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In Product Photography for E-Commerce, designer Dane Howard shows how to take professional-looking photographs that showcase products and build buyers' trust. Using a practical approach, Dane covers objects from collectible coins to real estate, and the lessons can be applied to just about anything that can be sold online. When it comes time to capture images in the studio, Dane discusses how to select a camera and other equipment on any budget. He shares his favorite tips and tricks for getting the most out of camera angles, backgrounds, and scene lighting. He reviews image editing basics, such as cropping and retouching photographs, and explains how to take a presentation beyond a 360-degree view with the integration of rich media.
Shooting toys can be a lot of fun. A couple of things that think about, though, is that amount of effort that you put into it and what you get out of it is going to be most critical. That's every trade-off of any type of seller. Now, you've all seen an image like this and this is really what they call the 'Lot'. This is just a collection of toys that are usually dumped out onto the floor. This is the easiest thing to do. You might see this. Well, a little extra effort put into the shots will get you and your buyers drawn into the shots a lot more.
Now, let's talk about this shot right here. The time it took just to lay them out was, you know, not that big of a trade-off. What you really want to do is think about a consistent shot that you can repeat over and over for the same amount of time it took to create this. Let's talk about that. Here's a pretty typical shot. A photo tent allows me to set up a light on the left and a light on the right. Once I've done this, I can set a mark and set the PEZ dispenser on each and every single one of them in the exact same spot. I have the aperture wide open, which gives me a really nice selective focus.
And I can get the color. I can get this really nice effect on every single shot. I don't have to change my settings and I can just bang these out. Well, depending on how deep your inventory is, this is going to trade off amazingly well when you start to see them all lined up and your buyers will absolute benefit from seeing the detail and all the individuality. Now, look how far we've come. This is a fantastic shot and you can do something like this just to check the consistency by going into Photoshop, going into their Automate feature and viewing the Contact Sheet.
This is very helpful when lining up a bunch of inventory that you might have and there's an opportunity with toys that just about any other product is not really going to have and that's the sense of play. Now imagine a piece of furniture. You are going to want put it in the context, or in an environment where it may be experienced. Well with the toys, this is a little bit more freedom. You can take it outside and a shot like this goes underneath the actual tree, in the shade. Remove some of this direct sunlight. You're going to get a really nice selective focus shot like this or perhaps you're going to actually set up a little extra little thing.
Put the characters next to each other. This can be a lot of fun. You may have a collector that's thinking "What year is it? What's the quality "of the item?" Or you may have a mom or dad that's trying to get a type of toy for little Tommy. So, think about this as you kind of set things up in the sense of play and you can always get this great sense of detail. Here you've got something that speaks to a collector. You can put the make, the model, the quality, all that can be in there in the context of something that is it a quick, little five minute shoot outside underneath a tree. Now the details that matter are going to be most important to draw them even closer to your products.
So like with the doll, like this, you are going to want a pull out just at the details that matter like the dress or you want to pull up the hair or the make, or the model. So, this is really critical and like always, just like this little, tiny dog, put little things in context, like we remember, put the little things that help portray the size. So, use these techniques to actually start to paint a nice picture of a sense of play for the toys that you shoot.
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