Your online success depends largely on the esthetic presence of your website. If you have a website in the finance niche you’re always in need of great money pictures.
Unfortunately, the good-quality photography is not cheap.
Especially for small businesses and start-ups on tight budget this can be a huge obstacle to overcome.
But there is a good news: you can create beautiful photos of money on your own!
We have prepared a short guide which explains how to make a low-cost, but good, money photography.
You do not have to spend loads of money on the best equipment. Try to restrict yourself to the most important necessities.
- Camera – it may surprise you that even your smartphone can do the excellent job. It does not mean that buying a high quality camera makes no sense, but here we are talking about low budget. If you can afford something professional it would be great, but if not you can just start with what you own already. In fact, it is not the camera which is entirely responsible for the effect. These are lightning, exposure, styling and then, post processing, which are crucial in the process.
- Tripod – also in this purchase you do not have to be extravagant. Dig Amazon up, you can find something good for even $20. You need tripod to achieve the most depth of field and avoid blurriness.
- White background – you can consider buying a small white sweep in a photography store or just a 32×40 sheet of a white mat board in an art/frame store. Just remember – you need pure white (off-white or cream).
- White bounce cards – these are made of white foamcore. Look for it in an art/frame store. You need a piece of it – the height of your product and 3x its width. Its task is to bounce the light back to the product.
- Table – a folding table, 24-27 inch wide will be enough.
- Tape – you will need it to hitch the board to the table and support.
- Room – find the one with a big window (the window next to a wall would be the best). You can also use a garage with the open door.
Take a photo – procedure
Place your table
Stand the table just next to the window so that it does not intersect with the windowsill shadow. The window should be 90 degrees to the right/left of the table. Avoid the direct sunlight and turn off other lights. Different placement of the set will result in different lightning styles.
Prepare the sweep
Put the white board on the table, stick one end to it to prepare some white flat ground and round the next end up to make a white background. You can use a wall or anything else which will play a role of a support. Put your product in the middle of the flat area and prepare some space for the white reflector card which you are going to insert later.
Prepare the camera
Set the White Balance to Auto, and the Flash Setting to Off. The Image Settings should be set on the largest quality – if you have such an option choose RAW, if not just set Size to the largest and Quality to the best possible.
Then, look for ISO –setting which is responsible for sensitivity of the sensor. Choose the lowest – usually 100. When it comes to Exposure Settings, you have three options:
Choose(M) – Manual. The best setting in these circumstances – nothing moves or changes while taking a photo. Look for f/stop and set it to the highest number, in order to achieve the greatest depth of field. On the back of your camera the image is a bit dark, but it is ok. Now rotate the shutter speed dial so that the image becomes brighter and the product is well exposed. Check if the shutter number is lowering – for instance from 1/60th to ¼ (important for the good light level) and adjust the number to the moment in which the preview is perfect.
Choose Aperture Priority. If your camera has this, set the f/stop to the biggest number – this will set the shutter in a way the camera estimates it should be, but you may have to add some light by the use of the exposure compensation dial.
Choose Auto Exposure. You do not have a lot of options here, everything you may be able to do is for example adding +1 or +1 ½ by an exposure compensation dial.
Finally, use the Zoom option. Don’t use the digital zoom- it will lower the quality of the photo. Zoom in as far as it is possible with the optical zoom.
Put the product in the centre
Simple task, yet may take some time to find the best arrangement.
Position the Reflector Card
The card plays an important role of a light modifier – it returns the light which fills the shadows on the product. You need to find the most suitable position for it and take a photo. That’s it!
Check the results and draw conclusions
Evaluate your work and experiment with making the photo better and better. As with other skills, you have to practise to achieve great results. Look at the picture on the screen of your computer, you will also need to adjust it so we recommend getting a useful software (for example Adobe Lightroom ).
Have your photo retouched
When you decide that everything is perfect – the product is well exposed and the only problem concerns the grey background, it is time for this almost-final version to be retouched. At this point, unless you are a master of Photoshop, you will probably turn to the professionals. It does not mean it will be expensive. You can receive this service for as little as $4 per photo. Check out Mister Clipping.
Upload to your website
If the photos are ready, you can finally present it to the world. We recommend using Shopify or WordPress – they make the process of uploading much easier, as it automatically resizes the photos for you.
In case your online store does not have this capability and you must resize the photos on your own.
As it turns out it is not so complicated and expensive to take great pictures of money. Practise a lot and experiment – you will see the results sooner than you think!