Now that you've practiced taking a photo with your product with different angles and different lighting, it's time to talk about your scene or your setting. Essentially, what else is around your product to help you take these photos? When you are taking photos of your products, keep in mind the background and everything else that's going to be in the photo, everything that's behind it. Let's try a simple exercise. Let's try taking another photo. It doesn't matter what your product is, whether it's something close to you or whether it's your store product, let's grab it and set it down on the desk in front of you or directly in front of you, wherever you are. Let's pull out our phones, take a photo as best you can, whatever angle you would like, and try and get the best shot that you can exactly where it is without moving anything else around your product. Don't clean your desk. If it's messy, that's probably a good thing for this exercise. I want to show you something.
After you've done that, I want you to take your product and put it somewhere else. For this example, I'm going to be using a white background. For me, it's super easy. I can do that in the van anywhere. But for you, maybe you could put it up against a big piece of white paper, a white wall, or maybe you could put it up against your bedsheet that you used for the window exercise. Try and make your photo look a little bit like this. Then, let's check the photos side by side. Now, don't expect these photos to be perfect, ready for your website, and good to go.
If they are, awesome. Little props to you, you've done a great job. If they're not, it's also good because it means we're about to learn something. Obviously, when you compare those photos side by side, whether you want to print them or not, you're going to notice an enormous difference between the two and how busy they look and how clean they look. Your first image, which shows a product on your desk, or wherever it was, might have a lot of objects around it. It might be quite busy. There's a lot going on.
The second photo where you have it up against a plain background, regardless of whether it's white or not, is going to look very clean and all the focus in that image is directly on your product. There's nothing else in it. You don't have distractions as you did on your desk. This is probably a little bit more similar to the photos that you've seen on Amazon and other stores like this with a white background. While the product you are photographing is super important, having additional props around your item can actually be really, really beneficial too.
While the product you're photographing is really important, everything else, and the lack thereof in your scene or in that photograph is also really, really important. Having other items, shapes, textures, and complementary products in your photo can drastically enhance your pictures and really set the scene for your customer to help them to imagine in their life or however they're going to use it or wherever it belongs.
A good example of this might be with the torch. This particular texture, it would go really well with some kind of like camping equipment, maybe a pocket knife, maybe add in some tent pegs, add in some other like camping elements to this image. They're going to really help support the torch itself. You want to be careful not to be taking away from the product that you're featuring. You just want to be adding some extra elements that really enhance that scene. And another thing that can work really well is the contrast of textures.
For this example, I'm going to be using the torch again. It's got a really nice angular feel about it and it's quite rough, it's got quite sharp angles. So for this, I'm actually going to be using some items that are completely different from that. So we've got here two little pieces of silk. These ones are really soft, they're very plain, but they add a really, really nice texture, and they're completely separate to how the torch is. Sometimes, adding different elements like this can actually really change how the feel of the image is.
If you also live in a van, make sure you park somewhere flat because I didn't, and it's very complicated to do this. Now, the contrast of texture and color combined with this can really help draw your focus to the product itself. In this example, we have the red cloth on the right and the light cloth on the left, but there's a beautiful, dark glossy torch in the center. So your eyes are immediately drawn to that.
And I'm going to give you one more example of this. I've discovered here, we've got this beautiful little wooden French press. While it's very beautiful on its own, you do kind of lose it a little bit in all of the wood that we have going on here. So I'm going to grab this cloth again from our previous example. I'm going to lay it out nice and flat. This time, a little bit thinner so we get a lot of coverage from it. Or you can see there's a big separation now between the French press itself and the background. By adding similar elements, for this one, I'm going to grab our coffee beans, you could lay some coffee beans around the edge of it, maybe.
This can really add to the story and really enhance, kind of, the scene that's going on. Also, by the way, very handy. No, they don't fall. You also might want to add in a couple of other things, maybe a spoon would do, maybe a cup, things like that. The pieces that you add in, you want them to complement the product you're taking the photos of, but not take away from it. That's a really, really important thing to remember.
You don't want people to think it's a photo of a spoon with a French press there. You want it to be a photo of a French press that sets the scene for time for coffee. By setting up a scene and showing an example of exactly how the product might be used, you're saving people having to use their imagination, and you're just showing them exactly how might be able to fit into their home. By doing this, you can actually encourage people to make a purchase based on the idea of it rather than the product.
