How to Take Product Photos and Animate them with OFFEO
Edward Weston said, “The camera sees more than the eye so why not make use of it”. A good picture can convey a thousand emotions that we all know, but a great product photo can be beneficial to your website. Earlier clicking product photos and putting them up was considered costly because of the need to hire professionals. However, with time, nowadays anybody can create eye-catching, high-quality images to promote their products online. And with a hint of the right amount of animation things are going to turn in all the right ways for your website. So, let’s dive in and learn more about how to take beautiful product photography and improve your business.
What is product photography?
Product photography has been around since the advent of cameras themselves but became more popular when people started using images rather than words to sell their goods.
Product photography is a very important aspect in advertising, that uses specific techniques to showcase products in an attractive way and entice potential buyers to purchase them. It is often used for catalogs, brochures, magazine ads, billboards, and company websites that sell directly to consumers. The main goal is to show off products in an attractive way and entice potential buyers. There are two types of e-commerce product photography.
There are two main types of product photos you should be using on your website and across your other marketing channels:
1- The first one is clean-cut, white background, product-only images. These should include your featured product and a variety of images showcasing the different angles from which it can be viewed. Product-only images are meant to show off the best view of your product in its various states. They have a greater conversion rate and are best suited for your product page. Being shot on a white background gives the consistency and the product view at a glance.
2- In-context or lifestyle photos that show the intended environment or alongside complementing product. Lifestyle or in-context photography shows customers what life would be like if they owned this item – whether out shopping for groceries or lounging by the pool with friends. These are best for social media, emails, blogs, and marketing channels and help to boost emotional connection.
We will now be discussing the equipment that you need to get your product photography started.
Product photography equipment-
1. Camera or phone-
3. White background-
4. White bounce cards and lastly
5. Right lighting
1. Camera –
You will not need a professional photographer to click pictures for you instead you can do that on your own by simply using the mobile phone you use or a camera.
Choosing the best camera for your needs is a tricky decision. It’s important to first determine what you’ll be using it for. If you’re only shooting product photos, then a smartphone may work well enough. It could be anything that you use both ios and Android work. But if you want more control over how your pictures look, then opting for a digital camera will give you the options that smartphones simply can’t provide! If you’re making the jump from smartphone to digital camera, then be sure to research what kind of features are available in your desired price range. One way is by reading reviews or watching YouTube videos about different models and comparing them before purchasing a specific model. You might need an external flash if you want photos with more detail in low-light situations.
The quality of pictures will also depend on how many megapixels a camera has – so this may determine the quality of images that it offers. It can help to know that 12MP is considered high resolution because they take up less space on storage devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers than other file formats do. 28 MP is average for most DSLR cameras (high end). Some of our suggestions for smartphones include both ios and Android.
1- iPhone 12 pro max or anything above iPhone 8
2. Google Pixel 5
3. Samsung Galaxy S20
4. Huawei P40 pro
There are also some budget options and you can try any smartphone camera that has a resolution above 12MP. Brands like Apple, Samsung, and others have smartphones in the budget range with good cameras. You also have to make a point to choose the right camera app which will give you clearer images. No, we are not talking about using fun photo filters, instead, keep things natural as possible to give a true representation of the product. There is an inbuilt camera app in most phones but you can also try a third-party camera app like
-Lightroom for ios and android
-Camera FV-5 for android
-Camera +2 for ios
-VSCO for ios and android.
Some DSLR suggestions include –
-Canon EOS Rebel T7i
-Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Along with camera, you will some other camera equipment which is not quite common in smartphone photographers so let us go through some of them.
2. Tripod –
Use a tripod to make your hand steady when you are shooting a product. A tripod is an essential tool for any photographer, amateur or professional. It doesn’t matter how fancy your camera is – if it isn’t stable, you’re probably going to end up with a blurry shot. The solution? A three-legged stand to hold your camera in place when you shoot. It’s especially important to use if you prefer a low ISO- a popular camera setting that reduces graininess. A low ISO creates more blur, though, because you have to pair it with a slow shutter speed. Photographers rely on tripods to reduce this blur while still minimizing graininess with a low ISO. There are a lot of options for tripods in the market for all types of equipment whether it be a smartphone or a DSLR. Consider buying something that either comes with, or is compatible with, a smartphone clip attachment. For a regular camera tripod you will just need a smartphone clip to it. You can find one in every range. The Manfrotto PIXI mini tripod kit is a good option for beginners.
