The secret to succeeding in e-commerce is making an excellent first impression and one way to achieve that is through product photography. When creating listings for your products, using a white background makes a huge difference in terms of how the item is perceived by your customers. This is because product photos convey a message to your audience about the finer details that usually can’t be described through words or product information.
Product photography is essential for both on-site and off-site marketing, which is why you want to nail it down using a simple, white background. In this article, we’ll be discussing how to create good product photography that will leave a good first impression on your customers.
Basic product photography equipment to use
You don’t need expensive equipment to create stunning product photos. In fact, all you need are these 5 basic tools to set up your white background appropriately.
- Lightbox – A lightbox is a translucent box that allows concentrated light to pass through. This is where you’ll place your products and take pictures of them. You can get a lightbox with built-in LED lights or ones that just come with the box itself. If you want more control over your photos, choose a lightbox without built-in lighting.
- Shooting table – Next, you’ll need to set up your lightbox over a shooting table. This can be anything from a table, a chair, or any other flat surface. If you’re using natural lighting, make sure to place your shooting table near a window to better harness the light source.
- Lights and bulbs – If you don’t have access to a natural light source, you will need to invest in clamp lights and bulbs as these will serve as your primary source of lighting.
- Tripod – A tripod is essential for any product photography as it provides consistency on the lighting, angle, and distance of the photos. A good tripod should have a height and orientation adjustability with a payload that’s enough to carry the weight of your camera.
- Camera – Lastly, the camera itself. Most professionals use a DSLR camera for their product photography, but if you have a smartphone with an excellent camera, then you don’t need to invest in a DSLR camera just yet.
How to shoot photos using a white background
Now that you have all the equipment needed for the product shoot, let’s discuss how to set everything up and use a white background to its full effect.
Step 1: Lighting
The first step is to pick your lighting. Most professional photographers use natural lighting because it’s easy to incorporate and is readily available. It does take a bit of a learning curve to master so for beginners out there, using artificial lighting is recommended.
Take at least 3 clamp lights and place them on the top and the sides of the lightbox. From there, position an LED bulb at the front of the lightbox. This will act as the key lighting to your whole setup. Play around with the light angles and the distances of the bulbs to get even distribution of lights and shadows.
Step 2: Set up your white background
Take your white background material of choice (a white bounce card is ideal) and set it up with a sweep. This means the background has a sweeping curve and doesn’t sit at a 90-degree angle inside the lightbox. What this does is create a seamless background for your products that will look 10x better than having a flat corner.
Step 3: Set up the product
Once the lighting and background are in place, it’s time to set up your product. Place the product in front of the lightbox, making sure it’s positioned before the background’s sweep. You’ll know you’ve positioned the product right when you start taking photos after everything is set up.
Step 4: Set up the tripod
Using a tripod is crucial for maintaining equal depth and focus in between your shots. It’s much easier to move the product than adjusting the camera position which can affect lighting and shadows. Set up the product at least a metre away from the lightbox and make the necessary height and angle adjustments. Once the product is directly in focus, it’s time to start taking pictures.
Step 5: Start taking photos
With everything all set up, you can now start taking photos of the product itself. You can get away with taking product photos by leaving the camera settings on auto mode. But if you want more control, you can adjust the white balance, shutter speed, and aperture according to your preferences.
Start with taking front-angle shots of the product. From there, move the product around to highlight key features or designs that you want the customer to see. Take photos of the item from the top, the sides, and the bottom. You can also zoom in on the product to give the customers a closer look at the textures and the materials used on the item.