Friday, March 1, 2019

How to Choose Your First Professional Camera


If you’re in the market for your first camera, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the possible options. A high-quality, professional camera is an investment--and not an inexpensive one. The good news is that most cameras on the market today are of good quality, so you’re not likely to select one that simply doesn’t work. The trick is finding precisely the right camera for your specific needs so that it will serve your photography business (or hobby) for years to come.

With such a wide range of options when it comes to models and features and accessories, how do you narrow the field? It’s easier than you think if you understand what you want and need before you start shopping. You’ll be better able to zero in on the models with the features you need, without feeling distracted and overwhelmed by the many others that you don’t need. Here is what you need to know before you begin your search.

Know the different camera types


There are many different types of cameras, ranging from simple smartphone cameras to high-end digital versions. If you’re looking for your first professional camera, however, there are two major types you should investigate.

DSLR




DSLR, or digital single-lens reflex cameras, are what most people think of when they picture a professional photographer snapping away on a photo shoot. These cameras are composed of two distinct parts: the body of the camera and the lens. They also feature a mirror, or “viewfinder” of sorts, that allows you to preview the image before you shoot it.

When it comes to DSLR cameras, the right lens makes all the difference in image quality. The better the lens, the better the image. Since lenses are interchangeable, it’s easy to customize the image output and quality by experimenting with different lens types (more on lenses in a bit).

For most beginning professional photographers, a DSLR camera is a safe, simple choice with adequate functionality to meet their needs.

Mirrorless


Mirrorless cameras have entered the scene in the last few years, as an alternative to the DSLR. While they have most of the same internal components as their DSLR counterparts, as well as interchangeable lenses, they feature an electronic (or mirrorless) viewfinder, making the entire camera smaller and lighter.

A downside of mirrorless cameras is that their sensors are smaller than DSLRs. As a result, they aren’t as advanced when it comes to registering image depth or shooting in low light.

A note on brands


The bottom line is that the brand of camera you buy has very little impact on image quality. It all comes down to the quality of lenses and the artistry of the photographer behind the lens. While the two most well-known manufacturers are Canon and Nikon, one of the several other emerging brands may suit your needs at a lower price. Rather than getting hung up on a specific brand, try several models from each manufacturer to find the one that is most comfortable for you to use and that best suits your needs.

Set a budget


When it comes to professional cameras, “ballpark pricing” doesn’t really exist. DSLR cameras range from several hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. The best course of action is to decide how much you want to spend and look for a camera within that range. You’ll find one. The key is to narrow down which features you can’t live without and which you can sacrifice to stay within budget.

Identify “must have” vs. “nice-to-have” features


The list of flashy features you could get as part of your new camera are nearly endless. Some are essential, while others you’ll probably never use. One feature that you’ll definitely need as a professional photographer is the ability to switch to manual mode. In automatic mode, the camera decides on shutter speed and light exposure for you. In manual mode, you control the settings yourself, giving you greater artistic freedom to take a variety of shots. Speaking of light, you’ll also want to double check the ISO, which is the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO will ensure that you can shoot in low light conditions without a flash.

Other features, like megapixels, might seem like crucially important concerns at first glance, but you should be aware that a huge number of megapixels won’t add to your image quality. Past a certain number of megapixels (around 20), there isn’t a noticeable difference in quality. Don’t be distracted by the “noise” of features you don’t really need. Instead, focus on the features that best suit your needs and will help capture the types of images you want to shoot.

Decide which lenses and accessories you need


Whether it’s interchangeable or permanent, the right lens will make all the difference to your photos. Here’s a breakdown of what you should know about lenses.

First off: focal length. It determines the angle that your lens will capture. Wide angle lenses cover a larger view, while telephoto lenses capture a narrow view. Next up is the aperture, which is the hole inside the lens that controls the light that enters the camera. The larger the aperture, the more expensive the lens will be, but you’ll also be able to shoot in much darker conditions.

There are plenty of lens options to choose from-- all with unique impacts on focal length and aperture. If you have a particular niche or style in mind for your photographs, you may want to consider a specialty lens like a fisheye, macro, or tilt-shift lens.

