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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Improving my product photography

Each year I like to have one area of my business to focus on improving. I'm very aware that there is loads that could be done to make my little business better, but if I try to do them all at once it becomes so overwhelming and time consuming. Since I spend most of my working time making up orders (as this is what brings the pennies in afterall) I only have a couple of hours a month that I can use for making improvements. Now that I've got my business up and running and (hopefully) looking pretty professional there's no rush to improve everything at once. So I like to pick one main area at the start of the year that I'll invest time in.

This year it's my product photography. I keep all my photos pretty plain and easy, with a standard white background. A couple of years ago when I last looked at my product photos I put a lot of effort into making sure the backgrounds really were nice and bright white, rather than greyish or blueish depending on the light. However, I did this mainly by editing the photos after taking them. It seemed to be taking a disproportionately long time to get good product photos, so I thought it was about time to think about how I could improve the original shot so that it needed less editing.

After quite a lot of reading I felt that I could change two things relatively easily: the background and lighting. So I've built myself a new white backdrop that I can simply place my products onto.

It's just a piece of very thick cardboard stuck at right angles, with a large sheet of white card attached at the top. Nothing fancy here!

But it's great and making a huge difference so far. It's portable, so I can move it around the house depending on where the light is. And it's large enough that I can get a good shot of my product wholly within the white backdrop. So no more editing out joins in the card or the bits round the edges where the background wasn't quite big enough. Here it is all set up with my mini tripod.

Next up I need to work on the lighting. I've partly solved it by being able to move the set up to the lightest part of the house depending on the time of day. But each time I need to take some product photos I'm going to have a little play and see what else I can do.

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