The other day I was shopping for new props in Etsy. I was looking for a letter board. You know - those bulletin boards with channels of black/gray/white felt that you stick plastic Helvetica letters into so you can write a clever pun?
Anyway, I was browsing Etsy to see all their options. Let me tell you. There are a TON of options. Everyone and their grandma are selling letter boards in all colors and sizes on Etsy.
In a competitive market such as letter boards, it quickly became apparent to me how much good photography will make your store stand out above the rest. As an online buyer, since I can't get up close and personal with your product to be able to inspect the quality and touch the merchandise, good product photography is now more important than ever.
Read on for the five things you need to perfect when photographing your products.
1 | SHARP FOCUS
An out of focus - or blurry - photo will lose you ALL the brownie points. Don't even think of posting any photos that aren't tack sharp. They're unprofessional and they hurt our eyes. This is truly a PSA. Please don't.
If you're prone to shaky hands or you live on a boat, invest in a tripod to eliminate the shakes.
2 | GOOD LIGHTING
Whether you shoot your products under a lightbox or natural light, good lighting is key. Your products need to be bright and visible. The details need to stand out. In the case of the letter boards, the lighting should show the channels in the felt.
You also don't want your photos to have too much light either that everything is over exposed. Get the exposure just right. And for the love of God, please turn off your flash.
3 | SIMPLE BACKGROUNDS
When I was shopping for letter boards, I pretty much skipped past any shop that had too many busy photos. I'm talking overly styled, poorly styled, and photos with unattractive backgrounds. A good product photo should showcase the product. That's it. Keep the backgrounds and props simple and minimal.
4 | WHITE BALANCE
You know what? White balance is hard to achieve. I still struggle with this from time to time, especially after staring at my computer for hours. But there are some photos that are obviously too yellow or too blue.
When perfecting your white balance, look at the whites in the photos. Make sure they're white and not ivory or gray. That's how you'll get them perfect.
5 | CONSISTENCY
If you're selling more than one product, it's important to make sure your product photos have the same look across the board. The lighting should be the same. The backgrounds should be the same. The styling should be the same. Get the picture?
This is important so the customer knows they are in your "store." When I click on the portal that takes me to your shop of products, you need to show me that I am absolutely shopping in your store. Not a store that carries a dozen different brands.
What do you keep in mind when you're taking product photos? What are some tricks that you use? Share them with me in the comments below!
If you liked these tips, there are plenty more in my new product photography eBook, Lifestyled Product | Creative Product Photography For Makers.
It's full of creative ideas on how to style and photograph your handmade products using inexpensive camera equipment and props. I focused the eBook on giving you all my knowledge and insider tricks on how to use props, advanced composition techniques and lighting equipment you already have to get those beautifully styled product photos that will attract your ideal customer.