Professional Product Shots for Instagram On A Budget

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Professional Product Shots for Instagram On A Budget

Let’s be honest here: getting professional product shots for Instagram an be pricey. There’s so much that goes into itthe props, the lighting, the models, and of course, the photographer. For those just starting out, or for those of you who really just want to save money, we get it and we’ve got you covered.

We know the next few words are going to shock you: you don’t need a super fancy camera, a supermodel, or a photography studio to create professional product shots for Instagram. Nope!

But here’s what you do need:                             

  1. Your product
  2. Your smartphone
  3. A ring light/ good lighting
  4. Props related to your product 
  5. A large poster board/foam board

AND… A whole lot of patience!

Here are some intangible things you will need:

  1. Some creative direction
  2. A theme
  3. A location (can be anything from a basement to a beach)

The most crucial factor when it comes to your product shots for Instagram is truthfully your creative direction or the message you want to portray to your customers through your photos. Think about your brand message. 

Are you shooting a body-friendly item and want to promote the stretch your product has? Or are you shooting an investment swimsuit and want to promote the luxury experience your customers will get wearing your swimsuits? These are all crucial decisions you need to make while planning your shoot.

Once you’ve got that together, you can start planning your shoot! You need to plan where it will take place, what you expect it to look like, etc. but keep in mind that this doesn’t need to be fancy! A great shoot can take place almost anywhere!

Here are some of our top tips and examples to execute a great product shoot with just your smartphone!

Product Shots for Instagram Tip #1: Have GOOD Lighting

This is soooo important! The lighting in a room can make or break your photos. If you have a ring light we suggest using that to make sure you can capture all the details of the product you worked so hard on! If you are outdoors, we suggest natural light, but not direct sunlight, meaning don’t shoot at 12pm noon when the sun is the brightest and directly overhead

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Here is an example of an outfit flatlay from @goodnightmacaroon where the lightning is perfect. The items are clearly visible, the details are neatly presented and you know what to expect from the item via your photo!

Product Shots for Instagram Tip #2: Have Relatable Props 

Brand identity is everything and you want your photos to make sense to your consumer. This means if you are a luxury brand, you want to use props from other luxury brands to complement your product.

Here is an example of product shots for Instagram, that we did for one of our clients whose product is luxury swimwear. We complemented this suit with Chanel sunglasses to portray the type of client who would wear this.

Product Shots for Instagram Tip #3: Have a Good Background/Backdrop

Having a clear background only ensures your product is the center of attention. This can be done by getting a white poster board to lay your products on, or choosing an outdoor environment that doesn’t have too much color or patterns or even setting your product on a white desk!

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Here is an example of some product shot photography from @walmart with a winter outfit. Having a clear background, (in this case a white sheet or bedspread) lets the photo’s main focus be the actual product instead of other miscellaneous items. It allows your customer to easily see the details of the items you are presenting.

Professional Product Shot Photography for Instagram On A Budget, product shots for instagram, shooting for instagram, Instagram, social media content, profession product shot photography, good lighting, Goodnight Macaroon, Chanel, Walmart, flat lays, lulus, Attic salt vintage, westsidecollective, Spanx, gohagen Alexander, refinery 29, fashion angel warrior, fashion brand, fashion startup, fashion designer, fashion brand, fashion consulting, fashion coachThis is a a great example of a flat lay on a desk. With a few everyday desk items, you can create a photoshoot in less than 5 minutes! This is great for jewelry brands.

Product Shots for Instagram Tip #4: Have an Eye for Detail

Having an eye for detail ensures that your photos come out as clean and chic as possible. This means checking to make sure tags are tucked in, loose strings are cut, clothing is ironed/steamed, and any details are properly exposed. Also you can play with the way in which you lay out the product with certain items folded, others totally open, some overlapping etc.

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Here is a great example from @lulus and @atticsalt_vintage where the clothes are delicately placed, ironed, and staged. It makes the photo not only look more professional but helps your items look neat and sophistocated.

Product Shots for Instagram Tip #5: Be Creative! 

And not everything you do needs to be a flay lay when it comes to your product shots for Instagram. Get creative whether that be stacking your items, for example, pants on top of each other like pictured below or photographing your item in its packaging. You can even shoot things like your labels (whether inside your product or not) or even finding creative ways to hang your garments for ex. on just an arm. Adding some dimension and versatility to your product shots will really make someone stop scrolling to pay attention to your content. Here are a few of our favorite examples:

By @spanx

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From @thewestsidecollective

By @gohagen.alexander

From @refinery29

So the next time you’re scrambling to get a photographer for a last-minute shoot, find some good props at home, an area with good lighting, and grab your phone and go! 2021 is the year to make it happen by any means necessary! Have you ever taken your own product shots for Instagram? Have any tips or tricks?  Let us know in the comments.


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