Know where to shop


There are many different outlets to purchase your camera, including online retailers and brick-and-mortar shops. The best course of action is to start with your online research and once you’ve decided on your budget, type of camera, desired features, and required lenses, to start comparing prices.

Keep in mind that you can purchase a gently used camera or even rent a particular camera before you buy it to make sure it suits your needs. Many local shops offer used cameras and rental options.

As you search for your first professional camera, remember that the only “perfect” camera is the one that is perfect for you. Don’t be intimidated by the many choices available. Take the time to understand what you need before you ever start looking. The choice will become much clearer when you’re armed with the right information
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Friday, February 15, 2019

How to Land Your First Photography Customer


You have the right equipment and an artistic eye. You’ve honed your skills and studied techniques. You’re ready to take your photography hobby to the next level by securing a paying customer. So how do you move your love of photography from past time to full time? If you take a few simple steps to lay the foundation for your photography business, you’ll be earning income in no time.

Friday, January 25, 2019

7 Best Camera Apps for Your Smartphone

Estimates suggest than more than one trillion photographs are taken each year, and more than 80% of these are taken with a smartphone. If you take a look at your camera roll, you’ll likely see that you contribute a decent amount to this trend. Thanks to constantly improving technology, most cameras embedded in your smartphones take high quality photos. If you want to make these photos look even better, here are seven camera apps to try.

Take Better Photos


The following apps allow you to do more with your smartphone’s camera, so you can get better pictures with every shot.

1) Moment Pro Camera App


If you want DSLR-like capabilities with only your smartphone, the Moment Pro Camera App is the way to go. With this app, you can shoot photographs in RAW with fully manual controls. This allows you to adjust ISO, shutter speed, exposure, image format, focus and white balance, just like you would on a DSLR camera. Shooting in RAW allows you get better results out of photo editing. It also has an anamorphic lens option, so you can de-squeeze photos. It’s available on iOS (free with in-app purchases) and Android ($2.99).

2) Halide


This app is currently only available on iOS devices (and the company warned about a rip-off version on Android devices in early 2018). It turns your phone’s camera into a premium piece of equipment. You can shoot in fully manual or auto mode. All photos are captured as RAW files to give you full editing control. With a recent update, you can shoot pets and other objects in portrait mode, and a feature called Focus Peeking allows you to see where your photo is in focus. It costs $5.99, which is a minor investment for a tool this powerful.

3) Open Camera


This Android-only app is available free of charge with no in-app purchases required. While this open source app is not as sophisticated as others, it’s still loaded with features. Your photos will not contain metadata but can set the app to capture time stamps and geotags. You can choose between auto-stabilize and adjusting modes, color effects, ISO, exposure and more. The app also has a clever option to take a photo remotely with a voice command.

4) Focos


Another DSLR-quality camera app, Focos is available for free with in-app purchases on iOS devices. Highlights of this app include large aperture, real Bokeh, 3D lighting and more. This app leverages computational photography technology so you can edit the photo – including making adjustments to focus, aperture shapes and adding lights – after you have taken the photo. The app is easy to use and is a great substitute if you don’t have an iPhone XS or XS max. 

Enhance Your Photos


Many apps have been developed to help with the photo editing process as well. They range from free to subscription-based, but you don’t have to pay a lot to get decent editing capabilities.

5) Snapseed


Snapseed is one of the best free photo editing apps available on both iOS and Android. You can edit JPG or RAW files using any of the 29 tools. Beyond the basic functions that are included in most editing apps, this program also includes capabilities such as:

  • Healing: Removes photo-bombers and other unwanted objects
  • Lens blur: Adds Bokeh
  • HDR Scrape: Create the effect of multiple exposures
  • Double Exposure: Blend two photos
  • Face Enhance: Improve portraits


The app also has a unique “Control Point” or Selective features where you can select up to eight points on your photo to assign enhancements and then the app’s technology does the rest.

