Stop right there. You do not need to purchase or rent an expensive DSLR camera and lenses to produce high quality photographs for your website. Most likely the camera you carry with you all the time (yes, your smartphone) is more than capable of producing what you want and need. It is imperative to begin with some detailed groundwork. Don’t get overwhelmed. There are many helpful tips in the following preparation section of this article.
Preparing for your photo shoot:
- Whichever smartphone you use: make sure the camera has auto focus and the maximum number of megapixels as possible
- Apps such as VSCOCam boost your ability to produce high quality photos, specifically images that bode well on sites such as FaceBook, Instagram, and Pinterest
- The next step is to ensure you have the necessary accessories for your photo shoot.
- BACKDROP (white or light gray backdrop such as a sheet or roll of paper. Use a “sweep” method so the backdrop is behind and under the product to create a clean image with no distractions).
- Use a TABLE to set your product up higher so it’s easier to take the shot.
- LIGHTING is crucial (the easiest and most budget friendly is natural lighting and placing your product near a large window. However, you may need to look at adding a large lamp or rent a lighting box depending on how large your product is).
- IMAGE STABILIZATION is your final stage of this part of your preparation (yes, your smartphone comes equipped with image stabilization software. Using your hand will create some unsteadiness. Therefore you can purchase an inexpensive tripod such as: Joby Grip Tight Mount, Gorilla Pad Mobile, or Spiderpodium).
- Depending on your specific needs, EXTERNAL LENSES for your smartphone might be beneficial (since your smartphone will only be able to focus from a certain distance from your product). There are economical lenses to purchase such as Moment iPhone and Android lenses, Olloclip iPhone 4 in 1 lens, and Photojojo iphone and Android lenses.
- Choose the right apps.
- SHOOTING: If you aren’t satisfied with the app that already is installed on your smartphone, then you may want to try the following apps. iPhone Camera+ has been rated number one for iPhones. Android Camera Zoom FX can help boost your images to the next level.
- EDITING: a free image editing application is Adobe Photoshop Express. Photoshop Express is inexpensive and does a lot more than the free version. It replicates the desktop version but is very user friendly!
Now that you are thoroughly prepared to produce high quality photos for your website, just follow these three simple steps to completion.
1. PREPARATION: perfect your lighting, set up your table, stabilize and position your smartphone (fill the frame with your product but leave enough space on all sides to crop the image if necessary), and remember to remove as many imperfections and distractions as possible to make your editing easier later.
2. CAPTURING THE IMAGE: Adjust your app. Settings. Make sure the following setting are ON: zoom, grid, live exposure, autosave, and sharing. Also ensure that your quality is set on HIGH.
**In addition, the following for camera settings are important. Zoom: pull the zoom slider at the top of the screen to adjust the frame around your product.
White Balance: To properly set the white balance according to the light temperature in your setup, touch the WB button and then touch the white background.
Exposure: Touch the circular Exposure button and then touch your product.
Focus: Touch the circular Focus button and then touch your product.
LOCK: When you are finished adjusting each of these settings, make sure to tap each one again to lock the settings in place.
3.EDITING: All digital images need a little tweaking for them to dazzle! Here are some recommended adjustments for your photos: crop and straighten, sharpen, vibrance, contrast, and shadows. Those basic adjustments should give a huge quality boost to your images!
There you have it, three simple steps to high quality photos taken by your smartphone. Note, that most of these tips for product photos are easily transferrable
to photos of your team members, etc. Once you’ve got the basics down, allow yourself to play and have fun. You’ll be creating high quality, eye-catching
photos for your website in no time!
PS. If you're ready to gain some clarity and a written step-by-step plan to reaching the next level in your business and income, we're here to help. Grab a slot on our calendar and we will explain exactly how partnering with Fyrefly Media to write up a Strategic Business Blueprint for your unique business can quickly bring focus, increase your revenue and get you where you're going faster than ever before. Chatting with us free of charge, "sales-sleaze" free and comes with a complimentary comprehensive report of your current online business footprint. (This is the same quarterly report we draw up for our clients and usually charge $250 for).