How to: Take better product photos on your phone

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Simply taking a photo of a product is easy. But knowing how to create a striking photo that grabs the attention of your audience and tells them a little story about the product and what your brand is all about, that’s a little more complicated... lucky for you, I’m here to break it down so you can start taking your own incredible product photos for your business. 

1. Use Natural Light

Lighting is the most important thing when it comes to taking beautiful photos of your products. Even the dopest product, on the most incredible background, can look like absolute shit if the light isn’t right. 

Knowing when and where to find the best light is the key to getting truly incredible photos of your products. The best and easiest, light to use for photographing your products is some good, old fashion, sunlight. 

If you’re inside (which is where I recommend you be), the best place to find great light is next to a large window. The window does 2 things to your light. 1. It spreads out the beam of light hitting the window, making it more evenly distributed over your scene. 2. It diffuses the light (makes it softer) which gives you an overall higher quality of light than you would have if you were shooting in raw sunlight. 

The absolute best light will be within 2 hours after sunrises and within the 2 hours before sunsets. During this window of time, the light will be low on the horizon making it softer and therefore will give you a better image. You can still get some damn good photos throughout the day but that 2-hour window is my favorite time to shoot. 


Artificial Light VS Natural Window Light

Artificial Light VS Natural Window Light

2. Keep it Simple 

Composition plays a huge role in the impact a photo will have on the viewer.  It’s all about how easy it is for the viewer to find the subject of the photo and understand whats going on. If your brain has to work too hard to make sense of a photo, odds are, its not a great composition. The easiest way to get better compositions is to keep it simple.

Composition tricks.

Leading lines.

find naturally occurring lines in your environment that you can use to lead your viewers' eyes to the subject of the photo. This includes using lines to create a frame for you to place your subject in.

Examples of using lines in your composition to frame your subject or lead your viewers eyes to it.

Examples of using lines in your composition to frame your subject or lead your viewers eyes to it.

Rule of thirds.

this is a classic composition technique in which you divide your image into a 9 part grid (3 sections across and 3 sections down). The idea is to place your subject anywhere these lines intersect. Another way to use the rule of thirds is to compartmentalize your photo by keeping different elements within their own third of the image.

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Bonus Tip: Keep in mind where you’re going to post each photo. For instance, Instagram has several aspect ratios for images posted to the platform. If you post to your story your image should be thin and tall (16x9) if your posting on your feed it’s a much shorter image (5x4) so make sure you have enough space in your frame so your subject doesn’t get cut off when you crop your photo.

3. Balance your light before you take the shot.

Having a big and bright light source is exactly what you want but what you don’t want is for your images to look way too bright or “overexposed”. It’s important to be aware of the balance between the light and dark areas of your image. Use the AE/AF (auto exposure/autofocus) Lock to dial in that balance. To do this, press your finger on the screen where your subject is until a little yellow square pops up and flashes around your finger. This will lock, both, your focus on the subject and the brightness of your image. Next, you can use the little sunshine symbol that appears to balance your light by moving it up or down.

Left: AE/AF Lock being turned on. Right: AE/AF Lock brightness adjustment

Left: AE/AF Lock being turned on. Right: AE/AF Lock brightness adjustment

Left: Example of an overexposed image. Right: Example of a properly exposed image.

Left: Example of an overexposed image. Right: Example of a properly exposed image.

If you can learn how to properly apply these steps to your photography, I promise, you will start to see a huge difference in the photos you take. And if you want to step your photography game up even more, sign up for my mailing list and get my ATX Coffee Shops Lightroom Mobile Preset Package for FREE! 

Thanks for reading!