For some people out there, it has been a disappointing exercise, which has led one to believe that it should be left to the experts. The reason that people have been caught short is because they believed what the advert showed them. We all know that adverts are there to lure and convert you no matter the cost and the falsities in the pitch. Using your mobile phone is not the answer, not if you have high expectations and expect your product sales to grow. Although most mobile phones have decent cameras, they are designed more for recreation and enjoyment, rather than to execute a serious brief. Yes, it looks easy to snap that product, but you know it’s not. The same goes for the lighting and the setup, lighting plays a major role in alleviating shadows and making the product “pop”. Then, of course you are encouraged to buy a product tent, this is where you feel like a pro before you have even taken your first shot. Now the reality kicks in and you realise that you have been had.

Be that product photographer or hire a professional

The bottom line is that nothing in life comes easy, nor is it free. You need to impute both your money and your time into this in order to start seeing a positive result and pictures that you are happy with to show the world on your website. So, if you are not prepared to accept what I am saying, then go for second best, and don’t expect to increase your sales from poorly executed images in this competitive online e-commerce environment. For free, I am telling you to not waste your time.

How to become that Professional Product Photographer

First off, do your research and enrol for a short course or workshop that will teach you the basics of photography and how to use the camera settings with confidence. Automatic is not the answer, otherwise why have manual controls in the first place. There are part time schools and workshops that specialise on tailored 121 photography that even supply and advice on what camera gear you need. A short workshop of this nature will be a great start. Thereafter, with a little practice and some understanding, invest in another short workshop on lighting that is tailored towards in studio product photography. A small price to pay for a positive long-term result. See it as an investment. Thereafter you will be able to style light and shoot all your own products from the office or from home without needing a budget or relying on a photographer.

How to choose a Product Photographer that works for you.

It is simple and will involve three steps that need to be considered upfront:

1: how well do you know your product

2: how well do you know your target market

3: what is your budget

Once you have the answers you can now take on the responsibility of finding the right photographer for the job. This process will involve making appointments and viewing various portfolios of potential photographer that meet “the three steps” that I mentioned. Then you are ready to start. Remember, you normally get what you pay for, so do your homework and invest your money in good photographs, not a repeat shoot where you end up paying twice. A professional product photographer is normally a good listener and communicator who asks questions until the brief is clear. Once you have found this person and viewed their work, you need to ensure that you are present on the day of the shoot and that your product is ready to shoot. Don’t be late or you will be charged for this. Make sure you have a clear idea of what is happening and that your story board meets the execution of the shoot.

Photography rates will differ depending on the brief, the setups and the number of shots, so make sure this is clear on sign off. Remember, that hiring a professional photographer saves you time and effort and affords you the experience of great images from the start.