6) Afterlight 2


This app is billed as an all-in-one photo editor for iOS devices. Note, currently only the original Afterlight is available on Android devices. Underlying its simple user interface is a wide range of editing capabilities. From basic edits like color, exposure and sharpness to advanced modifications such as curves, selective hue/saturation, clarify and tone, this app will help you upgrade your photography skills quickly. They recently added dust and light leak overlays and are continually offering new filter packs from talented photographers. One of the best perks is that after paying the $2.99 for the app, there are no additional subscription or in-app fees.

Dual-Purpose


If you want one app that will help you take better photos and make them look better during editing, here’s our pick:

7) Adobe Lightroom CC


Anyone who knows a little about photo editing, knows that Adobe Lightroom is one of the main photo editing tools that professionals use. Now you can enjoy some of these capabilities on your iOS or Android mobile phone. Lightroom offers a powerful camera and photo editor in a single app. You can shoot in RAW and adjust shutter speed, white balance and ISO. The apps comprehensive editing abilities include one-touch pre-sets and advanced adjustments.

Before you post your photos online, be sure to watermark them. Watermarquee.com is a free online photo watermarking tool.


Friday, January 11, 2019

Equipment that every Beginner Photographer Needs


Photography is a great hobby to get into, and it’s one that can even blossom into a fulfilling career if you’re dedicated to learning the craft. However, it’s not exactly cheap, and with the huge number of options available it can be confusing to know exactly what you need to get started.

That’s why in this article, we’ll be going over everything you need to get started in photography. While the list can seem a little daunting, don’t forget that sometimes you can get used gear for cheaper. Many people who are moving on to the intermediate level will be eager to get rid of their introductory gear, and that could bring your costs down significantly. Here’s what you need to get started.

Camera




The camera is, of course, the most important piece of your gear. A quality, yet affordable DSLR is your best bet here, and fortunately, these cameras are getting cheaper every day. You should be able to invest in one for around $300 to $500. Many times you can even save a bundle on a great camera by picking up a used one.

These cameras take great photos, and you’ll be able to get a wide variety of accessories for them, including interchangeable lenses to help hone your craft. Canon and Nikon are both popular brands which come in many different price ranges.

Lenses



When photographers take really cool shots that you can’t seem to make happen, part of that is likely thanks to their lenses. Of course, you also need to know how to select the right lens for the right situation, but picking up a variety of nice lenses will help you to figure out which ones are appropriate for each subject. Finding some tutorials can help you out, but don’t be afraid to experiment either.

It should be noted however that not all lenses are created equal. The ones in camera kits are typically lower in quality. Purchasing just the camera with no accessories and then investing in better quality lenses that you really want will likely serve you better than a kit. Here are some of the more popular varieties that you might want to pick up.

  • Fisheye Lens (For panoramas, artistic photos, and skyscapes.)
  • Macro Lens (For up-close photography, think flowers and butterflies.)
  • Telephoto Lens (Far away shots, good for nature watching and sports photographers.)
  • Wide angle lens (Good for landscapes and architecture shots.)
  • Wide Aperture Lens (Good for portraits and night time shots.)

While lenses can be expensive, the good news is that you don’t have to buy them all at once. Instead, pick up the type of lens that corresponds with the type of photography that you most want to pursue, and then you can slowly add more lenses to your kit later as you can afford them.

Lights



Good lighting is a requirement for good photographs. Unfortunately, natural light situations are not always accommodating, and you may need some external light sources in order to capture your art on film. There’s a lot of ways to do this, and in order to choose the correct lighting, you’ll need to decide what kind of photography you’re looking to do. The idea is to go for bright, natural bulbs that produce a light that is not overpowering. However, you also need a setup that fits the situation.
Lightbox Setup

If you’re looking to photograph products or small still life scenes in a studio, then a light box might be the way to go. This is a tiny, confined area that allows you to adjust the lighting situation to your liking. It’s of course only good for a limited number of applications though.

Manual Flash


If you’re filming outside then a manual flash is likely the way to go. This solution is lightweight and easy to carry, and that makes it good for photos where you’ll need to be quick to get the shot. If you’re doing action shots or wildlife photography in poor light conditions, you may want one of these.

Continuous Lighting Kits


These are studio style kits that are used mostly for video or still life photography. You’d use this if you plan to be shooting a series of photos or videos in one location, and you want to be able to set up the perfect lighting situation. If you were a Youtuber or a portrait photographer, then you’d likely want to invest in this equipment.

