Product photography is an area of specialization that involves making inanimate objects look as attractive as possible. Photographers with skills in this area often work shooting images for advertisements and product catalogs. However, mastering the basic concepts behind successful product photography will also make it easier for you to take great pictures when selling items online through sites such as eBay. If you discover a natural talent for this type of digital photography, you may even be able to earn some extra money selling your images on a site that specializes in stock photos.
For the best results in product photography, take your pictures in an area with good lighting. If you can't photography an item outside in natural light, try taking pictures near an open window. Turn your flash off to avoid harsh shadows or "hot spots" that disrupt your image.
Most point and shoot digital cameras have a macro setting that is used to take close up photos of objects. Using this setting will help make sure you have images that are as clear and crisp as possible. Typically, the macro setting is indicated by a flower icon.
A tripod is very helpful for product photography. Even though you're shooting a picture of an inanimate object, the slightest movement of your hands will create a blur in the image. A tripod keeps the camera completely stable, especially if you use it with your camera's built-in timer.
Choosing the right background is essential to successful product photography. Ideally, you want to photograph your item in front of something that is solid with minimal texture. A sheet or an old blanket can work well as a background for photographing smaller items. An empty wall is a good place to photograph larger items. As for color preferences, neutral backgrounds tend to be the best. However, a pure white background can be distracting if your object is dark.
Fabric-covered blocks can be used to prop up items for product photography. If your item is very large and heavy, try suspending it using invisible thread. This extremely fine monofilament won't show up in the photo, but it will keep the item from falling over while you work.
Once you've taken your photo, digital image editing software can be a useful tool. However, you don't necessarily need advanced photo editing skills for successful product photography. Cropping your image can help eliminate background distractions. Adjusting the brightness and contrast is a simple way to make the picture look clearer.