3 fang-tastic Halloween ideas for DIY product photoshoots
Are you tired of not having the right resources to take aesthetic product pictures? Turns out DIY product photography is actually much simpler than you think. Small businesses need to cut costs wherever they can and we hear you!
In this marketing class, PosterMyWall has teamed up with experienced photographer, videographer, and stylist, Monica Farber. To kickstart your spooky season promotions, Monica has given us three wonderful Halloween photography ideas that you can use without needing expensive equipment or training. Here are the things you want to focus on:
- Camera Angles
Watch the YouTube video to see exactly what Monica does in each of her demonstrations.
Setup 1: A Monochrome Product Look
Before you start shooting, take time to think about all of the ways you might benefit from the set you’ve created. Just because you’re doing product photography doesn’t mean you can’t get some good video footage out of it too. Keep switching back and forth between the two so you can have fun footage to use for your social media platforms as well.
Monica keeps things simple with natural lighting and DIY backdrops. You can use simple foam boards that you can get from local stationary stores and shouldn’t cost more than a few dollars. It’s a good investment to make, because you’ll find lots of other uses for your boards beyond just Halloween photos backgrounds.
Pick a location that has direct sunlight and you can forget about allocating any money to a lighting budget. Prop up your boards at 90-degree angles to one another and you’ll have a quick and simple set for your product.
Now you’ll want to add some props to make it look more complete. Since this is a monochrome look for orange Halloween cocktails, Monica kept the props in different shades of orange.
Product placement is also super important. Monica explained the rule of thirds, which means keeping your subject in two-thirds of the frame so that it stays in focus. The grid lines on the iPhone camera are very helpful to keep your ratios in check.
Once your lighting, props, and background are set, whip out your phone and start experimenting with angles. Monica captures her photos on 3x zoom while holding her phone at a 45-degree angle to the subject cocktail glass. But of course, this isn’t a set rule. You should experiment too!
Setup 2: Dark and Moody for Spooky Season
For the second product photography setup, Monica creates a dark and moody vibe. Right on brand for spooky season!
The first order of business is to invest in boards to use as backdrops. Here she uses black colored boards which are easy to find in cheaper variants too. Next, she adjusts the natural lighting to her advantage positioning blackout curtains so that just a sliver of light peeks through. The idea is to illuminate your product and keep the background dark and gloomy. You can also add texture to your background using black cloth.
The final ingredient and star of this show is dry ice! While being careful not to touch it with her hands directly (because dry ice can burn your skin), Monica places the dry ice in a container and then adds the drink on top of it. The interaction betweens the drink and the dry ice creates a beautiful misty effect.
Tap your subject on your phone screen to make sure it’s in focus, then start clicking away! This is a simple and easy-to-execute photography hack that delivers studio-like results.
Setup 3: An Outdoor Pop of Color
For the final Halloween scene, Monica gives us an outdoor set. This is the simplest one to execute because you don’t need to manipulate the sunlight or rely on backdrops.
To set the scene, she picks a spot under a tree with sunlight peeking through the leaves–which creates ‘dappled’ light. For this idea she recommends that you select complementary colors (this means colors that lie opposite to each other on the color wheel). Monica uses blue and orange for her demonstration.
The feel of your photos and videos depends on the angles you choose. Since this approach creates an overhead shot, it’s important to add depth to the background. This means lots of props!
A good hack is to look for repeating shapes and patterns. Since the cocktail glasses appear round when viewed from overhead, Monica highlights their circular shape by adding round slices of blood oranges to the picture. To make the drink look less plain and more fun, you can throw a garnish on top too. The blackberries in Monica’s example instantly add depth to the setting. You can also add props, like a citrus juicer or a mixing spoon, to fill empty spaces in your set. If it looks like too much, don’t hesitate to remove items. Sometimes less can be more.
Now that the setup is done, you can start shooting! Remember to move in and out with the phone’s camera as well as to use the built-in zoom feature. You’ll get the perfect shot after a few experimental tries and behold, you have a stunning product shoot ready to go.
Get started with your product photography ideas today!
Now that you’re done with your crash course, start putting your newfound knowledge to the test. Play with these ideas, add your own twist to them, and get started with your Halloween promotions now.
If you want to learn more about taking stellar photos using just your mobile phone, check out these blog posts too:
- PosterMyWall live class: 10 creative online marketing ideas
- PosterMyWall live class: Shoot amazing social media videos with your phone
- PosterMyWall class: Shoot high-quality photos and videos on a budget
Start planning your Halloween marketing campaign now!
Digital marketer and content writer at PosterMyWall.