5 Ways To Achieve Consistency When Photographing Your Handmade Products
When it comes to your product photos, consistency is really important.
When you present your products in photos with different backgrounds, different lighting, etc., it creates more work for your customer to make sense of who you are and your products. Your customer has to take extra time to process your photos and your product which is exhausting. Plus it can make you and your business look all over the place which is probably not the best look you want to give customers, right?
But not only does consistency make your business look more polished and professional, but it can also make photographing your products a lot easier!
What if the process of photographing your products was faster? What if you had a plan and didn’t have to stress over what you were going to do each time to went to photograph your products? What it the process of editing your photos was easier and quicker? Doesn’t that sound all awesome? And doesn’t the thought of saving time sound nice too? Yeah, I thought so!
So let’s dive into how you can be more consistent in your product photos!
Use a tripod
One of the best tools you should have when photographing your products is a tripod.
I didn’t use a tripod when photographing my products when I had my Etsy shop, but I should have. Now I always use one when taking product photos.
Why use one? Well for one, it keeps your camera stable so you don’t have to worry about shaky hands when taking photos.
And with your hands free, you can easily move, adjust and change out your products without having to move your camera. This will keep your product the same distance away from your camera each time which creates more consistency in your photos.
Plus, a tripod will also allow you to get longer exposures if needed too which is a bonus.
So if you’re not using a tripod yet, do it! You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a decent one so please be sure to get one. It will make your photography process a lot easier. Trust me!
Using the same background
When you’re shopping online, there’s usually a high probability that whatever business you’re shopping from that they’re using the same background on all their product photos. Why? For one, it makes it a lot easier to see the products. Two, it makes for a more enjoyable shopping experience for customers and three, it makes the business more recognizable to customers.
Not convinced? Imagine shopping online at Target and their product backgrounds are all over the place. Maybe some are light blue and dark blue. Maybe there’s one with a bright red background. Maybe there are few listings with a patterned green background. Can you imagine looking at a page with 30 different products with different colored/textured backgrounds? Your eyes will be wondering where in world to look and probably result in you just closing the browser window.
So if you’re photographing your products with different backgrounds, try and stick with 1 type of background instead. Not only will photograph your products with the same background make your brand and business feel and look more cohesive, but it will also save you having to think, “Hmmm, what background should I use for this product???” All you’ll have to do is grab the same background paper or go to the space where you photograph your products and get set up. No need to make any unnecessary decisions. Pick a background that makes your product look great and start photographing!
If you want to examples of a few Etsy shops that have decided to use the same background for all their listings, check out this blog post for added inspiration!
Planning out your shot list
When photographing your products, do you plan out what type of shots you’re planning on taking? If not, you should because it will make photographing your products much easier.
One of the mistakes I made when I had my Etsy shop is I never really thought out what kind of photos I was going to take of my products. I would randomly photograph each product and when I think I had enough photos, I’d move on to the next one.
But the thing was all my listing photos of my products were all over the place. They didn’t always have the same look and feel and I didn’t always capture certain shots of products so I’d have to go back and take more photos. It was annoying.
Had I planned out my shots in advance, all my listings would have had a more cohesive feel and look. Plus, it would have made me more focused on photographing my products and probably saved me a lot of time!
To learn what type of shots you should include in your product listings, click here to read the blog post.
Using the same type of lighting
How many different types of lighting are you using for your product photos? Are you taking photos directly in the sun on a cloudless day? Or maybe you’re sometimes taking photos indoors with natural light. Or maybe you’re *gasp* using flash for your product photos.
When you start using mixing different light sources in your product photos, it can make your products look different. Light quality varies depending on the source. With natural light, the time of day, the weather and time of year will make the light quality different. Artificial light can vary too.
So when it comes to light for your product photos, stick to 1 type of light. Don’t bounce back and forth between light sources. A product photographed in direct sun is going to look different than if it’s photographed under studio lights. Create consistency in your lighting.
If you’re using studio lights, use the same light bulbs and setup when you photograph your products. If you’re using natural light figure out the best time of day to take your product photos and do your best to stick with that same weather and space. The light quality won’t vary as much in your photos and it will make editing your photos much easier.
To learn how to get perfectly lit product photos, click here for a free PDF download.
Use presets for editing your photos
You might be saying to yourself, “Hey, I can use filters for my product photos?? YAY!”
No, I’m not saying that.
If you’re using filters like the way you do for social media, please don’t. Your product photos should accurately represent your product so don’t use filters that can alter the look of your product to customers. If you’re throwing off the colors of your product photos with filters, you’re misrepresenting your product to your customers which is a big no-no. So don’t use filters when it comes to your product photos for your website.
But when I talk about presets, I’m talking about saving your edits so you can apply them to other product photos. See, if you photograph your products with a tripod, the same background, the same lighting and so on, your photos should all visually look more or less the same. So when you edit 1 photo, you can save the edit settings as a preset that you can use to quickly edit the rest of your product photos. That way, you can upload your photos, apply the preset to all your photos which saves you a lot of time.
But again, this really only works if you are consistent with your lighting, background, etc.
Depending on the software you’re using to edit your photos, it may or may not be called a preset. In Snapseed it’s called “Look”, but in Adobe Photoshop, it’s called a “preset”. If you don’t know if the software you’re using to edit your photos has it, do a search and see if it’s a feature. If not, you might want to start using software that has the option to make your editing easier for your product photos.
By taking the time to think through your process of how you photograph your product, the more you’re able to make the process easier, quicker and hopefully save you some time.
What tip are you going to start applying to your product photography?