Not a great photographer? Take photos like a pro by following these simple rules.
1) Follow the Rule of Thirds
This is based on a centuries-old principle of good art: Focus points within the area you're capturing will look better if they occur a third of the way from one of the photo edges instead of dead center. So imagine a tic-tac-toe board over what you are photographing and wherever the lines intersect is a good place to have your element(s) of focus.
2) Line Up Your Frame, No Tilting!
Unless the whole point of the photo is for it to be tilted, you should take care to line up your shot squarely. Find lines within your area that should be straight up and down or flat level (such as the horizon, the base of a building, or the posts of a fence) and make sure your camera is dead level with them so they'll all appear properly squared within your frame. Even a slight tilt is easily noticed by your website visitors and can make your images appear sloppy to some.
3) Get Your Subject Right
The subject of your photo is the main object, person, or item you want to capture and showcase. For retail sales, you need to make sure you are getting the subject right, and this means taking care with each of the following:
- Clarity - You need to make sure the subject is in proper focus. The rest of the background can be fuzzy, and as long as the subject is clear, the photo will be great.
- Brightness - Always make sure to use more light than you do for standard indoor lighting. It should feel 'too bright' in the area for a good photo to have sufficient light. If there's ever a question, err on the side of having more light than less.
- Framing - Make sure the subject is pictured in its entirety, for products, always take photos of the entire item. If your subject is a person, it's okay to cut them off at the waist in the frame, but not at the knees (there is psychological basis for why this is, but this article will not go into detail).
4) Don't Crowd the Subject
While it's good to have some open, blank space around the subject of the photo, you will want to find a balance. Too little space will make the photo look crowded, and too much will make it look distant. With your retail photos, find a balance that works for you, and then be sure to do it the same way every time you take a product photo.
5) Find Your Brand's Unique Look
After you've got these basics down, feel free to experiment with angles and distances, backgrounds and settings, until you find a unique look that will make your photos 'feel' like your brand. The Rain system allows you to upload as many images as you like for each of your products, and the Gallery module also allows unlimited images, so don't be afraid to showcase your offerings from multiple angles. This will give your customers a better idea of what they're buying, which will help with informed purchase decisions and which will also inspire more impulse purchases.
What are you waiting for? Break out the camera, fire up your lights, and start snapping photos like a pro!