DIY product photography tips for small businesses

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Little Jones winter range of leather prewalker newborn baby and toddler boots


Getting beautiful content for your business, whether it’s for your online store, marketing material or social media, is not always the easiest task. Here’s some tips if you’re keen to tackle your own product photography, on the cheap.

  • The right equipment: You can use a smartphone, but if you have a DSLR (professional camera), you’ll get better quality images and be able to re-size them easily without them losing their quality. Plus high resolution images are essential if you’re planning on using your photos in printed marketing material. If you have a DSLR, practice using the manual settings (YouTube tutorials are your friend) and you’ll see a huge difference in your photos. Plus practice makes perfect. A tripod can also be a huge help, particularly when using a DSLR.
  • The right light: Natural light is key – artificial or direct light can cast shadows or make your photos too vivid and distort the colours. The ideal spot to shoot is next to a window, with full natural light. Lighting specific for product photography can be option if you struggle with light or if you’re using a product photograhy box/tent.
  • The right background: Light or white backgrounds will help to hero your product, but finding the perfect background is a case of trial and error. We use a semi-translucent white plexiglass board. It’s flexible, so it can be shaped to use both under the shoes and behind them. You could also buy a MDF board from Bunnings and paint it white, or simply use a piece of white poster board.
  • The right props: For small products, light boxes or tents or product photography stands can help and they aren’t too expensive (try Ebay).  Foamcore cards (from arts and craft shops) can also help to bounce light onto your products.
  • Styling your products: It can take a million shots to get the right angle that really showcases your products. Try shooting from above, from eye level or a distance with a zoom – you’ll soon be able to quickly, consistently and easily photograph your products with a little practice. Make sure you upload your photos to a computer and check the quality as you go. Keen to flatlay? Here are some tips on how to perfect your flatlays.
  • Editing: Once you have your shots, editing them is important. It can bring your products to life, fix any flaws or change the size or background colour to suit your needs. If you’re not so handy with Photoshop, try Pixc. Simply upload your shots and you’ll have them back within 24 hours, with the backgrounds removed and either re-sized or enhanced. Shooting with a smartphone? Make the most of editing apps to enhance, lighten, adjust the contrast or sharpen your images.

Rather leave it to the professionals? We totally understand! Beck, of Always and Forever Styling is our go-to for styled shots. She offers very reasonable product photography and styling services, and a beautiful mix of product shots, flat lay and styled room shots. She even has a group/collaboration package where a number of businesses can join forces to share the cost of the shoot. You’ll walk away with 40+ shots, plus the opportunity to feature other businesses products and be featured in theirs.  Check out her VIP Facebook group to learn more.

Have any of your own product photography tips? Please share the love below!

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