As a small business owner, we often wear dozens of hats from chief creator, head tea maker, accountant, social media manager, customer services and of course; photographer! We didn’t sign up for all of them, we just signed up for candle making, or baking amazing cupcakes! But the love of what we do brings along a few of their friends and we approach each area with the attention it deserves.
However, with product photography, it can send shivers down your spine as it can be a bit hit and miss. It doesn’t have to be that way and I can help you break it down today. Here are some excuses, sorry I mean myths as to why you can start photographing your amazing products today!
1) You need a fancy camera. Whilst it would be nice to have the latest and greatest photography kit, it really isn’t necessary. Your smartphone is perfect to create the best product photographs that you require. Unless you are planning on photographing and printing in poster size up, then a DSLR is a nice to have, but not necessary at this stage. The images that you require for social media and online marketing require a low res file type; so you can even get away with a phone that is a few series old.
2) You need a full photography studio. Have you seen those huge studio lights on professional photo shoots? That are mighty powerful and intimidating! Of course, they are amazing things to have, but really if you are photographing occasionally, then really not needed. If you were constantly needing to create consistent images with consistent lighting, then quite possibly yes. What you need at a beginners level is 2 light sources. One being natural light on one side of your product and a reflector or light source directly opposite to bounce a little light back into your shadows. The best bit? It’s free! You can purchase reflectors for under £20 online, or get a cardboard box and cover one side with tin foil, that will help bounce light back in beautifully!
3) You need the latest Mac with up to date editing suite. You know that phone in your hand? It can edit photographs free of charge! The editing option in the Camera Roll (or location where your photographs are saved) are perfect for adjusting exposure, brightness and vibrance of colour. There are hundreds of apps available that all do different levels of editing; but at the moment, keep it simple!
4) They need to be absolutely perfect. Don’t let perfection stop you from sharing your content with your audience and making you money. It’s better done and imperfect; than not done for another day, week, month, year. When you get a moment, or schedule in your calendar to revise the content and update if you wish to change. The same applies to photography. There’s always something that can be changed to create better photos, however it is better to have a starting point and develop your images; that way you can see your growth.
5) They need to be on a white background. This is a half myth as it does depend on where your images are going to go. For some selling sites, you must have a clean, white high key background as the selling sites brand standard. You can then great creative with lifestyle images after this and placements of where you might find your product. Photographing a white background is difficult without studio lights, so do have a play and see what you can create.
6) Product photography is hard. It can be, but you need to be in the right headspace for it. It’s not the kind of thing that can be done in 5 minutes with no thought or planning. Create a time in your calendar and stick to it as you would with a client meeting. This is crucial for your online marketing and by having it as a meeting, you will treat it with the planning it requires. Once you know what you are wanting to photograph and in what style; then you will be able to knock it out the park every time.
7) You need to be really creative. Actually, it’s a formula, a process that you need to follow. The creativity comes later, to get the foundations first is what is important and that’s easily learnt. Understand your natural lighting for illuminating the subject, the environment to shoot in and the props you are going to use. The creativity and unusually styled images will get there, but for now it’s more about creating your basic style of images that you can be proud of.
I hope these 7 myth busters will encourage you to pick up your phone and create your product photographs that your business deserves!
Any questions, let me know in the comments or email [email protected]