Product Photography in Your Pocket

Anyone who runs an online store of any kind knows that fantastic product photography is one of the great secrets to increasing sales. It’s been proven over and over again that great product photography entices consumers to spend more time on your site and often is the difference between someone clicking ‘buy now’ and clicking away to another site while they continue to deliberate. That’s because good product shots give people a clear idea of the quality of what they’re buying.

Excellent product photography is essential for catalogues and magazine layouts.

Anyone who runs an online store also knows, unfortunately, that getting great shots of your products can be a challenge. Whether for your website, a catalogue, or as canvas prints on the walls of your office or shop, it can be expensive to hire a professional to take photos of your product line, and very few of us have a spare photo studio to do it ourselves.

Guess what? You don’t need a studio. You can take spectacular product photos with just the smartphone you have with you right now, a desk lamp, and a few sheets of paper.

Your smartphone is equipment enough to produce stunning product photography.

The Studio in Your Pocket

A caveat: Yes, we just said you would need just the smartphone in your pocket or bag, but we should amend that to say a decent quality smartphone. For example, if you bought a low-end Windows phone that doesn’t have a flash, your camera is probably not good enough to take great product photos with. If your smartphone has at least a mediocre camera built in, however, you should be good to go.

How to Take Great Product Shots

Let’s get straight to it. Here’s how you can take some amazing product photography with just your smartphone:

  1. Clear off your desk or other workspace, and cover it with some black material – fabric, paper, whatever you have.
  2. Tape a sheet of white paper over your desk lamp. This will soften the light.
  3. Place your product on the desk or workspace. You can either place it on the black material, or layer something else to act as the background – choose something appropriate for your product.
  4. Manoeuvre your desk lamp so the light hits your product completely, illuminating the edges and details nicely.
  5. Use other sheets of white paper to bounce the light as needed. This may take some experimentation. You can also use secondary light sources (with paper in place to soften) to get the right mix of shadows and illumination.
  6. Snap your photos. A tripod or other stabilising tool can make this much easier.

It's easy to set up a makeshirt product photography studio at home.

It’s that simple, really. It will require some trial and error to get the correct balance of light, shadow, and framing, but after this initial period of adjustment you should have no trouble getting a series of incredible photos of your products that will of high-enough quality for your walls, your print advertisements, or your website. Once you’ve got the perfect set-up, it’s simply a matter of swapping out the products without changing the position of the lighting or the lense.

And if you do decide to put some glamour shots of your products on the walls, click here and we’d be happy to take care of that for you!