“Ka-chick!”, you hear as you take a photo with your phone. You look at it curiously, decide that it’s pretty good, only to later send it to your computer and realize it’s horrible. What went wrong? Was it the camera? Was it the lights? Well, sure, both of those things matter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take good photos without professional equipment.
Here are some tips on how to become a better product photographer and increase your sales:
Take Large Photos
First thing’s first. I’d like you to pick up your phone or your tablet, go to the camera settings, and select the highest resolution available. Slightly blurred or out of focus images will often look a lot better after being resized. The problem is that your products still have to be visible, so if the photo is small to begin with, you will likely not be able to do this.
Take Clear Photos
Yes, resizing helps a little, but it will not be able to fix everything.
If you have a little money to spend, you might want to invest in a small, compact tripod. Several stores and manufacturers sell tripods specifically designed for smartphones and tablets. They’re small enough to sit on the table and they keep the camera still while you shoot your jewelry, statues, bags or bowls.
However, if you can’t afford a tripod right now, you can also try resting your elbows on the table to prevent your hands from shaking and ruining the images.
Lights & Environment
Natural light is great, but it can be tricky for inexperienced photographers. Direct sunlight ruins your photos, unwanted shadows ruin your photos, an absence of light ruins your photos. And for the love of crafting, whatever you do, don’t turn on your flashlight!
What I suggest you do, is build your own light tent. Light tents are available at every camera store you visit, however they might prove to be expensive if you’re just starting your business.
All you need to build your own light tent is an empty box, white tissue paper, white Bristol board and scotch tape. Now follow these steps:
- Cut windows in the right side of the box, the left side and the top.
- Use the tissue paper to cover the windows. Fix it using tape.
- Use tape to fix the Bristol board inside the box without making any creases.
You’re done! All you need now is 2 or 3 desk lamps or night lamps that you probably already have. Each lamp should sit at an even distance from the box and be pointed at one of the its windows. Three lights are usually better than 2, but postproduction also helps fix certain issues.
Editing / Post-production
There are several photo editing applications out there, with Adobe Photoshop being the most popular one. The software allows you to make several adjustments to your photos – color correction, removing imperfections, sharpening details, increasing contrast, even removing an object from its original background and moving it onto a new one. You can be as dramatic or as subtle as you want.