might be able to get away with using a sheet of white printer paper or a piece of poster board instead.
The table can be a convenient component for your product photography. It’s best to use a standard folding table with a width of 24 to 27 inches.
Depending on the table you end up with, you can secure your board with tape or clamps so that it sweeps properly.
7. The Right Room with a Window
It’s best to have a room with windows next to a wall for product photography with natural light. The larger the window, the more light will enter. Closer proximity to the window results in softer light with darker, softer shadows. If you’re working with natural light, keep in mind that being further away will give you a more even light but with sharper, lighter shadows of the product, so keep that in mind.
Step-by-Step Process for Photographs Your Products On a White Background
Set Up Your Table in The First step
Image source: shopify
When it comes to perfect product photography, getting your shooting area ready is crucial. Once you’ve gathered everything you need, it’s time to set up your shooting area so you can capture high-quality images. The first thing you should do is position the table as close as possible to the window. Remember that there’s a good chance you’ll intersect the shadow from the windowsill. Start with the window 90 degrees to the right or left of your setup to get the softer light.
It’s worth noting that you’ll need to turn off other lights in the room to avoid contaminating the set. This is a crucial point and the most common blunder.
Once you’ve got everything set up, try rotating the window at different angles to get the best light. Another option is to set up in a garage with the door open—the light will be similar to that of a window but without the glass.
Direct sunlight should not be allowed to fall on your set. Direct sunlight is harsh and detracts from the appearance of most people and products.
Set a Sweep Horizontally Or Vertically
The next step is to use a sweep that can be either horizontal or vertical in nature. We recommend a mat board sweep that you can customize to your liking.
Make sure your table is against the wall when setting up the sweep so you can secure it with the wall and table. Use the tape to secure it between the wall and the table.
Place your product in the center of the frame and start shooting. Make sure you have enough lighting to get the best quality images of your products.
Make Any Necessary Adjustments to Your Camera
Image source: film lifestyle
For your product photography, all you need is a camera setup. If you don’t properly set up the camera, you’ll likely end up with low-quality images that are unsuitable for your eCommerce website. Because no two cameras are alike, there are numerous factors to consider when setting up the camera. Here are a few things you should do.
- Make sure your white balance (WB) is set to Auto.
- Turn off the flash on your camera.
- The settings for the images should be of the highest possible quality. Although most point-and-shoot cameras lack a raw setting, if yours does, take advantage of it. Raw is the largest file that a camera can shoot, and it takes advantage of the camera’s full bit depth. However, you’ll need to edit in a program that can read raw images, such as Photoshop, Bridge, Lightroom, or Aperture.
Set it to the largest JPG setting if you don’t have a raw setting. There are two settings to look out for if you like Canon:
- Size. L (Large), M (Medium), or S (Small) are sometimes used (Small). Choose a size that is large. This setting determines the file size, and for best image quality, you almost always want to shoot it at the largest size. You can always reduce the size of an image after it’s been taken, but you can’t increase it.
- Quality. S (Superfine), F (Fine), and N (Normal) (Normal). Set it to Superfine at all times. The number of pixels used on the camera sensor is determined by this setting. A lower-quality image will result from not using all of the available pixels.
Your ISO should be set to 100. The sensor’s sensitivity is controlled by the ISO. The more ISO you use, the more noise you’ll get. If you can, set your camera to ISO 100, which is usually the lowest ISO you can use.
Settings for Better Exposure
When photographing products, the camera’s exposure settings are taken into account. You should concentrate on a number of options and settings.
Option A: Change your camera’s mode to Manual (M)
Because nothing will be moving or changing while you take your pictures, a manual setting is fine for the setup you already have for product photography. Change your f-stop to the highest number in manual mode to get the most depth of field.
It’s critical to visualize the LiveView on the camera’s back. You’ll be able to get perfect shots once you know how to position the setup correctly. There’s a good chance everything will be dark; in this case, you’ll want to change your shutter speed and rotate the dial to brighten it up. Your shutter count should be increasing. For instance, your number could change from 1/60th to 14%. Continue adjusting this number until the image preview is correct.
Option B: Use Aperture Priority (AV)
Change the f-stop to a higher number if your camera has one. If your camera’s f-stop is f/2.8, for example, set it to f/4. This should automatically adjust the shutter to the camera’s preferred setting. This could be incorrect, and you’ll need to add light using the exposure compensation dial.
Option C: Auto Exposure
When it comes to eCommerce photography, auto-exposure isn’t always the best option. If your camera has an exposure compensation dial, you’ll probably have to add +1 or +112 to get the right exposure. Simply tap the area you want to expose properly in the phone camera. If you’re using a tripod, the exposure lock button can be used to lock the exposure.
