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How Do I Take Product Photos with My Phone? (A Quick Guide to DIY Product Photography)

product phone photography

Modern-day smartphones boast remarkable power and are capable of capturing exceptionally high-quality photos. Indeed, there is a dedicated community for smartphone photography that consistently creates visually stunning images. With megapixel counts ranging from 8MP to 12MP and beyond, the capabilities of current mobile phones ensure that achieving outstanding photos is effortlessly possible.

There’s also a professional mode on some phones that gives you more control over things like shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. And if you want to add more colors and detail to your photos, you can choose to shoot in HDR (High Dynamic Range), which is a super popular feature on many phones.

Worried about the resolution? Don’t be! The latest smartphones can take photos that are 3,264×2,448 pixels or even 4,608×3,456 pixels. That’s more than enough detail for social media, web use, and even some light printing.

If you’re running a small business, chances are you don’t have the budget to hire a professional photographer to take product photos for you. But that’s okay! With a little bit of know-how, you can easily take your own product photos with your phone.

DIY product photography is easy and only requires a few simple tools and techniques. With a little practice, you’ll be taking amazing product photos that’ll make your products look their best.

In this guide, we will teach you how to take professional photos with your smartphone and how product photo editing services like Pixel by Hand turn them into perfection. If you want to take your product photography game up a notch, we also have a guide on lighting your products for photography. But for now, let’s get started with the basics!

Let’s transform your product images!

Get started with a Free Trial of our product photo retouching service or if you have any questions simply click Ask A Question to get started.

How to Take Professional Photos with Your Smartphone

First and foremost, you need a great phone. If you want to take amazing photos, you need an amazing phone. Smartphone photography has come a long way in recent years and the latest phones on the market are capable of taking some seriously stunning shots.

Make sure your phone has a good camera. In a previous article we’ve written here at Pixel by Hand, we’ve listed down the Best Phone Cameras for Product Photography that lets you shoot high-quality images. These phone cameras are not just great for product photos but also for other types of photography like portraits, landscapes, and street photography.

For better results, investing in phone camera accessories like lenses and tripods will definitely help you up your game. But if you’re just starting out, the built-in camera on your phone should be more than enough to get you started.

1. Clean Your Lens

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to clean their camera lenses before taking photos. Even the tiniest speck of dust can ruin a photo, so make sure that your lens is clean before taking any shots.

To clean your lens, you will need a soft, lint-free cloth. Gently wipe the lens with the cloth in a circular motion until it is clean. You can also use lens cleaning solutions, but be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. Then, open up the camera app on your phone and check to see if there’s any dust or lint on the sensor. If you see anything, use a blower brush to gently remove it.

2. Find the Right Lighting

Lighting is everything when it comes to taking great photos. The right lighting can make a photo look amazing, while the wrong lighting can make it look flat and lifeless.

When taking product photos, make sure your products are well-lit from all angles. The best way to do this is to use natural light. If you’re shooting indoors, set up your product near a window where there’s plenty of light coming in. If you’re shooting outdoors, find a spot where your product is in the shade, but there’s still plenty of light. Avoid direct sunlight, which can create harsh shadows and make your product look washed out.

3. Use a Plain Background

A busy or cluttered background can distract from your product and make your photo look messy. When taking product photos, it’s best to use a plain background so that your product is the star of the show.

If you’re shooting indoors, you can use a blank wall or a piece of poster board as your background. If you’re shooting outdoors, find an area with grass or pavement where there aren’t any busy patterns or colors.

It’s also helpful if you plan out how you will shoot your product before you start taking photos. Do you need product images for your store on Amazon? Do you need close-ups or lifestyle shots? Both of these require very different approaches, so it’s important to know what you need before you start shooting.

Planning ahead will help you get the needed shots without having to stop and rearrange your product every few minutes.

4. Use a Tripod

Tripods are essential for taking sharp, blur-free photos. If you don’t have a tripod, you can always improvise by setting your phone on a flat surface like a table or the ground. Just make sure that your phone is level and steady before taking the photo.

Tripods are also helpful if you’re planning a flat lay shoot. For these types of shots, you’ll need to set your phone up high enough so that you can get the entire product in the frame. A tripod will come in handy for getting just the right angle.

5. Use the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a photography composition technique that helps you take well-balanced photos. To use the rule of thirds, imagine your photo divided into nine equal parts by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Then, place your subject at one of the intersections or along one of the lines.

This will help you create a photo that is pleasing to the eye and looks natural. Avoid centering your subject in the frame, which can often make photos look boring. A good way to practice the rule of thirds is to use the grid lines feature in your phone’s camera app.

6. Shoot in RAW Format

RAW format is a type of file that contains all of the data that your camera sensor collects when you take a photo. This data includes things like exposure, white balance, and color information.

In smartphones, RAW files are usually saved as DNG files. To shoot in RAW format, you must download a RAW camera app like Adobe Lightroom CC. Once you’ve installed the app, open it and go to the settings. Then, find the option that says “Shoot in RAW” and make sure it is turned on.

7. Use a Low ISO Setting

The ISO setting on your camera determines how sensitive it is to light. A low ISO setting like 100 or 200 is ideal for taking photos in well-lit situations. A high ISO setting like 800 or 1600 is better for low-light situations.

If you’re not sure what ISO setting to use, it’s best to start with a low ISO and then increase it if needed. A high ISO can make your photos look grainy, so you only want to use it when absolutely necessary.

You can usually find the ISO setting in the camera app under the “Advanced” or “Expert” mode when using smartphones.

