If you are a photographer and want to expand into product photography or are an e-commerce seller and are looking to do in house photography this is an intro to product photos that you can take anywhere with a small budget. For this tutorial my setup is a small cutout of seamless white paper taped to a wall and bench in my home, my camera, a remote mounted flash with F-stoppers Flashdisc on a stand, and a mini figurine of Soundwave from Transformers.
As you can see this is a very barebones setup that yields great results for simple e-commerce work.
Generally white paper is the way to go when you take product photos but keep in mind if you are shooting something reflective, clear, or white in and of itself, you may want to choose a different color.
The key to product photography is to center your item in frame so it takes up the majority of space. Amazon for example requires its photos to take up at least 85% of the frame reduced to pixels dimensions of 1000×1000.
Once you’re set up with background, item, and lights/camera it’s time to shoot. Again for this instance I’m using my camera handheld with an f of 2.8, shutter speed of 1/50, and ISO at 100 since I’m using an off camera flash with Flashdisc.
You want to take straight ahead photos of the product capturing the item in full detail and then capturing small details of the item as well. In this case here is a full version of the product.
Using any editing software you could bring out the highlights of the item and create a perfect white background. If your edges are crisp you can simply use the Magic Erase tool in Photoshop, erase the background, save the file as a .PNG or flatten the image for a pure white or transparent background. As you can see, the item is taking up the majority of the frame and looks appealing to a possible consumer.
If you can pose the item or take photos from different angles to showcase what the product can do then go for it. You want to give your audience or customer base more of an incentive to buy what you’re selling OR your client photos that will convey that message.
Here is the item from a different angle showcasing a bit of motion.
Another thing to keep in mind is taking detail shots of whatever you are shooting. This means that you don’t have to capture the whole item in frame but specific details of the item that would fill up the frame and intrigue the viewer.
If you have a new item or want to show a teaser image this is also the way to do it. You’re not giving away all of what you are shooting and it will increase viewer interest. This is a very straight forward and no frills approach to product photography. Of course sometimes these shoots can get more elaborate and complicated and that’s why you should practice, build a portfolio, and take more challenging work as time goes on.