How to set up product photography at home

by Anindya on 01/12/2017
As you are aware, product photographs are the deal clinchers in e-commerce. In the absence of the touch and feel advantage that you get in physical stores, photographs of products in e-commerce stores are the only way you can showcase your products to potential online customers. But professional product photography or renting a studio for product photography can prove to be expensive. Here we will tell you how you can set up a simple product photography facility at home on a budget.

Though you can use a lightbox for small products, we are going to talk about photography with available natural light, a technique known as ‘Window Lighting Technique’. You will be amazed at how easily you can turn your living room, spare bedroom or garage into your own photography studio so that you can consistently produce good quality images for your online store.

Now that you have identified a place to shoot, you can start equipping your home studio. The list of professional photography equipment can be daunting, but remember that good quality photographs can be produced without the expensive equipment that professional photographers and studios use.

To set up your own studio at home, you need to arrange a few things:

A Camera:

Most people have a camera these days, but if you don’t, buy a basic camera from a good brand which has manual exposure settings apart from auto functions. The understanding is that you don’t need an expensive camera for outstanding pictures. Also keep in mind that the camera is just one of five factors that will affect the final result, the other factors being your studio setup, lighting, product styling, and post-production techniques.

A Tripod:

A Tripod is essential to stabilize your camera while shooting. In a home scenario, you may be required to shoot in a place where the lighting is not optimal. Low lights require long camera exposures which increases the chances of camera shake as you breathe. While using a Tripod, you will be sure that your pictures won’t be blurred or hazy because of camera shake.

Memory Cards:

The SD Memory card is an important part of your photography. Your SD card is where you will store your pictures and use it to transfer pictures from your camera to a laptop for post-production work and archiving. Memory cards are pretty inexpensive these days and you can buy a few of them as standby.

White paper roll:

A white paper roll provides a seamless background for your pictures and minimizes post production touch ups. A roll is required because you would need at least 10 to 15 feet of white sheet placed in a sweeping curve behind the product for a smooth background. The width of the roll should be around 50 inches so that it can accommodate most products.

Foam core board:

White foam boards come in handy to reflect and increase available light. You can use them to reflect light from your window on to the product. This will reduce the shadow of the product on the side that is opposite to the window and provides ‘fill light’ that will make your product picture an even, clean look.

Folding Table:

You will need a folding table to lay the curve of your paper background on before you place your product for the shoot. The table can be of normal height as you can adjust your tripod’s height to shoot from whichever height and angle you want to shoot from.

Duct tape and Clamps:

You will require rolls of duct tape and clamps to secure your white paper background curve to the walls and the table on which you will position your product so that nothing moves when you shoot. You can also use clamps where possible as it makes it easy to clean up after the shoot.

Window:

Last but not least is your main source of light. You need access to a large window close to where you plan to shoot. Clear the space around the window so that you have sufficient room to place your table and background and also allows you to move around the subject when you are shooting. Larger the window, the better it is because a large source will light up your product more evenly. Light from a smaller window will be more directional. If the product is small you will be able to manage with a small window, but a large product would definitely need a bigger source of light.

Now that you have everything you need, start setting it up. It’s quite simple. Place your table near the window, and then spread the white paper roll starting from the bottom of the table, stretching it over the table and creating a curve while you take the sheet up to a wall where you can fix it with duct tape. Place your foam core boards at an angle so that the light from the window reflects on to the product. Open your tripod and adjust the height so that it is flush with the surface of the table. Fix your camera to the tripod and you are ready to shoot in your very own home studio.

While running a business of your own, it is quite probable that you are not able to spare the time to do your own product photography. Amazon, with its depth of experience in e-commerce, would be happy to help you with your photography requirements. If you need any assistance, you can get in touch with our third-party Service Provider Network (SPN). Please register yourself as ‘Seller on Amazon’ and then request photography assistance from SPN.

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