How Our Ecommerce Brand Takes Professional Product Photos For FREE
Hey parents! Brendan from Marketing here at YURICA. This blogpost will document how my fiancé (Nicole, who is interning at our company) and I planned and executed a professional product shoot of the Yaytray for FREE! Yes, you heard right.
All we used was my phone which is an essential item that everyone already has with no additional costs. The term “professional” may be debatable, but in this context the photos were more than adequate for social media posts. So unless you are a trained photographer, it would be tough to spot a difference between the photos we took and ones that could have been taken by an expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera.
Planning the shoot
As a growing company with a relatively limited budget, our biggest priority during the planning process was to keep the expense of this shoot low while still producing quality photos that could rival those taken by a professional. So what better way to do that than working with what we already have at our disposal. Essentially, keeping costs at ZERO.
We obviously needed a camera for any of this to happen but I was not about to convince Jeremy and Hazel (The owners of YURICA) that we needed to spend thousands of dollars on a brand new DSLR or mirrorless camera. Lucky for me, I already had my iPhone 12 Pro Max which does a spectacular job at producing high quality photos. While I know that it is on the high end, the point is that we had to use items we already possessed. Even phones from a few years back are able to take amazing photos for social media.
Venue and Kid Models
We initially had a lot of trouble trying to figure out where and who we were going to engage for this. Booking a studio and kid models would have consumed a large proportion of the budget if we could not find an alternative. That was when it struck me, why not get the family behind YURICA involved! It would be killing two birds with one stone and FREE. Jeremy and Hazel have two beautiful kids and a home with many different scenes perfect for this photoshoot.
Before embarking on this task, it was vital that we had planned a mood board with rough sketches of the scenes. As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. However, in our case we simply did not want to waste our bosses' and their kids’ time especially on a Sunday morning. There were a total of 6-7 scenes that Nicole wanted to proceed with involving the kids and the Yaytray. Some of them included picnic, movie and pool themes.
Tools we used
iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone camera had a 12 MP sensor and a 26 mm-equivalent with f/1.6-aperture lens. If that made zero sense to you, fret not. Using my prior knowledge in photography and videography, this means that it was good enough. Ok in all honesty, the 12 MP sensor meant that it was able to produce photos with pixel resolutions of 4247 x 2826, making it suitable for making even large prints. It will definitely be more than enough for Instagram and Facebook. The 26mm lens is wide enough to capture more content within the frame without distorting the image and the f/1.6-aperture lens allowed us to achieve the “Bokeh” effect (The blurry effect) while being forgiving during low-light conditions especially indoors.
Although not mandatory as the iPhone produces photos that are great natively, Nicole made some slight enhancements using Adobe Lightroom (Free as she has a student copy) such as adjusting the exposure, saturation and the cropping to give an added touch.
Challenges we faced
Given our lack of professional lighting, we had to make sure to use the next best alternative which was Daylight. This meant we had to get the shoot done between 9am and 12pm, before high noon where the sun would have been extremely harsh.
Getting the kids to cooperate
Most of us would have assumed that this would have been the biggest challenge, however to our surprise all it took were some snacks to keep them busy and everything was smooth sailing.
Overall, we tried our best to make it work and the photos turned out great. We proved that it does not require fancy equipment to execute a professional product shoot in order to get content for social media, especially for a young ecommerce business. Thank you for reading and follow our social media platforms to view more pretty photos and future updates!