3. White background –
What do most product photos have in common? A white background! What may seem like a simple decision is actually the result of years of experimentation. A white background can reflect light back onto the product, so its details are clear. It’s also easy to retouch because it’s a solid color and there are no shadows from other objects on your backdrop. A white background is often the go-to for photographing products because of its simplicity! You need a sweep for this. It is a large bendable sheet of paper, whose bottom acts as the surface beneath your product. It will depend on the product size. If the products are small a chair or table will suffice, but if it is larger products then a stand-mounted sweep will be necessary.
You can also use a poster board from your local drug store or art shop as a white background if you are looking for something inexpensive. A scotch tape or sticky tack helps to put the background in place and also set your product. For chair and table sweeps spring clamps help to hold the white paper. A white backdrop is a great investment that lasts for years so if you have a budget going for a stand-mounted sweep is advisable.
4. White bounce boards-
You need to control the lighting when taking product photos with your iPhone or Android. Bounce boards help you minimize strong shadows and create a more balanced lighting environment which brings out all of those details about your product for an even better picture! You can find them on Amazon in different colors, sizes, and shapes – so there’s one that will work great for what you’re looking to do.
5. Right lighting –
Lighting is a key element in creating a successful image. Natural lighting is considered the best way to get a great product image. For some, it may seem like a tiresome job to set up the lighting for product photographs. But, if you get it right your photos will yield beautiful results. Now, the sun is the greatest photography resource you have and will ever need. However, this needs to be used in the right way. By the right way, we mean the sun cannot be controlled, sometimes it is harsh, sometimes it is the clouds which impact your photos. Place your product near a window for better photos. This is where artificial lighting works better and is consistent. You can use artificial lighting to create a great studio setup to get the desired image quality.
We will be giving you a basic idea of how to click product images using natural light.
The first thing to keep in mind is the placement where you have to put your camera, product, and window light source at right angles to each other. This will prevent the blinding of the camera and will focus on the product.
Secondly, if the sun is too harsh or is creating shadows then place white paper or white curtain over the window so that it acts as a diffuser panel for softer indirect light.
Thirdly, turn off electric lights inside as different lighting sources have colors that can change how a photo will turn out if mixed together.
The next tip is while photographing in dark conditions, bounce off some extra lights using a corkboard (or similar) placed strategically nearby; this will help reflect additional colors onto what may otherwise look like just black-and-white images when shooting against darker backgrounds. If shooting darker objects use a corkboard or bounce card to reflect light onto the product.
The final tip is never to shoot under direct sunlight, this will create harsh shadows.
For more control over light, we suggest artificial light is better. You will need a two-light setup to get proper light that focuses on the product. Here, one can be used as the key light and the other as the fill light. The key light is the one that is aimed directly at the product, while the other light is used to fill opposite the key light. It is advised that the key light should be twice as bright as the fill light. Sometimes you can also use a third lighting setting which is the backlight that helps when you want to highlight surface details. The key light should be placed in front of the product often slightly to the side of the product, while the fill or backlight should be on the opposite side, back or above. You can adjust the lights accordingly by changing the angles and distance of the lights until you get soft, evenly distributed shadows. These work well for shoots for lifestyle photos.
Let us now move on to the next part where we will discuss the steps to follow while taking a product photo.
Steps to click a product photo-
1. Improvise the product position-
It’s important to take product images in a way that will make them stand out. The first step is to make sure that the scene you are setting will make for a good product photo, to begin with. Anyone visiting your site wants to see product-focused, high-quality images that make it really clear what you are selling. To that end, you want to make sure your products are clean and your setup is correct before you start snapping. If people want more information about something in particular, such as an ingredient list or some other detail, show them exactly where it is by taking close-up shots for those items too! The most common mistake with photography is not giving customers enough context before presenting a purchase opportunity.
2. Integrate the background-
The next step is opting for an off-white backdrop or white background that really brings out your product’s colors and textures, highlighting them without any distractions from other objects or backgrounds. For those who want their products on display in context with real-life scenes called lifestyle shots (like models wearing clothing), set up shots using contextual elements like trees, backdrops of buildings, or people cooking at home while you capture what they’re doing exactly how it should look, not obscured by distracting background items. Finally, if your customer demographic skews towards outdoor enthusiasts then take advantage of natural light sources outside instead of indoor artificial ones when shooting outdoors so as to avoid unpleasant shadows. Integrating the background with the product can give you the best product photo.
