How to make product photos with cheap equipment

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Recently I decided to sell my old smartphone on eBay. And, of course, I wanted to insert a decent photo of it in the auction. But neither I own studio equipment nor am I willing to pay lots of money to buy studio gear. The solution is pretty simple.
Besides a DSLR and a tripod you just need those cheap items:

  • 1 sheet of white photo mounting board (€ 0.75)
  • 1 photo reflector 80 cm (€ 18)
  • natural light (free)

The photo mounting board is perfect for giving small items an edgeless and neutral background.
Product on paperboard Just put it on a table an bend on end against a wall. Place the product to be photographed on the sheet so that the mounting board doesn’t slide down. Fasten it with sellotape if necessary.

I’m a big fan of natural light. In the example above the light was coming through a window from the right side. I used a photo reflector in order to lighten up the shadows on the left. The camera was mounted on a tripod (which is always a good idea) and I used a remote switch for not shaking the camera when shooting. If you don’t have a remote switch you can simply use the self timer. The camera was placed in a distance of about 1 meter. I tried out several lenses, best results where reached at a focal length of 50 mm.

The white background will – like snow – confuse the built-in light meter of your camera, so use your camera’s exposure compensation for not getting underexposed pictures.

Finally… here comes the result:

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