October 22, 2018

Product Photography DIY Setup

As a product based business owner, photos of your products are crucial for your business- photos to showcase on social media, for your website or online store, and/or to display in your retail space. Addressing the question, “If I can’t afford a professional photographer right now, can I take my own photos?” Yes, you can! If you’re not a photographer or don’t have the eye of one, no worries. I’m going to share how to boost your phone-tography skills to get a consistent look for your brand with techniques I implement as a brand photographer. (I highly recommend for your website you budget in professional photographic services at some point though). 

  1. Gather all of your products and styling props together. You’ll want to stay as organized as possible so you’re not scrambling around the house trying to find things. I recommend you keep a bin of styling props and use the same on-brand props every time.
  2. Find the light. If you have a big window in the house, it’s best to set up in front of that. Avoid shooting at night, you’ll want as much light as possible if you don’t want to buy studio lighting.
  3. Set up a flat surface. If you’re shooting mainly “flat-lay” style, invest or use a flat surface. A piece of wood board on the floor or a table work just fine.
  4. Reflect the light. All you’ll need for this are 3 white foam core boards. You’ll want to surround the area so the light bounces and evenly lights your products without any weird shadows.
  5. Take the photo. Try different angles- do one shot from above or get closer for a macro shot.
  6. Edit the photo. You don’t need an expensive editing program for phone-tography but you will want to use the same filter to give your photos a consistent look. Instagram filters and adjustments work just fine. If you’re going to post on more than one platform, look into another editing app such as VSCO where you can save the edited photos and share them.

This is the most cost efficient setup and will give your brand consistency across all of your social media platforms. The key to professional looking social media is consistency. These are just a few tips to get you started before you hire a professional. Good luck! 

Here are a few ideas for great flooring/backdrops and props on a budget:

  • Use plain or patterned wrapping paper or poster board for different colored backgrounds.
  • Use blankets and other material to bring more texture into the photo
  • Home Depot and other home remodeling stores have flooring you can buy in separately (typically no more than $5 for a single piece).
  • Amazon has cheap vinyl backdrops you can reuse over and over.