Whether you are taking product photography for the purpose of an e-commerce store, brand advertising, or print marketing, it is important to have the perfect photo-taking setup. Product photography is extremely important for both large and small businesses when it comes to promoting and selling their goods. Having great product photography and a high-quality studio setup can aid in producing some of the best images for your brand.
The best product photography setup equipment includes a full-frame Nikon or Canon camera, a heavy-duty tripod and optional ball head, reliable software, a white backdrop, a powerful computer, and excellent lighting.
When you have the proper setup to take stunning product photography, you will notice an increase in viewership and potentially an increase in sales. To learn more about how to create the best picture-taking setup with photography equipment that will suit your needs, continue reading below.
The Basics of Product Photography
Unlike portrait photography or fashion photography, product photography focuses on the commercial aspect of capturing an image. Product photography is essentially the high-quality photography that will convince a potential buyer that your product is desirable and interesting. The purpose of product photography is to showcase the goods and create intrigue for a company’s viewers.
Some of the different types of product photography include:
- Ad campaign photography, in which photographs can be used on both digital and print marketing platforms
- Custom e-commerce photography, when a product is photographed specifically for the purpose of digital campaigning
- Traditional stock e-commerce photography, where the company utilizes already existing images
Product Photo Packages
In addition to the different purposes for product photography that exist, there are also various options for choosing what type of product photography will be done. This is often referred to as the product photo package. Some common product photo packages include:
- Clean studio photography, promoting individual products such as shoes or makeup
- Close-up photographs, used for small items
- Detailed photographs, used to focus on important details such as stitching and embellishment
- Lifestyle photography, often promoting clothing or health goods
- Product co-grouping, where multiple products belonging to one business are photographed in multiple ways
- Product grouping, where your products are photographed a few different ways based on your business’s model
- Scale shots, used to display the size of an item
- White background photography, used mostly for e-commerce and websites
A Reliable Full-Frame Camera
To create the best product photography setup to take beautiful and successful product photographs for e-commerce and ad campaigns, you must first invest in an excellent camera. Having a reliable full-frame camera can be the difference between your images coming out sharp and detailed versus pixelated and dark.
There are many different camera brands and types available on the market today.
It is best to opt for a DSLR camera with auto-focus abilities. Getting a DSLR camera with 12 or more megapixels will ensure your photographs’ quality in the long run.
The Nikon D610 Full-Frame
One of the best cameras you can use to create the perfect product photography setup is the Nikon D610 Full-Frame DSLR. At around $1,599.95, this FX-format camera offers professional-grade 1080p quality video as well as crystal clear full-frame photographs. With Nikon’s new patented Scene Recognition System and its updated 3D Color Matrix Metering, the Nikon D610 is great for both close-up detailed product shots and in-studio lifestyle and movement brand photography.
Some of its other benefits include:
- A 2,016-pixel RGB sensor
- An onboard image database that stores your photographs digitally
- Auto-white balance for controlling the light on your subject
- High tech shutter speed adjustment
- The option to shoot 1080p HD videos in addition to photographs
- And more
The EOS 6D Mark II Canon
The EOS 6D Mark II Canon DSLR camera is a great addition to any product photography equipment roster. With its DIGIC 7 image processing capabilities and a 26.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, this is the perfect camera for anyone shooting product photographs in a lower-light studio situation.
At around only $1,399, this camera’s claim to fame is its unmatched versatility. With a 3-inch user-friendly LCD or liquid crystal display touch screen and a 6.5 fps feature that offers the ability to shoot continuously at a higher speed, the EOS 6D Mark II Canon is great for dim-light situations capturing product photography of items in motion.
More features include:
- A 45-point optical viewfinder for framing your shot
- A dual pixel CMOS AF detection that catches even the smallest amounts of movement in the photographer or the subject
- Built-in wifi and Bluetooth for easy sending of photographs and uploading
- Dust and water resistance
- And more
A Heavy-duty Tripod
Once you have purchased a top-of-the-line full-frame DSLR camera, the next step is to get a heavy-duty tripod. Tripods are an important part of creating a great product photography studio setup and are often considered a product photographer’s best friend.
Used to both level and keep the camera stable, tripods are often made up of a three or four-legged structure that mounts the camera to a small, flat base. This base is then adjustable, along with the legs, and allows the photographer to frame the subject more easily without worrying about how they hold the camera. Getting a heavy-duty tripod for your setup will ensure that it is strong enough to hold the camera without falling over and that its legs will be able to withstand the movement of a photographer changing the camera settings while still attached.
