If social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions have disrupted your professional shots, maybe it is time to set up your own home photography studio?
With just a few tools and tips, you can create beautiful visual content for your business or personal brand at home – sweatpants are optional but highly recommended!
To help you set up your home photo studio, we asked the photographer Dante Nicholas to talk through the process and share his or her 9 tips for capturing killer products at home:
How to set up a home photography studio
Not only is it convenient to set up a home photo studio, but it also removes any barriers preventing you from getting your products off to your audience.
And once you've got your studio set up, you may find that translating content ideas and inspiration from your head into real-life social media posts can be much faster. No waiting time for studio appointments!
Check out how photographers like Taylor Hunter create stunning photo shoots for products at home with minimal effort:
Also, the best news is that setting up your own content studio can be relatively cheap – in fact an iPhone camera can get you started.
Here are some key points that we would recommend regardless of your level of experience:
For the professionals:
Would you like to add to your kit list? We have 16 budget-friendly tools perfect for creating Instagram content on this blog post!
8 tips for beautiful product shots at home
Now you're ready to set up your own DIY photo studio!
If this is your first step towards taking product shots at home, remember that you can make the process as simple or as complex as you want. If all you have is an iPhone and great daylight, don't worry – you will still get great results!
We're going to discuss our top tips on how to set up the scene, capture your shot, and share your new product collection on social media:
Tip 1: find the best natural light in your room
Every house or apartment will be different, but try to find a room or area with the best natural light!
It can be a corner of your bedroom, living room, or even your kitchen table – anywhere with great organic light is ideal for creating a studio.
Home Photography Studio Tip 2: Design Your "Set"
Once you've found an area with good lighting, you'll need to designate a certain small space for your "set".
A blank wall might come in handy here, but if you don't have one, don't worry. You can also use a kitchen / bathroom counter, stool in the middle of a room, etc. Whatever looks and works best for you and your friends general Instagram aesthetic:
When it comes to backdrops, using the natural color of your wall is definitely enough to get you started.
However, be sure to try out different fabrics and backgrounds to add character and a trademark touch to your photos.
Something that is very trendy right now is using bed linen as a backdrop. It's simple, affordable, and adds an extra dimension of intrigue to your recordings. Just use tape to attach the sheets to your wall.
Do you need an empty base for your products? Try out Railway boards.
While railroad boards are meant to be painted or printed, they are sturdy enough to provide a solid base for your products in case you need them!
Different backgrounds or bases help when you need to photograph multiple products on the same day – each product has its own mood!
Fifty beauty does an excellent job of adapting the backdrops to the product they are shooting:
We can't forget the props! Small planters, mirrors, glitter, household items, and furniture can be fun props to tie everything together.
Make sure, however, that the props you use match your brand's visual identity and your subject for the shoot.
Not sure if your home studio fits your feed?
You can use a visual planner like Later to see where your new pictures are on your Instagram feed.
If your test shots don't look quite right, play around with your attitude and props until the set blends seamlessly with your feed aesthetic!
It's a trial and error when you start out, but the more you do it, the more natural it will feel to set up a home studio that represents your brand.
Home Photography Studio Tip 3: Shine Your Light
Even though you've found a room with lots of natural light, adding extra light can really bring out the details of your products – whether you're photographing a product or a person!
Ring lights are the go-to place for many content creators and influencers as they provide continuous and balanced lighting.
If you are an experienced photographer, it can be beneficial to buy a softbox set (you can find this relatively cheap on Amazon!).
If you have a softbox set, as the name suggests, you can control direct light and make it more diffuse and softer.
For example, suppose you have a flashlight and you shine it directly on a glass or plastic product to illuminate the product label for a shot. The light beam is very hard against glass or plastic and causes glare when taking the photo.
So having something to diffuse that light (like a softbox) will improve the quality of your product intake!
Tip # 4 for the home photography studio: set up your tripod with specific goals
Once your scene is created, set up your tripod to find out your exact frames and angles. If your tripod has one Center column with multiple anglesYou can also test taking flat-screen photos.
Take this moment to think about your needs for this shoot. Do you need square images for your Instagram feed? Do you need footage versatile enough to be vertical and square for feed in Instagram Stories? Do you need landscape photos for banner images?
These requirements provide information on how to frame your recordings in the camera.
TIP: Whether you're shooting with your phone or with a DSLR camera, you want to be sure that your scene is properly exposed. The better the exposure during shooting, the less editing you'll need to do later!
Do you work with your phone camera? No problem! Here is a Guide to Taking Beautiful Instagram Photos with your cell phone.
Home Photography Studio Tip 5: Get Creative!
When it comes to product photography, the more creative your shots, the more engaging your social media audience will be after posting.
Vary the angles at which you pick up the products. Try some overhead shots, but also some eye-level shots.
Play around with your camera's depth of field and use different lighting styles to achieve different looks.
Use props like plant leaves to create dramatic shadows in your photo. The possibilities are endless!
Home Photography Studio Tip # 6: Go Top with Stop Motion Animation
This simple trick can turn a simple product photo into an eye-catching GIF or video! And in a world where stopping content is essential, this is one you should definitely try.
Like creators Helmut Barroso Create stop motion animations with Adobe Premiere ProHowever, with a mobile app like you can easily get the same effect on your phone Life lapse!
Remember, stop motion animation is treated like videos in the Instagram feed, which sometimes provide more engagement than a single picture capture!
Thanks to the Instagram algorithm With videos that appear larger than other posts on the Explore page, there are a lot more opportunities to get involved.
Schedule, schedule and publish your videos on Instagram with Later!
Home Photography Studio Tip # 7: Get a Second Opinion
We know that it can be difficult to be super creative when you're alone. If you need it, get a second opinion!
Let a colleague or partner check your setup and work on some ideas before you go far into your shoot!
You could even use that Close Friends function on Instagram for a quick peek at the shot with your closest followers. It could be a great way to get feedback and create excitement with your Instagram community for your next launch!
Home Photography Studio Tip 8: Use the photo editing software for the finishing touches
Now that you have some great shots to work with, but that's what you want to give them extra "oomph" processing before posting.
If you know your way around photo editing, you can bring photos with you Adobe Lightroom to correct colors or add a branded photo style.
But if not, like mobile apps A color story and VSCO Help create professional looking photos and branded photo styles in minutes.
Want to learn more about photo editing apps? We have an overview of our favorite apps and how to use them this blog post!
That's it – a few quick tips on how to do your next product photography shoot in your own space!
Remember that if you are just starting out in the world of home photography, you don't have to invest in an expensive photo kit.
You just experiment and play with your phone and some cute backdrops to get great results for your brand's Instagram feed.
Are you ready to launch your brand's Instagram strategy? Plan and Schedule your Instagram posts in advance with later – free of charge!
Dante is a social media strategist and photographer based in New Orleans, LA. He has helped develop and manage social campaigns for dozens of clients. You can connect with him on Instagram @allthingsdante.