easy Ecommerce photos on a smartphone

Easy Ecommerce Photography on Your Phone

Do you have an Etsy or Shopify store? You may think that you need a fancy traditional camera for your e-commerce photos, but that’s where you’re wrong.

Ecommerce photography on your phone is not only a viable option, but it may just be the preferable one too. Let’s go over what is e-commerce photography and then we’ll discuss how to do it on your phone.

What is Ecommerce Photography

Essentially, ecommerce photography is just product photography. Product photography is used by sellers to show their products in the best way possible. Great care is taken to make sure the products appear to be high-quality and desirable to potential buyers.

You can see product photography at work everywhere in your life. From the ads in your local newspaper to the packaging of products in your local stores. Good photos will draw you in and make you want to buy that product, whether you actually need it or not.

In order to take the best photos of products for sale, proper lighting, angles, depth of field, and editing of photos is required. The reason that product photographers take so much care to show off the products is that regardless of the quality of the item, the photos are what will make buyers choose that product over competitors.

Product Photography for Ecommerce Sites

budget smartphone ecommerce photography for Shopify

Photos with Phones

Though product photography is an essential part of selling any product, it’s especially important in ecommerce. With ecommerce, buyers won’t be able to physically touch and examine the products they buy before they pull out their credit card, so good photos can make all the difference.

Have you ever seen a product online that had one mediocre photo available and immediately added it to your online shopping cart? Probably not. Most buyers want plenty of photos from a variety of angles to make sure the item is exactly what they’re looking for.

How to Do Ecommerce Photography on your Phone for Less Than $100

Getting started in ecommerce photography is easy, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. With a few simple tools and the right techniques, you’ll be capturing stunning images of any product in no time.

Backdrop

Whether you use a photobox or a simple backdrop will depend on the size of the item you’re photographing. For larger items, you’ll want to use a backdrop with lighting. For smaller items, choose a lightbox like the one above that comes with multiple different backdrops.

It’s important to use external lighting rather than the flash on your phone. Using your flash could result in weird reflections and unflattering shadows. 

Instead, opt for a few lights set up around the object. A three-point lighting system is ideal. You might also consider using bounce cards or even an umbrella to make sure the product is evenly lit.

For the backdrop itself, choose a simple solid color. Most ecommerce photographers shoot on black or white backdrops, depending on the color of the product. Obviously, dark products will stand out more on light colored backdrops and vice versa.

Make sure your backdrop is large enough to photograph the product without capturing the edges of your backdrop in the photos. It’s better to use an overly large backdrop than one that’s too small.

Photobox/Lightbox

Photoboxes or lightboxes are ideal for shooting small products. These nifty gadgets are perfect for beginner and experienced product photographers alike since they combine backdrop with lighting.

If you’re not familiar with using a photobox, it’s just a five-sided box, usually black or white in color. They typically contain their own light sources and are perfect for photographing smaller products such as jewelry, home décor, or clothing.

Photoboxes are available in a range of sizes to suit your ecommerce photography needs. Some may also come with their own turntable to ensure you capture your product from every available angle.

Tripod

Tripods are a great piece of gear to have on hand for ecommerce photography, but the type of tripod you use will depend on what you’re photographing. If you frequently shoot smaller items, you might prefer a compact or tabletop tripod over a full-size tripod.

Tripods come in a wide range of sizes and materials. No matter what type you need, there’s a tripod to suit your budget, especially one as generous at $100.

If you need more information on why you need a tripod and what type will work best for you, read more here. If you’re interested in smartphone dedicated tripods, then consider IMStick or Mobile by Peak Design.

Remote Shutter

There’s no point in using a tripod if you’re going to sacrifice your stability by tapping the shutter button on your phone with your finger. Instead, use a remote camera shutter! These pocket-sized remotes connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

Once you’ve connected your remote to your mobile device, you can line up your shot and press the shutter button from anywhere in the room. This makes it particularly easy to make adjustments to the product without having to go back and forth to your phone.

If you’ve never used a smartphone camera remote before, read here on why you need to buy one ASAP.

Display Turntable

As previously mentioned, your photos must be good enough to convince buyers to open up their wallets for a product they’ve never physically seen or touched. This means you need to photograph the item from every available angle.

Getting every angle can be frustrating when you constantly have to pause and readjust the product. However, you can eliminate that frustration with a turntable! Similar in design to a household lazy Susan, turntables are platforms that can be rotated to show off an item at any angle.

Some brands of turntable are compatible with software that allow you to create interactive 360-degree photos so that buyers can check out the item from any angle they choose. Studies have shown that these photos increase sales by between 10%-40%.

Getting the Perfect Ecommerce Product Photo on your Smartphone

In order to make sure you get the perfect ecommerce product photos, it’s helpful to create a shot list before your photoshoot. Listing each item and the angles or specific photos you need of each will help to ensure you never miss a shot.

Be sure to take way more photos than you think you’ll need. It’s better to have a ton of photos to sort through later than only having a few to choose from. This is especially true when choosing what angles to photograph the item at. 

Finally, don’t forget to edit! When editing ecommerce photos, avoid using filters that may alter the product’s appearance. Instead, keep it simple and highlight the positive features of the item. You can also clear up any unwanted distractions like weird shadows, dust, or lint.

About the Author /

joe@photoswithphones.com

Joe takes some pretty impressive photos and videos on his phone. He has a plethora of experience writing for large websites on a variety of topics and is able to deliver relatable mobile content that you'll surely enjoy. Joe majored in History at Christopher Newport University in VA. He currently resides in Denver, CO with his fiancee, Kathryn, and their dog, Jasmine.

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