This can be really helpful when people are in that final stage where they're not quite sure if they want to buy it. So adding images, just like this can be super useful to your website. So here's a little photo before and after. So here's the French press on its own with nothing going on. And here is a photo of the French press with the little scene that we just created there. Very simple, but it does go a long way. Now, let's take a look at a couple of examples of the same product on its own, with a white background, with a colored background, and with a dark background.
We're just gonna talk about the differences here. So the image with the light-colored background, all of your focus is drawn to the product. You're going to find this with pretty much all of the colors or lights or darks that you use to go with your product. Unless you're shooting a dark product with a dark background, it's going to be kind of hard to see your product and it's not going to stand out from the page. So try and make sure there's a bit of contrast there. So a really good time to use a white background with your product might be when you have a darker item or a darker object. Alternatively, if you have quite a bright or a white product, putting that in a white background, it's not going to stand out at all and you're going to lose a lot of the detail.
So that's when using a darker background, maybe like a gray or a black, is going to be really, really perfect for that shot. With the light- or white-colored background, it does give a very clean and sharp look. Your product is going to be a little bit easier to see and that's why you see this used a lot. It also works really well with white websites. When you're scrolling through, if you have a white background on your object and a white website, it's going to make it look like your item is just floating there on your website, nice and neatly. So this is why we see this used a lot.
If you're using a dark background, depending on your product, it might actually be harder to see. This might not necessarily be the case if you have a brighter product. If using a darker background with that, that will really give you that contrast to make sure your product will really stand out. But when it comes to using that image on your website, it won't look like it's floating there at all and it will definitely stand out a little bit more. These images are still beautiful.
It just depends on how you want to use them. Then finally, colored background. Colored backgrounds are also a really important thing to use sometimes. You just have to be really careful what colored background you use with what colored products. Let's say you have a silver shiny product. I'm gonna use my coffee grinder for this example, with a red background, some of the red light is actually going to be reflected off that shiny object and give it kind of a reddish tinge.
And if you don't want people to think that your product is red at all, just be careful when you're choosing your backgrounds and colors, that it doesn't affect the actual look of the product itself. This also goes for textured backgrounds too. If you have a smooth product, a textured background is going to work really well. But if you have a textured product and a textured background, sometimes it can be way too busy and overpowering. So just as I said, trial and error, have a look, see what works best for you and your product.
Adding supporting products to your photos. This is a great thing to do, but I wouldn't do in every single photo. It is really important to showcase your product on its own so that people can understand the little details and things like that. Let's go back to the French press example. If you're looking at the French press and you have the coffee beans there and the spoon, it's a beautiful little scene, but maybe people will miss the little intricate details of that item. So just be really sure that you're showing the detail, your product, and not detracting from it.
Just make sure you're using a good balance of both types of images. When it comes to showcasing your product with supporting items like the French press, the coffee beans, and the spoon, it's really important to make sure that the items that you're matching together do make sense and they would naturally fit that scene. Now this time, we're going to be incorporating a couple of items that don't go together and show you how that works. So we're going to sit down and our French press, we're going to lay down a phone charger cable, and we're also going to be laying down a multicolored sock.
When you look at all these products together, they don't really make sense. There's no reason for these ones to be together and they don't complement each other at all. It's hard to tell whether the photo is about the French press, the sock, what's going on. Also with this wood background, the wood of the French press is really lost on this wood top. So it is really important to make sure you know what products you're incorporating with what, if it's going to benefit it, if those things are going to complement each other, or where they're going to have a negative impact like this. So keep it in mind, just be smart about what products and items you put with each other.
The last thing I want to talk to you about in this section is scenes. So let's start with actions and movements. Let's say, for this example, you're taking a photo of a coffee cup. It might be a reusable one like this. Maybe you're showing it off like we do with the French press. You've got your coffee beans, you're setting a bit of a scene for it. But other photos that work out really nicely is someone holding it. That's what people are going to do with it.
Maybe you can show a photo of someone sitting outside at a picnic table and they've got their coffee cup. You basically want to show people it in use. This is a really smart way to do it. Maybe someone's tipping a cup up to take a drink. Maybe they're holding and laughing with friends. Maybe they're checking their phone. Sometimes it might be a really nice idea if you want to include a little bit of action and movement to incorporate that with some of the people or the models you're using for your photos.
This is kind of more like lifestyle product photography. As I said before, with the French press, the coffee beans, and everything else, it can be really, really useful to sell the idea of having a product as opposed to just selling the product. Sometimes that's what's going to get people over the line and make them hit that buy button.