Excellent product photos are crucial to success in any e-commerce endeavor and higher placement on the Bloomnation Marketplace. It conveys the full beauty and value of your work and sets customer expectations. Companies such as One Kings Lane, Etsy, Tradesy, and eBay all confirm that product photography is the KEY driving factor for a customer’s decision to purchase.
Taking pictures with a professional camera or hiring a professional photographer is the most effective way to ensure you get the best product photos possible. We offer photoshoot coordination to those who are interested. However, that’s not always possible, especially when shooting new or seasonal products on the fly. Luckily, most smartphones, such as the iPhone, have cameras that can get your imagery pretty close to perfect without having to go all out.
Here are a few tips for shooting great floral product photos from your phone or inexpensive camera:
Keep it Simple
Using a light accent wall that is plain or has a subdued pattern is best. While you may be tempted to use props and a busy backdrop to help set the mood, you don’t want anything to distract from what you’re trying to sell. If you do have other things in the background, make sure the focal point is the arrangement and the background is blurred out. Try a few different options at first, then settle on something consistent to give your whole catalog a branded feel.
Light it Up
This is especially important when using your mobile phone. If there isn’t enough light present your phone will adjust the exposure and the result will be grainy or “noisy”. Supplement your natural light with a lamp, buy a lightbox, or take a few minutes and a couple of dollars to build yourself a temporary home studio.
Leave the Shadows Behind
Flowers can cast harsh shadows in bright light due to their textures and details. The best way to capture their beauty is by taking pictures outside or near a window during the “golden hours” around sunset and sunrise. For example, if your windows look out to the east, it’s best to take photos in the late morning. If your windows are looking to the west, take your product photos in the early afternoon (1pm-2pm in the fall work best). When taking the picture, make sure the window or your alternative source of light is facing the front of the arrangement. When taking the picture, you want to be in between the window and the arrangement. If this causes a shadow, take the picture kneeling down to avoid any shadows on the arrangement. Here is a helpful article on using window light for photos.
Know Your Angles
Photos shot at a front-facing angle sell the best. Shoot the product at eye level and ensure none of the flowers or vessel are cut off. If it is a bigger arrangement, take additional close up shots to show the product in more detail. Just make sure that the first picture you use for your product listing is of the whole arrangement. Bird’s eye views also make nice secondary pictures, just don’t rely on your phone’s zoom to take detail shots.
Keep it Steady
It may not seem like a lot but, a slight tap of your finger on your phone can move your phone enough to keep the picture from being sharp. Use a tripod, brace yourself against a wall, or rest your phone on a surface to keep the movement to a minimum.
Shots, Shots, Shots
Inside tip: professional photographers take WAY too many pictures. For example, that one amazing shot you saw on the cover of National Geographic last month was chosen from literally thousands of pictures of the same subject. Use the same technique for yourself! Take more than a few different pictures of each arrangement from different angles, alternate lighting, etc. Some photographers even take the same shot with micro-adjustments that are no more than a centimeter different from each other. When you review your camera roll, later on, you may have a few good ones to compare and choose from.
After a few tries and some light editing, you should have a few great images to upload to your catalog!
Share your practice shots on the Florists of BloomNation Facebook Group, and comment below with questions or suggestions!