How to take great product photos with your phone

Investing in quality product photography is one of the most effective ways you can increase your visibility and sales from the web. Good product photography will enhance the perceived value of your products and increases the credibility of your business – but it doesn’t need to break the bank.

Before we go on, firstly, ask yourself this question:

‘Have you ever gone to a shop, walked into a clothes shop and purchased a new coat without trying it on?’

I would image the answer for most people would be ‘no’. With online shoppers, it is essential that the seller provides a virtual ‘trying on’ experience.

When shopping in an ‘actual’ shop environment, customers can pick a product up, feel its weight, try it on and give it a squeeze but when in a ‘virtual’ on-line shop, customers don’t have the same sensory experience as the real thing. This is why using fabulous product photography is so important in swaying a potential buyers purchase decision to buy your product. Your images need to give them an experience as close to “real life” as possible – where are the pockets, what size is it, textures and details?

For many smaller businesses, the price of a regular professional photoshoot to update product lists can be prohibitively expensive but you can do a certain amount yourself with a few pointers.

1. Embrace your smart phone camera – many modern phones are 30mp quality (or more) with wide-open apertures perfect for product photography with slightly blurry backgrounds. There are also excellent powerful photo editing apps to download.

2. Consider the composition – keep the image simple to highlight your product but try eye-catching compositions to draw attention to your product. Take a trip onto ‘Not on the High Street’ if you are an artist or a business similar to yours to see if they have any ideas you could develop. You will definitely be inspired. Have some fun looking at some of the very worst, most off-putting imagery as well – just be sure that this isn’t from your own site…

3. Improve clarity of your image – absolutely no blurred images – this is essential for customers who want to zoom in and see detail. Smartphone tripods and remote controls are widely available and help in capturing clear images. It is possible to purchase macro lens’ for smartphones for a few pounds, these are very powerful believe it or not! If you are getting continually blurry images then a) clean the lens on the back of your phone! b) move to a place with more light.

4. Cropping – crop in close and focus on product but remember the closer you crop into an image then you will start to loose some picture quality especially in low light situations. Try to fill the frame as much as possible so you are only cropping of small amounts.

5. Colour – be true to the actual colour, do not over saturate or go retro! Customers will expect the product to look pretty much like the image and returns are best avoided. Check the image colouring on several devices – your laptop, ipad – colour changes subtely between devices but make sure nothing looks unrealistic – unless that is your intention.

6. Consistency – edit consistently so people become familiar with the look at atmosphere of your business. If you are a country-based product then keen with a country look – natural stone or wood as background. Editing should be considered as light, subtle, gently enhancing day make-up not full on evening slap!

And finally…

Invest in the time to have fantastic product images showcasing your business to the online customers. Do not forget to watermark your images so if they are ‘shared’ others can find where they may buy such an item. Always use quality images if you are posting onto social media – this can have a big payoff.