Venturing into product photography can be a worthwhile hobby that could transition into a highly profitable source of income. Although it’s not necessary to turn every hobby into a side gig, there’s no harm in trying to hone your skills to be able to produce high-quality shots. After all, the demand for more product photos is only increasing.
If you’re a newbie wanting to enter the market, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled all the best tips you need to know to level up your product photography game. We’ll cover all the basics plus a few more extra tips to help you produce the most stunning product shots.
Before we dive into it, you’ll need to understand first that product photography entails more than just simply capturing a random item into frame. The point of each photo is to sell. It sounds easy but you’ll need to consider the amount of competition you need to be up against compared to the amount of attention span each consumer has the ability to give. There’s a surplus of products being sold. Your job is to make each product shot stand out. And while creativity is a huge factor, there are still several practical guidelines you must follow.
The mood and feel of your imagery is greatly influenced by the quality and type of lighting you use. It doesn’t matter if you use artificial or natural lighting as long as it suits the product’s message and branding. However, make sure that the end result makes it possible for the buyer to view details of the product as they would in person.
You might need to adjust lighting as you move from one product to another. This is because it is unlikely for one lighting arrangement to work similarly for all types of colors and shapes. But while you can adjust the intensity as well as the area where the light bounces off from your subject, it is important to stick to only one type of lighting while shooting one collection.
You can either go with natural or artificial lighting, but whatever you choose should be used throughout the entire range of products you’re about to shoot. Artificial light, or also known as “hard light”, can produce a more focused light surface. This is better used for items with tiny details that you want to highlight.
Natural light, on the other hand, is known as “soft light”. This type of lighting works best for products that need to be shot with people, like clothes, shoes, and others. Shooting in this type of lighting can also give your photos a warmer and more authentic appeal.
Lighting is important, but it’s just one of the few things you need to control. It’s also equally important for you to know how to direct the focus on the product’s best features and keep it there. You can use macro lenses or simply minimize distractions and noise by keeping a neutral backdrop.
Do play around with different perspectives too. This will help you discover how to emphasize the best angles or details your subject has. Also, it helps to show buyers different angles of the product.
To make it easier for you, you can use your camera’s portrait or sweep mode to keep the focus on the product while blurring out the background a little bit. Sweep mode can help make white backgrounds appear smoother while the portrait mode is best used when the background is
composed of other colors and elements. This can work well if you’re shooting outdoors or in natural lighting.
Whatever you’re using to shoot, make sure the angles and the placement of your subjects are consistent with the help of a tripod. If you’re using a smartphone, propping it up against anything sturdy just won’t do. It’s likely to slip and you can even risk damaging your phone.
Having your camera on a tripod also makes it faster for you to switch subjects to shoot as you will only need to move one thing, which is the product you’re shooting. Shooting this way also makes it easier to maintain a standardized product orientation in every frame or photo.
Product photography is all about showcasing the product. Everything that goes in the frame should complement the main subject and not steal attention away from it. Having a neutral backdrop helps keep the focus on the product you’re shooting. However, if you feel the need to
use other props, you can. Just make sure the overall look is cohesive and doesn’t distract from the main products itself.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move forward to bolder tips that could help you shoot more unique photos that could set you apart from hundreds of other photographers in the industry.
Thinking out of the box can be helpful if you’re wanting to add more shock value to every day household products. It’s easy to shoot products that are already aesthetically pleasing on their own such as a stylish pair of shoes, a colorful piece of garment, and so on. The challenge comes when you’re asked to shoot something that’s incredibly familiar yet visually unappealing. If you’re faced with that type of dilemma, here’s what you can do:
This is great for everyday items that most people don’t think about. When shot in an unconventional way, it grabs more attention and is likely to be remembered.
Once you’ve mastered using the portrait and sweeping modes on your devices, you’ll be able to play around with different interesting backgrounds while featuring the main item in the foreground. You’ll be able to show the product being used without it blending completely into the background.
This one might be tricky but it works for some types of products. Typically, the product is shot at the same level as the camera but you can deviate from this norm to emphasize a certain feature of a product. This trick can distort the actual product’s shape and size so thread this one carefully.
More importantly, have fun and don’t overthink it. Once you’ve mastered using your device and the basics of photography, you’ll be able to let your creativity take the reins. Shooting products can be tricky but the only thing that can truly make it worthwhile is if you enjoy doing it.
Lastly, make sure the photos you’ve taken are able to get a broad reach. No matter how stunning your photos are, you won’t sell anything if nobody sees them. Maximize their visibility by using an effective online platform designed specifically to fit various online-selling needs, such as the Page 365. This order management system makes the e-commerce side of your business a breeze, so you can focus more on what you love such as photography.