Running your own small business and online store usually translates to doing everything you can on your own, as cheaply as possible, and with the least amount of hassle. So when it comes to product photos, there’s a decent chance that hiring a professional photographer for every shot you will need isn't in the budget, and neither is investing in an expensive DSLR camera – let alone figuring out how to use it.
This means, you’re likely stuck with your smartphone. Fortunately, the cameras in most modern smartphones are actually quite capable, and with a little software assistance, you can still end up with really fantastic product photos, as well as other photos for your business.
Here are some of our favorite apps for taking and editing pictures on a smartphone.
(iOS - $2.99)
If you’ve ever felt like the default iPhone camera was a bit lacking in features, then Camera+ is absolutely for you. They’ve taken all of the advanced features you’d expect on a professional level camera (like a DSLR), and packed them into this handy iPhone app. Adjust focus and exposure separately, white balance, stabalize images, use the horizon tool for making sure your shots are straight – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to camera features, they’ve also loaded Camera+ with tons of great editing tools.
(iOS - $4.99)
If Camera+ doesn’t pack quite enough punch for you, allow me to introduce you to ProCam 4. While it has many of the same professional camera features like exposure, focus and white balance, it also adds precision manual controls over ISO and shutter speed in the form of a scroll and steppers system inspired by DSLRs. ProCam 4 also shoots amazing HD video, time lapse, and with an iPhone 6S or better can shoot in RAW.
(Android - Free)
Product Camera is designed specifically for ecommerce shops needing to take product photos. Simply take a picture of your product, and Product Camera will automatically replace whatever background you shot on with a clean, white backdrop. Whether it’s for speed, the convenience of not having to set up a white backdrop on your own, or maybe if you’re just on the go, Product Camera takes the pain out of getting your pictures ready to show on your online store.
Aviary’s camera is nothing to write home about, but where it really shines is as a photo editor. It comes pre-loaded with a solid collection of filters, and offers more for purchase in-app. There’s also a variety of easy to use image adjustment tools that range from the expected like crop and rotate, to a fun little meme generator.
TouchRetouch is a single-task specific app, but boy is it good at that one task. It allows for easy removal of objects from photos with the tap of a finger. Outdoors, this can be great for taking out a building in the background of a natural environment, or a fire hydrant from in front of that cool brick wall. In more controlled product photos, maybe you want to hang your product from a string to make it look like it’s floating. Use TouchRetouch to take out the string.
Long the gold standard of photo editing on computers, Adobe Photoshop Express is the “little brother” version of Photoshop on a desktop computer. This little smartphone photo editor is still pretty impressive though, capable of both simple tweaks as well as a surprisingly vast amount of adjustments with a deep feature set. For near pro-level editing on a smartphone, it doesn’t get much better than Photoshop Express.
With the advance of phone cameras and the use of very affordable phone programs like the above, it has become easier than ever before to do much of your own photography. While we still recommend help for the occasional product or lifestyle shoot, these apps make shooting your own interim photography a definite possiblity. Need help implementing your photography into a new ecommerce website? Want a professional photographer for your next major product or lifestyle shoot? Contact 10twelve today!