3. Incorporate adequate lighting-
If you are a photographer, then there is one thing in your entire arsenal that will make or break the quality of work you produce: natural lighting. Natural light has many benefits and few drawbacks when compared to artificial lights such as studio lamps. When shooting indoors be sure to set up with a window on either side of the room for best results!
4. Involve multiple angles and details-
A customer’s desire to see a product before they buy it makes them more open and trusting of your company. As the price goes up, so does their curiosity about what is being offered. Provide high-quality images in order for customers to make an informed decision on whether or not they want to purchase from you! Make sure that all sides are shown as well as close-ups with intricate details such as zippers, buttons, straps, etc.
5. Identify the highest quality or resolution setting you can-
With the advent of smartphones, it has become easier than ever to take pictures. The next step is thinking about how you can use your smartphone camera effectively for great results!
Neat features like high resolution and large file sizes will give you a better image from the start so that when editing time comes around, there are more options available on what size of the picture to upload onto social media sites or other websites where photos may be shared.
Product photography tips to click the best product photos-
- The only type of photo zoom you’ll get with a phone camera is digital. And while it does have its benefits, zooming in can make your picture quality suffer. In order to avoid this problem and achieve the best possible results for your finished product photos, try moving closer to what you’re photographing as opposed to using an inferior zoom tool! A DSLR camera is great for product photography, so if you can do a photoshoot with it.
2. Cleaning your camera lens before a photo session is like cleaning the mirror in your car. You wouldn’t want to get all dressed up and then have someone point out something you missed right? Before taking any pictures, make sure that you clean off all of the gunk and smudges from your lens. You don’t want anything distracting people from how awesome these photos will be – we need a perfect showcase for what’s coming next: our own photography studio where anyone could come to take their professional-grade portraits with ease and convenience!
3. The flash on your phone is terrible. Get the right lighting and don’t rely too much on a flashlight, because it will only make photography worse!
4. The best way to shoot stable footage is with a small tripod that’s easy and cheap to buy. Just eliminating unwanted camera shake will help to create crisp product photos, which you’ll want when shooting the product from one spot between shots.
5.The world is your oyster! Just as you would do with a real pearl, experiment to see what kind of changes different settings make. It’s time to dig into your camera settings and see what you can do. Trying out a single setting at a time will allow you to figure out the best options for all of your product photos!
6. One of the inevitable product photography tips is to edit it. Post-processing or retouching images after clicking product photos can remove a lot of flaws and get the perfect product photo. Image editing is a crucial step in making your products look as attractive online as they are IRL, but it’s also easy to go overboard with cropping photos that end up looking like someone used a Snapchat filter on them! This is a time taking process that can involve background removal, color correction, shadow balance and everything you think is necessary. You can use photo editing apps to edit product photographs.
7. Looking at other brands for inspiration is a great way to get new ideas. Take the time to look through their product photography and it will not be long before you have some ideas of how your own photos could improve!
8. The rule of thirds is a powerful and effective tool that many introductory photography classes, as well as art courses, teach. This concept shows you how to divide your canvas into nine equal segments by imagining it as “a tic-tac-toe board”. The goal with the use of this technique is to create an aesthetically pleasing composition for each piece through positioning (or focusing) on one point or intersection where two lines cross over rather than only using a single dominant focal point in the center. Studies have shown people’s eyes are usually drawn towards whichever focal point they see first when viewing images; so make sure yours isn’t too centered!
9. A common mistake for product photographers is to get carried away with props during the photo shoot. Remember, the main focus for each of your product photos should be your item! But that doesn’t mean you can’t use other items in the background as well and make things a little more interesting. You want to keep them simple and relevant though-think about what would enhance your photo without distracting from it too much? So what kind of props will look good? We recommend erring towards light-colored objects with simple designs when choosing between various options: these types are easy to use in any scene or situation while still being relevant as well as colorful and eye-catching. Lifestyle photos give you more freedom to use props.
