Looking for simple ways of taking product photos of high quality on a low budget? Making your own catalog or opening an online shop? Below you will find everything you need for taking incredible product photos at home.
There is no need for you to waste funds on bulky equipment or outsource workers to give your shop a trustworthy look and an increasing client turnover. Just study this simple guide on how to take pictures of products professionally on a low budget.
The quality of your item photos is essential for your site rating and for the customers as well. Does that force you to purchase a pricy DSLR to achieve that or is there a way of how to take great product photos with a phone?
DSLR product photography
Phone product photography
Certainly, even a good phone camera is no strong competitor to a professional camera with a high-quality lens when it comes to the tiny details. A product photography camera can be used for more genres and the different changeable lenses can play a major role in taking product photos of different sorts of items.
The bigger camera lens also influences the amount of detail in dim lights or shallow depth of field. Nikon D7200 would be a good choice.
However, if you’re not yet thinking of how to take product photos on a grand scale, like for glossy magazines or advertising billboards, you can consider investing in your smartphone, which also has its advantages. It is cheaper, easier, more convenient, the picture quality is also good, and photo editing is possible straight away.
Huawei P30 Pro will be perfect for this.
Talking about lenses, there are no special requirements. If you have a 50 mm lens, it will provide you with good shots, but you will have to get far from the product to take a cool picture. If you’re wondering how to photograph products close up with a phone, use special lenses.
You may be bored by the idea of setting up a tripod, but since you’re wondering how to take product photos on a low budget, this is one inexpensive, easy to use thing to make a huge difference in the clarity and quality of your shots.
A tripod is a small stand that will eliminate your hand shaking and allow your camera to be more stable. It will help any camera remove some blur and is essential when you learn how to take professional product pictures.
A tripod is definitely a must-have if you want to do a 360-product photography, which is impossible to create without a tripod.
TIP: To reduce the risk of getting blurred photos even further, I recommend you use a wireless remote.
Create a seamless product photography background in order to give the impression of an endless empty space behind your product in the photo. For white product photography background, you can buy a ready-made roll of white cloth or paper at a nice price, or you can do it yourself.
It only takes a roll of white material wide enough and some clamps to attach it. Lay your material over a big table and pull it up a few feet until you can clamp it to something.
TIP: A white background is a classic that always works, but one key when you are figuring out how to take good product photos is to not be afraid to experiment with interesting backgrounds. For example, if you are photographing jewelry, try placing it on a tile of polished granite. Another option is marble or wooden background.
Natural light is great, but if you try to take photos on a white background using only sunlight, you will see how cheap and terrible it looks. It works only with lifestyle product photography, but we are talking about a photo on a white background.
So why spend extra time on photo retouching when you can simplify your work with artificial product photography lighting. A great idea is to create a product photography DIY lightbox.
Option #1: DIY Product Photography Lightbox
For this you need a cardboard box, where you will have to make holes on top and on the sides. Stick the paper but make sure it is pure white. It is essential to avoid hard diffused light when using very powerful lamps. See my Home Photography Studio Tutorial.
Option #2: Professional Lightbox
If you’re only interested in how to take product photos with the least effort, you can just buy a lightbox like this.
With its help, you won’t have to worry about lightning, the tape and the paper background. I recommend the Fotodiox or Amazon Basics. The size 20x20 will be enough, if you are not going to shoot large products. Among the main advantages of the lightboxes are built-in lighting, fast adjustment, as it is equipped with velcros and additional backgrounds and the reasonable price about $80.
Learning how to take professional product photos, remember that you aim to take the highest quality picture, and it requires different settings in different circumstances. Any photo can be compressed, but it means that the quality will become worse.
TIP: As for product photography camera settings on your phone, it’s very important to avoid using digital zoom, the built-in flash, and various filters if you don’t want to spoil photos. Check out more camera settings for product photography.
The question of how to take product photos includes also cleaning your product as smooth as possible in different ways. Such small imperfections as dust on computer screen or lint on the clothing may ruin perfectly composed shot and raise doubts about the purchase.
