Do you like looking at beautiful photos, so do our customers and many Brands use Brand Reps to get wonderful lifestyle photos showing their product in use with their customers. For this reason, choosing the perfect Brand Rep is incredibly important for a Brand. This person will display your product in a way that resonates with the Brand's target audience. Everything in an image, the quality, subject matter, colour and theme should lead the shopper on a journey to purchase this gift.
Let's be honest " Let's Col-ab" of "flick me a product and I will take some photos" won't suffice. Make it easier for the Brand by being clear on what your plans are ... for example tell them you love their dress and then explain exactly how you envision styling it and where you will take photos.
Many Mothers use their Smartphone to take their photos as they are so convenient but which one is best and how so you get the very best brand rep photo with a Smartphone?
If you are unsure about which Camera phone is the best, our choice for number 1 is the Google Pixel 3 followed by Huawei P20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus followed by the latest Apple iPhone. The choice is yours entirely and let's be honest, as phone get outdated so quickly, it is important that you do your own investigations before making a purchase.
Tip 1 - Choose your Camera
If you get your background, lights, stabilization, and post-processing right, almost any camera will work. If you are shopping for a new Camera Phone. looking at the number of megapixels may help, however, you may also want the functionality to change aperture speeds, as well as improved light detection. Don't forget to verify the storage capabilities as well as you will need to store these photos.
If you don't have the latest and greatest smartphone, you can upgrade your smartphone camera by purchasing some extra camera accessories? I like Fish-eye lenses, zoom lenses and macro lenses as a clip-on. If you are using an iPhone it may also be worth booking in at an Apple store (if available to you) for the photography tips class. I have done this and I walked away more informed.
Tip 2 - Where to take the perfect photo
Consider the colours that your brand already has on its Instagram feed. Analyse their current photos for guidelines on what they like. Once you are clear, make a list of the photos you are planning as there is nothing worse than walking away and wishing you had taken a photo in a different pose and missed the opportunity.
Tip 3 - A steady camera will improve your photos
Purchase a Tripods so that your photos have Consistency.
If your camera allows you, set it to a small aperture for a wide depth of field that brings your entire product into focus and makes it look sharp. If you have an iPhone 7plus or newer, the portrait function may assist you to gain this look.
We’re all guilty of taking the occasional #shamelessselfie. But don’t use the selfie camera for your product or Brand Rep images. The photo quality may not be as your desire.
Tip 4 - Let there be natural light
Natural lighting should be your 1st choice. If you are inside, make sure you are close to a large window as this will provide you with the perfect amount of soft light with a soft shadow. If the shadow is too sharp, you may choose to place a white foam board or a screen on the inside to soften it.
If you are outside, be mindful of the sun, no-one likes looking at a squinting model and the old, I will count to three and then open your eyes does not work. I find that photos were taken in the early morning or evening often look the best. A cloudy day is awesome as it will diffuse the light for you as it comes through the clouds.
Don’t use the flash on your phone for Brand Rep Photography! It’s the equivalent of blinding your product with hazard lights.
Tip 5 - The Final Photo
It is important that I share with you to never digitally zoom in on the product, simply manually shoot from a closer distance. Try it zooming and not zooming and you will quickly discover that the quality of the image deteriorates the more you zoom in. Top Tip, do not zoom!
From a graphic designers perspective, we prefer our photos to be taken further away and then our team can crop and adjust as necessary. Please consider if it will be used as it, or if a graphic designer will be involved.
A Final Tip
It is important to make sure both parties know exactly what the terms are. We feel a contract is a must to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship. If you decline this, the brand will feel that you may be after free products with no intention to give them what they are asking. After all, you are a stranger. Contracts help both parties make a plan and stick to it.