Whether you showcase your many products on your business website or you have a virtual store where these items can be purchased and shipped right to a customer’s door, you’ll definitely want to include photos so consumers can get a look at the goods. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all. So even though you’ll probably include product descriptions and specs as part of the package, the photograph of each product could make or break a sale. In short, you need to do your best to take professional looking photos. And while you might not have space for a studio, you can certainly create a makeshift setup that will do the trick. Here are just a few tips to ensure that the product photos you take for your business website are effective.
- Use a backdrop. Even if you remove background items, it’s going to be pretty obvious your photos are not professional if the backdrop is a table or a wall in your home or at your business. Luckily, a backdrop is easy to make if you have a freshly-pressed white bed sheet. Or you can purchase a professional backdrop, complete with a frame, from a suitable outlet (although you probably don’t need to). When you use a backdrop you’ll have a much better chance of getting the professional look you’re going for.
- Increase lighting. If you want to show your products in the best possible light, you need to select appropriate lighting and accessories. Your average lamp isn’t going to do the job. A floodlight might work, although you’re likely to get some serious shadows. But if you take a ton of product photos for your website, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a professional light kit (with a stand), as well as barn doors and a detachable softbox. You can also get reflectors to bounce light where you want it to go – in a pinch, a piece of white foam board should suffice.
- White balance your camera. Most people don’t even realize that they can white balance a digital camera. But your manual should have instructions to walk you through the process, step-by-step for your particular model. In fact, you’ll probably find that once you learn how to do this, you’ll start white balancing when you take personal photos, as well, since it improves the quality of photos so significantly.
- Use a tripod. No matter how steady you think your hands are, even the slightest tremor could cause noticeable blurring once you’re looking at a hi-res image. So make sure to use a tripod when capturing product photos.
- Master editing software. The final step in your product photography process involves uploading images into your editing software so that you can get rid of any flaws (like glare on shiny surfaces, shadows, etc.), touch up the color, contrast, and sharpness, and export the appropriate file type and image size to post on your website. If you find that you’re still having trouble, you can always go pro with a reputable service provider like The Image Alive. But if you want to save some cash, give DIY photography a try first.