Product photography can be tough, especially if you haven't done it before and you need to sell something on Craigslist or Ebay. Odds are pretty high that you can't afford to spend 10k for a day in a product photography studio, and you might not even have a DSLR handy for capturing high quality images of that lamp you are trying to get rid of.
Below are some tips and best practices for taking stunning tabletop product photos with your iPhone 6s.
Grab That iPhone 6s.
When it comes to technical specifications, its tough to match the iPhone 6s in a smartphone. This thing rivals point and shoot cameras from 3 years ago, and is versatile enough to handle just about anything you can throw at it. These are the specs you are going to be working with:
- 8-megapixel iSight camera with 1.5µ pixels
- Autofocus with Focus Pixels
- ƒ/2.2 aperture
- Optical image stabilization (iPhone 6 Plus only)
- True Tone flash
- Five-element lens
- Hybrid IR filter
- Backside illumination sensor
- Sapphire crystal lens cover
- Auto image stabilization
- Auto HDR for photos
- Exposure control
Step 1: Make your backdrop
A backdrop is required for web based product photography, but it doesn't have to break the bank. You can use nothing more than a sheet of off white paper, or you can purchase a mini seamless and lighting kit on amazon for about $47 dollars. Pixelz has a great tutorial on how to set up a mini studio like the one shown in the image above.
Step 2: Find A Well Lit Table
In general, you want to find a table next to a window that gets plenty of natural light. This will compensate for the fact that you don't have thousands of dollars worth of professional lighting equipment. If you're getting a lot of glare or it's too washed out, try hanging white a sheet over the window to diffuse the light, or try moving the table a little bit further away.
Step 3: Grab a lamp
Try to position your product so that you have natural light coming from the side, and a lamp lighting the product head on. Again, if the lighting is too harsh, use a pillowcase or sheets of paper to diffuse the light. The key here is to try to minimize the amount of shadow you see on the backdrop with the position of the lighting.
Step:4 Stabilize the image.
This one is the no brainer. Blurry photos might work well for an artistic lifestyle shot, but people need to know what they are looking at when it comes to product photography. You can check out amazon.com for a lot of mini tripods, or you can use something like the MonoShot, which is super versatile and includes a wireless remote so you can capture images without touching your phone. This ensures the phone is as stable as possible, and will lead to better photos. Another cool hack is to use the earbud controls as a photo shutter.
Step 5: Choose an iPhone lens (optional)
If you have the budget and want to get really fancy, there are a lot of mini lenses that will take your iPhone photography to the next level. Moment’s professional iPhone and Android smartphone lenses are probably the best in the game right now, and were recently funded through Kickstarter, just like us. In addition to the telephoto option, they will give you the ability to shoot Macro shots, so you can get even more detailed photos of your products.
Step 6: Start Shooting
Once your product is displayed nicely, you want to start firing away and capturing a lot of different angles. Try different heights, different orientation, but make sure you have a checklist of your "must capture" angles. Odds are likely that a lot of a lot of these photos will be garbage, but the ones that make the cut will make up for them.
Step 7 Editing.
Apples new Photos app actually offers quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to editing photos, but for a little bit more functionality, look at an app like VSCO cam. By editing the exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, and sharpness, you're going to end up with a lot better photos.
Above all, take your time with this stuff. Preparation is essential for great looking product photos, and having high quality photos can be the difference between somebody purchasing your items, or going with somebody else's.