Tripod



Shaky hands are no good when it comes to taking great photos, and a tripod is a great way to get things just right. There are several options for this, and you’ll likely want to invest in a full size as well as a tabletop version for when space is limited.


Photo Editing Software


Like it or not, the beauty of most photographs actually happens long after they’re taken. Investing in a good photo editing suite can take your photos from meh to wow! While an editing program won’t make you a good photographer, it can help you to bring out the best in your pieces.

It will take you some time to learn how to master photo editing, but there are plenty of free tutorials online. Adobe Lightroom is the most popular option here, and you’ll be able to get plenty of help if you go with this option. 

For simpler needs like watermarking your photos before you post them online, check out Water Marquee - it's free!

A computer


Odds are you’ve already got one of these. Most decently new computers should be able to run photo editing suites. However, Lightroom is actually a web app now, and that means that you can use it to edit your photos from virtually any device including Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, and even Linux devices.

It’s important to remember that this is a basic list. Photography is an extremely varied art form, and the equipment that you need will depend heavily upon what type of photography you want to do. If you have some favorite photographers, then make sure to check the notes for their photos! Many of them will actually tell you what kind of equipment they’re using to get their shots.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Here’s What to do if your Photo is Stolen



With the advent of the internet came a means for photographers to get exposure for their art in ways that were never before possible. Unfortunately, pretty much immediately after that came about people began stealing photographs and not paying or crediting the owners for their usage.

This can understandably put a major damper on any photographer’s celebrations to learn that potentially thousands of people have seen their work, but those viewers may have no idea that they are the artist. While the whole experience can make you feel pretty helpless, there are some steps you can take to protect your intellectual property, and in this article, we’ll show you how.

How do copyrights work for photos?


Step one to protecting your works is knowing how copyrights work for photographs. Knowledge is power, and knowing your rights under the law can help you to better fight for what is owed to you. The law states that an artist’s work is protected as soon as it is created. You will own this copyright for your entire life, and then 25 years after that as well.

Anyone who wants to reproduce, display, sell, distribute or create their own work using your photograph must have your permission to do so. The only time where you would not own the copyright to your photos is if you were engaged in a work for hire deal. In this case, the person who hired you would own the photographs.

Should you formally register your photos with the copyright office?


While you don’t technically have to do this, it’s a good idea to do it anyway. If you don’t register, then you would have the right to sue only for your normal licensing fee. If you register a copyright though and a company with deep pockets tries to rip you off, then you could end up getting a lot more in legal damages. It also provides solid proof that the photograph is really yours, and this peace of mind is worth the nominal cost of registering your photos with the copyright office.

For $55 you can register up to 750 photos, and you can avoid getting taken for a ride not just by thieves, but also by those who are partnering with you. Richard Reinsdorf learned this the hard way when he tried to sue Sketchers for using his work outside of their agreement, but was denied his claimed damages of $250 million dollars, because he failed to register his works with the copyright office.

What can you do if your photo is stolen?


Okay, so your photo has been stolen. This is unfortunate, but in most cases, if you know who’s distributing it without your permission you can easily rectify the situation. Here are a few methods that you can use to get yourself some justice as a content creator.

Try emailing the site


If you’ve found a website that is using your works in a way that you don’t agree with, then the first step should be to send them an email. You can request that the image is taken down, you are credited or that they pay for a licensing fee. In some cases, the webmaster might not even know the photo is stolen. It’s entirely possible that they purchased it from someone else claiming to be you!

If this is the case, then you’ll also find out some valuable information about who’s actually distributing your work and stealing your money! Give the website owner at least a few days to respond, and if you can’t work things out, then it’s time to move on to step number two in our photographer copyrights protection plan.

However, if you really want them to know you’re serious, then you could spend some money to get your lawyer to send a formal cease and desist letter. Getting a letter from a lawyer is scary, and it will likely spur them into action a lot quicker. While this may not be worth the cost if they are simply using one of your photos in an article, it could be worth it if they are actually trying to sell stuff using your photos. The cost for this will be somewhere in the ballpark of $100-$300.

