Before you spend money on a DSLR and lens for product photography, consider using the quality camera that you carry around with you all the time: your smartphone!
You may be thinking that using your smartphone for product photography sounds a bit crazy, but with today’s advances in technology, it’s absolutely feasible to create great product images by utilizing your smartphone’s advanced camera features and a tripod. This option is both budgets and user-friendly—not to mention convenient! In this post, you will learn how to use your Smartphone to capture high-quality product images.
Step 1: Using Your Phone As A Camera
Most smartphones in today’s market come equipped with great cameras. If you’re one of the many consumers who has purchased one of these devices, then you have a high-quality DSLR alternative right at your fingertips! Whichever smartphone you choose to use for the photo shoot, make sure that your device has autofocus and the maximum amount of megapixels possible. Once you have identified the phone you plan to use for the photo shoot, you’re ready to move on to the rest of this tutorial and learn about how to take great images from start to finish by utilizing your smartphone’s advanced camera capabilities.
Click here for deals from one of our featured Vendors The Cellular Connection.
Step Two: Accessories
With all of the different accessories and gadgets that can be used with smartphones, it can be hard to decipher what you actually need to achieve great images. We recommend using a backdrop, a table, a lighting setup, a stand or tripod, and a lens to help your images stand out!
Using a white or light gray backdrop behind your products will give your photographs a clean and consistent look. You can create your own backdrop easily by using a sheet, rolled paper, foam board, or a wall. It is best to make a “sweep” so that your backdrop is not only behind the product but underneath it as well.
Utilize a table so that your product sits higher, which will make it easier for you to photograph your product during the photoshoot. Depending upon the type of image stabilization equipment you choose to use, it would be easy to prop your smartphone on the table as well.
There are many options for lighting, but the easiest and most budget-friendly option to use is natural window light. Set up your product and equipment near a large window to allow for ample light in your frame. If natural light is difficult for you to find, try using a larger lamp or renting a softbox-type lighting kit, depending on how big your object may be.
4. Image Stabilization
Using soft natural lighting makes for beautiful product photos, but it often creates the need for image stabilization equipment, such as a stand or a tripod. Although smartphone cameras do contain internal image stabilization software, there will still be camera shake if you hand-hold your phone, resulting in blurry images.
For the best possible results, we recommend using a tripod. Here are a few great options that can be used on basically any smartphone:
Believe it or not, you can use external lenses with your smartphone, and having them on hand is a good idea to make it through tough lighting and focusing situations. If you want to zoom in closer to your product and create a macro product image, for example, you’re going to need a macro or telephoto lens, since your smartphone will only be able to focus from a certain distance away from your product.
Choosing The Right Apps
There are lots of camera shooting & editing applications for your smartphone, so how do you decide? One thing to remember is that apps have been designed to help you to use your smartphone to its full potential. We recommend that you start by testing it out with your default camera app.
If looking to go above and beyond with your product photos here are a few apps we enjoy using:
Below are a few apps that have received stellar reviews:
$3 Android Camera Zoom FX
This Android-specific app has been rated #1 in camera apps for Android phones. If you’re looking for a shooting application with a few more features than the default camera app, then try Camera Zoom FX to help boost your images to the next level.
$2 iPhone Camera+
Camera+ is an iPhone-specific application that has been rated #1 in camera apps for iPhones. Using this application will allow you to harness your smartphone’s advanced shooting capabilities. The photos included in this tutorial were taken using this app.
Free Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Photoshop Express is a free image editing application for both Android and iPhone smartphones. This quick and easy app might be all that you need in your post-processing workflow.
$9 Photoshop Touch
Photoshop Touch is an editing app with more bells and whistles than the free “Express” version. It’s a great editing app that replicates the desktop version of Photoshop while still remaining user-friendly. The Touch program has much more functionality than the Express version.
Remember above all images sell products so, take your time and try to enjoy the process, challenge yourself and try new things. When you provide customers with great product images, they will know exactly what they’re buying when they decide to purchase your product making them eager to do business with you again in the future.