How to Create Scroll Stopping Product Photos for Instagram

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How to Create Scroll Stopping Product Photos for Instagram

7 Minute Read

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We all know how important first impressions are, right? That applies to your Instagram feed too - in fact, it’s even more important there. With the thousands of photos uploaded to social media each day, people only stop scrolling when it’s something that really grabs their attention. That’s where skilful content creation, styling, product photography, and content marketing come into play.


Whatever creative industry you are in, or whatever skills you use to make content for social media, why not try our tips? They will help you to break out of your usual content creation process and let your imagination fly!

 

Backdrops that Pop!

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The first thing to sort out is a well-chosen backdrop for your products. It’s worth looking up some info on colour theory to find out which colours provoke certain emotions in audiences - it’s a well-known tool used by many successful businesses and content marketers.


You can download free colour wheel apps to help you find both contrasting and complementary colours for your product, and choose backdrops accordingly. Don’t just stick to one colour, but mix it up for different effects.


Your backdrop should complement your product and not be visually jarring. For instance, lipstick on a wood or industrial metal flat lay backdrop wouldn’t make much sense. It’s the same if your product is ultra-modern and minimalist - don’t put it on a fussy, old-fashioned type of background, and vice-versa.


Flat lay backdrops like the ones in our collection are extremely useful and space-saving. They are double-sided with different designs, and come in textured designs, plain colours, and also in specially curated 4-packs useful for food photography, product photography, and any other type of flat lays. 


If you have space, you might prefer an economical half-width paper backdrop roll instead. They are available in 24 colours, and measure 1.35m x 10m so one roll will last you a long time.

 

Adding a Human Element

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Blocks are often used to hold up products in photos, but hands can add some human interest, add to the aesthetic and show how large the product actually is. You can also use models to show how a product is meant to be used.


If you’re using models, you need them to be well lit. Large ring lights like the 18” Diamond Luxe III Ring Light19” Gold Luxe II Ring Light or our brand new 22" Platinum Pro II Ring Light are perfect for creating smooth and shadowless light on your model’s faces.

 

Get in Touch with Nature!

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Natural light (not bright sunlight) is ideal for getting great results in your product photos. The golden hour (the first hour after sunrise, and the last hour before sunset) produces a soft, glowy light that looks perfect in photos.

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If you can’t rely on Mother Nature to provide that golden glow, then a softball or parabolic lantern like the ones in our Softbox Lighting Kits will provide similar results. There are a lot of useful light modifiers in this collection, including:

  • Softball lanterns
  • Parabolic lanterns
  • Duo S-Beam 150
  • Little Fashion Lookbook
  • Startup Fashion Lookbook
  • Cake Smash Kit

Another way to add natural elements to your images is to bring the outside in with fake greenery or flowers that will add a pop of colour.

 

Geometric Styling Props

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Geometric foam styling props are a quick and easy way to add layers and depth to your images, as well as visual interest and colour. They are super-lightweight and easy to transport and store. If you are going to use them, then take a bit of time to play around with placement, to see how your products interact with them and what will look best.


You can get foam props in different colours, like our Geometric Foam Styling Props for Photography - Blush Pink 4 Pack which is also available in polar white, powder blue, mint green, and periwinkle purple. We also have the 4-Piece Geometric Foam Styling Prop Set for Photography, available in peach (orange), and white.

 

Transparent Styling Props

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You can use these Transparent Acrylic Styling Props to add height to your products, or display the internal contents of your products, such as makeup and skincare items. They are of a minimalist design and can be used as a 3D prop or on flat lays. You can also use a sheet of acrylic as a substitute shower screen - spray with water and display your bathroom product for a fresh effect.
 
The blocks come in a variety of shapes:

 

    Mirror, Mirror - Who's the Fairest?

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    Mirrors have long been used effectively as photography props. They can produce abstract effects when multiple mirrors are used, show more of the product by placing a mirror behind it, and they can be used to selectively control where the light hits the product by moving the mirror. 

    Mirror Props, available in 20cm or 40cm, add an extra dimension to shoots and shows multiple perspectives.

     

    Throw Some Shade

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    Shadow Props, like our Venetian Blind can really add visual interest through shadows. You can also shape the illusion that you are shooting in a certain location with shadow props, like a chic cafe with a venetian blind. 
     
    Our Greenery Photography Styling Props can cast some really interesting, evocative shapes. You could be on the beach with our Palm Leaf shadow prop, or somewhere exotic with the Monstera Leaf or Eucalyptus Leaf.

     

    Food, Glorious Food

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    Lighting can make or break a food photography shoot. Lighting should be bright but even, without overblown highlights or too-dark shadows. Take a look at your favourite food bloggers and see how they compose and shoot their images for inspiration about layout and lighting.
     
    If you want to transport your viewers to an outdoor restaurant paradise, then our 'Textured Bliss' flat lay 4-pack have been carefully curated by us to provide the perfect mix of backdrops for your food photography. They are double-sided, too - meaning you get eight awesome options for your photos!
     
    Finish off the outdoor dining theme with some Greenery Photography Styling Props, including a choice of Palm Leaf, Monstera Leaf, or Eucalyptus Leaf.


     

    Go H2O

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    Using plain-coloured flat lay backdrops to create spectacular water splash photos is really effective. Yes, it’s messy (but fun too!). Get a clear tub and put the backdrop at the back of the tub so you can see it through the water. Drop your product in and capture the splash using flash to ‘freeze’ the water movement.

    You can also have someone hold the product in their hand under a water stream in the bathtub, and shoot as the water runs over the product and hand.

     

    Final Thoughts

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    There’s plenty of food for thought there, and we hope you feel inspired to try out some of our suggestions on your next product or food photography shoot. Here’s a few bonus tips for you, too!
    • Take lots of photos, from different angles and heights. Choose only the very best to put through post-processing
    • Most photos will benefit from a little tweaking in an image editing program. At the very least, most water shots will require extra contrast, and you can even out any exposure or other issues in programs like Lightroom, Snapseed, Luminar, or ON1.
    • Practice. Don’t let your early efforts discourage you when it comes to photography. You only learn by making mistakes, and the more you shoot, the better your work will become. Don’t forget to have fun while doing it, though!