If you don’t really have a problem with how the content is being used, then simply asking to be credited and that they add a link to your website will likely be far more valuable to you. This could lead to traffic, sales and even higher search engine rankings for your website. Most webmasters will be happy to comply with this request.

File a DMCA takedown notice


If you’ve given the webmaster ample time to respond and they have not made any attempts to rectify the situation, then the next step is filing a DMCA takedown notice. Every website has a web hosting company, and those companies do not want illegal material on their servers. This includes music, videos, images or other works which are used without permission. So, if the webmaster has ignored you, then you’re likely to get what you want by contacting their host. Here’s how to do it.

Get proof of the infringement


Step one is to get proof of the infringement. All you’ll really need here is a screenshot of where the person in question is using your work. Keep copies of this in case you need to pursue further action later.

Find the website’s host


You need to send the DMCA notice to the website’s host. That means that you need to actually find out who the host is first. You can use a tool like this one to do it, but that doesn’t always work. Many websites are actually using services like Cloudflare for DDos protection now, and that hides who their true host is. However, you can also submit an abuse notice to Cloudflare, and they will attempt to notify the website owner or the host. Web hosts that are not in the United States don’t technically have to comply with DMCA takedowns, but many of them do it anyway.

Find the copyright agent


Once you know the web host, you need to also find the copyright agent. This is the person who is in charge of managing infringement cases for the host. This can be a pain to find sometimes, and while you can often find it by searching around their legal or terms and conditions pages, the easiest way is probably to use the copyright.gov agents directory.

Create your formal takedown notice


Most websites should have a form that you can fill out for claims, but if they don’t you’ll need to create a letter to the agent to submit your claim. The letter needs to contain the following information to be a legitimate takedown notice in the eyes of the law.


  • Provide your signature to identify you as the copyright owner
  • Identify the work you believe is being infringed upon
  • Provide the screenshot, the webpage and anything else relevant to the infringement
  • Include your contact information where the agent can reach you
  • Provide a “good faith” statement that the infringer does not have a legal right to the work
  • Include a statement that the information you’ve submitted is accurate
  • State that under penalty of perjury that you’re authorized to speak for the copyright owner


When should you sue over your copyrights?


The final step to protecting your works is seeking legal action. This is the last step because it’s expensive, and you need to ask yourself if it will be worth the trouble and cost to pursue legal action. If the site in question is an amateur blog, then the answer is likely no.

However, if a large website steals your work, then it’s possible that it could be worthwhile to sue. Daniel Morel was one of the first photographers to capture images of 2010’s devastating earthquake in Haiti. AFP made the mistake of thinking they had the right to syndicate these images just because they were on Twitter, and Morel was awarded 1.2 million in statutory damages by the court.

In order to seek statutory damages you’ll need to have registered your copyright, gather evidence of the infringement, prove that the infringer had access to your work, note the date of the infringement, document the income that you’ve lost due to the infringement, and then hire a copyright attorney to evaluate your case. The more information that you can bring to your lawyer, the better chance you have of a good outcome and your lawyer will be realistic with you about your odds of winning the lawsuit.

How can you prevent thefts from happening in the first place?


If you’d like to prevent unauthorized usage in the first place, then a watermark is a good way to go. Most would be photograph thieves won’t want an image with a large watermark, and they’ll be forced to pay for the full image if they want to use it for their own purposes. It’s a cost-effective strategy that should be a part of every photographer’s tool bag when seeking to protect their intellectual property.

Water Marquee is an online photo watermarking tool. We hope you'll give it a try.

Friday, December 21, 2018

How to Create Your First Photography Portfolio Online




In 2018, we saw more photographers than ever living their dream by showing off their photographs online with stock images and the like. However, if you want to get your work noticed, you really ought to start thinking about making a portfolio.

Looking at some of the bigger photographers out there - or even perhaps some of the smaller ones that you follow on Instagram - there’s one theme that runs through. That’s the fact they have clean, fancy, minimalistic websites that promote their best work, contact information, and occasionally a little bit of personal information.

