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Photography shortcuts

Did you know you can use your smartphone for product photography? Smartphones are so sophisticated these days that you are able to photograph professional-looking images in the comfort of your own home. Most new phones are able to capture all of the details of your products in their full glory, due to their excellent photography capabilities. Many phones are now equipped with special features to enhance your photos, in addition to their high quality cameras. Professional-looking indoor photography is all about making full use of the tools and resources at your disposal. Smartphones make the whole photography process pretty easy. All you will need to take professional-looking product images at home is: a smartphone with a decent camera, a source of natural light, a table, chair or similar, and a backdrop. Here are a few tips for getting the best results:

  • Choose the highest quality or resolution setting that you can. This will give you the best image possible to start with, and you can reduce file size when you edit.
  • Don’t zoom in, because digital zoom deteriorates the picture quality. If you need a close-up shot, just move in close to your product.
  • Clean your camera lens. Any dust, dirt, speck or smudge on your lens will be very noticeable.
  • Turn off the flash. Rather use natural lighting.
  • Don’t over edit. Always be aware of over editing. Remember, less is more (product images should not look like Snapchat images).

 

Photography set up

As mentioned in our article about how to take the best photographs, natural lighting is usually best. This is typically done next to a large door or window that allows a lot of light into the room. If the light is too harsh, you can diffuse it by placing a cloth or white paper over the window. If the shadows are too harsh, use white plasterboard or cardboard on either side of the object, helping to reflect some light and soften it. It’s always best to shoot when the day is at its brightest, giving you more light to play with. Keep in mind however, that you should never photograph products in direct sunlight – you will be left with unclear products that have harsh shadows. Once you have found your source of light, simply place a table or a chair next to it, and place a backdrop. The backdrop can be placed over the table or chair if you would like the surface of the furniture covered, or the backdrop could be placed behind the furniture. A white background for main images is preferred. The backdrop itself can be a roll of craft paper or a large, clean sheet. Try ensure that the backdrop is as smooth as possible and doesn’t have any folds, creases or shadows – the backdrop should be curved, which is called a “sweep”. The easiest way to achieve this is to attach the craft paper to the wall or the chair, then allow it to naturally unravel onto the floor. Now, all you have to do is carefully place your products and photograph them!

 
home photography set up

home photography set up

Tip: Another option is to use a lightbox (also known as a light tent or macro photo studio), which is a box-shaped photography accessory with translucent walls, that allows all sides of your product to be illuminated. This is what many professional product image photographers use as it gives your product a crisp, clean, high contrast look. They can be bought fairly inexpensively online, or even created from scratch.

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