One of the most important photography tips for selling online is to produce clean, clear photos of the products you are offering. Buyers are often influenced by the appearance of the photos. It is vital that your pictures are not just good-looking, but slightly above-average. Likewise, you should always clean the items you are trying to sell before taking them since digital photos magnify dirt. If you do not know how to clean your camera, take a few minutes to read these photography tips.

Understanding and Using Negative Space

One of the biggest pet peeves any web designer has is when a client provides a gigaton of photographs for their website and there is no negative space used.  Close-up shots are almost all unusable for your website as you need to crop around the subject to fit whatever area within the site.  

Using negative space - photography tips

When composing images, photographers should leave a certain amount of negative space around their subject. This helps viewers understand the movement of the subject. This is especially important when photographing moving objects like people and cars. Photographers should use negative space to their advantage and avoid taking shots of their subjects that are too small or too large. When using photos online the negative space also gives you liberty in cropping the photograph in various ways (Square for Instagram, wide and short for a banner on Facebook, etc).  It allows you to use one photograph for multiple purposes and platforms.

Below are some photography tips on how to utilize negative space in your photographs. They may help you create better images and avoid clumsy mistakes.  Also, see our previous article – How To Work With Images For Your Website for some in-depth information.

If you’re shooting landscapes, you can utilize negative space to add a sense of solitude and relaxation to your images. However, you have to be careful when choosing the composition, as adding or subtracting negative space will alter the balance of weight between other elements. In addition, there are certain ways in which negative space can enhance the image’s composition. Fortunately, there are several tools you can use to improve the look of your images.

The first step in creating an effective negative space photo is experimenting with negative space, expirament with a single object, and if you succeed, you can introduce more subjects. Remember that negative space tends to make your photographs minimalist, so experiment with it and find the right balance. This will allow you to create photos with more negative space but still have a strong focus on the main subject. If you’re working in a busy street, a single object can often make negative space work well.

To create an effect that draws the viewer’s attention, consider placing peripheral elements within the frame. By placing them near the edge of the frame, they will create a sense of movement. This way, the viewer won’t be distracted by too many other things in the scene. In contrast, a central figure can create ambiguity and tension, which is a common effect of negative space. 

Photographers see shapes and patterns everywhere. By introducing negative space, they can highlight the scale of their subjects compared to the background. This effect can also be enhanced by shooting from a higher vantage point or without distracting elements. If you want to make negative space a stronger part of your image, try experimenting with black and white photography. You’ll soon be amazed by the results! It will change the way you view the world.

To create a better overall composition. It’s important to remember that there is positive space and negative space in your composition. This space is the area surrounding your main subject. By using negative space in your photographs, you can create more interesting photos and improve the usability of your website or mobile application. The main subjects in your images will stand out much more. It will also make the photos look more attractive and appealing to your viewers.

Setting Up A Photography Area

To sell products online doesn’t really require a lot of expensive equipment but it does require some forethought on how to set up the photo area. Here are some great photography tips to help!

Photography tips - setting up a photography area
  1. Understand Your Equipment – Equipment gets easier and easier to use as technology fills in many of the gaps, but it is extremely useful to get to know the equipment that you will be using. These photography tips will help with your equipment.
    • While professional cameras are ideal, today’s smartphones are equipped with impressive camera technology that’s sufficient for most online selling.
    • Understand your camera’s settings. Whether it’s adjusting the ISO, white balance, or using the macro mode, tweaking the right settings can drastically improve your photos.
  2. A better Camera equals a better photograph – But before you go out and max out your credit card on a high-end Nikon, you need to understand that the phone in your pocket is just as good for online photography.  Why? Because we need to reduce the photo quality so it doesn’t take 30 seconds to load the photograph.  The photo, when it’s done, will basically be a low-quality photo in terms of dpi and size.  These photographs are not for print; any modern smartphone takes tremendously high-quality photographs.  
  3. Use a tripod – There are many types of tripods that can be used, depending on the size and distance you need.  The key here is to ensure your photos are consistent and the camera is completely still during the shoot.  
  4. Lighting is everything – First, consider the type of lighting you use when taking pictures of your products. There are two types of lighting: soft lighting and hard lighting. Use soft lighting if you’re posting your items on social media. Hard lighting works well for lifestyle-type photos, but you need to capture accurate color and detail in order to sell a product online. You can create an effective lighting setting with clamp fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, and wax paper. The key to good lighting is to make sure that the light source does not obscure the object.  Avoid a flash; a flash can wash out colors and create unwanted glares or shadows. Unless you have professional lighting equipment, it’s best to stick to ambient lighting.
  5. Dealing with the shadows
    • Use a Fill Light to supplement your main light, add another less intense light source. This light source is known as your fill light. It is used to counter the natural shadows that your main light casts behind objects.  This is done by placing your fill light against your main light source so your product is between the two.
    • Use a Bounce Card
      A bounce card (or reflector card) is a small, transparent card that “reflects” or “bounces” the main light onto the surface underneath your product in order to reduce shadows. To diffuse the flashlight, attach some bounce cards to the flashbulb on a professional camera lens. This card shines a soft light on the subject from above the set, rather than directly at it. It also helps to avoid long shadows behind the object.
    • Use Natural Light – the best photography tip for lighting and the simplest.
      • The sun is your best friend. Natural light brings out the true colors of your product without the harshness of artificial light.
      • Photograph near a window or outside in indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause shadows or overexposure.
  6. Create a Sweep White Background
    There’s no one way to position your product. Lights, bounce cards, and lights can all be adjusted depending on the background. You shouldn’t pick the easiest background to make. Your background should reflect how your customers will perceive your product online.
    A sweep is a large, flexible sheet of paper that acts as a surface underneath your product. Then, it curves up to form a white wall behind it. The sweep’s curve appears invisible on camera. It emphasizes key product details and allows the item to grab all the attention of website visitors.
  7. Multiple angles and Close-ups – Yes in the earlier photography tips, we discussed negative space, but there is also the need at times to take multiple shots and gather close-ups and multiple angles. It’s dirt cheap to take the picture, the cost is in the time to process the images, so having lots of options is extremely helpful.
  8. Post-processing – in digital images, the magic is made in post. Use these couple of photography tips for the best results.
    • Basic editing can enhance your product photos. Tools like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom are professionals’ choices, but free alternatives like GIMP or mobile apps like Snapseed can also do the trick.
    • Adjust brightness, contrast, and sharpness to bring out the best in your photos. Remember to maintain a natural look.

Make colors pop in your photo.

photography tips - color pop

One of the best photography tips to add the WOW factor to your photos is by making the colors pop in them. There are several techniques you can use to make the colors in your photo pop. The first method is to make the vibrance of the colors on the image a bit higher. Then you can move the vibrance slider to the right. The next method is to target specific colors. Ultimately, you want to make sure that all the colors are vibrant.

When editing your photos, make sure that they have the proper color balance. Use complementary colors, meaning those on opposite sides of the color wheel. For example, if the subject of the photo is yellow, then use a yellow softbox to make the yellow more prominent. Using this technique, you can add more yellow to the photo without affecting the other colors. After adjusting the contrast, make sure that the light is enough to create a balanced effect.