DIY Product Photography


Today we’re going to do a DIY product
photography setup which is either cheap or free for most of you to set up. It
takes only a few minutes to create, doesn’t use up a lot of space and works
well for all practical purposes. Before getting into this I should say that you
should visit MarkSight.com where you can find eBay top-selling lists and do
product research before selling anything online. So the reason I’m doing
this video is, this is a setup that I personally use and I haven’t seen
anybody else actually do it exactly like this. So you should watch the whole video
because I’m gonna have a lot of tips for you. And these tips are going to help you
create really good looking product photographs I promise. It doesn’t matter
if you’re gonna use those photographs for eBay or Amazon or for really your
own website, even Shopify. That’s up to you. The goal here, is to create really
nice photographs. Let me quickly show you some photographs I found on eBay just
today, and I’m not picking on anybody. My photographs also looked just like this
when I was starting out. I’m by no means a professional but my photos are now
definitely better than this. Here’s somebody using a newspaper as
their background. People are taking photographs on tabletops. And further
still people are using oftentimes photos from the manufacturer. And this is
actually something eBay does not like, okay. And most people as well… one quick
tip about this particular photograph – notice the flash. So when you’re taking
photographs of your products this is something I do. I like to turn off the
camera flash. Two reasons for this. The first is that there’s a huge white flash
in the middle of the photo here. And this is actually blocking people from seeing
maybe important details, like what’s written there on the product. And
the other reason is that it’s creating a lot of additional shadows that normally
would not be in the photograph, If the flash was not turned on. So I like to
turn my flash off. Here are the things you’re gonna need for this setup… Funny
enough, the first tool you’ll need is a toothpick. You’ll also need some tape and
printer paper. Here I’m showing you my full setup, right on the table. Take your
printer paper and use two sheets at a time, not one, but two. The reason why
you’re gonna use two is one sheet of paper is still a little bit transparent.
But two sheets of paper together are gonna look really solid white. And just
tape it to your wall. What I did here was I taped several sheets of paper in a row
because I wanted a slightly larger white background here. And you’ll notice that I
bent the bottom of the paper so that it sits on the table. All right. And then
on top of this paper I placed additional printer paper again. And again in two
sheets at a time. And then I placed my product on top of this. Then I have a
desk lamp and by the way any desk lamp will do. You probably have one at home.
But the problem with a desk lamp is that if you shine it on your product it’s
gonna create hot spots just like a flash will do. So this is where your toothpick
comes in. I took one sheet of paper and punched a ton of holes in it and then I
put it around this lamp. And what this does is this diffuses the light enough
so that there’s no more hot spots but it’s still casting some light on the
product itself. When you do photography enough, and again I’m no professional at
this but any real professional will tell you that the secret to
photography is lighting. As long as you have good lighting, you’re gonna have
more or less good photographs. If you have terrible lighting, it doesn’t matter
what your camera is, doesn’t matter what your skills are, you’re just gonna have
bad photos. But how do you get good lighting? What does it mean?
Well you can do several tricks here. First of all you can use as much natural
lighting as possible. So if you are able to take photographs of your product
next to a window, either in the morning or before sunset, so that the sunlight is
actually shining on the product, that’s a good source. Another one is, just like I
have here. The problem for me is that after a day job I’m normally taking
photos in the evening, so there’s no more natural light. So I’m going to turn on
the desk lamp I might also turn on the room lights and this creates enough
light that the product looks alright, and not with too many shadows. So here,
just for comparison I’m going to show you some photos I took without this
setup. And you’ll notice that they look just like the usual eBay photographs
that people take. And for comparison, here are some photographs that I took, and I
didn’t process these photographs by the way in any way, these are raw from the
camera. Just a few photos for you to see what happens when you use the
setup. And I think you’ll agree that these are looking much nicer. And what I
noticed is that these photographs are for sure looking much more professional.
So people will be more willing to buy it. I have actually more sales with these
kinds of photographs and that’s why I put the time into them. Please remember,
you’re gonna take photographs anyway. Most likely, if you’re not taking
photographs then you’re gonna use photos that everybody else is using. So
you’re not standing out in any way. So you should be taking your own
photographs and since you are doing that, since you’re already spending the time
and the effort to do that, you might as well put in the 5 or 10 minutes this
setup takes. And do it the proper way. One additional little tip here, or a
couple of tips: make sure to zoom in onto the product as much as possible. So it’s
taking up as much of the screen as possible. And that’s going to
accentuate that the person looking at the picture, is focusing right in the
product and nothing else. The background, the reason why I use white is because
it’s more or less neutral. So if I have a green product or a blue product, or
doesn’t matter, it’s looking all right in front of a white background. If I have a
pure white product, yeah let’s say like a white shampoo bottle or something, that’s
obviously not gonna look good in front of a white background, so then I would
use maybe gray or black even. I would suggest you don’t use any colorful
backgrounds, because what they do is they distract the user again to look at the
background or not the product. So don’t use green or blue or yellow backgrounds,
or anything like that. Just use flat backgrounds: white black or
grey. But for most purposes white is the better option. Here, another tip is take
lots of photographs. What you’re going to notice is that oftentimes the camera
does not zoom properly and it doesn’t focus properly. So you’re gonna have
slightly off pictures. Maybe it’s not going to be centered enough. Maybe
it’s gonna be off focus again. And you’re gonna toss a lot of photos out, and
remember eBay offers you 12 photos that you can upload, so use them all up. Upload
as many photos as possible. So take lots of photos while you have the option to
do that. I can’t tell you how times I was sorry I didn’t take enough
photos because they all turned out bad, and I took so few of them. Normally I’ll
take like 20 photographs of a product or even 30 photos. And I’ll just pick the
best 12. So again, just for comparison, without using this setup here’s a
photograph and with using the setup another photograph. And these photos are
by themselves, really good enough to be used on eBay.
You’ll look more or less professional with them. But there is one additional tip I
have and that’s Photoshop. Alright so even though we can already
use this photograph online already as it is,
it’s sort of good enough. I would like to show you one more tip where I’m gonna
use Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop, to make this look even nicer, or even
professional quality. This is Adobe Photoshop CS2 and it’s
available for download for free online. From actually, Adobe! They give it away
for free, because it’s something like a 15 year old program now. So I opened up
the photograph all I need to do this one little thing… go to “image adjustments” and
go to “Auto levels”. Click that. The result is quite nice isn’t it? You can see that
it’s even got the slight shading on the borders. I like that, yeah. And this is a
picture I might already use on eBay. So let me save that and just show you that
picture closer. All right, here it is. Cool, isn’t it? Oh, I almost forgot,
notice that in my setup I have a piece of paper standing upright on the left of
the product. You might ask, what’s it doing there? And it’s actually serving a
purpose. Since I have only one desk lamp, this piece of paper is serving as a
reflector back onto the product, from the same desk lamp. So, it’s obviously not as
bright as a desk lamp, but it’s still reflecting lots of light back onto the
product. You see what I mean – now I almost have two desk lamps. And again, I
got this result by not building a product box, but just using simple white
paper. I hope these tips were helpful and inspires you to create better
photographs. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next video.

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