When you’re looking to market your business, it isn’t always possible to call in a photographer for every post or video for social media. That means you may have to take some of your own photos or record your own video to show off your product. Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do that’ll help you shoot better photos and videos, even if you’re using your smartphone. Take a look:
The good news is the best lighting is also the least expensive — nothing will give you better photos and video clips than good natural lighting. But how do you find it? Here’s a simple tip: look for windows that get good northern light — it’ll be bright enough to light your images during day, but you won’t get direct rays from the sun. Take a look at the video below from Crate and Barrel — the images and video clips glow in the light, but aren’t overpowered by it:
Marketing Video Style: Standout
Song: “A Sunnyside” by Leftover Cuties
You want to make sure that the viewer’s eye goes straight to your product when you’re shooting, so put it on a plain background without any distracting patterns. Nu-era Bakery’s product photos show off their delicious baked goods — and nothing else. A simple wood background keeps focus where it belongs, and helps Nu-era Bakery market their product.
DIY TIP: Don’t have a plain background? Try getting a large roll of white or colored butcher paper at a craft store, then tape it or clip it to a chair, clothing rack, or anything else that works, and roll it down for your own DIY backdrop.
Often the difference between a so-so photo and a great one is just a different angle. Try overhead, eye level, just above eye level, or even get down on the floor. Shoot close up, then move farther away. The more angles you try, the more options you’ll have later on. Check out the variety of images Little Miss Party managed to photograph, just by changing up the angles of their shots. Those varied images gave them more options later when the company updated its website gallery and planned out social marketing materials (like the video featured in this blog post).
When you’re planning your shots (for either video clips for photos), try to put your product off to one side. For one thing, it often looks better (see our post on the Rule of Thirds), but, even more importantly, it gives you options later on if you decide to add text to your advertising (you can read more about this topic here).
This seems basic — a steady camera will give you clearer photos and smooth, steady video clips — but can be hard to put into practice. The easiest way is to invest in a tripod to keep your camera still, but the tips in the video below will work if you don’t have one handy.
Shooting your own product is doable with a little practice. Try to keep the tips above in mind, and check out our series on shooting with a DSLR (even if you’re using your smartphone) for more advice on how to take better photos. And once you have those product photos ready, use them to create a video to market your business.