How to do simple product photography at home?
Is it even possible? Yes, as long as you spend a little bit time and minimum amount money, you can shoot decent product photos.
This is a basic set up for compact point and shoot cameras or even for your DSLR.
To do so you need to create your product photography environment.
Outdoor or Indoor?
This is the first thing you should decide. If you live sunny places, your best choice would be going to outside; either to a garden or your balcony to take photos of the product.
Usually best lighting would be before noon. Morning day lights are good to get well-lit images.
If it is a cloudy day, no worry cloudy day can be adjusted on your camera setting.
Always use Stabilizer, (most compact cameras has Stabilizer button to avoid shaky images!) even you are using with a tripod or the Self-timer.
If your camera has P ( program mode ) mode, choose that button to make more adjustments. If does not choose from the scene mode, best option for your setting.
If you prefer being indoor taking product photos for simple quick solution then find a window has plenty lights coming through. Window should be behind you. Create your product photo shooting area, then take photos. Put a white paper underneath of the product, if lighting is strong enough take the photo, if it is a bit dark inside, then use flash. When you are using flash, place a piece of thin paper ( tissue is fine ) in front of the flash to diffuse the strong lighting. If your camera has flash setting button you can adjust flash through – or + sign as strong or weak flash light.
1. White or seamless paper for the backdrop.
2. At least two good lights (You may use desk lamps or clip on lamps).
3. 60 or 90 watt daylight bulbs. You may use clear daylight bulbs, incandescent bulbs, flourescent bulbs or tungsten. The pair of light has to be same, do not mix them such as using one incandescent bulb and other one as flourescent bulb. Remember different bulbs have a different *hue. What you are trying to accomplish is even lighting for your product photography. If your lighting is even you will have less shadows on your product images.
* Incandescent bulbs give a yellow hue.
* Flourescent bulbs give a green or orange hue.
* Tungsten bulbs give an orange hue.
4. Diffusers. You can use thin papers or very thin white muslin fabric. Diffuser will help you to achieve a softer lighting effect.
5. Tripod. Gorilla tripods are more flexible to use.
6. Optionally a light box. It really depends on your product if you need a light box or not. If your product is too small then use light box, if is larger, you may not need it.
You create your own light box by using white foam boards. Just build the box to your desired height based on the size of the product. If you do not prefer creating box by taping papers to foam board, buy a mesh laundry basket. It will save time for you and easy to store.
7. Either take the photo on a flat surface; on the floor or a small coffee table can be your mini studio.
If your work area is ready, now you can start taking shots of the product. If you are not going to use a light box setting try to use a large ( at least ) 4′ x 8′ foam board for a background.
How do you shoot decent product photos with a compact digital camera?
Here is the simple guide to shooting a perfectly lit product photo:
Step 1. Place the product inside of the light box or on the seamless white backdrop paper, and put a light on either side of the box or foam board setting.
Step 2. You may use Auto-Focus setting on your camera . Or doing manually set your camera to a low aperture to create a low depth of field. This allows you to capture all the details of the product.
Step 3. Take a few photos and try adjusting the lighting. The product should be well lit but not washed-out with too much flash! You may have to use tissue papers to diffuse bright lighting on lamps and flash.
After taking the photos you should clean up of your images with a photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or free GIMP software.