How to take great photos for your printed products? It’s a common question! At RollerBanner, we know that a lot of your stellar product designs are based on photographs. When creating your design, you undoubtedly want it to look as professional as possible, so a stock image might not hit the mark. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to hire a professional photographer, you can follow our handy guide: how to take great photos for your printed products.
How to take great photos…
1. Make sure the megapixel is correct
Roller banners are considered ‘large print’ i.e the image will be undoubtedly bigger than the one you take at a 1:1 ration. As such, you need to take the megapixels in account. Otherwise, you may end up with a blurry pop up banner and a pixelated photo!
Check your camera spec before taking any photos. It needs to be a minimum of 20 megapixels – and it’s better to convert the images online, rather than just stretching out the original.
2. Check the other camera specs
Before you start snapping, make sure you check your pre-set file output. Explore your menu options for this setting – it should be set to high/large but ideally you want ‘RAW’. Uncompressed RAW is better than compressed. This will allow you to obtain sharper focus on your image.
3. Consider the composition
We aren’t photography experts, but we’ve learnt a few things in our time as professional printers! Consider the composition of your shot before taking it. Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s in the foreground?
- What’s in the background?
- Where is the camera focussing?
- Where is the light coming from?
- Are there any unsightly shadows?
- Will the composition appeal to my audience?
It’s important to create a picture that will appeal to your target audience. As the old advertising saying goes: ‘offer solutions, not features’. In other words, it’s all very well taking a picture of your product alone, with a focus on it’s technical aspects. But it might be better to show that product being used to solve a problem.
4. Be aware of the light
The lighting can often make or break a good photograph, so it’s important to be aware of a few different aspects. Firstly, is the light natural or artificial? Natural sunlight will generally produce a better result, and the colours will be truer to form than electric lighting. If you’re using artificial light it’s best to use a spot lamp to enhance the image; you may find if you just take the picture under a standard lightbulb that the colours seem a little distorted.
Similarly, you have to be aware of where the light source is located. In order to take great photos, you need to keep an eye on those pesky shadows! Make sure there’s no unwanted shadows featuring in your photograph- be especially aware of yours as the photographer!
5. Don’t forget: colour can change
Any on screen image will have the colour profile RGB (red, green, blue). But your product will be printed on a different spectrum (on CMYK – cyan, magenta, yellow and black.) Keep this in mind, as an RGB photo may loose a little ‘pop’ when translated to CMYK. So if your original image seems a little too bright, don’t worry. It will probably be toned down a little on conversion to print.
So there you have it: a guide on how to take great photographs for your printed products! If you’d like additional information on colour CYMK take a look at our previous article, Understanding Colour.
Should you need any further assistance with how to take great photos for printed products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today.