Humans are visual creatures. And, as much as we’d hate to admit it; appearance can be everything. The quality of a photograph can make or break the design and overall feel of your website. A great photo set prominently on a web page can encourage a visitor to stay on your website longer, have an overall better brand experience and be more inclined to purchase. When it comes to your website, visitors do judge your book by its cover.
Quality photography is essential to the appearance of your site; it highlights your level of professionalism while improving your credibility as a company. A poorly taken photo, in contrast, can make your company appear unorganized and unprofessional. Have no fear! We’ve come up with some simple tips on how you can easily take great photos of your products and practices for a higher quality customer experience and a better looking site.
Get the Right Gear
If you are unable to hire a professional photographer, the next best thing is to invest in a good quality camera and tripod. Not anything too fancy, an entry level DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera and basic tripod will do. A tripod will help stabilize your camera to help avoid blurriness that can come from certain lighting or a shaky hand.
If you’re looking for a more economical option, nowadays many smart phones come equipped with high resolution cameras, great for taking high quality photos of all kinds! So, if your phone has one of these, feel free to try it out. And, there are many great options in small tripods for smartphones too! Check out this helpful guide for stunning Smartphone photography.
Set up Your Backdrop
A white or light grey backdrop behind your product or focal point will give your photographs a consistent and clean look, free from distractions. An easy way to create your own backdrop is with poster board, paper, foam board or a blank wall. Make sure your backdrop is not only behind your product, but that you also ‘sweep’ it underneath for an incredibly professional appeal. If you place your product in front of a busy background (no matter how awesome it is) it could get lost and your photograph will appear busy and unpleasant to look at.
Natural light is great light! It’s easy and it’s free! A room with windows next to a wall is perfect, and the bigger the window, the more light you’ll get. And, don’t forget, if you are shooting outdoors to shoot with the sun behind you, also making sure your shadow is not visible in the photograph. Avoid dingy, fluorescent lighting or lighting that completely blows out your frame. Find the right balance of light and shadow before snapping your photo.
Rule. Of. Thirds. This is one of the most important elements in photography, especially when it comes to product photography. The human eye is naturally attracted to the area about two thirds from the bottom of the image. So, imagine the photo you are taking is broken down into thirds both horizontally and vertically, 3 sections across and 3 sections down. Multiple studies show that people do not look at the center of an image first, but rather at one of these intersecting points. See the coffee cup above and how it is not placed at the center of the photograph? Rather slightly up and to the right? This creates a more appealing image and perception of the product.
Camera Angles. Try shooting your product or service from as many as angles as you can think of. This will give you an idea of which angles work best for you and give you many options to choose from.
Be Deliberate in the Details
Make sure you follow this simple checklist to ensure you catch everything you need to before you even begin shooting.
- Ensure the area and product is pristinely clean. No garbage, rags or price tags should be visible in the photo.
- Ensure your focal point is perfectly in focus and well lit. If you are still having some blurring issues a tripod can help stabilize your hand.
- Check the reflections on your product. If you are able to see yourself, the camera or the room behind you, you may need to try a new angle so that there are no reflections.
- How’s your lighting? You want to make sure there aren’t any shadows or glares covering up important elements in the photo. It’s also important to make sure your own shadow has not made its way into the frame.