This blog article contains unpaid advertisement for several brands.
Since I started out
with photography two years ago, I had the chance to not only take pictures of
beautiful landscapes, architecture and animals, but also of a great variety of
products. I must admit, at the beginning this was quite an intimidating challenge
but nowadays I feel confident enough to even take over bigger projects. I want
to share with you some tips how you can improve your product photography!
Written by Anskar
The Basic Rules
Products can be anything, from small everyday items to large cabins. A great deal of rules you use on your landscape photography can easily be applied to product photography as well. Don’t overthinking too much and just think about what you would do in a landscape situation. Basic rules like the golden ratio or the two-third rule can easily be used on a cabin/hotel shooting. An unusual perspective like from a lower ground always gives an interesting touch to the image.
Sharpness & Depth
Always (!) make sure
to set the focus absolutely right, especially with tiny products like a
watch or a wallet. Really invest the time you need and if necessary, make use
of your tripod. Sharpness is the biggest beginner’s mistake when
it comes to product photography (it was mine as well!).
I make sure that the logo of the brand is spicy sharp while everything around it slowly fades away. The brand is what counts and it’s the part of the picture that should be visible in an instant. Try to work with depth and foreground the same way you would with landscapes. The important part (the product, the logo..) should be in focus while fore- and background (flowers, leaves..) can be blurred. And don’t forget: rules are meant to be broken! Always surprise your employer with some creativity. For example, you can focus on some flowers in the foreground while the product itself is blurred in the background.
Flowers bring me to
the next part: include the surroundings, regardless of shooting in- or outdoors!
Think about what matches the product, both colour-wise as well as to the
product itself. It’s a sustainable wallet made from natural products? Shoot it
in nature then!
In-action shots can also be very helpful in presenting the product. Don’t forget that the final images are presented to clients, so they are able to see what they use the product for. Show them what they can do with it, how they can use it and what’s so special about this specific product.
Communication is Key
Most importantly: communicate
with your employer, before you take the images as well as after the shooting. Communication
is often key if you work with other people, as everyone has different ideas and
perceptions of the results. Maybe your employer wants something entirely
different than you want. Eventually you should try to bring in your own
style while respect the wishes of your employer.
Never forget to ask for feedback after the shooting. This always helps me a lot to improve and to avoid making a mistake twice.
Now you are ready to take over your first product photography assignment! If you are still not confident enough try it with something you own back home first, before actually working for someone else. Also try to work with products in your own niche, the products I shoot for example are always somehow related to sustainability or eco-friendliness.