AfriMod Sellers’ Guide: How to Photograph Your Products

How to produce high quality photos:

Producing high-quality, beautiful photos of your products is essential for online sales. Great photos help to sell your items.  And you don’t need an expensive SLR camera to produce great photos. Most smartphone cameras can be set to take high resolution photos.

Choose a location that is not cluttered:

Location, location, location…
We recommend that you take several well-lit shots of your products from all angles. Remember to take some close-up shots as well to highlight important features of the item. Pay attention to your surroundings – sweep and remove all trash and debris.

Outdoor photographs all taken in African settings. Natural fiber basket (Baskets of Africa), indigo batik (Lama Batik), Nupe pottery (Nupe Pot Gallery).

Staging:

Staging attractive scenery add value to your products:
Position product to be photographed in such a way as not to capture unflattering background images. Avoid hanging laundry, dilapidated buildings, trash, etc. Stage your product, making sure that everything within the view finder add aesthetic value to items being photographed. Remove everything that is not part of your intended photo composition.

Well presented and staged products for online sale. Hand-turned wooden vase (Masterpiece Art Gallery), African flat baskets (Baskets of Africa), upcycled tote (Joy Recycling).

Lighting:

Good lighting is very important:
Make sure you take product photos in well-lit settings. Avoid back-lighting. Turn the flash function of your camera or smartphone to the OFF position before photographing. Set your Image Settings to the highest quality.

Go outdoors and use natural light instead, but avoid direct sunlight on your items. Direct sunlight is harsh and will make your photos look bad. Photographing jewelry is always best on cloudy days so that there won’t be shadows in your photos.

Taking the shots:

Sharp Focused shots are very important:
Make sure your focus is sharp and that you are able to capture the texture/details of the items being photographed. Make sure that the focus stays sharp. No blurry shots, please.

Taller Aspect Ratio is Preferable:
Take photos of your items in the portrait format instead of landscape.

Shoot Different Angles and Views:
Photograph different angles of the item so as to highlight its appeal. Shoot additional photos of same item next to objects that are in contrast. The contrast in height, width, etc will visually help prospective buyers understand your item’s size/scale.

Different angles and a close-up image of a detail of a dallah pot (Razak Artz & Craftz).

Tips for taking Great Product Photos:

Simple Shots:
Photograph your products in natural settings or against clean, appropriately colored surfaces such as, white, beige or black. Your choice of background color will depend on the item being photographed. Seeing these items staged on suitable models or settings will help buyers understand and appreciate the style, size/scale of your product.

Lifestyle/Context Shots:

Create a scenery that will give viewers a better idea of how your product can be used in a modern setting or what its size is in everyday life.

The top two photographs show how one can use a flat basket as a fruit plate or as wall decor (Baskets of Africa). The shop Koele uses an image of a tote next to a pillow to indicate the size of the tote. A tea-harvester basket is shown in use as storage for art supplies (Baskets of Africa).

Fashion and Jewelry:
Solicit the assistance of attractive individuals and have them wear and model the piece (jewelry or fashion). Take several shots of the model wearing the item. Make sure the item features prominently in your photos. Remember to pay attention to the background and surrounding areas. Alternatively, shoot jewelry pieces on clean surfaces or propped up against backgrounds of contrasting colors. You may also photograph earrings hooked on tea cups, mugs or other interesting objects of contrasting colors.

The shop Bijoux Touareg used a dark background to better offset the pewter necklace shown. Image of bracelet against a white background (Trek Maghreb). A penny is used to show the size of beads from African Bead Shop. It is important to use close-up shots to show details on jewelry (Razak Artz & Craftz).

Please only upload original, unaltered photos. Do not edit or include watermark.

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