With so many people having side hustles, blogs and websites – it is more important than ever to make sure you have the right tools for the job – but what happens when you’re on a budget with a job to do? Product photography can make or break a product launch, and if you’ve been called up to the plate, you need to knock it out of the park.
Light is one of those things that you need to get right. If you can’t afford reflectors or lighting kits, you can set up a reasonable kit with LED lights, and homemade reflectors.
You can make a reflector in a pinch like this:
- Grab some aluminium foil and some card. Wrap the foil around the cardboard, and use to reflect light from your light source to where you need it. Once these have been made, you can, of course, use them over and over again, and they can give some excellent results.
Ideally, you will be shooting in soft natural light, which is arguably better for every type of photography. Here are a few quick tips:
- Outside for soft natural light
- Diffuse light using a blank piece of white paper over your light source
- Avoid using the cameras inbuilt flash whenever possible
- Your mobile phone torch can help to lighten up dark spots – use a tripod to help keep it steady
Image from https://gratisography.com
Backgrounds with the right color and patterns can make a product pop. If you don’t have the funds to have countless backdrops or high-priced vinyl boards, then you can pick up swaths of materials and gorgeous wholesale fabric to make your own.
Making your backgrounds:
- Select your fabric swatch, pick the card size you want, trim the fabric to be slightly larger than your backing board. Hot glue the fabric in place – et voila – gorgeous and budget-friendly backgrounds.
Great background ideas:
- Faux brickworks,
- Wooden panels
Editing. Editing is something that you sadly cannot skimp on. What you can do is invest money wisely in the top-rated editing software. Pay close attention to the saturation, the clarity and dust or marks that have appeared while you’ve been shooting.
Context is king, and sometimes a product is going to look better in a lifestyle shoot, sometimes it is going to pop on the fabric background from earlier. Either way, you need to be prepared. Rather than have to spend out on models for the lifestyle shots, ask a few friends if they wouldn’t mind helping you out.
Remember the buyer. While you are spending time setting up the shoot, looking at the angles, the light and everything else – remember the critical person is the end buyer. Try to think about buying the item yourself, what type of detail would you want to see? Is there anything that makes this product unique? What can you show the customer to clinch the sale?
Have fun, photography – while a fantastic hobby, and occasionally a reasonably lucrative job, it takes a while to get some of the expensive equipment together. In the meantime don’t be scared to have fun and experiment.