8. Use a Fast Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is the amount of time that your camera’s shutter is open when taking a photo. A fast shutter speed like 1/500 or 1/1000 of a second is ideal for taking photos of moving objects. A slow shutter speed like 1/30 or 1/60 of a second is better for taking photos of stationary objects.

If you’re shooting with a model or sports photo for active gear products, you’ll need to use a fast shutter speed to avoid blur. You can use a slower shutter speed if you’re shooting a still product like a piece of jewelry.

If you’re not sure what shutter speed to use, it’s best to start with a fast shutter speed and then lower it if needed. A slow shutter speed can make your photos look blurry, so you only want to use it when absolutely necessary.

9. Use a Large Aperture

Aperture is the size of the opening in your camera’s lens when taking a photo. A large aperture like f/2.8 or f/4 lets in more light and creates a shallow depth of field. This means that your subject will be in focus, and the background will be blurry.

A small aperture like f/16 or f/22 lets in less light and creates a deep depth of field. This means that both your subject and the background will be in focus. If you’re not sure what aperture to use, it’s best to start with a large aperture and then lower it if needed.

If you’re shooting a car for your trading website, you may want to use a small aperture so that both the car and its surroundings are in focus. But if you’re shooting a close-up of the car’s engine, you may want to use a large aperture to blur the background and make the engine stand out.

10. Adding Props and Ghost Mannequins

Props can help make your product photos more interesting, especially if you’re planning a lifestyle shoot. Some of the most common props used by professional product photographers are vases, flowers, rugs, and blankets.

If you want to showcase your product when worn, you can use the ghost mannequin technique. This involves taking a photo of your product on a mannequin and then editing the mannequin out of the photo in Photoshop. The end result is a photo of your product that looks like it’s floating in mid-air. It gives an impression of how the product would look when worn, which helps your customers better visualize it.

11. Edit Your Photos

After taking your photos, it’s always a good idea to edit them to make them look their best. There are many different ways to edit photos, but common methods include adjusting the exposure, white balance, and color.

If you’re not sure how to edit your photos, there are plenty of tutorials online that can help you get started. But if you want to save time, you may outsource your product editing requirements to experts like Pixel by Hand. For years, we’ve worked with hundreds of eCommerce brands that need help with product photography.

We understand that not everyone has access to a professional photographer, and that’s why we’re here to help. We offer a wide range of photo editing services that can take your photos from good to great. So if you need help editing your product photos, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

It’s always best to do test shots so you can see how the product looks in different lighting and angles before you start taking the final photos. This will help you save time and get the best photos possible.

To get the best product shots, avoid the following:

  • Do not use the Zoom feature: This will make your photos look pixelated.
  • Do not use your phone camera’s flash: This will create a harsh light that can wash out your product’s color. You are also at risk of overexposure.
  • Do not shoot in direct sunlight: This will create shadows on your product. Instead, find a shady spot or use a diffuser to soften the light.
  • Do not use the selfie camera: This will not give you the best quality photo. Use the rear-facing camera on your phone for better results.
  • Do not use filters: These can alter the color of your product and make it look different than it is.
best camera phone photography

Getting the Most from Your Product Photography

To get the most out of your product photography, you need to be prepared. This means having all the right gear, knowing what settings to use on your camera, and understanding the composition basics.

If you’re using a smartphone, you must invest in a good-quality camera lens. This will help you take better photos and get more detail in your shots. You should also avoid using the flash on your phone, as this can wash out the colors in your photo.

Prepare your phone. Before going on a photo shoot, make sure your phone is fully charged and that you have enough storage for all the anticipated images. Also, don’t forget to bring any tripods or other stabilizing devices you might need.

Set up your white balance. To set the white balance of your image according to the light temperature in your setup, touch the WB (white balance) button, then touch the available white background. Doing this will help to prevent your product photos from coming out with a yellow or blue tint.

Check your exposure. To properly expose your product, tap the circular Exposure button, then touch your product. This will help to ensure that your product is properly illuminated and not too dark or too bright.
Use a grid. Use the grid lines on your phone’s camera to help you compose your shots. This will help you keep everything in the frame straight, which is especially important when shooting products with straight lines.

Keep everything in focus. Tap the circular Focus button, then tap your product so that the camera will focus on the product. This is important for getting sharp, detailed photos.

Make sure you lock your camera settings. After you’re done adjusting the settings, double tap each one to lock the setting into place. This will prevent the camera from automatically changing any of the settings while you’re taking pictures.

And of course, don’t forget to have fun! Product photoshoots shouldn’t be stressful rather, it should be a time for you to get creative and have fun with your products. Smartphone product photography can be challenging, but with a little preparation, you can get great results. So go out there and start taking some amazing product photos!

Product Photo Editing

Product Photo Editing Services

Even the best product photos will benefit from a little bit of editing. Photo editing and post-production processes can help to correct any errors in your photos, make colors more vibrant, and add visual interest.

At Pixel by Hand, we’ve helped clients with everything from simple color corrections to complete product photo makeovers. We can help you create photos that are perfect for your website, social media, or even print marketing materials.

Our team of creative editors has years of experience in product photo editing particularly in background removal, clipping path, image masking, color correction, photo retouching, and manipulations.

If you’re interested in learning more about our product photo editing services, contact us today for a FREE Trial! We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and show you how we can help you take your product photos to the next level.

Let’s transform your product images!

Get started with a Free Trial of our product photo retouching service or if you have any questions simply click Ask A Question to get started.

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