If I got a dollar for every hour of product shooting and editing I do as a blogger, I would be able to just hang out for…forever. But I’d be bored, so…
Today, I’m going to show you some quick and easy product photography tips to help cut down those editing hours and still have super cute product shots. I have some secrets to spill too, so let’s do this.
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Plan Out Your Layout
Ooh, that rhymes! Okay, planning out your layout doesn’t sound too difficult, but your layout pretty much makes half of your shot. You’ve got to make sure you put your vision from brain to camera, so planning might take some time.
I recommend trying out each of your ideas and taking test shots to see which ones you like. Don’t forget to move around! If a layout is looking like it lacks something, try repositioning yourself and the camera. The product is your model – work it!
Master the Background
I used to like a really white photo – white everything except for the product. When using a strong contrast (white or black) in the background, you can really make your photos pop. Currently, I’m really into darker backgrounds, because I enjoy the deeper, mysterious look it gives my photos (as mysterious as hair conditioner can be).
The blurry background is a beautiful thing. I’m not going to go into super technical photography terms, but if you want to learn more about that, check out this site that explains it much better than I can. Generally, there’s an F number on your camera. The lower that F number is, the more blurry your background will be. If you haven’t played around with your camera settings, you should. Develop your shooting style so that you can at least establish a shooting style. People say my style is blogger style – overexposed and blurred out in the background. I like it.
Lighting is Everything. EVERYTHING.
Your photos need to be well lit. There’s no way around that. Unless you want to present something nobody can see…then…go for it, yo. I understand that the sun likes to play hide-and-seek on picture days, but you don’t need the sun to be out in order to shoot well-lit photos. I don’t have good lighting in my teeny tiny apartment, so I make my own lighting – cheap and easy. I believe each light cost me about $30 or so. Beats a $100 light set that I have nowhere to setup or store. Check it out.
DIY Ring Light for super fancy rings around your eyes makeup shots.
DIY LED Light Panel for product photography – can be made small or big or huge. It lights up your product like sunlight coming through a window. You need it.
Budget Friendly Lighting Solution for Small Spaces if you’re really in a pinch, you can use your existing home decor aka lamps and stuff.
Here’s my behind the scenes for the photos I’m showing you today. See- you don’t need all that fancy stuff.
Quick and Easy Product Photography Tips the Tutorial
So you’ve taken your product shots and uploaded them to your computer. I’m going to show you the super fast way I edit photos and throw them on my blog, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest – everywhere.
For this part of the tutorial, I’m using Adobe Photoshop CS5 (oldie but a goodie). Don’t worry – we aren’t going to go too deep into the program. These editing tricks are super easy to manipulate and duplicate on the editing program on your phone. I’ll show you that too. Let’s go!
Open up your photo in Photoshop. Cropping is very personal (crop at your own risk. Kidding.) Just make sure your main focus is off-center. Okay good.
30 Second Editing
Go to Image > Curves. Play with the line going across the grid until you see something you like. For quick brightening, I pull the center towards the top left corner. To add a little contrast, I go down the line a little bit and pull that towards the bottom right corner. You can create several editing points, but I just use two and make that little squiggle shape. Press OK.
Filter-fy! Image > Exposure. I use this to add a little hazy filter effect. You know, like everyone does on Instagram. You can do it here too. Mess around with it. Don’t be shy. You can copy my settings too to get the same photo effect – a little haze here, a little stunna there.
Resize your photo. Go to Image > Image Size. Make your images smaller, because large images take up a bunch of space and make your site load more slowly. I tend to size everything to 2000 px in width, but I’m sure you can get away with something smaller like 1500 or 1000 even. Up to you. Just don’t leave it at 6000 – too big.
Color Enhancement Tricks
Adding/Changing Tints. Sometimes, you might get a photo that’s too blue or too orange or cool or warm, or whatever. In Image > Adjustments > Levels, you can fix all that.
For more blue, less orange, select the Channel Blue > 15 (first square, leave the others alone). Output Levels: Start at 20 and increase until you like how it looks. Press OK.
To bring out the red tones and less blue, select the Channel Red > 15 in the first square, leave the rest alone. Output Levels: start at 20 and increase until you see what you like. Press OK.
The Before and After Part 1
This took all of 30 seconds to edit. Boo-yah!
Repeat. Practice Makes Pretty Photos
Let’s do it again, with something more bright. We’re starting off with this shot.
Messing around with the Image > Curves setting.
Adding some of that filter in Image > Exposure.
Before and After Part 2
Again, 30 seconds to edit. What to do with all my extra time?
Oh, I know – I’ll show you how to do this on your phone. Oh, yeah, buddy. We can make this strategy mobile.
Quick and Easy Product Photography Tips for Phone Editing
Like I said earlier, you just have to apply the same editing concepts to whatever program you’re using, whether it’s Photoshop, online editing site, or phone app. Crop > Brightness > Contrast > Exposure > Embellishments that you fancy.
Photo editing apps that I like to use are PicLab for collages, Aviary and Adobe PS Express for editing. Check your App store.
Import your image (I email or drop the photos into my camera roll for easy access). Play around with the program. Remember:Crop > Brightness > Contrast > Exposure > Embellishments. Some programs have options where you can save your editing steps and recreate them on every photo. I like to change my style, depending on my mood (I’m broody these days, can you tell?).
Save it or post it straight to social media. The world is your playground. Go show ’em your bomb-ass photo!
So can you tell which one was edited from my computer? Phone? Yeah, neither can I, but they both look awesome.
So there you have it – product photography tips and editing down to 30 seconds. Don’t say “Photoshop is scary. It’s not. It saves me time, which it turn saves me a ton of money.
The secret to great editing is setting a solid foundation and base (layout, background, lighting). If you have that, then you have everything you need to create great product photos.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for, so please Pin this Post about Product Photography Tips on Pinterest. Every share helps so much, and I thank you.
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