Taking 360° photography is a fantastic way to really showcase the products in your store! Not only do you have all the different angles of your product ready to go for whatever purpose you may need it for, but if you run an online store, you'll be able to give your customers the full experience and see all sides of the product they're potentially going to buy!
Here are some top tips for producing clean and clear 360° product photography for your e-commerce store.
1. If you think you may benefit from using it, then do it!
If you look at your product catalogue and think for even a second that it would benefit your store to use 360° photography for your products, then the chances are you'll likely benefit from it! Luxury products such as high end or boutique clothing, bags, jewellery, watches etc are among a range of products that benefit from 360 photography because customer paying a premium price want to know that the product is premium too. Being able to see the product from all angles on the website in a 3D animation or .gif could go far to encourage people to purchase a product without having to see it in person.
2. What are the best products to use to achieve 360 photos?
The best option for producing hassle-free product photography is by using a turntable. This way, you have no issues with turning a product manually and having to align them afterwards. Plus, a turntable can be used the same way to produce short 360 clips that you can use in your marketing! These are more than worth the investment if used for a large catalogue of items, saving you time and streamlining the process.
The ORBIT300 SMART is our smallest option and is perfect for smaller subjects such as watches and jewellery due to its 30cm diameter. This turntable has adjustable rotation speeds and an incremental turning system to turn at degrees of 5°, 10°, 15°, 20° 25°, 30°, 40°, 45°, 60°, 90° or 180°. It may seem like a lot of options, but this way you can take as many photos as you need to create a smooth and seamless 360 interactive image, or you can set it to simply turn exactly 180 to capture the back and front of the product.
The ORBIT300 has a maximum weight capacity of 15kg, meaning it can handle just about any small product that will fit on it. The new SMART model also features automatic shutter-release, meaning it can be connected to your camera’s shutter-release port via a shutter-release cable (sold separately), which enables the turntable to automatically trigger your camera when the turntable rotates the number of degrees that you have set, making this process even easier than before!
And now, you can even connect the turntable to your smartphone if you have a smaller store and you have to shoot your e-commerce and product photography on your phone. Use it the same way as the automatic shutter-release and take your photos either automatically or manually through your phone.
The ORBIT600 SMART has the same features as the ORBIT300 SMART such as automatic shutter release and incremental rotations, but is built for bigger items. Measuring 60cm across, the ORBIT600 SMART is much better built for items such as small appliances, or for fashion photography using mannequins or even models, with the maximum weight capacity sitting at 150kg.
The ORBIT600 is the earlier model of this size of turntable, and is better for photographers on a tighter budget provided you don't need the features added to the new model.
Shooting large items such as pieces of furniture? The ORBIT800 is your answer. At 80cm in diameter, the ORBIT800 has the same 150kg max weight as the 600, and as it remains the original 80cm model, it doesn't have the new features that the SMART variations have, but if you need a larger turntable for larger items, the 800 still features variable rotation speeds and can be controlled via remote control.
Lighting and Kits
We also have a range of kits tailored specifically to make your product photography experience easier and stress-free, with lighting chosen by our specialists. The RICO240B Kit for example features LED Ringlights and a background system to create a full mini-studio for your products all in one! There are also flash options such as with the LUMI400 II Kit that are built for fashion photography. Find the full range of turntables and kits here.
Other great compatible products are those such as the LED Cube Light Tent which fits the ORBIT300 in easily, and provides an easy and portable solution for product photography in small spaces or on the go without struggling with big expensive lights. This option is also perfect for those who need to take professional photos of their products despite having no photography experience due to it being easy to work. Watch Barry Mountford's video on how to master easy product photography with the LED Light Tent here.
You should also make sure you have a tripod for your camera or smartphone to make sure it is stabilised and will not move and create uneven images with odd angles. Ensure your photos are all taken from the same angle to make your editing process much easier.
Plus, if not purchasing a kit with a background included, make sure you have a background (usually a solid colour/plain one) to make your photos easy to tidy up in editing and to make them all clean and easy to view online.
3. Camera options
A good camera will always go far to make sure your images look crisp and high quality. However, if that isn't in your budget at the moment, don't fret! If you have a semi-recent digital camera or a smartphone with a good quality camera, this will get you by just fine! As long as you invest in some lighting to make sure your products are lit sufficiently and evenly, you don't need to splash out for the newest Canon if you're just starting out.
4. How to create the 3D animation effect
As shown above, the primary benefit of using 360 photography is to be able to create interactive images of your products to show your customers exactly what they'll be receiving. Rather than trying to create it yourself and struggling with multiple different images for different products, consider using an external service to create them, and add them to your listings via html code.
Our image of the Li-ION580 above was processed using Sirv.com, for example, which has a simple process for uploading images to turn into an interactive image, including features to allow for extra movement and different speed for each one.
It may take longer than taking normal photos of your stock, but it is more than worthwhile for many businesses!
Shop all of our turntables and kits here. Or if you're after some more advice, drop our team an email at email@example.com!