Online shopping has increased the demand for product photography. E-commerce websites need good photographs of their products as the value of products is often judged based on the quality of the photos. It’s an excellent opportunity for photographers to set up a small studio for product photography and start an extra stream of income. You can begin product photography in a small room with significantly less equipment. This article will talk about some essential gears you need for product photography.
A camera is a must-have gadget you require when it comes to photography. You don’t need any special camera for it. Any DSLR camera you have is good enough. Product photographs are mainly used on websites, so there is no need for a high megapixel camera. If you are shooting for print magazines or billboards, you need 50 or higher megapixels, but 24 megapixels or even 10 megapixels is enough for the web.
Any standard zoom lens like 24-70mm is suitable for most product photography. Even you can start with your kit lens. Since we are shooting still objects, you don’t even need a lens with an image stabilizer feature. So you can start with the lens you already have. If you plan to shoot small objects like jewelry, you need a macro lens to get close to the product and shoot all the details.
You’ll need a tripod to fix the camera on that, and your hands will be free to place and move the subject for different shots. It would be handy if you have a camera trigger (wired or wireless).
Light is essential for photography. A good photograph depends entirely on good lighting. Here we have a few options for lighting.
- Window Light: If you have just started and don’t want to invest, use a room with a big window for lighting. You can click good photos with window lighting, but it has limitations. You can’t control it much, and you can shoot only day time when light is coming from the window.
- Continuous Light: The second option is continuous light like an LED bulb, LED panels, or LED studio lights. With these lights, you can shoot any time, but you’ll have less control over them. LED studio light is a good option because you can easily use some light modifiers. You can also control power and color temperature.
- Flash: If you already have a flash, you can use that for product photography. Just remember a few points like don’t use it directly, or you’ll get a harsh shadow that will ruin the shot. Also, please don’t use it on-camera. It’ll give you flat photographs.
- Studio Strobe Lights: If you are shooting general products, the above three options will work, but if you plan to shoot high-end products like jewelry, watches, perfume, or cosmetics, you need more control over lighting. In that case, strobe lights are the best option. Strobe light usually gives sharper pictures than continue light because the shutter speed is faster. Also, you can use various modifiers with it and have complete control over light.
Reflectors and Flags:
After lights, you need reflectors to fill up the shadows. You may use white paper or a thermocol sheet as a reflector. For flags, you may use black paper. If you don’t know, a flag is anything that cuts or blocks the light.
If you are doing product photography for e-commerce websites, you need a white background. For small products, you may use white chart paper. You’ll need different color backdrops, textured backdrops, and wood panels for other kinds of photography. It all depends on your style and your client’s requirements.
Table and other items:
You’ll need a big size table to make the setup. Next, you’ll need a black and transparent glass sheet. You can use a glass sheet to shoot the product with reflection. You’ll also need bulldog clips to hold the backdrop, reflectors, and flags.
Now I will tell you about two essential products for product photography that will take your product photography to the next level.
1. Photography Lightbox:
A lightbox or a light tent has everything you need for product photography. We can call it a mini studio too. It’s a box with translucent sides and a backdrop. You can place your product inside it and click a professional-quality photo. All sides are translucent, so there will be no ugly shadows.
The lightbox comes in various sizes, and most of them are foldable so that you can take it anywhere. You can easily take a picture of a product that is 15-16 inches in size with the bigger one. Some smaller ones come with LED light strips and don’t require additional lights. The lightbox comes with 4-5 different color backdrops and is not very costly. So if you are into product photography, you should invest in it.
2. MIOPS Capsule360:
Capsule360 is the best camera gadget for advanced product photography. As you’ve noticed, most sites nowadays show products in 360 degrees. You can use a mouse on your PC and your finger on mobile to see the product from all sides. For this, photographers rotate the product, take various shots (12 to 36), and turn it into a 360-degree photo.
It’s a very tedious job as you need to rotate the product precisely after every shot. The rotating angle must be accurate to create a smooth 360-degree photo. That is why not everyone can click such pictures, and those who click charge a hefty amount for that.
But if you have Capsule360, you can click such a picture quickly and effortlessly. It comes with a turntable accessory. You need to place your product on the turntable, open the app and select how many images you want to take. Capsule360 will rotate the turntable according to the number of photos and trigger the camera to capture a smooth and quick 360-degree image. In a nutshell, it’ll click a 360-degree photo even before you relax and take a sip of your coffee.
It works with both camera and smartphone. Capsule360 can also be used together with the Capsule Slider. Capsule Slider will slide your camera automatically with great precision as per your settings. It’ll be helpful for jewelry photography where you want the entire product in focus by using focus stacking.
These are the essential equipment to start product photography. You probably already have many of them. Whatever you don’t have, you may make a small investment to buy that and create a new income stream with product photography. So, all the best.
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