How to Photograph Enamel Pins for Instagram and Your Online Shop with Your Phone [video]
Want to take gorgeous photos of your enamel pins for your Instagram and your website? Watch this video and I will show you exactly how I organize and shoot all of my product photos at home with my phone. If you're not sure where to start with product photos, by the end of this video, you'll know exactly what you need to organize, shoot and batch all of the photos you could possibly need for all of your content. I have been using this exact method for the last few years and I have grown my Instagram by tens of thousands and have sold thousands of pins through my site, all using the same photos that I shot on my phone from home.
Set Up & Lighting
I work right in front of a window and always have my trusty white foam core at hand. I like to have my props and backgrounds close and I've got a little space dedicated to those things.
The most important thing you need to know about lighting is that you want it to be natural light. You want it to be bright and you want it to be diffused. Avoid direct sunlight because that can create harsh shadows (unless that's the look you're going for). But in general, for Instagram and product photos, you want soft light and no harsh shadows. So I use the curtain in front of my windows or adjust the blinds so there's no direct sunlight shining on my pins.
And when you're working with one light source, like my window, you want to be able to bounce the light back at your pins. So if you don't have anything on the other side of your pin, the lights coming in and then it just kind of shines right past. Then it's brighter on one side and darker on the other because there's less light touching the other side of your photo. But you can stop that light and shine it back on your pin by using foam core just like I did in the video.
You can get reflectors if you want to buy professional ones. Or, you can also put another light up, opposite of the window. But you can also just go to your local craft store or Target and get a piece of foam core for pretty cheap and not have to worry about it.
Backgrounds & Props
I have lots of backgrounds and a few little props that I use that I like to grab every now and then. I love to use scrapbooking paper from the craft store because they’re perfect for inexpensive backgrounds. That’s the bonus of having small products to photograph! You don't need a giant seamless. You can just get a little 12x12 piece of paper! When you're choosing backgrounds to use, always pick something that doesn't have a lot of pattern or busy illustrations that will distract from your pins. The ones I like are solid colors and glitter papers.
You don’t want anything that's super busy because that really takes away from your pin and you want your product to be the thing that jumps out. I love origami papers, but they need to have a VERY subtle, low contrast kind of pattern if you want to use them in product photography because a lot of them are really bright and colorful and are just too much. You want your pen to shine. That is the most important thing. You want people to see your work and not the background.
There are a lot of fun ways you can use different backgrounds. Layer your papers, mis0happy does this really well! She uses gorgeous colors that work with her branding and make her product photos look amazing.
I am Luna Sol does a really great job using props in her photos. Little doilies, faux plants and flowers can add some fun variety to your shots. Take a look and see what other people are doing and put your own spin on it, have fun, play around, see what looks good, but always remember to make sure that your pin is the thing that is standing out in every photo.
If you're planning on using these photos for Instagram, be sure to check out my video Instagram basics for pin makers. I have lots of tips and tricks to how to make a beautiful feed in that video. So definitely check it out.
Batch your content
I like to plan out all my shoots before I do them. Batching is everything to me. It's the only way I get things done. So basically, I take a chunk of time, make a list of what pins I want to shoot (for Instagram or my shop ) and how I want to shoot them. Then I bring out all the props and backgrounds I need and take all the photos at once. Bonus tip: when I have the backgrounds out, I'll take multiple photos from different angles of the same thing, so then I have an even larger bank of photos to choose from!
I'll get a lot of variety on one background and then I will bring the next batch of pins over and take a picture of those on the same background and just cycle through like that. Just snap, snap, snap photos all over the place until I have as many as I need.
And then I can just go into editing the photos in a batch as well, which is really awesome. That way you're not worrying about doing it every single day. You've got a whole mass of photos ready to go and ready to post whenever you need them.
So if you schedule the time to batch that every couple of weeks or even once a month, then you're golden for weeks. It's awesome.
Okay, so now you've seen exactly how I set up my photos, how I batch to make the most of it, how I organize my time and you're ready to start shooting but you're not quite sure what to do. Click down below. I've got a great one sheet of photo inspiration guide for you so you can use that as a jumping off point. Get your creative juices flowing and use those tips and tricks and different types of photos to take to really put your own spin on it and get creative. I'm really excited to see what you do!