The Complete Guide to Styled Product Photos
All I wanted was to take my own photos for Instagram. Surely, it can't be THAT hard to get some styled flat lay shots.
This is what I thought to myself as I arranged my props with high hopes and delusional optimism daydreaming of clients knocking down my door to work with me.
Spoiler alert: it didn't happen. And I struggled for a long time to get professional-looking styled photos.
But I can tell you when I finally discovered the hard-won secrets, I knew I wanted to share it because I wouldn't wish on anyone the struggle and frustration of lackluster DIY photos.
So let me tell you what actually works.
It's not just one thing, it's a system
This may not be what you were hoping for. A lot of us, myself included, want a super easy, quick and painless solution so we can go from 0–100 overnight. But unfortunately, it doesn't work that way with most things, and that includes high quality product photography.
I CAN tell you that it's a solution anyone can adopt and get great results with. I've taken some people through this system who agree that it's super beneficial and can make your photos stand out.
So what's the system? It's this:
1. DSLR Basics
If you have a nice camera and think just pointing and shooting will get you results, I'm sorry to say, that that's not the case. The good news is, once you master the basics of your nice camera you can get stellar images.
When you have a firm understanding of how to get the most out of your camera, you can accelerate your photos, but it doesn't start there.
Good photos is almost entirely dependent on good lighting. This goes for where you set up your space to how much light you have to work with.
I recommend shooting in a well-lit space, with one or more windows. You can also enhance the light you have with your camera settings and other sources.
3. Styling and Shooting
Styling is a big part of getting quality images. Rather than a jumble of random props you need purpose, direction and some fall-back tips for getting interesting shots every time.
Editing is a big one. It can take your good photos and turn them into something great. There are so many different tools for editing that leaving out this important step is just
5. Formatting Images for Web
Let's say you get your great photos but then you put them on your site only to get the "pinwheel of death"? If you're uploading your photos without using specific keywords or you're not resizing your images to the perfect size without losing quality then you need to learn this important step to finish the process.
All this info is at your fingertips!
I'm sharing all my hard-won secrets in my new video course, Novice to Confident: Intro to DSLR Product Photography that takes non-photographers through this process so they can feel competent and show off their products or styled images professionally.