The Ultimate Guide to Brand Rep photography with a Smartphone

Choosing the perfect Brand Rep is incredibly important for a Brand. This person will display your product in a way that should speak in a uniform voice that resonates with the Brands target audience. Everything in an image, the quality, subject matter, colour and theme should lead the shopper on a journey to your checkout. 

When communicating with the Brand always be clear in what your plans are … for example tell them you love their dress and then explain exactly how you envision styling it.” Let’s Col-ab” is just too much work, make it easy for both the Brand and the Rep by creating a visual picture for them with your description. 

I created the Ultimate Guide to Brand Rep photography with a Smartphone because many Mothers use their Smartphone to take their photos as they are so convenient. 

Our list of the best smartphones with a camera includes a rich variety of brands, price points and specialties. If you are unsure about which Camera phone is the best, our choice for number 1 is the Google Pixel 3 followed by Huawei P20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus followed by the  Apple iPhone XS. As technology changes so quickly, it is important that you do your own investigations before making a purchase. 

Tip 1 – Pick your Camera 

Your camera doesn’t have to be fancy or boast expensive lenses to get good results. If you get your background, lights, stabilization, and post-processing right, almost any camera will work. If you are shopping for a new Camera Phone though looking at the sheer amount of megapixels is a good start, however, depending on your photography expertise you may also want the functionality to change aperture speeds, as well as greater light detection. Personally, I would also consider extra storage for photo galleries and those all-important videos.

Don’t forget that you can always upgrade your smartphone camera by purchasing some extra camera accessories. Fish-eye lenses, zoom lenses and macro lenses are already available in clip-on fashion for almost any smartphone. If you are using an iPhone it may be worth booking in at an Apple store (if available to you) for the photography tips class.

Tip 2 – Background 

You may wish to make a list of where you are going to shoot and how are you going to style the person or piece? There is nothing worse than getting home to realise you forgot to take that all important landscape photo as an example.  Consider the look and feel of the brand, their photo layout requests and their general colour combinations. You may even have a look at their logo and their website as they may have a particular brand that you should consider.

Tip 3 –  A steady camera may save the day 

Use Tripods for Consistency.

If your camera allows you, set it to a small aperture for a wide depth of field that brings your entire product into focus and makes it look sharp. If you have an iPhone 7plus or newer, the portrait function may assist you to gain this look. 

We’re all guilty of taking the occasional #shamelessselfie. But don’t use the selfie camera for your product or Brand Rep images. More often than not, the backwards-facing camera is better than the front-facing camera.

Tip 4 – Lighting 

Natural lighting should be your 1st choice. If you are inside, make sure you are close to a large window as this will provide you with a good amount of soft light with a soft shadow. If the shadow is too sharp, you may choose to place a whiteboard or a screen on the inside to soften it.

If you are outside, be mindful of the sun, no-one likes squinting. Early morning or evening is usually the best time for outdoor photos. A cloudy day is also good because the light is diffused as it comes through the clouds. Try and shoot 2 to 3 hours after sunrise and or 2 to 3 hours before sunset.

Don’t use the flash on your phone! It’s the equivalent of blinding your product with hazard lights. Don’t do it! At the end of the day having a cute kid is a plus, however, more importantly, get good shots of the products you’re trying to highlight in a variety of angles on the child. Styling a dress? Get a twirling action shot. Does the piece have cool button details?  Are you promoting a Pram, use it and highlight the product features.

Tip 5 – The Final Photo 

It is important that I share with you to never digitally zoom in on the product, you must manually shoot from a closer distance. Smartphone cameras don’t focus well when you use the zoom function. You will find that the quality of the image deteriorates the more you zoom in.

Don’t crop the photo. Most smartphones don’t show you the dimensions as you crop, so if you must crop, be patient and crop your photo after you upload it to your computer.

You can use photo-editing apps to make minor image adjustments, such as tweaking the exposure, contrast, sharpness and brightness. It is important though that you use only the bare minimum because you want to represent the product as accurately as possible.  If you do add a filter that is specific to your own feed, send the original to the brand so they can repost the photo to match their own feeds.

A Final Tip

Once you have chosen your Brand/Brand Rep it is important to make sure both parties know exactly what the terms are. We feel a contract is a must to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.