Product Photography: The Ultimate Guide to Product Photography
You've probably seen the results of product photography many times whether you look at a clothing catalog or Amazon.com. Flipping through a magazine, every advertisement uses product photography. If you want to open an online business, you need photos of your products. You could hire a professional photographer to take them, but chances are that you don't have the money when just launching your company. That leaves taking the pictures yourself.
That might sound scary, but you can easily learn the basics of product photography. Both eBay and Shopify provide tip pages that help their sellers get started. You can easily edit your photos in PaintShop Pro. In this ultimate guide, we'll cover the equipment you need, the setting, and how to set up your product for the best photographic results.
What is product photography?
A form of commercial photography, product photography, presents a product in its best light, angle, and shows important product features. Product photography uses sharp camera focus and solid, white background materials to reduce the need for editing. Commercial photography consists of lifestyle photography, fashion photography, and product photography.
While you now know about product photography and probably have seen fashion photography numerous times in magazines, you might ask "What is lifestyle photography?" The term refers to a type of product photography that features the product in a photo of an individual or group in a scene that looks as if it were captured like a snapshot. The photo seems to depict an actual moment from a person's lifestyle that happens to contain the product.
As mentioned, Amazon uses a strict set of criteria, so much so that photographers coined the phrase Amazon photography. So, what is Amazon photography? It refers to professionally shot product photos that meet the exacting Amazon criteria for inclusion on its website. This includes requiring a 1,000- x 1,000-pixel photo in red, blue, green (RBG) using either a .JPG, .TIFF or .GIF file format. The product must fill 85 percent of the frame. Following these specifications lets the users access the zoom tools Amazon provides.
Creative product photography tips
Rather than bombard you with product photography tips, we'll keep this short. The two most important aspects of product photography include the equipment and the room in which you take the photographs.
Equipment essentials consist of a camera, tripod, foam board bounce cards in white, a white background, a table, and non-glare tape. The term bounce card refers to a small card that bounces or reflects the main light in a room onto the surface on which the product sits, thereby reducing shadows.
Concerning the room in which you shoot the photos, you need a room with a window that allows lots of natural light. This can save you from needing to use portable lights or spotlights.
The best settings for product photography depend on the camera you use. You can start with a nice smartphone that features a high-quality camera and a built-in flash. If you use a 35mm camera, shoot in manual mode and save your photos in RAW file format. Depending on the manufacturer of your camera, this varies. Shooting in natural light, you should use an ISO setting of 200 to 800. Shooting against a white background, you can use an f-stop setting of 4.5 to 7.1. Shooting in medium light, you can use a medium shutter speed, but in low light, you need to use a slow shutter speed with a tripod and a shutter release cable.
Use PaintShop Pro to edit your photos
PaintShop Pro offers many editing techniques that can improve your photos. Even if one setting ends up a little off, you can fix it in PaintShop Pro.
Fix lighting mistakes
Create patterns in the lighting by adding diffusers in PaintShop Pro.
Alter the background
Perhaps you shot against a cream-colored background, but you needed an all-white background. You can use PaintShop Pro to change the background color.
360 product photography
You can assemble in the software many product photos from various camera angles. This provides a 360-degree product view that lets consumers examine the product up close and view it from all angles as if they could pick it up and examine it in a store.
You may not have the money to pay fashion models to wear your clothes, but you can still have great photos of them that seem as if someone wore them by combining frequency separation, masking, and layers. Photoshop Pro lets you blend two photos – one of someone wearing the photo and another of just the top of the shirt, but inside-out. You edit out the model's limbs, then blend the inside of the shirt onto the neck of the shirt the model wore. You get to keep the look of the garment being worn but don't have to pay a fashion model to pose for the photos. You can have your sister or mom wear the shirt since no person will see their face or limbs.
We hope these creative product photography tips and ideas for photo editing help you get started with your product sales pages. Opening an online store can bring your brick-and-mortar business increased sales. You will need amazing photos of your products though. Get started by downloading Photoshop Pro from our product page. We provide a free trial, so you can experience our helpful software firsthand.