When a customer lands on your ecommerce website, they judge your product quality and brand based on how your products look in the images. Product photos are one of the biggest decision-making factors apart from the pricing, and thus, you might want to have the best pictures of your products on display. A lot of people assume that it requires having a professional DSLR camera set and a skilled photographer for impressive product photography. But it is no longer the case. Smartphone cameras have evolved dramatically in the past decade, and the recent iPhone/Galaxy lenses can help you click jaw-dropping images. Today, I will share five smartphone photography tips that will help online sellers like you to skyrocket their sales. All you need is a dark room with a window, a mobile phone, and an affordable tripod. Dive in deeper to explore smartphone product photography tips.
#1 Use Natural Ambience And A White Sweep For Better Looking Product Images
When working with smartphone cameras, you should make the most of the natural ambiance. Mobile phone camera sensors are designed to work in a natural ambiance. It would be best if you click pictures near the window as it allows you to control the light coming inside the room. This also helps you control the angle at which light falls on your product. You should turn off the lights inside the room and make it as dark as possible to make your window the only source of light.
You should place the product on a table that can be moved easily. In most cases, photos are clicked by keeping the window at 45 degrees to give nice aesthetics, but you can always experiment with the angles and amount of light entering the room. All it needs to open/close the window a little bit and rotate the table.
Another thing I want the readers to make sure of is to use a white sweep. Now you will find the word ‘sweep’ being used a lot of times on photography blogs, and it simply means a background for your pictures. You will find that a lot of premium products are placed against a white background, but you can go with other shades for your sweep as long as it adds visual appeal to your images. You can use white cardboard as your sweep. Just sure it is flawless and faces the light at the right angles.
You can also go for outdoor photography, but that would again make things difficult for beginners. Indoor product photography is much easier to start with, and it keeps you in greater control.
#2 Use A Good Photography App That Allows Manual Control
You might be happy with the results you are getting with your built-in app but when it comes to product photography, get yourself a professional photography app. There are many reasons for getting a pro camera app. Firstly, your stock camera saves images in JPEG format, which has lower resolution and leaves little room for editing. Also, it doesn’t allow you to control the photography parameters like exposure, ISO, or lock focus. Your stock camera app adjusts these settings automatically, which is good when capturing random moments, but you should definitely get manual control for the product.
With a professional camera app like FiLMic Pro, you can control every detail of your shots. It supports eight different aspect ratios, displays an exposure histogram, allows you to manually control focus, exposure, shutter speed, and ISO settings, to name a few. Also, you can export your images in RAW format. In RAW file storage format, the image data isn’t processed by the application and contains all original details captured by the digital camera’s sensors. Thus, a professional camera app will prove to be an asset, and it also reduces your work when you sit down to edit the images.
#3 Experiment With Composition
Composition in photography is the arrangement of various elements within the frame. For product photography, you just need to use some of the basic composition skills. Focusing on the object, i.e., your merchandise, is a must. Smartphone cameras are excellent at blurring out the background, and it helps the users focus on your items better. Have a look at the below image:
Another popular composition rule used by product photographers is the rule of thirds. Basically, it divides the frame into three equal parts in both horizontal and vertical directions. The object is placed at the conjunction of two lines at any of the corners or along with one of the vertical lines. This technique helps guide viewer attention in a way that your product looks trustworthy. In television interviews, the interviewer and the interviewees are placed in the same area to help them look authoritative, a trick they have been using for decades. Have a look at the below images to understand how the rule of thirds is used to click product images:
You can also use the Golden Spiral, Leading Lines to set the rhythm, balance, and proportion correctly.
#4 Keep Your Product Labels Clearly Visible
The first thing you want the users to see in your product is the label. You can keep your product labels clearly visible with the help of the right focus point and a suitable background. When you are taking the shot, keep the focus on the label, and most of your job is done. Also, you should go for a background that doesn’t distract the viewers. This will help click great images for product listing. Also, try to highlight the branding areas of your labels because showing barcodes won’t be a wise thing since users aren’t going to scan them for inventory management purposes. Keep the angle of capturing the image and the illumination to avoid any glaring. You can also use these tips for shooting your merchandise in environment shots. Below are a few examples of clicking product label oriented pictures:
Also, I would like to add a few things: the distance of the object from its background determines the viewer’s ability to focus. The bigger the distance, the easier it is to focus. Unlike other types of photography, using the color wheel for creating contrast isn’t popular with product photography. Here’s a still from Joker (2019):
As you can see, the cinematographers use the colors from the opposite sides of the circle wheel to give a rich visual experience:
But in the case of clicking images for your products, having identical colors in the background is extremely popular. The below images shows how an identical color scheme works exceptionally well for showcasing the items you sell on your online store:
#5 Get Yourself A Mini Tripod And A Lightbox
It may sound too technical for smartphone photography, but you should invest in a tripod. Most of the product photography is done from close proximities. Thus, even little shakings in your hands could bring down the image quality significantly. A tripod helps stabilize the picture and helps you take sharper images. Like proper cameras, tripods are also available for smartphones, and you can easily order one online. With a tripod in place, you can focus better on the technicalities such as setting exposure, focus, and ISO.
Lightbox is yet another accessory that adds a professional touch to your pictures. A lightbox is used to illuminate the object, and it has translucent sides to allow light inside the box cavity. For most of your shots, placing your prop near the window works fine, but using a lightbox helps show different object profiles. This gives excellent results for products with multiple edges. You can also make one yourself by watching DIY videos on YouTube. Here’s how the results look:
One of the main reasons online sellers should shift to smartphone photography for ecommerce website listings is the short yet faster product life cycles. Getting your products photographed at a professional studio or getting a photographer to click images at your office/warehouse is both costly and inconvenient. Combining this with the modern camera sensors in mobile phones makes them a great combination for online sellers. I hope you find these tips insightful for displaying your products at their best in 2021 and beyond.
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