In an overcrowded industry overcrowded with photographers seeking to have a bit of the customer pie, product photography has an irresistible appeal, particularly to people new to the business.
As a commercial photographer, you have complete control over your pictures. You can create your photos as abstract or as apparent as you would like, as long as it is in line with the visual identity, that your clients expect.
What is Product Photography?
Commercial photography revolves around a service or product. A commercial photographer’s most important objective is to market a product. That usually means they must adhere to the principles they are given by their company. As a commercial photographer, you need to take photographs that represent your company’s vision. From time to time, fine-art photography and commercial photography unite to produce an exceptional notion. In this manner, both genres are extremely similar.
More glamorous genres of photographs can frequently overshadow product photography. A frequent misconception is that goods are hard to shoot and need complicated setups.
1. Establish the Mood & Concept
The most vital task is defining the disposition and the desired visual identity; lacking these, we can’t have an accurate estimate on how to take the photography of products best. For this, it is ideal to discuss with your customers or clients.
One more critical point is time. A commercial photographer needs to schedule the timeline of photography as the timetable is the most critical part for the clients who need to upload the photographs over the online store to sell the products.
2. Setup Your Product and Background Smartly
If you go through almost all larger online stores like Amazon, eBay, etc., you will find out that they are using simple and attractive backgrounds to enhance the product. A simple or white background will add attention to your products. While you select a background color, it is a companion of your products, models, or appearance. There are few colors like white, grey, or black that works great as a simple background.
3. Get the Correct Lighting for Product Photography
The vital aspect of lighting products is that the lighting has to exemplify the selling characteristic of the specific online products. Typically, it is possible to create excellent images using just one light, but it finally comes down to the particular object in question along with the idea.
Another quality that lots of product photographs share is context lighting. Ambient lighting comes in many different forms. These may allow you to shoot moody photographs of your topic.
Ambient light may be artificial or natural. Both can work great for product photography. The fewer sources of lighting, the moodier your photographs will be. Find the below helpful tips:
1. If you’d like to have an equally light background, place the light-source overhead, which lights the whole scene.
2. If you’d like a specified shadow, put the light source 45 degrees to the side.
3. If you would rather have a gradient from foreground to background, place the light right based on the topic.
Lighting is monotonous to set up, but when you do it correctly according to needs, it will give you a premium quality photography. You can use two types of lightning: natural lighting or studio lighting according to your needs.
While you are a beginner and have a limited budget, you can start or manage your photography task with natural lights. It is also very handy and helps to shoot the products in-house. This way, you can save money and time and be able to finish the task on time.
If the light is too strong, you can spread-out it by putting white paper, or thin clothes over the lights.
4. Setup Your Products Properly
Step 1 – Establish Your Table
As soon as you’ve gathered your equipment, it is time to establish your shooting place. Put your desk as near the window as you can without repainting the shadow of the windowsill. You will need to get started with the window 90 degrees to the left or right of your installation.
Additionally, don’t forget to turn off the other lights within the area you are shooting as other mild will contaminate the set. This is essential and will be the most frequent error I see.
Step 2 – Establish Your Sweep
There are a whole lot of techniques to do so. However, the ultimate purpose is to get your sweep vertical. You might want to roll up the plank to allow it to reach that contour. Put your products in the middle of the horizontal region of the sweep and then leave enough space to slip your white reflector card later.
Step 3 – Setup Your Camera
Change image picture settings to RAW quality (in case you’ve got it.) Most point-and-shoot cameras do not have the RAW-setting, but if you do, then make use of it.
This file is the best the camera can take, and it uses the entire bit depth of this camera. You’ll need to edit at a program that reads RAW images (e.g., Photoshop, Bridge, Lightroom, Affinity Photo, Capture One), however.
Step 4: Set Up The Reflector Card
A white card could be the one most significant light modifier you’ve got, and you can use it for almost every shoot. The light will bounce off the card and fill in all of the shadows. The best way to place this card is an issue of preference, so try it at various angles to this item.
