Pretty Products

Here are some photos I took for Cocoapink.net, and some tips for making your own product photos nicer. When you sell on the net, no matter how great your products are, it can be hard to inspire consumer confidence. Nice product photos can help.

Enabler Set in a yummy Couer De Vahine
Enabler Set in a yummy Couer De Vahine

I fell in love with Cocoapink after spoiling myself with some Soulmate hair rescue. Its like silky spackle for the damaged hair follicle, and it smells great too. Then I tried the enabler gift set, and I was hooked.

But my budget tends to be controlled at time with an iron fist — why buy wonderful shampoos when we can get away with Suave? So on my order I offered to take photos in exchange for products, and they took me up on it by sending me a bottle of Squeaky, their SLS and parabeen free shampoo. They loved the Squeaky photos, sent more products, and they’re happy with those photos too. I can’t wait till they need more photos again 🙂

Squeaky - This one was taken without a whitebox though
Squeaky - This one was taken without a whitebox though

Yes, I’m willing to do work-trade photos if I’m really in love with your products 🙂 But if you want to stick with taking your own pics, here are a few tips. The actual tutorials for the individual steps are all over the web; I’ll link you to a few of my favorites.

– Build yourself a whitebox — this gives you control over the lighting, and a consistently white background so color adjustments are fairly simple.

– Make your products as attractive as possible. One complaint I had with the Squeaky photo is that the back label shows through; but I couldn’t get the sticker off cleanly — best bet in that case would be to get one without a back label. Or if you sell clothing (on ebay for example) be sure to iron it if needed! Sure, we can iron out wrinkles in photoshop, but starting with a nicer photo is the way to go whenever possible.

– Pay attention to perspective & product placement. For example, if you’re going to photograph food, shoot it either straight from the top, or on an angle that gives it some grounding so it doesn’t look like its about to crash to the ground.

– Diffuse your lighting! If you can get away with soft natural lighting, that’s always best. But if you have to use flash, soften it.

– Use Photoshop to fix any leftover white balance issues. Actually this tutorial, Web Photos that Pop, will take you through many of the recommendations I’m making here. Some of the styles she uses in the examples are a bit dated, but this is a very old article. This does explain the technical settings though, and once you know how to use the tools, you can use them to create what you’d like 🙂

– Crop smart. You don’t have to everything in a tiny thumbnail. Sometimes a detail has more impact.

– Don’t forget to sharpen! After you’ve cleaned up your photo and shrunken it down to thumbnail proportions, you’ll notice the details get lost in the fuzz. A simple sharpen filter will do the trick. Run it twice if needed, and then fade sharpen till you have perfection.

Need more tips? Got a product photo that doesn’t seem to be working out? Drop me an email and I’ll see if I can help you out.

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