The Manfrotto Tripod
When purchasing a tripod for your product photography setup, you need one that is not easy to bump. At $194.88, the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod is a great option. With a 494 ball head and load capacity of 17.6 lbs, this tripod is great for both studio shooting and traveling to photograph products on location. In addition to its convenient 59.1-inch height max, the Manfrotto Befree Tripod also has:
- A fold length of 15.7 inches
- An RC2 compatible QR plate
- Four leg sections for ultimate stability
- QPL level leg locks
- Leg options for aluminum legs or carbon fiber legs
- Three different color options
- And more
Optional Tripod Ball Head
Consider a tripod ball head for even more control when handling your tripod and camera during product photography shoots. The Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head is compatible with the Manfrotto Befree Advanced tripod and comes with a 200PL-14 quick release capacity.
With a load capacity increase of up to 22.1 lbs and 360-degree rotation, adding a ball head to your tripod can add a bunch of increased support and stability while giving you the ability to alter the angle of your shot without disconnecting your camera.
A Powerful Computer
After selecting the best camera and tripod for your product photography equipment setup, it is imperative that you have the right computer to which you can upload your pictures.
Some of the most important factors in a good photograph-processing computer include:
- An excellent software program
- Excellent battery power
- Minimum 16GB RAM
- Minimum 2GB Graphics Card
- Minimum quad-core CPU
An Excellent Software Program
An excellent software program for processing product photography on a powerful computer can make your final pictures even more crisp and stunning.
These software programs are used by professionals and novices alike to edit out light inconsistencies, add text and brand information, and even photoshop or duplicate products as per the company’s brand and imaging needs.
One of the most popular leading photography software programs today is Adobe Lightroom. This software is a cloud-based platform that allows you to edit your photographs to your needs and standards. Adobe Lightroom was built and designed specifically with product photography in mind with easily used tools and the ability to edit on both mobile and desktop platforms.
Its perks include:
- Creating text
- Editing photos
- Making logos and branding
- Organizing photos with specified folders
- Storing digital information
- The ability to share with others
- And more
Capture One Software
Capture One Software is another great option for creating your perfect product photography setup. Similar to Adobe Lightroom, Capture One allows for the editing of text, images, saturation, and color of all of your product photographs. With incredibly fast tethering, Capture One can be your next favorite personal assistant during and after photoshoots.
Capture One is perfect for photographers who want to capture deep colors and create eye-catching contrast in their products to draw the viewer’s eye. Capture One also offers:
- A free trial
- A high-speed edit tool
- The option to choose from multiple catered plans
- The ability to edit every single color on your RAW images
- And more
Your Perfect Backdrop
When setting up an indoor studio for the purpose of professional product photography, you need to think carefully about your backdrop. Traditionally, either a white or black lightbox is used when the subject is being photographed for the purpose of selling or e-commerce.
If you cannot or do not want to buy a ready-made lightbox or simply need to shoot very large objects, you can easily make your own backdrop setting. Two great ways are to:
- Use a roll of white paper
- Use poster board.
A Roll of White Paper
Using a large three-foot-wide roll of white paper can be the easiest way to have a perfectly clean and white backdrop. It can be purchased for around $25 on Amazon. You can then secure it to a wall or suspend it from the ceiling to hang the paper down towards the floor against a flat space.
Avoid the following to ensure a smudge-free product photograph:
- Folding the paper
- Stepping on or wrinkling the paper
- Touching the paper without washing your hands
- Wearing shoes on the paper
You can use a poster board for those who do not wish to bother with creating a reliable suspension system for your white paper roll. Poster boards are great for medium-sized goods that can rest on a surface in front of the board.
To create a lightbox effect, simply use two white poster boards by setting one as the bottom and resting the other against the wall as the back. While switching up backdrop colors in-person than in editing software can be tricky, different color poster boards are a great way to switch up your product photoshoot color palette.
The Perfect Photo Setup for You
Creating the perfect product photography setup can be quick, easy, and relatively affordable if you know what you need. While each setup will depend specifically on the company, photographer, and subject or goods being photographed, you will increase your odds of capturing successful photographs by taking the steps to both prepare and equip yourself with the highest quality cameras and accessories.
Don’t have the time or resources to set up your own dedicated product photography area? Try us for free. We’re so convinced that you’ll love working with Thrive Product Studio that we’ll prove it to you free of cost.