If you don’t have the funds for a professional product photographer, you can take a DIY approach to photography — as long as you have the right tools.
Good product photography is the key to successful advertising, marketing and selling. It’s the key to getting more shares on social media, as well as earning more customers in your online shop and/or brick-and-mortar store.
But what if you don’t have the budget for a professional photographer? Is it possible to DIY a product photoshoot in your office or even at home? For instance, if you are an at-home jewelry business, is it possible to shoot glitzy photos of your products without hiring a professional jewelry retoucher?
With the following tools and techniques, yes it is.
Tape Measure + Lazy Susan
Who would have thought that a product you can find on Amazon proves to be an invaluable tool for product photography? A lazy Susan also serves as a turntable, which can help you photography images in a 360Â° setting. Another way to do this is to use the Lazy Susan to capture videos of the product from all angles.
Use a cloth tape measure to stick to the bottom of the lazy Susan with a white card on the surface. Face the product in front of the camera, take a photo and then spin it for 0.5 cm for every shot. This gives you a smooth turning photo people can properly look at.
Shower curtains are affordable items with a variety of uses. In terms of DIY photography, drape the PVC shower curtain on an upside-down table to create a light box. The PVC doubles as a diffuser, which creates a soft and even light. You can also drape the shower curtain in front of a window to diffuse the natural light.
You can’t just any shower curtain, however. Buy a white and clean one because a patterned shower curtain may give you patterned shadows.
If you don’t know which backdrop to use, you will never go wrong with glass. This clear background offers a reflective surface, which makes your shot more detailed. It can also work with almost any product that you use it with.
Glass backgrounds also work with any colored card, reflecting the shade. If you have sheets of glass, use them all.
White cards are indispensable tools for professional and DIY product photographers. A good piece of white card can be used in different setups. For example, it can provide a clean and white background for your products. If the sheet is big enough, you can also use it as an infinity curve. If you feel as if space is lacking in fill light, use the card to reflect light back onto the product.
Whether you’re using a DIY light box or natural light, a reflector bounces light back into the scene. If you use just a light, it can create harsh shadows. If you don’t have a reflector, use a white card or tin foil to reflect the light.
Natural light is still the best light for product photography. There’s plenty of it and it’s free. Plus, natural lighting provides a cool muted feel in the morning and a warm flow in the evening. If you want to add texture, use a window with frosted glass. It will give your product softer lighting.
Use your homemade reflector to diffuse the light coming in. This will bounce the light back, which eliminates harsh shadows.
GIMP is a free photo editing software that can help you clean your background, correct your white balance and make other changes. This software also enables you to add text to your image. It also comes with plug-ins created by other users.
These tools will work well with the top tool in your DIY photography toolbox – your camera. If you don’t have a DSLR, that’s OK. You can always point and shoot with your phone, too. These tools can help your product photos look as if they were shot by a professional – no matter what your camera is.