When you work from home, you often have responsibility over every aspect of your business, particularly if you’re an entrepreneur or running your own creative business, such as an Etsy shop. This means you’ll have to take high quality photographs of your products to be put onto your website or eCommerce site. However, doing this in the space of your home can have a host of challenges. ILTO are wedding photographers in Leeds and have put together some advice for taking quality photos in the home environment — for business use or otherwise.
A Quality Camera
Taking good photos starts with good equipment. If you’re taking a large number of photographs of your products and always having to take new ones, then it’s probably worth investing in a good quality camera. Camera can be very expensive, but the higher range equipment really does produce better quality images.
If you’re photographing products for an eCommerce site, it’s vital that you get photographs that someone can zoom in on. Your customers want to be able to see what they’re getting in as much detail as possible, so the more you provide, the more likely someone is to buy your product.
A high quality photo also looks far more professional. Clarity of the image is important when you’re competing with hundreds of other people who sell similar things. Customers will usually go with the product that looks ‘nice’.
When you’re working from home, it can be hard to find a space that is clutter free. You have pictures hanging on every wall or brazen wallpaper that looks fantastic in your home, but not so professional in the background of a photo!
Yet it’s vital that you consider the background of every photo you take. You certainly don’t want any family photos sneaking into your professional shots! But every single thing in your photo should be thought out. If there are flowers in the background, they should have been placed their intentionally, not just a fortunate accident!
The best formula for a photo is clean and clear. If you have white or pale surfaces, use those. Make sure they’re dusted and clean, with no scratches or marks (if you can find such a surface!). If you’re taking photos of hanging artwork, ensure that the wall is a pale colour or one that compliments your work with no distracting patterns. The plainer your background, the greater the focus on your product.
If you struggle to find a surface that meets these requirements, you might need to create a new space. Clear an old surface. You could always use an upside down tray to get the right coloured background or a white bed sheet as the foundation. Get creative!
The pale colours work best because it helps create the best environment for lighting…
It’s impossible to emphasise enough the importance of lighting in your professional photographs. Lighting can make or break a photo. You’ve probably seen plenty of product photos on online shopping platforms such as Facebook shops or Ebay that have been taken by amateurs in a dark room without a flash. There’s nothing appealing about this photo. In fact, it can often be off putting. When you’re competing with professional-looking products, it makes a huge difference.
The best lighting is always bright, natural light. In a professional environment, there’ll often be lots of equipment that stimulates this natural environment, but when you’re working in your home it can be a lot harder.
If you have a conservatory, it can make the perfect light environment that minimises shadows. Alternatively, you can hunt down lights that produce a white light. When doing this, you’ll need multiple lights in order to minimise shadows.
Investing in a light box could be an idea. These create light on all sides of your product, creating the perfect environment for you to take high quality photos.
Hire a Photographer
If you can’t master taking professional photos in your home, or if there simply isn’t the space to get an appropriate background, then you could consider hiring a professional photographer.
It’s always worth having high quality photos, whether you take this yourself in your home environment, or hire a professional photographer to help you out. Never underestimate the power of a picture!