Get High Quality eCommerce Images Using Your Smartphone
eCommerce selling is all about great professional pictures – you lure your audience with beautiful visuals. Oh! I wish I had that – you want your audience to exclaim. Thankfully, a great smartphone to create these eCommerce images is all you need to get that feeling from customers about your products!
This guide will help you with great product photography within a budget.
Table of Contents
- Get the right phone for mobile photography
- Call for the tripod
- Get the backdrop for product photography right
- Know the basics of great phone photography
- Achieve symmetry, gridlines to the rescue
- Focus, focus, focus
- Activate HDR, the underrated friend
- Ditch the shiny flash, bring in natural light
- Go for a burst
- Don’t zoom when you don’t have to
- Imbibe a photographer’s mindset
- Negative is not all bad
- Perspective matters here, too
- Surroundings matters
- The Bottom Line
Get the right phone for mobile photography
Start with a phone that has a high megapixel camera – 12 MP or more to be precise. When a phone has a higher megapixel camera the sensor gathers more light and the picture clarity is better. You won’t see grains or pixels when you zoom the image.
A wide aperture can be a good feature to have as it blurs the background when you zoom close to a subject. Phones like Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus have this feature. Screen to body ratio is important too as a wide screen will give you a bigger view. Vivo has a phone called Nex with an awesome 91% ratio.
These are some nuances of buying a good photography phone. If you don’t have one, don’t fret. We can still use some great techniques for eCommerce images.
|Clean your lens thoroughly before you start taking a photograph. As obvious it may sound, most don’t bother to do it and regret later when the image turns out unclear.|
Call for the tripod
We all hate that feeling when a supposedly good shot turns out to be a hot blurry mess. You can permanently shake away that feeling as tripod stands stand tall and strong for you. Especially in case of moving objects where your camera might take 10 seconds to snap a shot, tripod gives the steady support mobile photography needs.
|While professional Tripods can cost Rs. 5000 or more, you can start off with a basic mini tripod worth Rs. 379 from Amazon Basics.|
If you don’t have a tripod, seek other support. Rest your phone against a hard surface such as a wall or a table top instead of holding it in your hand. This reduces the noise that may arise due to shaky handling of the screen.
Get the backdrop for product photography right
You don’t want to click your pictures against a busy background and then struggle to crop it. White background is the best, as it removes any noise and lets you focus on the subject. Ensure that your backdrop is larger than the image itself.
As you get better at this art of clicking eCommerce images, consider investing in a Light Tent – it is a wired cube with white fabric around it. It gives the plain backdrop you need and it takes the stress off lighting.
Know the basics of great phone photography
When you place your products against a background and start clicking, you could be making mistakes like low contrast, poor lighting or blurry focus. Spend some time understanding the features of your phone. Let us get you started with few that help click great eCommerce images.
Achieve symmetry, gridlines to the rescue
The first and foremost quality of a good image is symmetry. One way to achieve this is by introducing lines/grids on your image. These lines divide your image in 9 proportions. When you place your desired subject (the object you need to focus on) on the intersection point of these lines, it automatically creates a balanced picture.
Learn more about activating gridlines for mobile photography here.
Focus, focus, focus
Whether you are into Instagram photography or trying hands on eCommerce images, the subject should stand out from the background. Most smart phones enable you to take clear, sharp and blur-free images because they can automatically focus on the main product. If by chance your smartphone camera is having difficulty in locating the key subject, tap on the object and you will see a round/square focus icon that will capture it right.
When you are clicking eCommerce images against a white background, it may not be a challenge. It gets tricky when you click in nature – explorer’s accessories or real estate listing pictures for instance.
Activate HDR, the underrated friend
Just like our eyes can capture the tiniest detail of the darkest and lightest objects we see, HDR or High Dynamic Range feature gives your camera similar power to do so. While it may seem a little time consuming because HDR images take some milliseconds more to load and process, even the darkest areas of your image will turn to be really captivating with this mode on.
Imagine the difference it will make while clicking e-commerce images for real estate listings.
|How to activate HDR ?|
|In most phones you will get this option when you go to Settings > Camera. Scroll until you see HDR (High Dynamic Range) section. You can go for Auto HDR or Keep Normal Photo option. The Auto HDR is turned off by default in most phones. So you need to activate it when you need it.|
Ditch the shiny flash, bring in natural light
It makes your face cakey and your eyes unnaturally glowy and it is certainly not needed. Nothing beats natural light unless you are trying to shoot at night or in a dark room. Make it a habit to push that flash button on only in the rarest of rare occasions. Use flash selectively by manually setting it.
Experiment with different angles of natural lighting instead. A good rule to follow is that your primary light source should fall on your subject and not be behind or too far away from it.
Go for a burst
Take a burst photo. It allows you to get ten shots per second. In most phones, the burst mode gets automatically activated when you press down the shutter button for long.
It may not be very useful when you click static photos. The resultant pictures can also occupy a lot of space in the phone. So let’s look at a good use case.
Burst photography is used a lot in sports as you get details of every movement by the player. Similarly, if you are showing an object in motion (toys, sports objects), burst can give you great shots to choose from at the editing table.
Don’t zoom when you don’t have to
As hard as you may be tempted to, do not use digital zoom in mobile photography. Try physically reaching the places that you wish to or going closer to the objects to magnify an image because zoom will break your photo’s quality.
You may not notice the pixelation while clicking but it may be very evident while editing.
Imbibe a photographer’s mindset
While the smart phone companies have done everything possible to make phone cameras professional, it is your mindset that makes all the difference. You have to cultivate a sense of photography.
Negative is not all bad
Negative space usually refers to the area surrounding your subject in the image. For example, picturise an image with a person standing on a shore with a huge view of the sea behind it. That big expanse of sea, sky or any other vast field is the negative space. This usually sends out a strong, deep message to the viewers, making your object in focus stand out. It can especially be important for real estate photography. The views on your listing can greatly depend on it.
Perspective matters here, too
How you perceive an object is unique to every individual and that enables people to take outstanding photographs of the simplest of things around them. Get creative with your e-commerce images by taking shots at different angles to display your product better. Angles can add depth. For instance, the picture of an earring can look really flat when taken from front. When you shoot from an angle, the diamonds and the stones get sharply defined. Add shadows during editing to add a new dimension.
Organise creatively. This is a great tip for product photography or food photography. Imagine adorning your food plate with branched flowers. It accentuates the whole image look and makes the food look more tempting.
Similarly, if you have to take a luxury shot of an expensive home décor. You wouldn’t take it individually. You would surround it with a luxury vase, a cool table top and some accessories. People are willing to pay a high price for objects they perceive to be worth it. And you have to build this perspective through your photography.
The Bottom Line
Remember the three things you truly need to master – photographer’s mindset, photography features within a smartphone and the art of editing.
Practice and more practice is what will take you to newer heights you thought were unachievable. The more you indulge in mobile photography, the better you will get. Experimenting with all settings and turning on the creative genius inside you will surely keep you one step ahead of the game every time.