In this post, l'm sharing my tips for better product photography for your online shop or blog. I can hardly call myself a photographer but the fact is that during the last years, taking photos has proven to be the number one element that made living from my work possible (well, besides my products themselves) but also one of the most enjoyable tasks in my workflow.
1.Invest in your equipment:
This is what l use and think is a good lot to get you started: A good mid-range camera (l have a Canon EOSM10) or a very good phone. In spite of the convenience of using your phone for everything l prefer a camera, it makes the whole process feel more professional and “real”. Also, l think you have to pay way more for a smartphone with a good camera than for a decent mid-range camera that will still have way more settings and options.
A reliable (ie not the cheapest you can find) tripod and a remote trigger. I invested in a mid-range tripod 5-6 years ago and it had paid for itself many times over. I use my phone as a remote trigger. Check if your camera can be connected to your phone, otherwise, a remote trigger can range from around $20 from eBay to $100+ for a more polished version. Both gadgets are super useful if you take most pictures by yourself. Do your research online and in stores before purchasing, l suggest going for a mid-range option on both.
Some very cheap and easy to find props such as cardstock, fabrics etc.
2. Educate yourself:
If you have the time/money/will to attend photography classes all the better. I did not have any of these when l started and used instead the wealth of information all over the internet to grasp the essentials, which, for me are:
Know your camera (sounds silly but, trust me, take time to read the manual and dig into all the info)
Get to know composition. So important. I can make all the difference in the world.
Get to know photo editing. Photoshop is great for professionals but there are tons of free online platforms that allow you to tweak your photos to perfection.
3. Be inspired:
I gather inspiration from whenever l can. Photography albums (l have some favorites l get back to over and over), magazine clippings, the internet. I use Pinterest secret boards to categorize my inspiration in batches such as Shoe Photography, Still Life etc. And the option to “save” a photo on Instagram is super useful too.
4: Just start and go on and on:
You have to practice A LOT. It might feel daunting at first but the more you look and the more you snap the better you will become.
Having said all these, the most important thing is that you have to really want to get good at it. If you feel overwhelmed, at a loss and like this is really not your thing then do yourself a favor and hire a pro. Being a small business owner means you have to assume many different roles and if the photographer is not one of them this is perfectly fine. But remember you absolutely need the photos so if you cannot take them yourself there is nothing wrong with outsourcing.