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How to Take Better Product Photos at Home on Your Phone

I know not everyone has the budget for product photography right now, so DIYing might be your only option. But doing it yourself doesn’t have to mean bad, blurry photos. With a little effort, patience and preparation, you can get some pretty good quality product photos. Here’s how to take better product photos at home on your phone with some simple props and tips.


The cornerstone of every good photograph is light. Without that one fundamental element, taking good pictures is an impossible task. So, go on an exploration around your home to seek out the spots with good light. Ideally, you’re looking for an evenly lit space, that doesn’t have direct sunlight. North and south-facing windows are perfect if you have them. 

When you’ve found some potential spots, check in on them throughout the day as the light will change as the sun moves across the sky. It’s also worth remembering that when you come to take your photos. Images you capture in the morning will look different from ones you take later in the afternoon for this reason.

Your Camera

Phone cameras have come a long way in recent years. If you’ve got an up-to-date smartphone, you’ve already got a good camera at your fingertips. 

When using your phone’s camera, remember: 

  • To choose the highest resolution your phone is capable of capturing. Some phones nowadays also shoot in RAW format but only use this function if you’ve got the software to deal with RAW images. Otherwise, stick to the highest quality JPEG you have.
  • Stay away from your phone’s digital zoom when taking photos. This is where you’ll lose picture quality. Instead, opt to move your phone closer or further away from your product.
  • Use the rear-facing camera rather than the front-facing one. The rear-facing camera will usually shoot at a higher resolution so you’ll get a better picture quality.
  • Turn off the flash and don’t use a filter. 
  • And, finally, don’t forget to clean the lens. Remember your phone has spent plenty of time in your pocket or being handled by sticky-fingered, Peppa Pig loving toddlers!

Remember you’re aiming for crisp, clear images, rather than soft, blurry ones. So, unless you’re incredibly steady-handed, I’d recommend a tripod to hold your phone still while you work.

Backdrops and Props

When it comes to product photography, your products should be front and centre of your images. You need to shoot against simple surfaces and backdrops that don’t take the attention away from your products. 

You can use things like a chest of drawers, large cutting boards, big sheets of paper or card or your kitchen surface for quick and easy setups. If you’ve got the space, use a large sheet of card and create a sweep. This involves sticking one end of the card to the wall and the other down on your tabletop, creating a sweeping curve. This makes a clean background for your products with no obvious lines or creases.

By all means, do dress up your set with some props. They should complement rather than distract from the main product you’re photographing. So, for example, if you were photographing jewellery, you might want to use flowers, feathers or other delicate items to decorate your scene.

Additional Accessories and Tips

I’d recommend editing your photographs so that they look like the best version of themselves. But this doesn’t mean slapping on a filter before you post. Your photos should be an accurate representation of your products and show their true colours, and a filter will stop this from happening. I would recommend apps like Lightroom Mobile or VSCO instead. You don’t need to go crazy with editing, but often images straight out of camera can look a little flat or grey. So, boosting saturation and contrast just a touch will really help your photographs look fresh and lively! 

If the light is a bit of a struggle, use a reflector to help “bounce” light back into your setup. A piece of white card will do the trick and will help to evenly light your products. Place it on the opposite side of your setup from the window, so it pushes light back onto your scene.

I mentioned a tripod earlier. This doesn’t mean you have to buy an expensive piece of equipment, though. A really nifty trick is to strap your camera to a tin of beans with a hairband! So simple, but it works really well. 

And my final tip… remember to leave some negative space in your images so you can overlay words if you need to afterwards. 

Of course, if that’s too much hassle, you’d sooner make some space on your long to-do list (or make beans on toast than use them to hold your phone still), we should talk! Get in touch to find out about my product photography packages and how I can help you. 

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