Photography Tips & Tricks
One of the biggest parts of running your Yard Card rental business is marketing yourself and you products. But how do you do that to stand apart from the crowd? It's all in how you present your products online for potential customers to see!
We put together the TOP 5 of our favorite tips for product photography to help you get the best photo you can!
#1 - Get Low
This is the best tip that was shared with me and I use it most often. Though many times nothing can truly help customers envision the sheer size of our Yard Cards (hello customer who ordered your largest display with 4ft of yard), a lower position of aim helps magnify your signs and gives customers a better understanding that these aren’t little by any means. For stand users this will also put more focus on your signs, and less on what they are staked in. How low should you go? The lower the better. I’m not too proud to lay on my belly on hot pavement. I get LOW!
#2 - Angles are Awesome
You don’t always have to shoot from head-on. Getting some angled photos gives your audience a variety of visual perspectives for your product. Now your social media page isn’t a constant thread of the same photo aspect over and over again. It also helps in certain lighting situations. One practice to put in place would be to get a photo from head-on, one from sightly to the left, and one from slightly to the right. Look at all three photos then decide which photo highlights your display’s beauty best. You’ll probably find that from one of those angles your colors really pop, while the others are a little darker and faded. This is due to natural light direction. If you are not familiar with tracking light for photos, this three-angle photography practice helps you get a brighter photo one way or another.
Another angle tip: Be aware of your background. Is there a trash can in focus, a big electrical box, or some other unsightly issue? Shoot in the opposite direction, or angle yourself in such a way that your display will hide the blemish that is distracting from your work of art.
#3 - Use Night Sight/Night Mode on Your Smart Phones
Nighttime installers, I know you feel me on this one. It’s dark when we get to our installation location, and the vibrancy of our colors in use just won’t be a bold as our daytime cardie counterparts. That’s okay, we can still do some things to help capture as much lighting as possible and improve our photos as best we can. Most smart phones have a night mode of some sort. It takes longer for the camera to take the photo, but that’s because it’s moving at a slower capture rate to draw in as much light as possible.
A way to get even more light to your camera is to use artificial light, such as solar lights or headlamps. Make sure to purchase white lights, as yellow lights will dull the colors of your signs even more. Another tip is not to place the lights too close to the display. The further back you can place them while still casting light upon your signs, the better. Too close of a proximity of the lights to your display will cause a white out. You will get a better photo, especially if the area is front lit by a yellow streetlight or negatively backlit by porch lights by using white artificial light. Take two, by that I mean take a night mode photo without added artificial light and also one with. Sometimes you may not notice how well the moon is casting natural light on your sign which gives the camera enough light for a great photo without the need of added artificial light.
#4 - Use a DSLR Whenever Possible
It’s no surprise that different cameras will garner different results. If you have a daytime opportunity with great lighting, take that opportunity to get a fantastic website worthy photo of your work. A DSLR camera will give you a more crisp detailed image that will grab your potential customer’s attention. They will also be a larger resolution file than your phone. If you’re a night installer, consider going back the next day while the sun is still out for a quick shot during a time that you know your display won’t be back lit. Don’t forget to get low and aim in a more upward direction.
#5 - In, Click, Out!
If you are shy about taking photos during the day, make it short and sweet. Focus on getting low and taking the three photos at the angles previously discussed and then get out of there. Most customers won’t think much of it, especially if you send them an email later with the photo you took and say something along the lines of, “I took a moment today to get this high-resolution photo of your Yard Card and wanted to get it over to you just in case you would like to use it for a memory book or for your social media purposes! Thank you for your business!” Just consider it an extra customer service offering. Not only did you design, deliver, and install their Yard Card, but you also photographed it for them. I always do this for our school partners, and they greatly appreciate it as they use those photos for their year books.
With these five tips, you should be off to the races to photographing your amazing displays! Be sure to share your photos of your setups in our Facebook Group, and keep on carding!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leah Meschke, who owns and operates Whidbey Yard Cards with her husband Aaron, is a mother of four, Navy spouse, and music lover. Leah is a stand card installer and YCS glitter lover.