Why I stepped up my product photography game
Images create a perceived value. If your images are poor quality, badly lit, and not styled well, then that is what people will automatically think about your products or services and your brand - regardless of how amazing you may be. People judge your expertise by what they see. Your images say a lot about your products. High quality images will portray high quality products. It's as simple as that.
A key element of your brand is your imagery, and it is important to extend that all the way to your product photos to best showcase your work. Over the past several months, I have been working to improve my own product photography to match the perception I wanted for my brand, and I want to share with you some tips on how you can too.
Learn how to use your camera
You don't have to have a big, fancy, exensive camera to take high quality photos of your work. It is possible to even just use the camera on your phone. The key is learning how to get the most out of the equipment you have so that you can get those amazing images. Take the time to learn about your camera and it's features first. When I finally gave myself a little time to learn my camera, it did wonders for how my photos turned out. It was much easier to get the clear and light images I was after once I learned how to do it with my camera.
A couple of weeks ago, I scheduled a photoshoot day so that I could pull out all the products and props I wanted to shoot and get it all done at one time. To make things run smoother that day, I made a list of all the shots I wanted to get and the props I wanted to use. Planning ahead helped me to be more prepared during my photoshoot so that I always knew what was next. That doesn't mean I didn't go of of the list a little, but I had a general idea of what images I needed to get.
Make time to take pictures
Taking pictures takes time. You need a good amount of time to shoot and edit your photos. It's important to set aside plenty of time for shooting and editing so that you can pay attention to the details and get high quality images. If you rush through the process it will show in your images and you might not get the shots you were hoping for. Your time may be wasted if you aren't happy with the images and end up not using them.
When I set aside one full day for my photoshoot, I ended up taking two days but it was worth it. I took the time to go through the photos as I was taking them to make sure I liked what I was getting, and then I spent at least a half day editing all those images so that they were ready to use when I needed them.
Take Lots of Photos
You don't really know how your photos will look until you get them on the computer. It's hard to tell how it looks on the small square on the back of a camera. Because of that, I always recommend taking several shots of each set up so that you have plenty to choose from once you get them on your computer.
Style your work
Taking clean, clear, and well-lit photos will give you a professional look and show off your products. But take it one step further and style your work with added props to give it that extra special touch. Use props that make sense with your products and brand, and enhance your work. If you struggle with styling your images, there are some amazing styling workshops like the Dear Sweetheart Events styling workshop and The School of Styling that can help you to learn how to best showcase your products.
Work with a professional
If you don't feel comfortable taking your own photos of your work, you can hire a professional. I am a huge advocate of hiring a professional when you feel like you can't manage something yourself. There is no shame in having someone else help you with it - that is what they are trained to do. Find a photographer in your area that can help you style and shoot your work and give you professional images.
Use high quality styled stock photos
If working with a professional is out of your budget, using high quality stock photos will elevate your images and your appeal too. There a ton of amazing resources for high quality stock photos that you can use to showcase your products. Most shops offer a variety of color schemes and styles so that you can find one to match your brand. You can use these stock photos to overlay your product and automatically style your work.
The images you use say a lot about your brand, your quality, and your work. Be sure to use images that accurately portray those things so that you are putting your best foot forward for your potential customers. And remember to always stay true to your brand. Your product photography is just another extension of your brand and it's important for it to maintain your brand aesthetic and style.
Do you need to step up your product photography game too? Do you have any tips for improving product photography?