Taking Product Photos
Taking Product Pictures
Product pictures for your small business web design are extremely important. To take good quality pictures, you should invest in a few simple items and use them for all of your pictures.
1. Background Mats
Go to Staples and buy two 20 x 30 inch foam display boards, commonly used in sales booths and office presentations. Choose a medium grey (works for all) or perhaps dark blue (unless your product is blue). White may not be a good choice because then the brightest part of your picture will likely be the background.
Prop up one board vertically against the other which is horizontal. Now you have a grey bottom surface to place your product on, and you also have a grey background.
2. Buy a Professional Setup
If your budget permits, you can buy a complete table-top shooting kit from suppliers such as Jessops. The setup will include a pair of light sources, a light shed (into which you place your product), or a light table.
3. Product Positioning – Use a Tripod
You should use a tripod. The lens should be at the same height as middle of the object. If you hold the camera in your hand, one picture may be focused on the top, one far away, one too close, one to the side, etc. You want product pictures to be consistent.
Mark the exact spot on the bottom mat where each product should be placed, then take your pictures. This way, pictures of three products that may come in different colours come out exactly the same except for just the colour.
Do NOT tightly crop the picture. The product should be in the centre of the frame with some background colour visible on all sides.
5. Product Lighting
You should use fairly intense lighting on your subject. This forces the camera to use a small aperture so that all portions of the product are in focus. To get started, you can buy two identical halogen desk lamps with 50 watt bulbs (or equivalent if using LEDs). Higher intensity light sources are better because your camera will use a smaller aperture and give you more depth of field. Place the light sources on the left and right sides of your product at about 60 degrees from the front.
Use a diffused light source for better results, as it eliminates harsh shadows. To do this, just place a sheet of printer paper in front of each lamp, holding it in place with clothes pins.