Find out all the best tips and tricks for budget photography. A #PrintedPeople interview with our in-house photographer- Amel.
Here at Printed.com, our employees aren’t just passionate about print, they’re experts in their field too. So, we thought we’d take a closer look at the people that make us and ask them to share their knowledge with you.
We probably don’t need to stress the importance of photography to you. Good product shots can be the difference between a succesful marketing campaign or a failure, between hundreds of social media followers or none. And while we all have cameras in our pockets and on our smartphones, getting a good shot can be a lot trickier than you think, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Fret not. Today we’re here with our very own in-house photographer Amel, who’s here to share her very best photography tips and tricks so you can be a happy snapper too!
Take it away….
Amel, hi! Tell us what you do at Printed.com…
Hi there, I mostly spend my days snapping in the Printed.com photo studio, and when I’m not out on some fun filming adventures, I’m retouching, designing, editing and animating visuals, mostly for our social media channels.
How important is photography to a business?
I believe that the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been truer! Photography is paramount when putting a business of any kind in place. Pictures are the quickest way to convey a message, an idea or an atmosphere… They also transcend any language barrier, which could help take your business even further. Product photography is also a good way to reassure potential online customers about what they’ll get when ordering from you, and can really make a difference.
Plenty of people have never taken a picture for business before. Do you have any general photography tips?
The most important thing is to start with a vision, as this is what’s going to dictate the way you shoot and what you’re going to need. For example: if you’re leaning toward lifestyle shots, shooting product in-situ, start by finding the perfect place at the right time for that and ask for permission if needed.
Props are also a big part of product photography. They not only help to tell the story behind your product, but they also help customers figure out the scale of this product.
Finally, do not forget where the pictures you shoot are going to end up. For instance, if you are looking to upload some of your snaps on an Instastory, remember to shoot your composition in vertical, not horizontal – sounds silly, but it is definitely something to keep in mind!
Not everyone has access to the best equipment. Do you have any budget photography tips?
Budget photography is definitely an option. Luckily, the cameras on our smartphones have massively improved over the years, and I believe the image quality you get is sufficient to upload online. The best advice I could give to someone on a budget is to be astute and get crafty. If you don’t have access to some fancy lighting, try and get close to a window or outside to make the most of the natural light. To modulate the light, don’t bother buying reflector: a piece of white cardboard can do the trick. For a stronger reflection, I find the foiled inside packaging of smoked salmon to be formidably efficient!
When it comes to sourcing props, if you can’t find what you need in your own house, ask your friends and family if you can borrow some objects from them or wander around charity shops and car boot sales – definitely cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying brand new props!
How important is editing/post production?
I believe you shouldn’t rely too much on editing and post-production, especially if you are a beginner in photography. However, I will admit that a few simple tweaks can really make a photo pop, or compensate an underexposed shot. And don’t worry, you don’t need an extensive knowledge of Photoshop to get started! Most photography apps will have options to change the exposure, brightness, saturation… Just remember not to over-edit! Go easy on the cursors and to work by small increments, for a more natural look.
How do you manage your time/multiple projects?
The most efficient way of working for me is to work by task and not by project. If I have to deliver images for different projects, I find it easier to shoot everything in one go, then edit, then resize and deliver, than going through those three steps multiple times over and over again. Aside from that, I also regularly make time to watch tutorials to improve my technic and chat to other creatives to learn about their workflow and improve mine. And of course, a lot of tea while doing all that always helps!
What are your top tips for capturing the perfect picture?
To get the best of what you’re shooting, don’t be scared to try different angles and revolve around your subject. Hop on a chair or crouch, get closer or further to see what works best. Then, when you feel you’ve found the right spot, focus on what’s in the frame: make sure that everything that’s on the picture is meant to be and there are no unwanted distracting items (Remember this Starbucks cup on a scene of Game of Thrones…?). Then, work the lighting to show your product in all its glory! Take your time, you don’t want to rush through this step.
And finally, the last and most important tip: Whether you’re doing budget photography or not, just experiment and have fun!