Before I can teach you how to create top quality photographs of your products, we need to understand some basic concepts of photography.
In this, our first in a series of photography tutorials, you will learn about the three elements of a Good Photograph:
First we start with composition. Less is more. What is wrong with this photograph?
If you are trying to sell a shirt, you don't need a dog, or pile of laundry in the picture. Not only are these items detracting from your product, the image says to customers, "I don't care about quality." How confident do you think your customer will be with your company's products? Not very.
In contrast, this image is well composed. Harmonious background on which your product stands out and a neatly presented product are a must. If the product is a garment or something presented on cloth, the fabric should be ironed, unless a wrinkled look is desired. Shinny objects should shine, not be smudged with fingerprints.
You also do not have to break the bank on high end photography studio equipment and backdrops. Future tutorials will cover this subject in more depth, but for now, a table top, clean wood floor, or an exterior wall of your house can all serve as great backdrops.
While Studio Stobes or Banks of LEDs provide you with the best control over the lighting in your scene, there are many other options that are far less expensive. These include natural light (the Sun) and painters clamp lights.
These three settings work together to achieve the best exposure possible, and perfect exposure can be achieved with multiple combinations of settings. Each setting controls a different aspect of the image. The following images demonstrate the affect each setting has on an image.