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5 technical tips to better your product photos

So, as usual, product photos can always get better. It's a sad fact of Etsy - nice product photos entice more buyers.

Here's five tips that'll make the job a little easier.

1. Learn how to manually adjust your camera's aperture. Aper-wha??! This is the size of the little hole that allows light to enter your camera when you push the shutter button. The size of this hole affects all sorts of things, include the sharpness of the image and how fuzzy your backgrounds are. The bigger the hole, the more you'll get that nice fuzzy background effect. Check your camera manual for the details.

2. Steady your camera. A steady surface is always a better option than hand-holding when taking photos. ALWAYS. Some options include a tripod, a bean bag, or a stack of books.

3. Turn off the flash. Unless you've gone out and bought yourself a studio lighting kit, under no circumstances should you ever consider using flash. An on camera flash flattens your photo and makes it look.. well.. a little unappealing.

4. Learn about white balance. Again -- huh? White balance refers to how your camera reads the colour of light. Yes, different light sources produce different colours of light, and your camera is not nearly as useful as our eyes when it comes to removing this colour. If your photos are turning out with yellow or blue tinges, you have colour balance issues. Head to your camera manual and you'll be able to solve most of your problems.

5. Shoot lots of shots. Lots and lots and lots and lots. Unless you have a formula that works for you, shoot from every angle. The more shots you get, the more likely it is that you'll stumble across something that's perfect. In my shop, you'll see lots of nature photos. The same principle applies - shoot heaps of photos, discard 99% of them (that stat isn't an exaggeration) and you'll have something to work with. Product photography is no different.

So, with some luck, those of you who have struggles with product photography will have been given a gentle nudge towards awesome end results. If you've got any questions, hit me up.

572 Responses

Thanks, My photo's are always a work in progress! This will help alot!
Thanks for the tips! I'm using my husband's fancy SLR camera and I have no idea how to best use it :) This is very helpful!
Great photo tips!
teacup - with an SLR, you're going to have even greater control over those things like aperture and white balance. As you say, there's a steeper learning curve... but if you push past that, you'll have greater control over the end results.
Thanks for the tips, I'm working to improve my photo's. Always good to read and keep fresh in my mind.
Thanks for the encouragement elgarbo. I hope I can master it beyond using it like a normal point and shoot :)
Thanks for the tips. I'll admit I'm not so good with a camera so the more I learn, the better. If you notice I have some new pics I staged outside in natural light, a tip I read another time. I like the bean bag idea, it would probably make sharper images (I think).
Thank you for this post! I just got a new Canon Digital SlR and am learning to use it. This post will help as I go through the manual!
ccrjewelry - nice! Enjoy your new toy!

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