When selling products that a shopper can’t see or touch prior to buying, the perceived value of your products and the professionalism of your business is often judged by your products photos.
The quality of your images can mean the difference between a smashing success or no sales at all. Don’t forget, shoppers often use online sites to comparison shop, and if your product is displayed alongside your competitors’ products, the quality of your image is even more significant!
If you want to sell products online at all, it’s essential to learn how to create photos that inspire the shopper to actually buy the item. Taking photos that get results requires practice, education, a little imagination and time.
You can do it yourself, or you can hire someone. At first, you’re probably going to want to do it yourself to save some money. After all, professional photography is not a cheap investment.
But, remember that you need to factor in your time. If you can make more money making more products while paying a professional to take the photos, you should at least consider it.
If you’re in the lean, bootstrapping phase of your business, and you can’t afford to hire a professional to capture your images, all is not lost. There are tons of product photography tools available, and with a small budget and a few essentials, you too can embrace DIY product photography.
In order to create inspiring product photos you’re going to need the following:
Camera – The type of camera you get today isn’t really as important as you might think. You can take excellent product images with an inexpensive camera, even with your phone. Try what you have and see how it works out. If it doesn’t work, move up to a more powerful camera, but you do not need to break the bank to take excellent, inspiring, product pictures.
Tripod – You think you can hold steady but you can’t. Using a tripod to hold the camera extra steady while you take your product pictures will ensure that you get the best image for your products.
White Background – Use white poster board or mat board. You can get large, seamless background paper that photographers like to use from most photo supply stores, or craft stores. It comes in muslin, too. The important thing is that it should be very bright white.
White Foamcore – You can purchase this at a frame shop or art store like Michaels; you just need various sizes that are about the same size as your product. The white foamcore will be used to bounce light onto your product.
Standard Table – A nice card table that you can cover with a white sheet or paper that is large enough for your products is all you need.
Tape – You’re going to need to tape down your board so that it stays where you want it to stay. You don’t want to set it up just right, and then have something cause it to move during the photo session.
Well-Lit Room – The more natural light you can get in the room, the better. If you have a low wind day, you can even move everything outside to get the very best light nature has to offer.
Lighting – You can get the lighting you need from any home store like Home Depot or Lowes. Just buy three floodlights with reflectors, daylight 30-W fluorescent bulbs from them, and don’t forget stands for the lights. This type of lighting will best light your products so that just the product shows and not the background.
Finally, set up your product to be the center of attention. It can also be a good idea to put something for a size reference near the product for one of the pictures at least, so that the audience knows how big your product is by sight. Even though you will put the measurements of all your products in the descriptions, seeing is believing.