How to Take Easy 360 Product Photos for Online Stores
Published 30th April 2020
Ordinary product photos have been around for a long time, but the newest and most interesting way to create them is with 360 product photography. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer for this - we’re going to show you how to do a great job of 360 product photography yourself.
Why Use 360 Product Photos
Online store photos are very important in selling products, and 360-degree photos are much more informative and interesting than ordinary photos. They allow your site visitors to see your product or object from all sides and angles within the one interactive photo instead of scrolling through a gallery of traditional photos.
This could make the difference between a sale in your online store, or a potential customer clicking away because they couldn’t see enough of the product or didn’t want to scroll through image galleries.
How to Take a 360 Photo
It’s easier than you think, especially with the Foldio2 Plus 15" Inch All-in-One Photography Studio Tent Box, or the Foldio3 25" Inch All-in-One Photography Studio Tent Box, used with the Foldio360 Smart Turntable or Foldio360 Extension Kit and Foldio360 Smart turntable.
The Foldio360 is a great way to easily get professional-quality product photos - even with your smartphone! No need to buy an expensive DSLR when you can use your phone camera and the Foldio360 app.
The Foldio360 can be used with the other products in the Foldio range to give you a complete home studio solution for all your product/e-commerce 360 product photography.
It’s a breeze to set up and use, and we’ll go through the steps to get you up and running with 360 product photography and your smartphone.
Set your background up.
Set up your lights and adjust them. If you use two lights, put them on both sides of the Foldio360 so you can get the light as bright and even as possible. If you are using a lightbox like the Foldio2 Plus 15" Inch All-in-One Photography Studio Tent Box or the Foldio3 25" Inch All-in-One Photography Studio Tent Box, all you need to do is turn on the built-in lights.
Put the Foldio360 turntable in the middle of your setup, and plug it in.
Open the Foldio360 application on your smartphone. If you don’t have it yet, download the app - you’ll need it to make 360 rotating images with your smartphone and the smart turntable. This app also features tools for editing your images, like cropping, filling the background, adjusting brightness, etc.
Run the Foldio360 app and connect it to your turntable. To do this, run the Bluetooth and find your turntable in the connections list. Make sure your Bluetooth is enabled on your phone first.
Put your phone on a smartphone tripod or holder as close to the object on the turntable as possible, but leave an inch or so of free space from the bottom of the object in the frame. This makes it easier to cut and paste your image on a white background.
If you’re shooting something that shows reflections (like metal or glass), cover your camera with a piece of paper or fabric with a hole cut out for the lens to shoot through. This will cut down on distracting reflections of your phone on the product, and make it much easier to retouch later.
In the application, click on the 4 orange bars in the corner of the screen. This takes you to select the application mode for the camera you want to use. There are 4 choices:
- Smartphone - this allows you to take photos through the app with your smartphone camera
- DSLR - if you are using a traditional DSLR camera, this is for you. Remember that the quality of your photos with this method depends upon your camera, as the app color settings don’t work with a DSLR.
- Video - use this if you want to make a 360 video with your smartphone camera
- Turntable Control - does exactly as it says! It lets you move and control your turntable if you are using a DSLR camera.
If you are using a DSLR camera:
- Set up your camera with your choice of ISO, shutter speed and aperture. A good baseline for settings is shutter speed 1/160, aperture f/22, and ISO 100.
- Turn off your lens stabilization system if you have one, as it can interfere with the shoot.
- Select the DSLR mode from the menu mentioned earlier, and choose your camera from the list.
- Take a test photo by tapping the middle of the screen and make adjustments as necessary to your camera settings.
If you are using a smartphone camera:
- Select the smartphone by clicking on the four orange bars in the top corner
- Click the horizon alignment button and adjust your tripod or stand so that it is aligned to the strip in the middle of the screen
- Set your subject in the middle of the screen using the scale tool
- Set the white balance so the whites look white (not yellowish or blue).
- Adjust for exposure. Set the exposure to no more than 10. You want the area surrounding the object to be white, but the outlines of the object need to remain clear with good contrast.
- Turn on the 360 product photography panel lighting
- Set the number of photos you want to take. The maximum is 48 and is recommended if you want the object to rotate smoothly while the viewer is scrolling. However, the more photos you take, the more time you’ll need to spend on post-processing in image editing software.
- Set the panel rotation speed as desired.
- Press start and don’t touch your phone again until the shooting has finished.
Upload all your images from the shoot to a photo editing program, as you will need to do some retouching on your photos if you used a DSLR camera.
If you used a smartphone, the app allows you to make adjustments such as exposure, cropping, white balance, etc.
Once you’ve done with the retouching, it’s time to upload your 360 product photos to your online store or web platform like Shopify, eBay, Amazon, etc.
How to Add a 360 Photo to Your Website
You’ll need to use Spinzam for this. Spinzam is a platform for sharing 360 images, and it creates an interactive 360 image that can be rotated by a viewer. You can then share these images on other websites.
- Open the Spinzam site and complete the short registration
- Click the upload button in the corner and upload all your photos to the site
- Once Spinzam has finished creating the image you can see your images on the site
- Find the image that you want to put on your website and click the Share button.
- Copy the link to the code page of your website - now you have a 360 photo of your product ready to show to potential customers!
360 product photography for your online store has been made so much easier and more efficient with the Foldio360 and the light tents in the Foldio range.
A final tip - if you want the highest quality 360 photos, make sure your background is evenly lit and shadow-free.
Diffused lighting will give the best results - softboxes are great for this, but you can also diffuse the light by using a thin white piece of fabric in front of the lights to soften and reduce harsh shadows.