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Product Photography for Beginners – How to Get Great Product Photos on Your Own

A photo for a blog about product photography for beginners, taught by Jay Ashcroft of four32 Media, a professional videographer, photographer and marketing specialist who works with businesses in barrie, orillia, muskoka and toronto and the rest of North America

So you’re an artisan, a creator or a designer. You’ve created your own pieces of work, whether it’s jewelry, clothing or footwear – and now you need to take photos of the product to sell.


Professional photographers can get expensive, so the natural first step is to consider just shooting these photos yourself.


This is product photography for beginners, and I’ll lay it out for you in 5 easy to follow steps, so you can get those products online and start earning a profit.


1.    Get a tripod. Even if you’re using your cellphone, you’ll need a tripod. It’s a non-negotiable. If you have a lot of product and you’ll need to obtain the same shot over and over again, the success of your consistency hangs on the tripod.


2.    Pick a background/surface. I’m going to ask you to spend just a little bit of money here. As you know, you need to spend money to make it – so just go for it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it in the low hundreds.


Do yourself a favour and get a small backdrop system. You can buy these at your local camera store, or online if you want. Choose the paper roll setup. Pick a colour (I recommend white, grey or black) and go with it.


3.    Buy some lighting. Now, more than ever, you can get reasonably priced video lights with ease. Refer back to my blog titled lighting 101 for videos. This will still apply to taking these photos.


Having professional lighting will give your product photos a consistent look, and will help with the issues that natural light can cause.


4.    Get organized. Set everything up and get ready to go. Let’s pretend that you’re shooting jewelry. You’re going to get a table and set it up in front of the paper backdrop. Pull the paper down onto the table and tape it off in place – use some sort of clamp up on the roll so it doesn’t come undone on you.


Put your pieces in the order that you want to shoot, and make sure you label them. Do this on a separate table surface. Make sure your phone has everything deleted off of it and that you have enough memory to save all of these photos.


Set up your tripod and lighting. Shoot some test shots and get a look that feels nice to your eye. This means playing around with the angle and composition as well as different lighting combinations. Don’t be shy, and follow your gut.


5.    Start shooting – and don’t forget to edit. Once you’re all set, just shoot them all. Make sure your phone is staying in the same position on the tripod, and do your best to mimic the previous photo that you took.


Be patient. This takes a long time, but your brand will thank you for it if you get them all right from the start.


Once you’re done taking all the photos, hop online and find some kind of editing app that you like. Read the reviews, watch some videos and decide which one suits you best. If you have zero experience in editing photos, then I would recommend choosing an app that lets you put pre-sets on the photos.


And that about does it. You know, taking your time with these and putting in just a little bit of effort can really help to make your brand stand out.


Get creative, be patient, and take product photos that represent how your product should make it’s wearer feel.


If you really want to get creative, then get some models in front of the lights, take the phone off of the tripod and get some shots of the pieces on people.


If you need a hand with this at all – even just an extra pointer or two – please feel free to give us a call anytime.


To Your Success,

Jay Ashcroft

four32 MEDIA


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