Every month I have the pleasure of hosting an online meeting with the talented group of people who make all the wonderful items that you see on the site. During our meeting I do a very quick lesson where I share 5 tips or tricks related to a topic that interests them. This is meant to be a very quick overview with basic information where hopefully someone learns something. I love to help other creative types so am making these lessons available to everyone, hopefully it helps you.
One of the topics that just about every one of my vendors asked about was product photography so that is where I am going to start.
5 Tips for Taking Good Product Photos
I should add that I am not a professional photographer, I am merely sharing some of what I have learned over the years I have run Thea-Bel.
1. Lighting - This is so important as you want your photos to be bright and not have shadows. There are two types of light; natural and artificial. If you are using natural light you should set up beside a window during the brightest part of the day (I like to do my photos on Sunday around 11 when the light is nice in my dining room). If you are using artificial lighting I would recommend using some sort of light box (you can buy one or check out the web for lots of tutorials on how to make your own).
2. Background - Stick to a solid colour that doesn't distract from your item. White is the best to use unless your item is lighter in colour and then I recommend a darker background (I love using my dinning room table as it is dark wood).
3. Photograph all Angles - Take more than one photo of your item. Capture it from the front, back and sides. You may also want to take a close up picture to show off the stitches or pattern. If multiple colours of your item are available make sure you photograph each option.
4. Show Size and/or Usage - If you item is meant to be worn, wear it. Take some time to look presentable (I try to dress in black and make sure my hair and makeup is done) and then pose against a light wall. Make sure you smile or have a relaxed expression on your face. If your item is something you use, try to show it being used (example; for a phone holder you would want to see a phone sitting in it so that you can visualize how it looks). Size can be deceiving so including a photo with something to indicate size is helpful. For example adding a quarter beside the item is a great way to show size for smaller items such as earrings.
5. Consider the Cost of The Item - A lot of the items on Thea-Bel don't retail for a lot of money. While photographs are very helpful please remember that they are only one part of the puzzle. We want good photos but at the end of the day we want to make money and time is money. If this is an item that you will be duplicating multiple times it makes sense to get the photos right (and maybe invest by hiring a professional) however if this is a lower price point item that you will never make again it isn't worth spending an hour getting the right picture, in this case take a few minutes to set the stage, take your photos and then move on.
Bonus Tip 6: Use Medium Quality Images - By all means use your fancy camera and take high quality images but then make sure you lower the quality if you are planning to post them online. Most social media sites have a max size and no one wants to wait for your website to load due to images being too big.
I hope you enjoyed these tips. I will be back with another short lesson next month.