Starting a small business making handmade gifts can be expensive. You have to invest in your products before you start seeing a return. You’ll have made your product, started marketing it online, and added it to marketplaces like Made in Cymru. One of the most important aspects of your marketing is the photos that you use of your handmade items.
A picture paints a thousand words, and when a customer is scrolling through looking for Welsh gifts, it’s a high-quality photo that will grab their attention. You don’t have to spend hundreds – or thousands – of pounds on a DSLR camera. Your most powerful photography tool is right at your fingertips.
Did you know that 93%
of shoppers say that the product photos and visual appearance of products are a major deciding factor when shopping online? If you’re going to invest in anything, let it be your product photographs.
We’re sharing our top tips on how to take high-quality product photos using your smartphone. It’s our number one recommendation for any seller of handmade gifts looking to sell Welsh gifts on our marketplace.
1. Find a new smartphone model
If you don’t have the latest smartphone, you might be able to borrow one from a family member or friend. Camera quality is improving with every new phone model. For the highest-quality product photos, you want to find a smartphone with a 12-megapixel camera or higher. You’ll find this quality camera in an iPhone 8 or newer model, along with a Samsung Galaxy S8 or newer.
2. Look for good lighting
Lighting is what will make or break your product photos. You want to find a room in your house that has a well-lit space. Natural light and windows are your best friends and can help show your product in the best light. Set up your product photos near a window to take advantage of soft natural light that will create a sharp shadow.
Natural lighting is always best for photography of any kind, especially compared to artificial or studio lighting. Find a natural light source that comes from a single direction to give you a natural shadow. Take advantage of good days with sunlight to take your product photos.
3. Invest in a small tripod
One of the best investments you can make in your photography is a small tripod. You can easily pick one up on Amazon for under £20 or at your local supermarket in the tech aisle. They’re a budget-friendly investment that can be a gamechanger for your product photos. You don’t have to worry about the camera shaking and it can help you match photo angles and curate the style of your photography.
You can use your tripod to help set up your backdrop next to a window to take advantage of the brightest light from the sun around mid-morning or early afternoon. Using a tripod lets you work hands-free and utilize other tools like a diffuser sheet.
4. Don’t forget your backdrop
You can’t just throw your product down on a counter and start taking photos. You want to set up a sleek backdrop for your product photography. A white backdrop is sleek and minimalistic, helping to eliminate distractions and give you a consistent look. It’s easy to pick up a poster board or a white sheet that you can use as your go-to backdrop. You can create a more stable backdrop by setting it up on a table.
A white backdrop is the best choice as it helps to reflect the natural light from the window onto your product for an evenly lit photograph. You want to make sure that the backdrop is behind and underneath your product for an even look.
Don’t forget to use tape to keep your backdrop in place. Depending on your handmade gifts, you may also want to stick the product to the backdrop to avoid it falling over.
5. Take advantage of white bounce boards
Are you struggling to find the perfect light? You need white bounce boards. These handy tools help to reduce strong shades and give you balanced lighting that shows your handmade gifts in the best light and most detail. You can pick up a white bounce board at a local craft store or on Amazon.
Your white bounce boards are the best way to control natural lighting, especially if the sun suddenly disappears behind a cloud when you’re halfway through your photos. You’ll want to test your white bounce boards to see which lighting setup works best for your handmade gifts.
6. Reduce brightness with a diffuser sheet
It’s true that you can have too much of a good thing – with lighting being no exception. If the sunlight is too strong, a diffuser sheet can help soften the light. You can use printer paper, parchment paper, or even a shower curtain if you can’t find a diffuser sheet.
7. Different angles to take of your product
You want to capture your products from every angle. You should take at least 5 different photos of your handmade gifts to give your customers a full view of your product remembering to include some background so that your photos don’t seem too close.
Eye-level photos show the product straight on, while a high angle shows what the product looks like when you’re looking down on it at an angle. A low angle offers the opposite look, while a bird’s eye photo looks straight down. Don’t forget to take a slanted photo to see the product from one side.
Before you start photographing your products, make sure your phone is ready and that you’ve set up your white balance. Check your exposure level and take advantage of your phone’s focus settings. Once you’ve got every ready, start shooting!
When you have your high-quality product photos taken, you’ll be ready to start selling on Made in Cymru
. You can find out more about how to sell on our marketplace and our different membership plans here. You can take advantage of the leading marketplace for Welsh gifts and help put Wales on the map.