Professional product photography for home décor: Basic tips and main rules

Professional product photography for home décor: Basic tips and main rules

20 September, 2021
Professional product photography for home décor: Basic tips and main rules
Today, when you want to buy a figurine for an office or for your bedside table and start searching online, you will be offered thousands or millions of different options. Home décor is a highly sought-after niche of goods these days. In the old days, porcelain figurines were passed down from generation to generation, but now, the range and quantity of products sold have increased enormously.

Of course, it is more convenient and profitable to sell these goods in online stores. Therefore, we decided to cover the topic of professional product photography for home décor items: vases, figurines, paintings, textiles, candlesticks, etc.

Tabletop photography for Instagram and other social media. What is it, and how to create perfect images?

This new genre of photography has become popular because of the development of social media. Think about how often you post photos of food on your Instagram account. Food photography is tabletop photography, and you are a tabletop photographer. Now, Instagram is one of the most powerful trading platforms. All well-known stores and brands have accounts on there. Therefore, tabletop photography (and getting it right) is of tremendous importance to online sellers of home décor.

Here are a few simple rules to help you capture high-quality, beautiful, and eye-catching photos for your online audience:

A powerful composition is vital in this genre of photography

Think about how to position the items you are photographing to present them in an interesting and eye-catching way. You should have a general idea, interesting logic, and concept in mind. When taking your photos, remember one of the main rules: the largest object should not be in the centre of the photo but on the side (it can be in the upper or lower corner as well).

Prepare the product so that it looks as presentable as possible

This is important: wipe off grease and dust from the figurine, candlestick, or candles you are going to take photos of and place them with their more favourable side facing the camera. If you do not plan to use your photos as commercial photos, you can skip this tip: artistic photography works better if the objects are slightly worn.

Prepare the correct lighting for the subject

Please note: tabletop photography works well with soft shadows.

Avoid filters

Many photographers use filters, especially for social media, but filters are not required for tabletop photography. Your clients want to see how your product looks in reality, so do not use filters like Retro, Matte, or Sepia.

How to photograph highly reflective objects

If you are a sculptor or designer and want to take professional product photographs of home décor items you have made, you have a challenging task, as these items cause glare and require specific lighting. Regardless of whether you are photographing glass, metal, or crystal figurines, vases, paintings, or photographs in frames - all of them can cause glare in photos. Glare means that bright spots are present in the images. Also, the rendering of the colour of an object or painting depends very much on the lighting you use. If you own an online store, then this will be especially important for you. For example, imagine that you deliver to your customer a painting in which the colours differ significantly from those shown on the product card. This is a legitimate reason for the customer to return the item,  meaning additional costs for your business.

Using glass objects as an example, we want to tell you how to take photos correctly, without glare.

There are several lighting schemes for photographing glass products. You will capture the most compelling picture when the light source is behind the subject. The reason for this lighting setup’s effectiveness is that light passing through a transparent object emphasizes its crystal clarity.

Step # 1. Set-up the light source.

Position the light source behind the subject so that the light shines through the glass. Find the correct position of the source and/or the product so that the light emphasizes the subject’s contours.

Now, you should soften the light. To do this, fix white translucent sheets of paper in several layers or cuts of fabric in the space between the light source and the object. Complete the structure with foam panels: place one under the item to be photographed and the other two on the sides of it. If you are photographing in a professional studio, you already have the desired white background and the accessories required to soften the light.

Step # 2. Set-up your camera.

Choose the appropriate white balance value from the camera menu for the light source you are using. For example, if you choose Flash mode, you will remove unwanted blue tints from your photos. If you are unsure of the setting to use, set the white balance to “Auto White Balance.”

Step # 3. Process the photos.

Fortunately, backlighting will hide many of the imperfections on the surface of your piece, which will save a lot of time during the processing step. However, if you can see fingerprints on the glass surface, use the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop to get rid of them. The next steps are first to desaturate and then whiten the background. Taken together, all these small “strokes” will create the perfect product image.

To avoid glare on porcelain figurines, they should be photographed against a dark or neutral background, with soft lighting, and at a certain angle. The best option for them is a 360-degree photo.

Professional product photography for paintings

Every artist wants to share their work, show their art to the world. But it is necessary to show your drawing correctly and not spoil it with a flawed, low-quality photograph. Sometimes you see fascinating and beautiful paintings and illustrations, but poor-quality photos, poor lighting, or the wrong shooting angle have spoiled the presentation of the artworks. So how to properly photograph your painting? Here are some guidelines to follow.

Take pictures in good light. Colours are highly distorted when taking photos in hard artificial light. And also it is better to avoid direct sunlight and take photographs in diffused light, using special light heads like those used by professional photographers.

Take pictures using optimal camera settings. Before photographing a painting, make sure you set the optimal camera settings. In addition, the final image must have a high resolution. Also, be sure to keep the lens clean, so there are no fingerprints on the glass, as they will be visible in the photo.

Choose the best angle. Before photographing a painting, make sure you choose the best shooting angle for the subject. Shoot completed works at a 90-degree angle, that is, parallel to the surface. However, the camera can be at a lower angle when taking photos of your process, workplace, or stacks of sketches for profile meshes.

Create beautiful compositions. Before photographing a painting, you need to stock up on props: beautiful tassels, pebbles, shells, twigs, flowers, and/or contrasting pieces of coloured paper - in short, anything and everything that fits the theme you are creating. For example, if you are fond of fashion illustrations, magazines, fabric, and lace, beautiful tubes and palettes will come in handy. Fans of botanical paintings like to put a real object next to the drawing, as it is interesting to look at the two together. It is better to lay out more objects than fit into the frame. You will always be able to crop the excess when correcting the file. Remember that the props should not distract the viewer from the work, so place them at the edges. However, there are exceptions! If your picture is in a large format and detail-rich, it is better to shoot it without props and against a simple background.

360-degree photography: the best option for home décor items

When you photograph decorative elements either for Instagram or a product card for online stores, the best option for vertical home décor items is 360-degree photography. This type of photography allows a potential buyer to view the object from all sides as it spins. We are confident that you agree that this is the ideal option!

360-degree photography  and tabletop photography in Toronto. Product photography for any online store

Our team of professionals can take pictures and videos of any home décor items for you in our studio in Toronto. Product photography is what we have been doing professionally for a very long time. You can order both tabletop photography and 360-degree photography for any product. You can bring the items to our studio yourself or send them by mail. High-quality photos will be ready in 3–5 days. Alternatively, you can take the pictures yourself by renting our special unique photo machines created according to the latest technologies: they already have the necessary lighting, ISO, and other parameters set. You can take many photos in a matter of seconds and immediately send them to social media platforms or yourself via e-mail. Call us or send us an e-mail, and we will answer all your questions!

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