When I first started taking product photos, I left my point-and-shoot digital camera on auto mode. While I had a sense of how I wanted to style my photos I had no idea that my lack of basic photography knowledge was holding me back.
I used less than five percent of the pictures I took during that first session. To satisfy your curiosity, I took more than 300 photos over a six-hour period! It was a redundant, frustrating and amateur experience.
I set out to learned the fundamentals of photography and found this resource very helpful. It does a great job of explaining, verbally and visually, the different factors that contribute to a great photo.
I also did something that was long overdue - I read my owner's manual. If your manual isn't on hand, visit the manufacturer's website for the on-line version.
Armed with a better understanding of photo styling and camera fundamentals, I created a product photography light box using materials I had or was able to purchase inexpensively. This blog is one of many resources with instructions on how to create one for yourself.
Here is a photo of the light box I made.
The light box was very easy to make and helped yield photos that were a bit better, but the complete set up including lights was more involved than I wanted to manage given several important criteria, one of which is to get things out of Nicholas' reach quickly.
I had an Ah-ha moment when I realized I could take photos in the master bathroom! It has a sky light and large counter space.
Here are pictures of my make-shift studio set up that I took with my cell phone.
When I want to take product photos, these are the steps I follow:
- Clean and dry countertop
- Gather items to be photographed
- Set up photo backdrop (white poster board or patterned paper)
- Set camera to ISO mode
- Adjust white balance as needed
- Select macro mode
- Set up tri-pod
- Select two-second timer mode
Stay tuned for the third and final installment of the product photography series, which will discuss my experience with photo editing.
Here's a comparison of a raw image and an edited one.