On My Soap Box
How to take beautiful photographs of your handmade soaps with a mobile phone.
You have finally mastered the art of soap making and want to share your beautiful new creations on social media but you just can't get the right look?
Are you wondering how to take gorgeous soap photos for Instagram, Facebook or even your website? Taking Instaworthy shots really is very straight forward with a few hacks and a modern mobile phone. You don't need any special lighting just a little creativity.
I often get complimented on my soap images so I will share with you exactly how I do it.
My number one top tip is to check and see if your mobile phone has a portrait mode. If it does then you are ahead of the game already as those blurred out backgrounds are really easily achieved but don't despair if you haven't, it is not essential.
Secondly find your self a simple backdrop, ideally light in colour that does not detract from the item you are photographing, so neutral, not highly patterned and not one that is the same colour as your soap either. I use a wallpaper off cut, cheap, cheerful and the choice is endless.
Third, use props. A bar of soap on it's own may look beautiful but it is a little boring, it doesn't tell a story and it doesn't give the viewer any clues about what has gone into making that bar. I like to use an a spoon of the colour I have used or botanicals. Or in the case of salt soap, a scattering of salt really adds context
My set up is actually very simple. I prop up my wallpaper sample with something tall, line up my soaps, make sure the light is behind me ( I rely on natural daylight) and then I use my mobile phone camera in portrait mode and take around 10 pictures to ensure I get a range of images, I tend to take them from different distances and focus on different aspects. So for example, on 1 I may focus on the soap at the back and on another it will be the clay or additive I have used. You should be able to tell you camera where to focus by tapping your screen on the area you want to be crisp and clear before you take the picture.
On the image below you can see I have focussed on the soap in the front and those behind are blurred. This is much easier on the eye and really draws the viewers attention to the main subject matter. If you don't have portrait mode you can still achieve this by having your background soaps further behind than I have and get as close to your main item as you can whilst still maintaining focus.
And what about lighting?
My honest answer - you do not need anything other than some daylight and the know how to tweak your images a little if they need it. Either within your mobile phone or Instagram itself. I don't use any filters at all. I do however use the edit button in Instgram and then tweak the brightness to lift the shadows. You can also do this within your mobile phone. All will have the ability to adjust or improve your picture. 99% of the time this is the only tweak I make. Don't over do it or you will bleach the colours out.
And that is it. You don't need to be super creative, have expensive equipment (I have a Google Pixel 3aXL) just a little time and patience.
If you have found this helpful I would love to know and if you are feeling inspired to make your own soap why not learn from home with my video course and eBook bundle. Soap making is a fabulous hobby, practical and calorie free.