You see, online photography portfolios are a combination of branding, self-marketing, and staying behind the camera. A photographer’s portfolio gets to, first and foremost, show off their work. It’s almost like the age-old adage of “a picture says a thousand words” is actually true in this case.

With all that said, it’s not actually all too hard to create a decent and cool-looking professional photography portfolio. You just need a little guidance, is all.

Hosting


Every cloud needs a silver lining and every website needs a hosting platform.

There are free platforms out there that are much more advanced than they were back in the day, and we’re not talking Flickr or Picasa either. There are also simple paid services on which you don’t even need to know a lick of HTML or CSS in order to make a great looking photography portfolio.

Hosting options for your new photography portfolio


If you’re genuinely looking to expand your photography into a career or a business, you should probably think about moving to a hosting platform.

Many hosting providers such as HostGator, 1&1, and BlueHost have WordPress integration options and Squarespace, as you’ll know if you listen to podcasts, is its own brand of magic.

That said, bigger, community-based websites like Flickr do have their SEO benefits, as well.

WordPress


Easily the most used hosting platform around these days, there’s a WordPress template and plugin for just about any kind of website you’re looking to create. You don’t need to learn a lick of code. Although if you’re looking for a straightforward photography portfolio, it might not be worth the $4-or-so to buy hosting and a domain name.

Then again, having a domain name is always going to be a benefit for you and your brand.

Price: Free, although you will have to shell out money for the hosting and/or domain name via a hosting provider.

Squarespace


Squarespace has a handle on the current streamlined, high-end aesthetic that most brands and individuals are going for these days. Their layouts are simple, elegant, and really easy to put together. Their themes are actively stunning and if you want a luxury theme that looks the part without needing to put a lot of work into it, then Squarespace might be worth considering.

Price: $12/m up to 20 pages, $18/m for unlimited pages, but this does come with a domain name and discounts if you’re paying annually.

Wix


Lesser-known than either WordPress or Squarespace, Wix is a platform that's easy to use and features that are exclusively designed with professional photographers in mind. Wix offers up an abundance of modern templates and an incredibly easy platform on which to do it. Recently, the company has also implemented the use of AI to help you build the website you want by simply answering a few questions.

It's a simple builder for busy people that still looks and works great. On top of this, you can also use some of the tools that also make it impossible for anyone to steal a photo.

Price: Free, however, you can choose to upgrade to a Premium plan starting at just $5

How to Make Your Portfolio Stand Out


Once you have your website and layout sorted, it’s time to think about how you want your portfolio to look. Although it is ultimately your choice, two of the facts we really like to stand by are that you should watermark your work and you should also keep it as minimalistic as possible.

Most photographers choose only a few of their standout photographs to display on their portfolios; the shots that say, “This is my style, this is what I want to do, and if you want to see more, hire me.” However, even amateur photographers can think about doing this. Don’t make people search for your best shots - give it to them.

As for watermarking, it’s incredibly important to ensure that your photographs actually get attributed to you. With sites out there such as Pinterest and Tumblr, the idea of royalties goes out of the window. Having a watermark on your work is a clear, classy way to say, “I took this, isn’t it great?”

What you need on your photography portfolio


  • An ABOUT section: Give a quick summary on you, yourself, and what you’re about. 
  • Select PHOTOGRAPHS: Pick photographs that highlight your style of photography and your expertise.
  • CONTACT information: Contact information like an email address, socials, etc, are important for networking. How can somebody tell you they’d like to commission you for some work if you don’t have any contact info available?

Everything else - even blog sections - can be read as static.

How to know which photos to highlight


We get it. It’s as hard to be as proud of your photographs as it is to pick one when they all seem good. That said, the pictures you choose to show off as part of your portfolio should be the ones that show off your expertise, your skills, or even your vibe.

A good way of selecting shots is to look at it as though you’re putting together an exhibition. Technically, although it may be an online exhibition, you are. Your portfolio is your exhibition, and you want photographs that will always be relayed back to you.

A photography portfolio in a nutshell


The great thing about having an online portfolio is also that, if you’re proud of it, you never really have to visit it again yourself unless you want to. Like if you’re updating information or gearing up to switch an older shot for a newer one.

All that means is you have more time for doing what you love: actually taking the photographs.

