Selling products online (and at all) can be a daunting task. From beginning to end there are countless decisions to be made about your product. What will the product be? What materials or ingredients will you use? How big will it be? How will you package it? What will you name the product?
Once you move into the online world there can seem to be even more decisions to be made. One that can be the scariest for some is product photography. Selling through an online medium like Nasbie means convincing consumers of your product’s quality without being able to hand it to them to physically prove it. This is where product presentation comes in.
If you’re new to Nasbie here’s a quick rundown. We are the online marketplace that eats, sleeps and breathes local. Our priority from day one has been to make shopping local online so easy it becomes a consumer’s first choice. When our partners sign up to sell their products on Nasbie they create their own personal shop where they can upload whatever products they want, whenever they want.
Uploading product photos can be stressful. These few images have to represent your product and all of the love and effort that went into creating them. That’s a lot of pressure. Here are a few tips for beginner photographers (or business owners with an iphone) to jump start your product photography and give you a leg up in the online selling world.
- Your iPhone can do a lot!
Just because you don’t have a fancy camera worth hundreds of dollars doesn’t mean you can’t successfully take photos that wow! Also- let’s be real- that camera on your cell phone technically did cost hundreds of dollars. Let’s use it to our advantage.
From regular photo settings to portrait mode, there are a lot of opportunities for success using a cellphone camera.
Experiment with different settings on your phone. IPhones have the portrait mode setting, which can be really effective in studio shots in reducing backgrounds that might distract from your products. Test out different focuses, up close or zoomed out. Your iPhone can really be your best friend.
Extra tip: This might sound silly but… wipe off your camera lens. Every. Single. Time. As much as it might look just fine, our phones are in our hands all day. You can’t always see the buildup on your lens and screen. You’ll thank yourself when it comes to the editing process.
- Lighting, lighting, lighting!
The flash on your camera nine times out of ten won’t highlight your product the way you want it to. Lighting is everything. Like Tyra Banks said on America’s Next Top Model, follow your light!
Whether it be overhead kitchen lights, brighter lights in your bathroom or just the natural light outside, go to it. The more light you have, the clearer your products will look. If you’re really banking on a specific spot for your background and the light isn’t giving you what you need, steal a phone or two from your family and friends. Have them turn their flashlights on and experiment with holding them from different angles. Ideally you would have two sources of light coming from the left and the right side of the camera lens to create a softer setting. Hold one slightly higher and the other slightly lower than center to help eliminate unwanted shadows.
- Background choices.
Say you do move to a location with better lighting, how do you choose a background? A minimalist background is an easy and effective way to achieve professional looking photos at home. Whether it be a blank wall, a granite countertop or an extra slap of wood you have lying around, the key is to work with your product, not against it. Experiment with what works best for your product. Does your product need to shine on it’s own? Use some spare white cloth or white paper as a background prop outside. Think a natural background might compliment your work? Use the world around you!
Here’s an example from one of our newest partners, Blushing Wren. This is one of their uploaded product photos highlighting their breakfast blend tea. The use of the cloth behind the photo adds some texture without distracting from the product itself.
This photo from It’s Seasoned was actually taken by a Nasbie photographer during one of our very first free photoshoot sessions. This picture was taken in an apartment kitchen with only a few small windows in the area. By creating light and reflecting it off the white background, the image has a soft glow. One of the keys to this is the fact that the background of the image is completely unfocused. The only focused part of the image is the main product.
Another important thing to notice here is the angles! While the It’s Seasoned products are shot from a head on angle to highlight the label, the Blushing Wren product uses a bird eye shot to highlight texture and space. Play around with your angle’s to see what highlights your product best.
We know product photography can be a scary task to conquer. The sheer pressure of it all can be enough to make you want to throw in the towel. When you break it down and start from the basics, hopefully it can become a more manageable task. You already have your amazing product. Now you just have to help your customers see how great it really is.