If you’re anything like me, you might be stumped when it comes to things you want for Christmas. When my husband asks me what I want for Christmas, it’s usually met with an “uhhhh…” because I have no idea what to say.
I don’t need another scarf. I have way too many books to read already. And jewelry just isn’t my thing.
But something that will further my business? Heck yes. Sign me up.
You can forward this list directly to your spouse for easy holiday shopping. They’ll thank you.
Note: The following gift guide contains affiliate links and when purchases are made from my list, I get a small percentage of the sale. Most are listed on Amazon.com and are in USD with the pricing current at the time of this posting. If you are outside of the US, you can use the examples here to find something local in your area.
- DSLR camera
These beauties have become so much more obtainable over the years. They are more affordable than they’ve ever been before, and you can set them to “auto” until you learn more about how they work.
There are two major brands for DSLR cameras, Canon and Nikon. Both are great and you can’t go wrong with either. Their entry level cameras (ie, the cheapest and most basic) are still exceptional and perfect for anyone who’s not a professional photographer.
Here are two great options for a DSLR camera:
- “Your DSLR Made Easy” online course
Once you have the DSLR camera, you’ll need to learn how to use it. These cameras are extremely powerful tools for your product photography, but they come with a learning curve. Without learning how to properly use it, you may very well find yourself frustrated and wondering why you got the thing in the first place.
Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. I have a course that I made just for handmade sellers, to help you learn how to use your camera quickly, and with confidence.
You can find all of the details here:
- SDHC/XC Memory Card
SDHC stands for Secure Digital High Capacity (4 – 32 GB), whereas SDXC (more than 32GB) stands for Secure Digital eXtended Capacity. It’s the card you put in your camera to store the photos you take. When it comes to product photography, you want to select a card that’s fairly sizable (32 or 64GB) and Class 10. Class 10 refers to the “write speed”, which is how quickly it records an image on the card. Most memory cards will show the class number on the label and it’ll look like a number with an incomplete circle around it.
You always want to go brand name when it comes to memory cards. Generic brand memory cards risk issues like the cards becoming corrupted (and you losing all your photos), the plastic chipping off inside your camera, and so on.
Here are two great options for SDHC/XC memory cards:
- Tripod with Extendable Arm
Tripods are fantastic tools when it comes to product photography, and are loads of them out there. But what about when you want to shoot a flat lay? Most tripods just don’t support that.
But this one does.
This tripod has loads of options, but the one I like the most is that it has an extendable arm and a ball head attachment for your camera so that you can have your camera face the ground. Perfect for flay lays!
Check it out here:
- Grey Card
Ever wonder how to achieve proper colour in your photos? Grey cards are a great tool for that. They let you set a custom white balance with your camera and/or give you a neutral point to set the white balance when you’re editing your photos.
You can’t just use any old grey card either, it has to be the exact percentage of grey. So that grey piece of cardstock you have probably won’t do. This one is super affordable and comes with white and black options as well.
- Smartphone Tripod
If you use your smartphone as your camera, this one is for you!
Smartphone cameras are a bit more limited with it comes to product photography, so giving them a little help by using a tripod can make a big difference.
Check out one by Manfrotto (one of the best brands of tripods out there):
- Lightbox with Table Top Lighting
Using a lightbox with tabletop lighting is great for smaller products, especially if they’re reflective. The white surroundings of a lightbox goes a long way in eliminating those harsh reflections that drive you nuts.
Natural light is awesome, but it’s not always a fit for you. If you don’t have a lot of access to natural light, or you have reflective products, these are for you.
- Softbox Lighting Kit
Maybe your products aren’t really right for a lightbox, but you still need extra lighting because your natural light situation just isn’t that great.
Softbox studio light might be just the thing for you! Softboxes are great for medium-sized products, and for creating a lighting situation that mimics natural lighting. They are more versatile and you can manipulate the lighting more than with other kinds of artificial lighting.
Some softbox studio lighting kits don’t have enough lighting power to be effective, so it’s important to get lights that have a strong enough wattage.
Like this one:
- External Flash
Also known as dedicated flashes or speedlights, these flashes fit on the hot shoe of your DSLR camera and have a rotating head that allows you to point the flash in different directions.
These are excellent if you need artificial lighting for larger products, like furniture.
When it comes to flashes, you never want to point a flash directly at your product, which is why the built-in flashes on your cameras should never be used. Ever. I’m serious. Don’t do it.
External flashes come in a variety of different price points, but there are decent ones out there that are super affordable.
Like this one:
There you have it! My 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for DIY product photography. May you find many exciting tools for product photography underneath your tree this year.
Got a question? Drop it in the comments!
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