I started my business with the aim to support small businesses to become the next generation of global brands. I do this as a photographer and content creator for my clients, but also by sharing my knowledge every day in Facebook groups. One of the most common questions I answer is how to take better product photography. So today, I’m sharing my 6 tips to take good product photos for Instagram.
I might be biased, but I truly believe in investing in good product photography. You don’t need top of the line photography, but taking the time to create content is hard and shooting beautiful images, when it’s not your expertise, makes it even harder. Your images are a reflection of your brand and your products. So they should be as good as your product itself.
Now I understand that not everyone is able to invest in a photographer or that sometimes you just need to snap a picture. Our smartphones, nowadays, have the capability to capture high-quality images when done in the right circumstances. These tips will guide you into taking good product photos for Instagram.
Lightning is everything in photography. To anyone who’s stating I always recommend working with natural daylight. The best light is when the sun is still close to the horizon, so early morning or just before sunset. Around noon the sun gets too hot making the shadows and highlights too intense. It also makes you lose texture in your images.
Have the light come in from the sides. It’s the best way to show the texture of your product and at the same time have the shadow fall nice on to the side of each item. Front lightning makes a product look flat and backlighting can cause glares.
If you feel that the sun is not enough to cover the scene/product, then use a bounce card. A bounce card is basically a white foam board that you place on the opposite side of the light. You can also buy a reflector online. They are quite inexpensive. The light bounces onto the card and lights the scene while at the same time softens the shadow.
Probably the biggest mistake product owners make when taking images is putting the focus on the wrong place or having a shaky image. Smartphones can automatically place the focus in the right position but using a (D)SLR can be more difficult.
When taking a picture hold yourself steady and make sure the focus lies on the item that needs to be in focus.
3. Styled & Lifestyle
Styled and lifestyle images are pretty much necessary if you want to have good product photos for Instagram. Styled and lifestyle shots get much better interaction than clean product photos.
Styled images are images where props are carefully placed while lifestyle images are actions shots. You need a good balance between these two. It educates your audience on how to use your product and what values your brand represents.
4. Composition & Angle
The difference between a photographer and someone who just takes pictures is often in the composition and angle. Most people will snap a picture from the angle they’re standing. Instead, be more mindful of the point of view and lower yourself if needed.
The majority of the beautiful images you see on Instagram are edited. My biggest tip when it comes to taking good product photos for Instagram is to always edit your images the same way. Editing improves the image and also brings consistency to your feed.
Use a mobile app like Lightroom CC to edit your pictures. There are also filters you can purchase or grab one for free to edit your images according to your brand style.
Remember that your images are the first impression one would have with your brand. Put your best foot forward and should your audience who you truly are.