When it comes to taking your own product photos, you may think all you need is some light, your product and a camera (or your phone). While that’s true you need these 3 things, it doesn't mean you'll end up with a photos that will not only make your products look great, but get you the sales you want.
Back when I photographed my products for my Etsy shop, the results I was getting were nowhere close to some of the amazing product photos I was seeing in other Etsy shops. While my photos weren’t horrible, they weren't as good as I wanted them to be.
After lots of experimenting and practicing on my own, I now know the exact tools I should have been using back then to create beautiful product photos I so wanted.
If you’re taking your own product photos, here are 3 must-have tools you should be using to create product photos that attract customers and increase your chances in making more sales online.
If you have a tripod for your camera (or to hold your phone) and you’re not using it, use it! If you don’t have one, you need to buy one or see if you can borrow one. And I’m not talking about those little mini tripod stands that are under a foot. I’m talking about tripods that allow you to significantly raise and lower your camera. The more flexibility you have you have to adjust the height the better.
There’s a few reason tripods are a must:
- They stabilize your camera (bye bye blurry photos)
- You can easily swap your products out when photographing them
- Allows you to frame your photos more consistently
Let’s face it, blurry, unfocused, crooked photos look bad when you’re using them to sell your products. They don’t make your business look professional. In fact, they can give a bad impression when selling your handmade products online.
But using a tripod can provide you with stabilization you need, making it easy to adjust the framing of your photos without having to move your camera all the time.
Because who wants to have to keep picking up and putting down their camera when they’re taking photos? Make your life easier and use a tripod to take your product photos. You’ll wonder why you didn’t use one sooner.
2. Diffusion material
I’ve come across so many product photos on Etsy that would look so much better if only they had diffused the lighting.
While light is important, oftentimes you need to diffuse the light. It’s why you may hear you should take product photos (or even portrait photos) on overcast days. The clouds act like a giant piece of diffusion material to help diffuse the sunlight so you don’t get harsh lighting. It softens the light and makes for beautiful, even lighting.
Diffusion material could be anything from an actual diffusion panel (above) which you can buy online, an old white bed sheet, an old white t-shirt, tracing paper and so on that goes in front of your light source.
So if you're getting unwanted shadows and glare, try diffusing your light!
Is one side of your product looking dark? If so, a reflector can help with this. You can buy white foam core board and prop it up next to the spot you want to brighten up, or you can DIY this. Tape some white printer paper to a cardboard box and voilà, you have a reflector! This can really help brighten up your photos a lot.
Other useful items
- Books, boxes, canned goods - all make for great ways to prop up reflectors, backdrops, etc.
- Clothes pins, safety pins, clamps - great to secure or hang things, etc.
- Microfiber cloth, compressed air can - keep your space and products free of dust, finger prints, etc.
- Tape - great for taping up backgrounds, taping foam core board together, etc.
While there are more tools that can come in handy when photographing your handmade products, these suggestions can give you a good starting point the next time you go to photograph your products.
Do you use any of these tools when you photograph your handmade products? Leave me a comment and let me know!