If you find yourself feeling a little cooped up while spending time at home, here’s an easy way to create some new stock photos to pass the time – and maybe earn a little side-income, too.
All you need is a table and a few props and voila — you’ve got a simple photo studio!
I think you’ll be amazed by the photos you can create, right in your own home. Here are some ideas to get you started.
What to photograph:
Simple and interesting objects.
This includes just about anything that is small enough to fit on a table. Things like flowers in a vase, books, your morning coffee, musical instruments, and other household objects. The trick is to position your objects or angle your camera to obscure any logos or brand names.
You can also use natural items such as plants, shells, feathers, and rocks. Also, think about the surface that you’re shooting on. For example this photographer used a large green leaf against a blue paper background – such a simple concept, but the smooth blue background is what makes it work.
Indoor Projects. Think crafts, hobbies, games, and small repairs. I bet there are plenty of home-based projects you’re working on that could make a great tabletop photo shoot. Don’t be afraid to pause mid-project to capture the authentic process, even if it’s a bit messy. Remember, photo buyers want images that are true to life!
Food & Cooking. Speaking of projects, if you find yourself doing more cooking or baking than usual, don’t forget to photograph both the process and the end result! To take a timely photo, try emphasizing cooking with pantry staples, like dry or canned goods.
This super simple photo – shot in a cupboard instead of on a tabletop – is one of the most popular images for this topic on iStock right now. Notice the photographer excluded any labels or brands.
Don’t go out and find a face mask just for this project… but if you happen to have one, or you’ve made some as a sewing project, this is the time to photograph them. Also think: hand sanitizer, soap, gloves, and medications.
Words. Consider ways to photograph words that are currently trending. There are many ways to do this from pen on paper to scrabble tiles to a small chalk board. Just write the words with something and photograph it using your tabletop studio. For example, the keyword HOPE is currently trending on many stock photo sites.
Concepts. If you feel like really getting creative, try to design some conceptual tabletop scenes, such as this fun photo that communicates spring!
Tips for tabletop photography:
- Keep it simple and don’t include too much in your shot. It’s easy to go overboard when setting up a tabletop scene, but less is usually better for stock.
- Try many different camera angles to create a variety of different compositions. Think about shooting an entire series of tabletop images, rather than single frames.
- Use a tripod if you have one to get the sharpest images possible. Also use your camera’s self-timer or remote release so you don’t accidentally move the camera as you take the shot.
- Position your table by a window to make use of nice, natural light. Use a diffuser, curtain, or piece of white fabric to soften the light if it is casting harsh shadows. Be sure to turn off any other lights in the room so that you don’t get weird color casts.
- Play and experiment!
I’d love to see what you come up with! Share on the Snap & Sell Photo Club Facebook Page and let’s get some inspiration flowing.