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July 9, 2019 | Posted in blog

If you run your own business, chances are you want great-quality photos for your website, social media posts and marketing materials.

But sometimes a limited budget means that you aren’t yet able to hire a professional.
So in the meantime, here are a few tips to help you take better photos of your products:

Using your smartphone

Make sure you familiarise yourself with your phone camera.
– Higher megapixels means better quality and more detail.
– Autofocus: Tap the screen whilst in camera mode, to see how the picture brings the area you want into focus.
– Exposure meter: Play with the slider (usually with a lightbulb icon) to see how the scene is affected, by making it lighter and darker.

Lighting

NATURAL LIGHT:
Lighting is perhaps the MOST important contributor to a great photo – look for natural light coming from one direction.
You will want a decent amount of flattering highlights, (but not direct sun) and a good amount of shadow (without being too dark), to give your subject dimension and make it pop.

INDOOR LIGHTING:
Avoid overhead indoor lighting, as this will give your photo an unnatural colour cast, as well as making the image look flat.

FLASH:
Using the flash on your phone or camera can bleach out the foreground, and create harsh shadows behind your subject.
So unless that’s the look you’re going for… I personally would avoid it.

Background

Here you can get creative – it all depends on what you are photographing.
What you WILL want is a little bit of contrast, to ensure your subject doesn’t blend into the background.
Contrast can be introduced by using colour or texture, so get creative:
– Brick Wall
– Wooden Cladding
– Counter Top
– White or Dark

Here is a great instructional video, where he uses a cookie sheet (or baking sheet), as a really effective background, giving the resulting image an urban, grungy effect.
(And, he’s really funny…)
So play with different backgrounds and see which you prefer!

Composition

ANGLE:
Choose your angles wisely – shoot multiple angles and close up details.
For example, get down low and shoot from the same angle as your subject.
Then shoot from above, otherwise known as a “flat-lay”.

DON’T ZOOM:
Get in close – digital zooming decreases picture quality, so get in close and frame your subject with equal space around it.

FRAMING:
Get it right in camera, rather than relying on editing and straightening to “save” it later.

Editing

USE AN APP:
Snapseed is a brilliant photo editing app, and it’s FREE.
Familiarise yourself with the different options it provides to enhance your photo – but be careful… It’s really easy to go too far, and overediting may spoil important detail and texture that makes your product so appealing.

Here are some branding images I took for Essentially Cara – notice the use of different angles, as well as where the light and shadows fall.

Would you like more information on Personal & Branding Photography for your business?
Feel free to call, email, or Whatsapp - I'd love to hear from you.

Yes please, I'd love to chat!

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