Sunday, October 17, 2010

One Great Way to Add Drama to Your Product Photos

The struggle with product photography continues, but I stumbled across a great photo editing tip that I love.  (Unfortunately, I can't find the original article I read about it to give them credit.

The best way to tell you about it is to show you.  First, take a look at the picture of a necklace from my shop.  Amazingly enough, it sold quickly (yippee!), but I've listed another one in the shop using photos edited my new favorite way.  Color pictures are absolutely the best way to go when listing your products.  You want to give the customer an idea of the vibrancy and color of your products.  Depending on your background, your item could get lost in the photo.  It's kind of like those ads you see on TV where you can't figure out what they're selling.  You think they're selling clothes, but it turns out to be perfume...

The trick I learned was to turn the background of the photo to black and white so only the product is in color.  The background remains interesting, but your product really pops!  Even if you're shooting against objects that are black or white, it makes a significant difference.  In the back of each of these photos is a white sheet.  The color photo gives a warm color to the white sheet.

Glass necklace on black mannequin
How do you change the background to black and white?  It depends on the photo editing software you use.  I use Photoshop, but I'm sure there are ways to do this in just about any decent photo editing program.  Apparently, there's more than one way to accomplish this even in Photoshop.  I had been making a duplicate layer of the main photo and then adding a new adjustment layer to turn the bottom layer black and white.  Then I select the top layer and start erasing the background areas so the black and white version shows through.  When I started putting this post together, I discovered another way of accomplishing the same thing without duplicating layers.  PictureCorrect's blog walks you through the process of creating a channel mixer adjustment layer.

If you don't have any photo editing software (or one you like), many people recommend GIMP.  Not only does it have many of the advanced features that Photoshop users like, but it's FREE.

Reshooting all your photos to improve them may have to wait until you have more time, but this is a quick way to dramatically improve your photos in the meantime.  If you do this to your product photos, please post a link - I'd love to see how it works for you.

4 mad comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this practical information. I am getting to the point of wanting to do more with my product photos and this is helpful!

Beth M said...

This is great post. It would work in other areas too. I would of never thought of doing this but now might have to play with this!

(Thanks for stopping by Thursday Thoughts at Simply Living on a Budget. I hope this feature grows and we all see more comments!)

Evelyn said...

I am so glad that I took part in Thursday Thoughts @ Simply Living on a Budget. This article was fantastic!

Very sound advice,and really makes the products stand out and pop! Not a surprise that your necklace sold out!!

I am going to switch up some of mine this weekend and see what happens

Karen T said...

Beth, I was thinking the same thing. If you're showing off a craft or DIY project, this technique would make it stand out. It would be fun with family photos as well.

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