Introduction: Intro to Kickstarter Photography

About: MIT MechE student and intern at TechShop SF

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!

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:

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:

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!


got questions? email me at

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