The best DIY product photography efforts do not need all the items necessary for a professional session. You will just be needing simple items you can easily get around your house.
The focus of DIY product photography is to eliminate the cost of professional product photography sessions. However, it doesn’t mean your DIY product photography efforts have to be below par. It is possible to take DIY product photos that look like something out of a professional’s camera lens.
In this article, we discuss proven answers to the question of how to take the best DIY product photography photos. To help you along, we will also be providing a rundown of items you will need for the best DIY product photography. Before we delve right into that, here are few things to know about product photography.
What you Will Need for DIY Product Photography?
Product photography is a type of commercial photography that presents products in the best photographic representation. It is one of the most effective means of digital advertisement. With the best product photos, you can help your buyers make the decision to buy your product.
Product photography pictures should be high-quality. Perhaps more importantly, they should be able to capture your product features from the best angles. All of this requires expertise, experience and advanced photography equipment. It’s why the cost of product photography can sometimes be on the high side.
If you’re just starting your eCommerce business, the cost of top-notch product photography can be a tad expensive. Hence, a need for DIY product photography.
DIY product photography simply means taking pictures of your products by yourself. Here’s a rundown of the equipment you will need for the best DIY products photography pictures.
To take pictures you need a camera. However, to take the best DIY product photography pictures, you do not necessarily need the best camera. All you need is the correct settings on your camera and you're good to go.
Often, we advise eCommerce business owners to use the camera they already have. Since DIY product photography focuses on reducing service charges, you do not need to spend more by buying a new camera. Even an iPhone camera can do the trick too.
A tripod is a three-legged stand that supports a camera. It is on the tripod that you will position your camera for the best shots. With a tripod, you can avoid slight movements that can offset the quality of your product photos.
A white background
A white background is essential for the best DIY product photographs as it completely exposes the product. Since you won’t be working in a studio, you can choose to use a white cloth or a white wall for your background. You can also try white sweeps or paper sweeps for a white background.
Sweeps get dirty frequently and it is important to keep them clean all the time. You can go with paper sweeps since you can easily cut the dirty part and roll down a new one.
However, is important to use a moveable white background because you will have to adjust the background. For the best product photography experience, keep your background in slant positions instead of vertical positions.
Often, we advise that when taking the best product photographs you allow for adequate lighting. Depending on your choice of theme and product, you can use natural light or artificial light sources. For DIY product photography, you can use a lampstand or fluorescent light as light sources.
Also, you can place your product close to a window for better illumination. It’s best if your light source matches your background. For instance, if you’re working with white backgrounds, we advise you use a white light source instead.
Light sources are important for taking great DIY product pictures. The major role the light source plays is to allow for complete capture of the product.
However, during product photography sessions, a professional photographer ensures there are no shadows cast by the product. To counter the shadows, the photographer uses a reflector to balance the lighting on the product. You can do this too.
You can use a white bounce card or a white-shoe package to reflect the light on the product. It is important to use white reflectors as white colours easily reflect light on objects.
The table you need is to provide support for your white background, product and any other material you will need. A standard table size you will need for DIY product photography is 24-27 inches wide.
Related Article: Product Photography Pricing: The Important Details
DIY Product Photography: Tips to Take the Best Pictures
Now that you know the different items you will need for DIY product photography, up next are the steps to take the best pictures.
Set your table
The product has to be on the table. Depending on the available space, you can decide to place your light source on either side of the table.
When placing your table, you must place it close to a light source for better exposure. Exposure means the amount of light shining on the object.
If you're using a lamp, ensure it is close enough for full illumination. With the product, sweep, and light on the table, your table is set.
Set your sweep
If you are using a sweep, you should place it in slant-vertical to make it seem like a completely white background. To properly slant your sweep, tape it to a wall and table.
There’s no hard rule that says you have to take DIY product pictures close to a wall. You can look for support material for the sweep.
Set up your camera
Choosing a camera for the best DIY product photography results is the hard part. The best camera for great DIY product photography is one with manual exposure settings.
To set your camera, do the following:
- First, set your white balance(WB) to auto white balance (AWB).
- Switch off the flash setting.
- Set your camera to the highest image quality, RAW preferably.
Next is the exposure setting. An automatic exposure setting will allow for different light balances on different products. To ensure all products have the same exposure, set the exposure manually. Here are ways to set your camera's exposure manually.
- Change your camera setting to manual.
- Change f/stop eating to its highest number. Changing the f/stop number to the highest number gives a great depth field to the product.
- Switch your shutter speed and turn the dial to expose the object enough to make it bright.
- After doing this, you will notice a decrease in the shutter number. The decrease in shutter number is to allow for more light into the camera.
After setting your exposure, the next thing is to zoom if necessary. When zooming, do not use the digital zoom, instead use optical zoom.
With digital zooms, the camera produces low-quality pictures which is not the essence of product photography. So, to produce quality product photography, use optical zoom as it removes distortions from a wide lens.
Set your product in the centre of the sweep
To provide great pictures, make sure your product is at an angle opposite the light source. A perfect angle to place your product is 90° from the light source. Shape positioning helps too but placing the product in the centre does the real trick.
Set up your reflector
Your reflector helps to lift shadows cast by the object. So, to produce quality photos, ensure your reflector is positioned properly to reflect light onto the object.
Take the picture and evaluate them
With a tripod stand, you can take product pictures without the camera shaking. If you’re good with picture editing, it’s always a good idea to edit your pictures. However, be sure to use the same edit presets so your pictures all look the same.
Tips for the Best DIY Product Photography
When it comes to taking DIY product photography like a pro, there are tips that can help you. Here are some of them:
- Although the latest iPhones have great lenses, phone cameras are not ideal. Cell phones do not have great lenses to remove distortions because of their wide lenses.
- Always use a white background. We do not advise you to use clustered backgrounds for clarity's sake.
- Take shots at different angles. A static position will not give you the best shots. So, taking shots at different angles will offer various options when choosing the best pictures.
- Do not use an already built-in camera flashlight. When you use built-in camera flashlights, the light falls directly into the object. Most likely, this will affect the image quality.
- Pay attention to the little details like fingerprints, specks of dust, stray objects and vibrations.
Related Article: 6 Must-Know Types of Product Photography for Your Ecommerce Business
To Sum it Up
The best DIY product photography centres on having the right items. These items will include a camera, a light source and a background. In this article, we discuss how to combine these items to take the best pictures of your products.
Always remember, DIY product photography is simple and straightforward. Follow our tips in this article and you produce the best DIY product photography shots.
Here at Style Photos, we can help you out by providing the equipment you need to take the pictures. Contact us today to rent advanced photography equipment for your DIY photos!