Basic product photo setup using your smartphone

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You are no doubt already aware that images sell. There is so much more than high-quality photos to convert a customer. Yet, bad photos will almost turn off your customers.

There is no need to invest in a dedicated mirrorless or DSLR and lens kit to capture a basic product photo. You likely already have a more than capable camera in your existing smartphone.
1. Extra product photography gear
There are many accessories, which can supplement the smartphone during the shooting. These include a background, a table, lighting, a stabilisation and lenses.

Background - To create a clean look and focus attention on your product, use a white background. It does not need to be a special product photography background. A DIY option is a roll of paper, foam plastic, or an ordinary wall. Try to place the background not only behind the object but under it as well. This will avoid any seams in the shot.

Table - It is advisable to use a table to set your product a little higher so that it is more comfortable for you to shoot.

Lighting - You need lots of light. Natural lighting is always best. If you use large window light, use a mirror to bounce the most amount of light available back onto the product.

If you are using lamps or a lightbox, ensure that the globe is white light. If you buy photography lights, you will likely pay 10X the price.

Tripod - Your smartphone likely has built-in stabilisation. Your product photos may still become blurred if handheld. Using the tripod is the best decision for taking sharp smartphone product photos. Options range from the Sirui 23cm tabletop tripod to the taller 138cm tripod.

Lenses - Your smartphone has a fixed wide-angle lens having some lens distortion. This can result in a false representation of your product. The telephoto lens on dual-lens smartphones provides zoom and less distortion.

2. Selecting the best apps
The native camera in your smartphone does a great job. You can also download a camera replacement app to extend the manual settings. Stick to only reliable apps, which have many positive reviews. Here are some of them:

Camera replacement apps
Android - Adobe Lightroom
iPhone - ProCamera or ProCam

Photo editing apps
Snapseed or PicsArt

Photo storing and organising apps
Dropbox and OneDrive
3. Make the preparations
  • Clean and prepare the product.
  • Adjust your product photography lighting setup. Position a whiteboard or mirror to reflect the light on the dark areas of the product.
  • Set up the background and the table.
  • Place your smartphone on the tripod and set it at the right height and distance from the product.
  • Consider extra details. Make sure your product looks perfect. There must not be any dirt or other defects. Use props, colourful or reflecting backgrounds, etc.
4. Product Photography Shooting
  • Grid: activate the grid, as it is very helpful to align the photo.
  • Quality: make sure you choose the highest quality.
  • Lens: clean the lens and ensure correct alignment of any attachment
  • Zoom: use it to set the frame around the subject. Leave space around the product to have an opportunity to crop the photo if required.
  • White Balance: some camera replacement apps allow you to set the WB. Tap on the white background to remove colour cast
  • Focus: tap the screen on the subject to select the focus point.
  • Lock: some smartphones allow you to long press the screen or tap on an icon to lock the focus and exposure.
5. Product photo editing

After the photo capture, all the photos need a little enhancement. Pay attention to straightening and cropping, sharpening, contrast, vibrance, and shadows. Your photos will look outstanding.

Amazon standards for product images

If you will post your product images on Amazon, apply Clipping Path and place your objects on the pure white background according to Amazon guidelines.

Below are some of the standards for posting product images on Amazon:

  • The image must not contain gratuitous or confusing additional objects.
  • The image must be in focus, professionally lit and photographed or scanned, with realistic colour
  • All other products should fill 85% or more of the image frame.
  • Backgrounds must be pure white (RGB 255,255,255).
  • The image must not contain additional text, graphics, or inserted images.
The full list of standards can be found - here
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