Introduction: Intro to Kickstarter Photography

Use photography to kickstart the success of your project!

Here's a guide on how to market your next great idea:

Step 1: Environment

Stage your photos!

Important questions to consider:
Where will my product be used?
Who is my target customer? What is the user's experience? What people will ultimately support my kickstarter?
Do I want live models?
What mood do I want to create? (think about colors and lighting)
What features need to be highlighted?
What background will make my project pop?



Notice: The focus in this picture is on the machine but it highlights user interaction by showing the table saw in action! 
Color and lighting soften the overall image.

(This shot was taken during Techshop's Woodshop SBU Class! It's super fun! http://www.techshop.ws/)

Step 2: Lighting

Keep it natural!

Quick tips:
Shooting during the day is the best way to go.
Avoid using flash since it'll create glare and washed out images.
Set your camera's white balance by matching your light source (daylight, fluorescent lamps, tungsten bulb, cloudy sky).
Try using a light box for close up images. You can make your own here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Photography-Light-Box/



For white balance in these two photos:
Cloudy setting resulted in warmer tones, Tungsten setting created a blueish image.

Step 3: Editing

Keep it simple!

Stylizing: Try not to add extra graphics or text.

Enhance but don't deceive. Photoshop is tempting, but remember to accurately represent your project!

Crop: Focus on eliminating excess space. Choose where you want your focal point to be. 

Step 4: Perspective

Your angle highlights what's awesome about your product! 


Always set up your shot so that you capture the integrity of your project. 





Step 5: Shooting Manual

Here's a quick refresher on your main areas of control:



Make sure to take time to play around and practice! But if you're in a time crunch, stick with your camera's pre-established settings.

1. Aperture controls lighting and depth of field. This is measured in f-stops.

2. ISO controls light sensitivity. Higher numbers are used in darker settings (around 800-1600)

3. Shutter Speed controls lighting as well as how much "action" you have in your photo.



Along with some supplementary guides: http://lifehacker.com/323605/master-your-dslr-camera-part-1-program-mode
http://cameradojo.com/2011/06/13/shooting-in-manual-mode/

Notice: The "blur" in the foreground comes from shooting with an extremely low aperture (f/1.2).

Step 6: Have Fun!

...and good luck on your Kickstarter journey!

-eef




got questions? email me at eef@mit.edu

need support? I'm here to help! (at TechShop SF, with priority assistance to members)

Comments

author
shaneomacmcgee made it!(author)2012-12-29

Flash does not have to create glare or wash out an image--learn to use it properly and it becomes an invaluable tool.

author
Chikie made it!(author)2012-07-31

Could you do one of these for eBay or online sales photos?

author
eef999 made it!(author)2012-08-05

A very similar concept applies to eBay and online sales (etsy especially).

author
sarawelder made it!(author)2012-07-22

Thanks! great topic well done.

author
Abdoub made it!(author)2012-07-19

Nice one Emma :P

author
Jason+Bedard made it!(author)2012-07-18

Great topic.

About This Instructable

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Bio: MIT MechE student and intern at TechShop SF http://www.linkedin.com/pub/emma-feshbach/46/275/18b
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