Friday, December 14, 2018

7 Tips for Etsy Photos




For Etsy entrepreneurs, great product photos are crucial. They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but when was the last time you bought or clicked on an online product with an a bad photo?

You might offer the best-quality items, but if you’re serious about growing your business, the power of good images shouldn’t be underestimated. The photo can make or break a sale.

Creating a perfect product image can seem a bit overwhelming for those just starting out. Here are 7 tips for great Etsy photos.

1. Consider the purpose of your photos


This high-quality photo by ZwoodZ attracts attention, gives a great sense of texture, color and size, and has a minimalist look.


You want your photos to attract attention, present a clear view of the product, and highlight your brand image. When planning your next shot, it’s useful to remember the purpose of the finished result.

The photo is the first impression your potential client gets. It has to attract enough attention for them to click and find out more. If the photo quality is low, chances are people will simply overlook your product.

The photo is also there to give the visitor a good sense of the product. Online, you can’t get the same perception as holding a physical item. Your picture thus needs to convey all the details. It has to clearly show the texture, color, size, for your potential clients to make an informed choice.

There are many styles of photos, and yours need to match your product, brand image and industry. Do you want a minimalist aesthetic? A vintage one? Bohemian? Spend some time looking for inspiration and figure out what vibe you want for your photos.


2. Lighting



The natural window lighting by JasmineSupply highlights the look of the product and creates a light, cozy vibe.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of a good photo. It can completely change its look, and enhance your product in different ways. While investing in professional lighting equipment can make a difference, you can also make the most out of your existing equipment using various techniques.

Make sure to look into the appropriate lighting conditions for your preferred photo aesthetic. For a clear, clean, and minimalist look, window light is a great tool.

If you’re taking outside shots, the ‘golden hour’ can create warmer, softer tones. Take your photos either right after sunrise or before sunset.

3. Close-ups and Details


The close-up photo by YesterdaysGaze of the vintage alarm clock shows its details and scratches, which only add to the vintage look in a positive way.

Give a better sense of the texture and details of products by including close-up shots. The details of intricate items such as handmade jewelry can only be captured by a quality close-up.

Close-ups also help you be honest and transparent when it comes to scratches or irregularities of vintage or handmade items. Creating a realistic expectation is better that obscuring these details and risking to disappoint your client.

4. Backgrounds and props


The props and background enhance in this photo by BuffaloGalOrganics, of a makeup product, highlighting its natural ingredients.

The type of your product and your brand image will be reflected in the style of your photo. For this, the product itself is not the only aspect that matters. Complete the picture by considering your background and props.

If you’re selling colorful ceramic mugs, you might want to create a cozy scene. For a natural makeup product, you can add some of the natural ingredients used right next to the item.

5. Scale



Using the apple as a prop in HopscotchLondon's photo, together with the candle, not only shows scale, but also highlights the product’s scent.

It’s important for potential clients to know the sizes of your products, and for certain objects, the dimensions aren’t always clear in photos.

For products such as art pieces, toys, bowls, candles etc., it’s important to offer a sense of scale, by placing your product next to objects with a standard dimension.

6. Editing & optimizing


After you take your photo, editing is a great way take it to the next level. You can adjust the lighting, contrast, or remove any imperfections such as dirt. You can crop the image and slightly rotate it if necessary.

Be careful not to overdo it. Too much editing might give an unrealistic image of your product, which can bring you unhappy clients.

A significant amount of traffic nowadays is mobile, which should not be overlooked. Make sure your photos are optimized for mobile, and look good on a smaller screen.


7. Watermark


You have your perfect photo. Before you upload it, you might want to consider watermarking.

Watermarking is a great way of protecting your images and preventing others to use and claim them as their own. Additionally, it can also help you increase brand recognition. By adding a form of digital signature, your products and images become more identifiable with your brand.

For effective watermarking, get creative and match the watermark to your photo. Avoid watermarks that create a different focal point. The product, not the watermark, should grab the attention.

Water Marquee offers a high-quality, free watermarking service. The watermarks are fully customizable, providing multiple templates, as well as allowing you to choose your fonts, colors, add logos, and more.