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How to photograph your products yourself
with little or no equiptment
Sunlight is wonderful an bright so you don't even need a tripod, but one would help.Soft cloudy hazy light is best so either shoot in the early morning or late afternoon so the sun is low in the sky. Noon is a no no. Of course you will need to figure out what times are best for you. you can always turn your table to improve your sun lighting. Direct sun is good too as long as it is low in the sky. low lighting equals drama. Use your big silver reflector to fill in the shadows by putting it on the opposite side of your product. The reflector is more important for dark objects than light ones. Move it around until it looks good, it sure would be nice if you had an assistant. If not, you can rig it up with duct tape. Now if you live up north this will be a problem in the winter months, rain and wind are also a drag. this can be set up indoors too. try to use a corner with white wall and ceiling, you only need light from one direction as the wall will act as a reflector. I like to use a big window and a reflector it always comes out soft and dreamy, it's the most romantic lighting of all, don't shoot facing the window make your setup so you're shooting side light from the window.
Before the shoot group your products in logical groups and then into size groups. Start shooting the largest ones first and work your way down in size. moving your light or reflector closer in as they get smaller. it's a lot quicker to photograph same size and styles like an assemble line. Place your product near the front of your makeshift shooting table usually at a 45 degree angle so you see a little bit of the front and side, I like to shoot at eye level to the table or slightly higher. First take a few test shots to get the exposure down. you can shoot everything on automatic especially if it has exposure control, most all digital cameras do. Just shoot a +1 and +2 and a normal exposure. the reason we don't shoot a -1 is because the light gray or white paper will fool the camera a little. take a few shots then experiment with different angles and lighting. remember it's always better to under expose than over expose.
The nice thing is you can see if the exposure in right
by reviewing the pictures .Shoot tons of picture as it does not cost
a thing. One of reasons I like to shoot on a light gray is the product
or catalog page will always look very clean and professional. if you
want more color add it to the graphics and page layout. Hiring a graphic
designer will also improve your photos just by using a good layout for
your catalog. And remember good photos help sell a product for sure
but words are more important when it comes to making the sale. Good
product descriptions and catchy headlines will do the trick.
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