Before you spend money to rent a DSLR camera and a lens for your product photography, consider using the quality camera that you carry around with you all the time: your smartphone.
You may be thinking that using your smartphone for product photography sounds a bit crazy, but with today’s advances in technology, it’s absolutely feasible to create great product images by utilizing your smartphone’s advanced camera features and a tripod. This option is both budget and user-friendly – not to mention convenient!
Here’s a step-by-step guide showing you exactly which tools and apps you’ll need.
Step One: Using Your Phone As A Camera
Most smartphones in today’s market come equipped with great cameras. If you’re one of the many consumers who have purchased one of these devices, then you have a high quality DSLR alternative right at your fingertips!
Below are a few smartphones that have great camera features:
Apple iPhone 5S
- 8-megapixel iSight camera
- Video Recording HD (1080) @ 30 frames per second with audio
- LED flash
- Image stabilization
Samsung Galaxy S5
- 16- Megapixel Camera
- Video Recording HD (1080) @ 30 frames per second
- LED Flash
Whichever smartphone you choose to use for the photoshoot, make sure that your device has autofocus and the maximum amount of megapixels possible. Once you have identified the phone you plan to use for the photoshoot, you’re ready to move on to the rest of this tutorial and learn about how to take great images from start to finish by utilizing your smartphone’s advanced camera capabilities.
Step Two: Accessories
With all of the different accessories and gadgets that can be used with smartphones, it can be hard to decipher what you actually need to achieve great images. We recommend using a backdrop, a table, a lighting setup, a stand or tripod, and a lens to help your images stand out!
Use a white or light gray backdrop behind your product to give your photographs a clean and consistent look and to eliminate distractions. You can create your own backdrop easily by using a sheet, rolled paper, foam board, or a wall. It is best to make a “sweep” so that your backdrop is not only behind the product, but underneath it as well. This will greatly speed up your post production workflow!
Utilize a table so that your product sits higher, which will make it easier for you to photograph your product during the photoshoot. Depending upon the type of image stabilization equipment you choose to use, it would be easy to prop your smartphone on the table as well.
There are many options for lighting, but the easiest and most budget-friendly option to use is natural window light. Set up your product and equipment near a large window to allow for ample light in your frame. If natural light is difficult for you to find, try using a larger lamp or renting a softbox-type lighting kit, depending on how big your object may be.
4. Image Stabilization
Using soft natural lighting makes for beautiful product photos, but it often creates the need for image stabilization equipment, such as a stand or a tripod. Although smartphone cameras do contain internal image stabilization software, there will still be camera shake if you hand-hold your phone, resulting in blurry images.
For the best possible results, we recommend using a tripod. Here are a few great options that can be used on basically any smartphone:
Gorilla Pod Mobile ($15)
The Gorilla Pod Mobile product is a great combination pack that includes a mount and stand all together. This is a small and compact tripod that can easily be placed on a table as you shoot your images. It’s very flexible and can be used in multiple positions depending on the situation.
Joby Grip Tight Mount ($20)
If you already have a tripod or stand the Joby Grip Tight Mount is a great option for smartphones that will hold onto any mount with it’s bottom screw post! This is extremely useful because some people utilize larger and smaller tripods to photograph their images. And for price, this is a great universal portable option for you to invest in while still being able to use what you already have.
If you like this mount but don’t have a tripod, you can get the combo set including a gorilla pod as well for a just a few bucks extra (http://joby.com/smartphones/griptight-gorillapod-stand).
This $25 Spiderpodium is an extremely flexible spider mount that will not only hold your smartphone, but will also prop it up on a stand too. This option is a little pricier than the Gorilla Pod and the Joby Grip Tight mounts, but its incredible versatility makes up for the increased cost. You may even find yourself using the Spiderpodium in everyday life as well. If you need to use a larger tripod, you still can—just wrap the spider legs around your tripod to use it as a mount only.
As always, search around for the best deal and search for coupon codes, since you may find these products cheaper somewhere else and since there’s a chance that you might find a better option for your needs altogether.
Believe it or not, you can use external lenses with your smartphone, and having them on hand is a good idea to make it through tough lighting and focusing situations. If you want to zoom in closer to your product and create a macro product image, for example, you’re going to need a macro or telephoto lens, since your smartphone will only be able to focus from a certain distance away from your product.
Here are a few great lenses that can be used on smartphones:
Photojojo iPhone & Android lenses ($20-$100)
This is a great inexpensive lens collection. Photojojo allows you to pick and choose which lenses you include in your package, or to simply try them all! The lenses work on iPhones and Androids to enhance your camera’s perspective.
Olloclip iPhone 4-in-1 Lens ($70)
Olloclip 4-in-1 lens is a universal option with great portability and a lot of value since it contains 4 lenses all packed into 1 unit. Unfortunately, however, the Olloclip only works with the iPhone, so Android users will have to look for another option.
Moment iPhone & Android lenses ($10-$80)
If you’re willing to spend more and wait for the product release, check outMoment’s professional iPhone and Android smartphone lenses, which are going to be created via Kickstarter funding. You will have to pre-order the lenses, but the possibility of taking your smartphone photos to the next professional level with their extreme quality engineering, may be worth it to you!
Step Three: Choosing The Right Apps
There are a plethora of camera shooting & editing applications for your smartphone, so how do you decide? One thing to remember is that apps have been designed to help you to use your smartphone to its full potential. We recommend that you start by consulting professional app reviews about which apps are the best. Apps even win awards based on these reviews for being so great!
Below are a few apps that have received stellar reviews:
For shooting, we recommend that you first try to use the default camera app that comes already installed on your smartphone. If you aren’t getting the results that you want, then it’s time to try another application. Here are a few suggestions:
Android Camera Zoom FX ($3)
This Android-specific app has been rated #1 in camera apps for Android phones. If you’re looking for a shooting application with a few more features than the default camera app, then try Camera Zoom FX to help boost your images to the next level.iPhone Camera+ ($2)
Camera+ is an iPhone-specific application that has been rated #1 in camera apps for iPhones. Using this application will allow you to harness your smartphone’s advanced shooting capabilities. The photos included in this tutorial were taken using this app.2. Editing
Free Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Photoshop Express is a free image editing application for both Android and iPhone smartphones. This quick and easy app might be all that you need in your post processing workflow.
Photoshop Touch ($5)
Photoshop Touch is an editing app with more bells and whistles than the free “Express” version. It’s a great editing app that replicates the desktop version of Photoshop while still remaining user-friendly. The Touch program has much more functionality than the Express version.3. Sharing
Sharing images via social media websites is a wonderful way to promote your products. After you’ve shot and edited your images, it’s time to share them. Many of the applications that we have mentioned are designed to help you to share your images to sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so be sure to take advantage of those features.More about this mobile photography. Click here________________________________________________________________
Disclaimer: This article is from Shopify.com/blog. I just re posted it because I am into Mobile Photography and I always agree that photography is not all about expensive cameras.