How to Shoot Great Product Shots with Your Cell Phone

by Elicio

Having a professional image is immensely important in today’s online world. One of the best ways to show your product’s quality is to have an online store with a cohesive look and feel. You might think you need an expensive DSLR camera to take good product photos, but you don’t. Most of today’s flagship phones have incredible cameras in them and are more than capable of most simple product photography.


One of the first hurdles you’ll need to tackle is lighting. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography, and when it comes to your product photos the built-in flash just won’t cut it. We recommend the Neewer Dimmable Bi-Color LED Light Kit to our customers. It’s an affordable kit that’ll give you everything you need to light your products; assuming they’re not too large.  If you’re just interested in trying out product photography you can purchase some cheaper Light Stands online and buy some Clamp Lights.


Next, you’ll need to acquire a backdrop to place your products on. A solid white backdrop is perfect if most of your products aren’t white themselves. Something like the Selens PVC Backdrop is nice because it’s easy to keep clean and store.


Continuity is important for your website, so having a tripod is a must. The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT is perfect because it’ll allow you to get your camera directly over the product using its horizontal capable arm. You’ll also need something to mount your phone on the tripod. The Joby Griptight Mount Pro is a great option for most modern smartphones.


Now it’s time to get down to business. You’ve got your lights, backdrop, tripod and phone mount. You can follow along with our step-by-step guide that’ll walk you through the whole process.


Setting up the backdrop

  1. First, clear out a space for your backdrop.

  2. Ensure the backdrop is a few inches bigger than the size of the largest product you plan to photograph.

  3. Place the Backdrop on the ground.

  4. Make sure there are no large lumps or creases on the topside of the backdrop.


Preparing Your Lighting

  1. Extend the legs on all light stands.

  2. Place the lights on the stands, fastening the lights securely onto the top of the stand.

  3. Turn on the lights so you can see where the light falls.

  4. Position the lights around the product.

  5. Ensure the lights are at max brightness.

  6. Make sure every light has the same settings.


Preparing Your Vanguard Tripod

  1. Spread out all three legs of the tripod.

  2. Towards the top, pull the orange thumb tab back and out.

  3. To the right of that loosen the wingnut to allow the center column to raise.

  4. Raise the column all the way up and press the gold button at the bottom to allow the column to raise up.

  5. Do not remove the column, as you raise the column up it will lean forward horizontally.

  6. Once the column is horizontal, push it back slightly so the gold button locks into place.

  7. Tighten the wingnut to stop the column from moving.

  8. Lock the orange thumb tab back.

  9. Position the tripod so the arm reaches over the cloth.


Attaching Your phone to the Joby Griptight

  1. Unlock the tripod head.

  2. Move the jaws open and place your phone in with the camera facing straight down.

  3. Lock the phone into place.

  4. Placing Your Product.

  5. Place your product directly below the camera.

  6. Zoom in on the product so it is nicely framed with a few inches.

  7. Focus the camera on the product by tapping the screen.


Taking a Photo

  1. Open the photo app.

  2. Ensure you are in the Photo mode.

  3. Tap the shutter button to take the photo.

  4. Repeat this a few times for each product to ensure a fair selection.


And voila, you’ve got beautiful product photos for your website, social media, and other marketing needs. But that's not all you'll need to have a successful business. Consider checking out our other resources to make sure you are on top of your game.