Product photography plays a crucial role in the success of your website; poor quality or amateurish images cheapen the look and feel of your work, and have a big impact on your audience’s first impressions, not to mention their decision to buy your products. Still, ecommerce is awash with terrible product photography, from out-of-focus and under-exposed, to poorly colour-corrected or crooked images. One might be mislead to think that product photography is just too technical for most of us to...
Great Business Photography Without a Professional Studio
Sure, there are plenty of fool-proof tools out there to kick-start a professional looking design. But make no mistake, one badly shot and edited business photography can ruin your entire brand’s image – and make customers think twice.
Professional photographers are quite costly to hire and when it comes to the uniqueness and authenticity of a website, professional and original photographs go a long way. When it comes to doing it yourself, a lot of people will tell you that it is impossible to pull off the quality professionals get, but they would be wrong about that. Here are a few tips that can help you create photos to represent your business with quality and class, without paying a dime to someone else.
You will have to get at least a mid-class DSLR camera in order to be able to pull off the quality shots that you need. Whether you borrow one, rent one, or buy one yourself, a DSLR camera will make a huge difference in the quality of your images, as well as your ability to edit them afterward.
● Get to know the device
Whether you’re playing with your own or borrowing from a friend, spend some time beforehand playing with the camera. Learn its idiosyncrasies and quirks, but also its basic functions. There is no shortage of how-to’s and manuals to be found online for each particular camera model.
Setting up your studio
Recreating the environment of a professional studio is tricky but can be managed on a tight budget. Here are some things you should focus on.
● The background
The easiest thing you can do is to find a clean, white wall and use it as a background for your photo shoot. If you don’t have one, spread a simple white sheet in order to get the same effect. This is the least complicated approach and the least costly one.
Professional lighting can be costly, even to rent, but you can avoid these expenses. Natural light is your greatest ally since it requires the least amount of modification when it comes to your camera and lets you get great shots. Just make sure you plan the time for your photo shoot properly, so you don’t rush things.
Shadows are your worst enemy and you need to get rid of them by using artificial lights or by finding a location that is ideal. You can use table lamps to cast diffused lights in order to eliminate the shadows. Don’t use overhead ceiling lights!
Traditionally, company portraits are as minimal as they are business-oriented: Employees should be dressed in business attire and sat in front of a neutral background. Much has changed since the rise of casual Fridays and startup culture, though, and your team’s portraits should reflect the overall branding strategy of your business. Try to shoot all team members on the same day to avoid any variations in photos, so make sure that everyone is notified about the shoot well in advance, and take more photos than you think you’ll need. This isn’t one of those cases where less is more.
If you have experience with photo editing, that’s great, if you don’t, you could probably get the basics down pretty fast by following YouTube instructions. Don’t get carried away: If you’re not an expert, retouched photos tend to look best with minimal reworking. Leave complicated editing to professionals.
Make sure to experiment before the photo shoot and that you plan the entire thing before hand. It may take you some time to get things right, so if you are not satisfied with the result the first time around, don’t be afraid to schedule another one. Be patient and have fun.
Image credit: familymwr