Every camera has zoom capabilities, and most cameras have both optical and digital zoom. We don’t recommend using digital zoom because it degrades image quality. Optical zoom, on the other hand, allows you to get perfect images even if you’re in the zoo. A longer zoom will compensate for the distortion introduced by a wide-angle lens. Cellphones have a lens with a very wide-angle, which is a common problem.
Put Your Product Together
Take your time when setting up the product to ensure that it is properly positioned. If you’re working with a bottle, make sure the label type is centered. It’s critical to pay attention to every last detail in order to get everything to line up perfectly. The last thing you want to do is have to redo something later. Make sure the box is centered on the pallet if it’s a box.
Put The Reflector Card In The Right Place
A light reflector is a useful piece of photography studio equipment. The light will reflect off the card, filling in any shadows. It’s up to you how you position this card in relation to the product, so experiment with different angles. The card can also be used to bounce light back onto the subject as a reflector.
Take a Picture and Double Check It
Everything you want to use in your photography studio is knowledge and experimentation. After you’ve finished taking pictures, take some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. Consider the images and whether or not they are effective. You will be able to improve it in this manner. Experiment with different ways to improve your image, and your skills will naturally improve over time.
The camera screen is usually small, making it difficult to judge the image quality. To get a better idea of how they look, try using your computer or an extra-large monitor. To organize all of your photos, use Adobe Lightroom. Except for very advanced processes, it can be used to do almost all of your editing. You will, without a doubt.
Retouch Your Images
That concludes our discussion of the ideal eCommerce photography using DIY methods. If you consider this guide, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on photography. That’s all right. You may not be satisfied with the photos you took of your products because the camera cannot produce high-quality images for uploading to your eCommerce website. Your images will appear more professional and vibrant with image editing and retouching.
To achieve the best results, retouching images necessitates a significant amount of time and skill. Most people hire retouching services like ours to get the job done on time and on budget, which is the most efficient way to go. Rather than attempting to self-teach, hire a professional image editing company.
Optimize Your Website’s Images
One of the most important aspects of SEO is image optimization, which helps Google understand what your website is all about. This type of task also helps your eCommerce website load faster. The balance between image quality and optimization is delicate because over-optimization will destroy the image. We try to keep my images under 200 KB as a rule of thumb, but I always try to get the smallest image possible.
Resize your image for the container
The first step in optimizing your images is to resize them. All you have to do now is calculate the image size and resize the height and width. When you look at an image on a website, you’re actually looking at an HTML container with an image that has been dynamically scaled to fit within it. The image does not match the HTML container in size. The image is scaled to fit within the HTML container, which has a width and height. If you look at the page’s source code, you’ll notice this.
1. Figure out the HTML Container size
Because the HTML container requires you to resize your images in order for them to fit properly, this improves your search engine ranking. You can also make it 1.5x larger than the container to make it look good on a retina display.
You’ll need to use the Developer Tools in your web browser to figure out the image container size. Select Inspect Element from the context menu when you right-click on the image. The container’s pixel dimension will be displayed in the sidebar.
2. Resize the image
There are numerous free tools available to assist you in resizing your image. Because they’re built-in and simple to use, we recommend using Mac Preview or Microsoft Picture. You are free to resize your image as much as you want, but don’t go crazy with it.
After you’ve resized the image, export it as a 100 percent jpeg and save it to your desktop.
3. Compress the image
When taking pictures, you’ll notice that the file size is quite large. To speed up the loading of your eCommerce website, you should compress the images. Don’t worry, compressing does not reduce the quality; it simply removes data that isn’t being used. However, if you compress it too much, it will begin to fall apart and appear blotchy.
Instead, we’d like to intelligently compress the image. We suggest using Adobe Photoshop’s Save For Web function because you can see a preview as you lower the slider. You can also use JPEGmini, a program that uses an algorithm to determine the best compression for your image. I’m impressed with how quick and easy it is after running a couple of thousand images through it.
eCommerce Photography Tips
Did you know that 22% of returns are due to the fact that a product looks different in person than it does in photos? It’s obvious that high-quality images can help you save money on returns while also increasing revenue. Let’s take a look at a few pointers to remember when photographing products.
Use window light vs. lightbox
When it comes to DIY product photography, window light is the most cost-effective and practical option. It’s a one-light setup that’s also inexpensive and simple to put together. If you want to use a light tent, you may need a multi-light setup, which adds complexity and usually necessitates more knowledge and experience.
Here are the issues you may face with a multi-light setup:
- Multi-light setup necessitates a significant amount of additional equipment, which can be costly. The cost of the lightbox and lighting can quickly add up, making hiring a professional more expensive.
- It’s difficult to balance exposure with multiple lights because getting better exposure necessitates the right position. It’s not always clear how f-stops and shutter speeds relate to light.
- Color contrast can make a big difference in how your image looks. Due to a multi-light setup, there’s a good chance that your image will have different color temperatures. The issue of color balancing lights has arisen.
