Getting Started with Product Photography at Home!

General Topics
Tips & Advice

Gear Focus

Jul 9, 2021

blog image
Product photography can be a great way to get your foot in the door of being a professional photographer. The cool thing is, you don't need a ton of fancy gear to take amazing photos in your own home! So today, I wanted to teach you guys the basics of product photography at home! We are going to be looking at some typical product photography as opposed to lifestyle product photos. We will touch on that later down the road. For our examples, I have 3 different objects to take photos of today. I have a watch from MVMT, instant coffee from Tioga Rise, and my Gear Focus hat! Three very different things, so lets see what we can make happen!
And to throw another wrench into this plan, we're going to be shooting on an EOS R. We'll be using my trusty 24-105mm f/4 as well as a Nifty 50. You don't need fancy macro lenses to shoot product photos, it helps, but is not necessary. Lets get started with our 5 Tips for Product Photography at Home!

Tip #1 - Branding Your Product Photography at Home

For this first tip we are going to be shooting the MVMT watch. The first thing we wanna do is figure out what style we are trying to get across here. Based on what I know about MVMT as a company as well as the general style of this watch, I want to make this look like its part of an EDC, or Every Day Carry. We want to start thinking about the other things we might want to put in the image. So I'm going to see what I have around the house to help this make sense.
For the "scene", I'm going to put the watch dead center on a flat black table. I got the table from Ikea for maybe $5. I typically like to do flat lay photos for this since this table is pretty low and it allows me to get directly over top of the scene.
Next we light! For flat lays and product shots, generally a "top-down" style of lighting will look best. We will touch more on lighting a little bit later.
Now that we have our subject lit up and looking good, lets add our background elements. Like I said, we are going after the "EDC" style so I'm gonna add my keys, my wallet, which is conveniently wood, and maybe an SD Card. I'm going to light toss these items around the watch so that they lay in a more organic fashion.
[caption id="attachment_3267" align="alignnone" width="240"]Product Photography at Home - MVMT Watch MVMT Watch product photo[/caption] Product Photography at Home - MVMT Watch Vertical

Tip #2 - Use Texture

For this tip, we are going to shoot the Tioga Rise Instant Coffee. These guys make some delicious instant coffee, which is usually an oxymoron but trust me on this. You can find their coffee here.
Following off our first tip, we want to stay on brand, which for Tioga is the outdoor lifestyle community, hunters, fishermen, that type of stuff. So with that in mind lets start putting some stuff together. The actual product itself is pretty flat so putting it on a flat background like before, will probably end up being pretty boring. Lets try a more textured background, maybe some dirt or grass, or better yet, the bed of my truck. Now with that texture, we can build around it, so I'm gonna go get my camping stuff and build a little set here.
Product Photography at Home - Tioga Rise Flat Lay

Tip #3 - Use Negative Space

Which actually brings me to tip #3. We want to make sure that we don't put too much in our image to distract from the actual subject. Let the subject breathe a little bit in the image.
If we add too much, the image becomes cluttered and we don't really know what our subject is. but if we carefully and naturally place our props, they can help tell our story.
For this image here, I'm just gonna add our stove, water pot, and coffee cup. Simple yet brightly colored objects.
Ad Break: Now before we get on to our last two tips, I just wanted to put out why I am shooting with the combo I am today. I really wanted to make a point that you don't need the latest and greatest gear to get fantastic images. I am using a camera that is a few years old and a lens I've had for a good 10 years. If you are looking to start a photography business, be sure to check out the lens filters you night need.
However, if you do want to upgrade your gear, I suggest taking a look at our listings on Gear Focus. We get new listings every day, and each listing is carefully monitored to give you the safest and easiest transaction possible. And with the lowest seller fees in the industry, you could also sell your old gear as well. so check out Gear Focus so we can Feed Your Passion!

Tioga Rise Coffee Flat Lay

Tip #4 - Use Variety in Angles

So Far we've been doing a lot of flat lay, so let's take a look back at both of the products we shot thus far, the watch and the coffee. Let's see if we can use the same props and change up the background and orientation a little bit. For the watch, I'm going to use similar props but this time, I'm gonna do it inside my truck, using my center console. That one might be tricky with this lens but lets see what we can come up with. For the Coffee, I'm going to have the bright orange stove and Kettle in the background and use the coffee mug to lean the bag against.

Tioga and Mug

Tip #5 - Take Your Time With Lighting

Now last but certainly not least, we want to make sure we are lighting things properly. This can be challenging when doing product photography at home. Having a good, quality light is absolutely KEY (see what I did there) to getting good photos. If you don't have a light, try to get your subject as close to your window as you can. Using a big window will give you a really large and diffused light source which is exactly what we want in this scenario. If You need to cut down on the light a little more, you could add some blinds or drapes to your window to help block or diffuse some of the light. You could even use those to create a unique lighting design, as well.
Have fun with it! Get creative and see what you can come up with!
Gear Focus Hat
Gear Focus Hat with Lenses

Any Other Product Photography at Home Tutorials?

Alright everyone that it for today's tutorial. I hope this was helpful for you and gets you started with product photography at home! If there's anything else related to product photography or even photography in general that you'd like to see, let us know down in those comments down below. If you want a little more in depth tutorial, head on over to our YouTube channel and check the video out. While you're over there, make sure you subscribe! We are making our way to 10K! Every little bit helps. Anyway, I'm out of here and I will see you all in the next one until then stay safe, stay healthy and remember Gear Focus is always here to Feed your Passion. Peace!

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