Have you tried my Instagram theme tips yet? So many of you are bloggers or active on social media that you may want to take product photos – whether it’s a beauty haul you’re showing off, a flatlay at your fave coffee shop or something entirely different. It’s nice to be able to do this on the go, which is where your phone comes in handy. PS: If you’re not an iPhone user but your phone has a great camera, you’ll still be able to use this info with your own photos too! Here’s what to do…
Tip: If your hand will be in the photo, polished nails always help!
1. Decide your background – And how it will look with the objects in the frame. Use your phone to test out the box/rectangle you’ll shoot in. You can take photos on anything from a cool tabletop to a piece of white poster board to fresh linens and more. Tip: Put your phone on square mode if shooting for Instagram, it’s much easier than cropping as you know exactly how it will look.
2. Decide your location – Beginners, shoot by a window if possible. If it’s a cloudy day, go outside. Harsh sunlight, a strong flash or major shadows are harder to work with, especially with these shots, since it deters from the products. You want them to be realistic – especially when reviewing a product and you want your followers to know exactly what you’re seeing and describing.
3. Style within the frame – Test out which objects will fit in the frame, then gather and place within it. If you’re only highlighting 1 or 2 products, add props like makeup brushes or other products that go with the theme. You can also add in flowers, pens, notebooks, coffee or tea – anything that channels the vibe you’re going for with the product itself. It doesn’t have to directly relate, just flow.
4. Test, test, test – Don’t go too crazy with the camera until you’ve tested the backdrop, lighting, color etc. If you can get these things correct before you get to the editor, the process is much easier.
5. Get shooting – Arrange, take a pic, repeat. Keep shooting and rearranging until you’re satisfied with the styling. You can always edit lighting but it’s much harder to rearrange objects in Photoshop! Tip: Tap the screen to focus your photo before capturing. If it’s a basic overhead shot, focusing in the middle is a safe bet. If you have one large product and a few small ones, focus on the large one.
6. Edit – Think of editing as both a way to perfect your work and add your signature style. First, go through all the photos and choose your faves. Often it will be the very last few (reassuring you that the process was worth it!). Then pop them into a photo editing app like VSCO, or Photoshop Express. Each editing app has something to offer so be sure to test a few if it’s your first time. Sometimes it’s tough to get a visual for the complete product until you’ve edited a few, so take your time!
This editing process depends on where you share, too. If you have a filter you love to use for Instagram, for example, it may look artsier than you would place in a blog article. Tip: There’s no need to use Instagram’s own filters if you’re not feelin’ them, but as for basic photo editing – the app is a great way to play with brightness, contrast, etc. for final touches before posting.
Who here has experience shooting creative product shots? Share your secrets!