Common Mistakes in Photography (and how to avoid them)

Whether it's an overexposed image or out-of-focus detail shot, product photography can have a very negative impact on your sales. Which is why we are sharing the most common mistakes made with product photography so you can avoid them.

 

1. LOW LIGHTING

If you have low lighting your camera will try to compensate by lengthening the exposure, which can mean grainy photos. Your customers need to be able to clearly see what they are getting. No matter how great your product, if you have poorly lit photos, you'll probably turn away customers.

So how do you fix it? Shoot your product near a window to get natural light. Use a reflector or white foam board to to direct more light onto your product and decrease shadows.

 

2. FLASH

Often when people are shooting in low light situations (often in their indoor studio that has poor lighting) they are tempted to use a flash to brighten things up. Your flash can distort the colors, create distracting shadows and glare, and wash out the photo. If you are lacking in light avoid your built-in flash and invest in a soft box or light box.

 

3. BLURRY PHOTOS

As mentioned, you do not want to showcase out-of-focus shots where the item can't be clearly seen by your would-be customer. Experiment with your focus settings on your camera. Most cameras will find a focus automatically if you first hold the shutter halfway down. If you are capturing details use the macro settings on your camera. You can also use a tripod to stabilize the camera which will generally produce crisper photos.

 

4. TOO MUCH HAPPENING

While you can use styling to create a scene and help the customer envision your product in their lives, it can go too far. Don't use so many props that the customer becomes confused about what exactly is for sale. Your product should always be the star of the shot. Opt for simplicity if you aren't sure. You never want to take away from your product, so only use props if they enhance your product!

 

5. NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION

Your shoppers need to be able to quickly gauge the size and condition of your product in order to make a purchase. Make sure to include shots from multiple angles in your listing, and a shot that shows scale. For a detailed list of all the shots you should be including read our 'essential shots' post.

 

Please remember this isn't an all-inclusive list, just the mistakes we see most often in product photography! If you have any insight or advice, we'd love for you to share it in the comments below.