- Be prepared for a challenge beyond basic exposure if you choose to use flash instead of continuous light. Only the f-stop determines flash exposure, the sync speed is limited, and special equipment is required to trigger the flash.
- The original shadow of your products is often removed by multi-setup light, making them appear artificial. Because shadows are necessary to define a product’s shape and give it a realistic appearance. We recommend window light over a light tent because it is more dynamic and interesting.
Consider setting up a studio and shooting on your own before investing in professional equipment, following the guidelines in this article. The most convenient way to have perfect light when shooting is to use natural window light. A multi-light studio setup and a thorough understanding of photography are required to photograph difficult products like clear and reflective products perfectly.
Limitations With This Setup
Photography with this simple method is great, but when photographing reflective products, it’s difficult to find good photos. It’s difficult to find good photos of reflective products in general, and it’s even harder to find good photos of reflective products in particular.
In this case, extensive skills and expertise are required to reduce reflection and bring the true beauty of the products to light. To photograph such difficult products, we recommend using a multi-light setup.
Read more blogs about product photography tips:
Learn Basic Photo Editing Techniques
You can use your product photography on your eCommerce website once you’ve completed it successfully. However, there’s a good chance your photos will have flaws, which is why photo editing is necessary. Learning photo editing makes sense if you want to improve the quality of your photos. Rather than paying for professional photo editing services, you can do it yourself by following a few simple steps.
Adobe Photoshop Tutorials are a good place to start. Although it focuses on Adobe products, the lessons are simple to follow and can be applied outside of Adobe Photoshop.
Shoot multiple angles
Your customers will always want to see the product from various angles in order to get a complete picture. Close-up shots may be preferred by some shoppers. Others may prefer to see the same products up close. Everyone can see themselves using your product in a variety of ways, which can result in increased sales.
- Eye-level, which shows your product as you’d see it straight on
- High angle, which shows your product as if you’re looking down as it
- Low angle, which shows your product as if you’re looking up at it
- Bird’s eye, which shows your product as if you’re standing above it
Image source: Shopify
Make sure your camera and tripod are in the same position during your shoot to get perfect shots. Try rotating the product rather than the camera to get multiple shots in the same frame. This ensures consistency and cuts down on post-photoshoot image editing.
Try other types of product photography
When it comes to running an eCommerce business, ensuring customer satisfaction is crucial. The possibilities are endless if you truly want to increase your customers’ attention. Once you’ve gotten used to being in front of the camera, you have a lot of options. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Lifestyle: Because they use a specific location and products, lifestyle shots can tell a story about your products. You can also use social media, blog posts, emails, and other channels to attract new customers.
Customers can get a sophisticated view of where and how people actually use your products by using lifestyle photos. You can show a scene of hiking boots on someone’s feet out on a beautiful hike if you sell hiking boots. Depending on what you sell, you might show your clothing to someone walking around town or at a classy event if you’re selling clothing.
Related Blogs for Clothing Photography:
Detailed: Shoppers can get a closer look at specific product features with detailed images. On its product pages, leather retailer hard graft uses detailed shots to show zippers, handles, and other unique features of its goods.
Group: The group photo gives your customers a variety of options to choose from when it comes to which fact they prefer.
Hire Professional Photographer
The entire product photography process may eat up your time as an eCommerce owner, trapping you in these tasks. Instead, consider hiring a professional photographer, which will likely cost you $30–$40 per photo. Better photos sell more products online, so this could be a worthwhile investment. Begin by searching for local product photography services on Google.
Write Great Product Descriptions
You may be considering product photography to increase impressions, but writing a perfect product description, in addition to high-quality images, will significantly increase your sales.
All you have to do is write in a friendly tone and provide as much information as possible to entice people to purchase. New entrepreneurs often overlook product descriptions. They are, however, the foundation of a high-converting product page—along with stunning photography, of course.
Whether you sell clothing, electronics, or foods, the product photography is required to present your products in a professional manner. Customers will always prefer to buy from an eCommerce site that presents its products in a more appealing manner.
The best part about these photography strategies is that you have complete control over how you present your products online. If done correctly, you’ll see an increase in website sales and conversions, as well as the growth of a successful online business. Maybe you’ll start selling your own photos online as a new side hustle one day!
Product Photography FAQ
What is product photography?
Product photography is the process of taking accurate and appealing photos of your products using specific photography techniques. Shoppers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by your product photos, which can increase conversion rates and sales for your company.
What do you need for a product photography setup?
- A camera
- A tripod
- A white background
- White bounce cards
- A table
- The right room with window lighting
How can I shoot product photography at home?
- Invest in gear and equipment
- Set up your product photography studio
- Take your product shots
- White bounce cards
- Edit your photos online
- Add them to your website
How do you shoot product photos?
- Set up your table
- Build your sweep
- Adjust your camera
- Set up your product
- Set up the reflector card
- Take the picture and evaluate
- Retouch your pictures
- Optimize images for your website