Simple solution to taking better product shots

Aug 20, 2010


My friend recently opened up an Etsy shop and wanted to know how to take decent photos of her journals.  She has a SLR digital camera, but her pictures were turning out dark.  This is a common problem that many encounter when taking product shots indoors.  The solution to brighter photos is relatively simple, and quite affordable!  Here's the advice I gave my friend:

1.  Take pictures by the brightest window.  This can change depending on the time of day.  Set your product within a few feet from the window and at a height that maximizes the light.  You don't want direct sunlight, however, coming in through the window. 

2.  To soften shadows and reflect the light coming through the window, use a tri-fold foam board (about $5 in a general store).

3.  For a white background, place a white poster board (non shiny side up) under the product.

4.  You'll most likely need to stand on a step stool or chair to take a product shot from overhead.

5.  With your camera on automatic, snap a picture and assess the light in the photograph.  You will need to adjust the shutter speed setting in manual mode if the white background looks blue or gray.  (The blue in your photographs can also be due to your white balance setting.)  

6.  After uploading your photographs, you may have to do some tweaking of photographs with a photo-editing program.  At the least, check the levels and make sure that the right arrow meets the right edge of the curve.

3 comments:

Charissa said...

Cathy - brilliant! I've been getting these shadows in my shots from the bright So. Cal sun and didn't have any good ideas for a simple way to bounce the light. I hate going to Michael's but I think a trip is warranted to check out the tri-fold foam boards. Thank you.

Galit said...

These are great tips Cathy! Thanks for sharing!
I thought I knew how to take good products photos but found these very helpful and new to me (Especially the 2nd & 3rd)

Chrissy Foreman C said...

I just did a short photography course which taught me how to use this technique too. Had made such a difference to my photos now! Yay!

You're the best sharer! :)

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