Running a handmade business can be hard work. You wear sooo many hats. So after you have spent the time to create such beautifully crafted products, don’t sell yourself short with bad product photography!
Thankfully, you can get incredible quality photos with your standard smartphone. No need for overpriced equipment anymore. However, you can really elevate your product photography to the next level with just a few tips and tricks.
You can check out my Handmade Business Launch Guide Here
iPhone product photography seems to feel like a mysterious aspect of business that intimidates so many creative entrepreneurs. How do you get clear photos? what about lighting? Is there special, inexpensive equipment that you really need?
Below I’ve outlined a few iPhone Product Photography tricks you likely haven’t heard. By perfecting your photos, you can improve how your business is represented online overnight. So often, when somebody doesn’t purchase from you, it’s because your product photos could still use a little fine-tuning. When it comes down to it, a lot less people are going to buy your handmade creations when they aren’t represented well through photos. Photography is literally the only way your future customers can see with their own eyes how beautiful your craftsmanship is.
Plus, once your product photography is improved, the perceived value of your creations is higher. So, if you need to raise your prices, this is a great place to start. You can check out my free handmade product pricing worksheet here.
In short, my most-recommended items for handmade product photography are:
- your cell phone
- a wireless remote
- the right lighting
- a tripod
Your Phone: Use This Trick To Create Professional-Quality Videos
Just a few years ago, creating videos was reserved exclusively for those of us who have expensive DSLR cameras and professional video equipment. To even get started requires thousands of dollars. Thankfully, our current cell phones have better quality cameras than those overpriced cameras once did.
This makes creating quality video content and product photography easier than ever.
But did you know that you can actually adjust the quality of the video recordings on your phone similar to an expensive camera? To keep this article “right-brain friendly,” I’m going to keep the techy stuff extra easy and show you how to set it up.
First, open your iPhone’s camera. In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see some text that says, “4k.30” or “HD.60” or something along those lines. This is the quality your iPhone is filming right now. HD stands for “high definition” and was a big deal a few years ago. Recently, we got the ability to shoot videos even clearer in 4k.
The second number in the sequence is the number of frames your video will capture each second. Basically- how many pictures your camera will take to create a video. The higher the number, the more crisp, smooth, and clear your video will be.
So, if I’m going to record a tutorial where I want close-ups of my hands in a tutorial, I’ll shoot it with the highest quality, 4k.60 setting my phone offers. The only downside of filming everything in 4k.60 is that it takes up more space on your phone. Just be sure to keep that in mind while you’re filming and your videos will instantly become so much clearer and professional looking.
Wireless Remotes & When to Use Them
Most of the time with my work, I’m either shooting videos or photos of myself. Whether it’s my hands, me holding something I’ve just made, or showing you a sewing pattern I just created, I usually need to be on both the front and back of the camera. Chances are when you’re just starting out, you’ll find yourself in a similar situation too.
To make this process extra simple, buy a basic wireless remote.
Being able to film yourself instead of waiting for a friend or partner to get home will streamline your time in a huge way. Plus, you won’t be bothering your friends and family to constantly take pictures for your business. haha.
I’ve compiled a few great wireless remotes below that will sync with your phone via Bluetooth and you can hide it in your hand while you take photos or videos. Several even come with small tripods so you never have to balance your phone against a coffee cup again.
iPhone Product Photography Lighting Tips
Creating quality videos is easy once you learn a few little tricks. The biggest and most important one is learning the basics of lighting.
Basically, dark lighting makes you and whatever your filming look bad. Bright, even lighting makes you and whatever your filming look better.
A quick way to fix this is to shoot by a window that has diffused, natural light. If you are filming yourself, turn your face to a window. If you are photographing a product, place it next to a window and be sure there are no curtains, shadows, and other interferences in the way.
If you want to take your photography to the next level, invest in some inexpensive studio lighting. It folds up easily, is relatively inexpensive, and makes a huge difference. On dark winter days, I’ve been able to still create bright, even photos and videos thanks to my cheap umbrella lights.
Place them on either side of whatever you are photographing and see how much clearer and bright your videos are.
What is a Diva Ring and What is it used for?
Have you ever noticed how your favorite influencer always has a twinkle in her eyes during their Instagram stories? Or how the best handmade clothing brands always have the most beautifully lit models? If you ever talk on camera or need to take photos with people in them for your business, a Diva ring is going to be your best friend.
A Diva Ring is basically just a circular light fixture that casts an even glow around your entire face. The even light gives you a more polished look and makes your features pop in the best way. The circular ring also casts those circular reflections in your eyes, making them sparkle. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, most beauty bloggers use Diva Ring lights on a regular basis during their makeup tutorials.
But why do you need one for your handmade business? If you often use models for your products and find yourself in situations where natural light is scarce and unpredictable, a Diva Ring light will make your products pop and create a more beautiful image overall. Jewelry, clothing, fashion accessories, etc. all photograph well with a Diva Ring.
The best part? Even though these lighting fixtures look intimidating, they are actually very simple to use. Just slide your cell phone into the designated cell phone attachment (preferably in the center of the ring) and either use your phone’s timer or a remote to get great images and videos. Next, play around with the brightness of the fixture. You don’t want to be blinded or washed out, but the friendly glow is pretty fun. Plus, the fixture itself can be used as a cell phone tripod to hold your phone in place when you don’t need extra lighting.
The Right Tripod for iPhone Product Photography
You may be surprised how often a simple tripod will come in handy. If you are photographing in a dark, indoor setting, you can set your iPhone on a tripod and still capture clear photos since the phone will be far more stable. Whenever you are photographing people, it helps to have a stable tripod so your images are more cohesive and clear. When it comes to capturing videos, a tripod is a must since it eliminates camera-shake.
You can use a tripod to take great in-process product photos (pictures of your products being made) by keeping your hands free. It also comes in handy for styled flat-lays and tabletop images. I use my tripod almost as much as my sewing machine in my handmade business. Nearly every video, social media post, and product photo captured had a tripod involved.
I sincerely hope this iPhone Product Photography guide helped answer some questions and get your handmade business off on the right foot! It can be so rewarding to create beautiful imagery with the handmade pieces you have created and to be able to properly show how awesome your products are.
Sharing your unique skills, making things you love, and sharing your talents with the world can be the most rewarding adventure.
To keep your momentum going and give you more guidance and tips, I created a free workshop for you.
In this totally free workshop, you’ll learn:
- The top 3 best-selling handmade items you can start making this weekend
- The formula top-selling business owners use to price their handmade creations
- How to do market research and decide if a project is worth selling
- The myths that hold most creative entrepreneurs back
Click here to join me for the next workshop!