For example, jewelry can be cleaned with the baking soda, the shoes with a brush, and technical equipment with special cleaning substances. You should also use latex gloves not to leave greasy prints on the surface of the products.
TIP: Do not forget to clean not only the product but also the lens of the camera or phone before shooting.
When trying to find out how to take product photos, you need to note that the surface is of great importance. That is why the shooting table should be smooth, stable and clean.
Note that small objects can move, so it's a good idea to attach them, for example to glue or tape to keep them fixed. You also need to make sure that all your objects will get the necessary amount of lightning avoiding overexposed or dark areas.
If you use your smartphone for taking product photos, what you really need is a photographer app. No doubt, the built-in app is not so bad, but it has a very narrow range of settings.
Usually it’s difficult to adjust the aperture, ISO, precise focus, white balance, so you have to purchase or download product photography software for shooting. Let’s find out what are the best apps to help you understand how to take product photos.
After you found out how to take product photos and took perfect shots, you will have to take care of making them retail-ready for the eCommerce store. You have two ways of retouching product photos – outsourcing or retouching photos yourself.
Outsource Retouching Services. It is definitely more expensive than doing everything yourself, but time is money, and you will be able to save a lot of hours. FixThePhoto service, in this case, will be a perfect option for you. The average price for such photo retouching is about $2. It will be done by experienced photo retouchers, qualitatively and quickly, so you will only have to shoot the products and simply upload the images to the service.
Your Own Photo Retouching. Before retouching the photo, yourself, read the requirements of the website on which you are going to show the goods. Then go to Photoshop and do clipping path, cut your object out on a white background, remove all small motes, fingerprints, and glares. Mind, if you have dozens of photos or need to change the product color, it will take more than several hours.
All the e-commerce product photography services are well-aware of this simple trick – to achieve a stylish look on your website, the images should have the same backgrounds. All the pictures should preferably have the same photo editing style.
Lifestyle product photography is very helpful for potential customers to visualize the products in the context they were intended for. Depending on what the object is, capture it in use or worn by a person. If it’s plus size clothes – photograph plus-size models wearing them, if it’s a blender - photograph somebody making a smoothie with it.
Come up with creative product photography ideas to evoking positive emotions that will make a person more willing to buy the product. Let’s say it’s a family car – then try to capture a happy family preparing for a road trip.
If you really want to stand out from the competition – go an extra mile and take 360 product photography. This is especially helpful for complex products that have many details.
A great idea on how to take great product photos is taking reflections into account. It`s a great way to give some depth to a photo. Use mirrors for this purpose or even well-polished objects, or metal surfaces.
How to take product photos which show all the details of the object? You need to shoot from different angles. Take a few photos, change the angle and take a couple more pictures. Diversity is especially important in product photography since a customer wants to have the opportunity to examine it from different angles.
Pictures will be more interesting if you change the position of the camera. You can shoot objects from different heights, showing all features, details, texture.
There are many product photography ideas on how to take product photos creatively. For example, to make your shots more interesting try to purchase special props for product photography. You can buy them on Amazon or use ordinary things like fabric.
Try these beautiful presets, actions and overlays to make product shots more attractive to customers and simplify your picture editing process.
This preset won`t give your Amazon photos extra yellowish or blueish shadows or dark edges. Instead, it will help you make colors purer and brighter, giving your photos realistic and natural look.
When taking pictures of products on a white background, you may get deep blue shadows. This preset is great to enhance for such photos, making wonderful editing in soft and warm colors. It returns natural look to colors, so they will become more realistic and convey the full sense of the image.
It is perfect for beginners who have not yet got the hang of adjusting contrast, saturation, and exposure. It will help you add more natural and vibrant colors while preserving their natural look.
If you want to emphasize the main advantages of your product, but are afraid to overdo – this action will work perfectly for you. It will return all the peculiarities that your camera has missed, making your shot more cheerful.
This is one of our best overlays when you need to bring a soft warm mood to the image. It will create a gentle touch of yellow shadows in your image. This is a great universal overlay since there is nothing superfluous that can spoil your shot.