10. Creating a variety of shots from different angles will allow your customers to see what you are selling in detail. The beauty is that the process has flexibility- if a shot doesn’t work, it’s easy enough to retake with something new! What else could be said about product photography? It allows you to take several photos and then choose which best displays all aspects of your item (not just aesthetically but also functionally). This could be a really helpful product photography tip.
How to prepare your smartphone for product photography?
- Before shooting with your smartphone cameras whether Android or iOS make sure your camera is ready to shoot. Keep these tips in mind and make your own photo studio at home.
- Set up your phone for optimal shooting. Make sure it has enough battery to capture the shot and a storage card if needed.
- Set up the white balance according to where you will be shooting, as it can make a big difference in how everything looks on camera. Touch your WB button then touch that beautiful blank canvas (or product) with more light than dark colors so that there isn’t too much contrast or “blown out” areas like people’s skin tones.
- Check for exposure by tapping the circular Exposure button; adjust accordingly depending on if need more or less light… If necessary use Focus function-touching once for slight adjustments, twice quickly when dealing with moving subjects!
- Lock these settings before continuing into shoot mode–makes things easier later down the road.
Now that you know about the details of product photography, let us move ahead and find out why to use animated product photos and how to do that.
Animated visuals, when used correctly, can grab the attention of your audience and help you communicate a message quickly. Short animations are ideal for conveying information in short videos because they require less work than video production. Animated visuals add movement in an environment where people’s attention spans are getting shorter by the minute; this makes for a perfect opportunity! Animated content is also aesthetically pleasing and more likely to be shared on social media; this helps increase views as well as engagement with subsequent clips or live streams from that person’s account on social media!
Steps to animate images-
- Find your goal and tell your story-Imagine that you are creating an animated story of your favorite movie. You start by brainstorming and planning out exactly how the animation should look like, what should be static, what should be animated. What objects or characters do you want to include in your animation? If needed draw it out on a whiteboard or piece of paper for better clarity during the process so while making animations later on down the road if needed; this way when we create our own animations we know clearer which graphics would work best with our project at hand. Therefore, click the best image and convey the story.
- Choose the right photo editing app and animation maker- Animation makers are platforms that allow you to create animations. They include everything from a drag and drop interface, sound effects library, ready-made templates, transitions, or motion graphics for the best final product possible. Choosing the right animation maker could make all of your work on time just better than before!
- Make the necessary adjustments-When animating your work, make sure to keep a close eye on the sequence of it and also how you transition from one scene/animation into another. Once everything is aligned properly, start making adjustments as needed by moving graphics around or changing their appearance in order for them to match up with what’s going on during that particular moment.
- Use some music-It is always a good idea to use background music in animation. It can help evoke emotions from your audience and make the experience more engaging, but only if you do it right! Don’t just add any type of sound effects or background music willy-nilly; try giving some thought as to why they are being used so that they fit seamlessly into the animations.
- Final preview- At the end of the animation, make sure you’re checking for any errors. Play it from start to finish and see if anything needs fixing up or changing before finalizing your masterpiece! Once you’ve made those changes, save your work so that nothing can go wrong when uploading this masterful piece into a channel of choice. After doing all these steps such as exporting and making it compatible with whatever platform/channel desired, you can use them as social media posts or on online shopping websites.
You must be wondering that this sounds like a tedious task and how to do that without hiring a professional. You can obviously do so by using a simple photo editing app, which will let you animate your images after the photo shoot. But before the animation process, you will need to edit the photos. Some of the best photo editing apps are adobe photoshop express, VSCO grid, adobe lightroom, Picsart, and many more. Adobe Photoshop is a familiar tool with most of us. Just open the product photo in the photo editing app and explore the photo editor. You can make basic adjustments in the product photo by changing the brightness, contrast, sharpness, highlights/shadows, and white balance. Make the product stand out. This will give a new life to your product photos and give your content more engagement. If you are still wondering whether or not to invest in product photography then we suggest if you have the budget go for a professional photographer and if not use your smartphone and do it yourself without any additional costs.
After editing the product photo, move ahead to animate it using Offeo animation maker. This will help you to easily add any design to the image. Adding transitions can make your animation impressive. Finally, take a preview and save it and the process will be completed. This will give you studio-quality results without having to actually go to a studio. So go ahead and create super appealing and professional product photos the easy way using OFFEO!