6 Steps to DIY Photography That Sells

by Emily Retherford

2 min read

Your product photographs are the first impression that your customers get of your product and your brand, so it is vital that you take quality images that represent your items in the best light. Starting with quality photography equipment makes a difference, but technique also plays a large role in getting images to come out just right. With a combination of the right equipment, technique, and a professional approach, you can take DIY photographs that look professional and boost your small business product sales.

Buy Quality Camera Equipment

Choosing the right equipment gets you off to a great start. The Canon Rebel series is a good quality camera that has a low learning curve, making it a forgiving choice for new product photographers. Whichever model you choose, make sure you’re choosing a DSLR model, rather than compact, and that it is capable of autofocus, exposure changes while composing the shot, and image stabilization.

A list of items you need includes:

*A quality DSLR camera body*300mm+ lenses *Macro lenses if you intend to take detail shots*A tripod *LED stand lamps, at least two

Build a Lightbox

You can buy professional lightboxes or build one out of nearly any sturdy, white material. Poster board works well: it is thick, sturdy, and easy to cut and tape. Cut, fold, and tape your material into a three-sided, open-top, open-front box. If necessary, install hooks or cut holes for hanging your product on the back wall.

Illuminate Your Images

Position your LED stand lamps behind and to the side of your product. Avoid placing lights in front of the product, as this can result in distracting shadows. If necessary, place a sheet of white poster board to the front of the lightbox to direct any lost light back into the box.

Learn Vertical Centering

Vertical centering helps keep the image easy to look at, and it ensures the image crops appropriately when you need a square thumbnail. The bottom of the product should start at the halfway mark up the image. If your camera includes a grid display, it can come in handy for correctly positioning your image before you hit the shutter button.

Use Quality Photography Software

Taking the photo is only the first part. Next, it is time to adjust your photos in post-processing. Using a high-quality image manipulation program gives you a leg up. The GIMP is a good free-to-download choice, but Adobe Photoshop is the best option if it is in your budget.

White Balance Images

White balancing your image ensures that your whites are bright, your shadows are minimal to nonexistent, and there are no awkward dark or muddied areas in your photo. In most software, this option appears under the “Colors” menu, and may appear as an option called “Levels,” “Whites,” or “White Balance.” Move the white slider from the right to the left until the background of your image is completely white and the colors vivid.

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