Step 5: Take the Photo and Evaluate
As soon as you take the image, take a little time and really take a look at what you have created. This is where education and experience come in to play. What is working, what is not working, and what can you do to make it simpler? Experiment with various ways of producing your picture better, and as time passes, your abilities will obviously improve.
Once you take the picture, take some time, and really look at what you’ve created. This is where experience and education come into play. What’s working, what isn’t working, and what can you do to make it better? Experiment with different methods of making your image better, and over time, your skills will naturally improve.
Upload all the images to the Lightroom or Capture One and check how it looks. Because the camera screen is very small so you cannot check all the exposure, shadows, reflections, and angles, etc.
5. Which Tripod is Best for Product Photography?
Quality: Each of the additional features on the planet will not compensate for a lousy tripod. Apart from finish and fit, you want it to be as stable as possible.
Steadiness: Size does often relate to the stability of the tripod because a larger, thicker tripod is often more steady than a smaller, lighter one. The structure also comes into play. You want controls that will safely lock tripod components in place.
Size: To be helpful for shooting the sharpest images possible, you need a tripod that’s large enough to hold your camera steady. You’ll also need sufficient height to be more useful for the product photos you’re capturing. You need it to be able to position it at the different heights and angles that you need to capture a shot.
Additional Features: Not all tripods are going to have exactly the very same capabilities. Some have a flat arm that’s a fantastic tool forgetting merchandise shots. A flat central column will provide you a whole lot more choices for product photography.
Worth: While we are compared to paying more for high quality and additional features, we also do not wish to pay more than required.
6. Which Camera is Best for Product Photography in 2020
Whether you are a professional photographer shooting product photos for a living or only an amateur who wants greater product photographs for an internet store or mailing list, there is a camera recommendation for you.
1. Nikon D850
This full-frame digital camera sports a remarkable 45.7-megapixel detector, which ensures that each little detail of the products is recorded. This degree of intense detail captured by the image detector makes the documents from this camera extremely manageable and more adaptable to get post-production editing.
2. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
This full-frame digital camera houses a decent 30.4-megapixel sensor. While not having the maximum pixel count among great product photography cameras, the 5D Mark IV still produces exceptional picture quality and audio output, if you also shoot video.
3. Sony Alpha A7R IV
As an increasing number of consumers trust the internet for nearly all their shopping, high-quality merchandise photographs are in demand. Item photography demands an extremely competent camera with the capability to catch every detail at high resolution.
Using a whopping 61 Megapixel full-frame detector, the Sony delivers superb image quality.
7. Why Photo Editing Is The Most Important Part
Most of us know important amazing product photos are to help sell a product. Behind this flourishing e-commerce company, the chief rationale is the brilliant edited merchandise photographs. To advertise goods in an effective way your customers, need impressive product photos.
Below you will find a few crucial photo editing steps that can take your product photos to another level and increase online product sales for your customers.
1. Photo Retouching
Retouching is an important aspect of product photography. It allows you to add new touches to photos for improvement or correction. Clean product shots may influence how a client feels about your brand. Some professional photographers opt for getting a professional agency to do their product photo editing for them, freeing up a lot of time for working with other clients.
Retouching images is relevant for almost any type of product photography you have like jewelry, apparel, shoes, accessories, furniture, make-up, cars, food, etc.
2. Removing The Background for a Simple Look
Before you deliver your photos to your clients, you should make sure they have a clean background. It is often required that the products have a similar appearance, like i.e., a completely white background. So you need to make sure that you remove any unwanted artifacts. A white background permits you to concentrate on the item and displays the details of the product, such as colors, texture, and form.
3. Drop Shadow
Another way to create a polished look for your product photography is by creating a beautiful drop shadow effect. You need to do this in an app like Photoshop.
Alternatively, you can also go for a drop reflection type of effect for the product shots if it suits the client’s brand.
4. Color Correction
You should also make sure that colors are presented in a realistic way. If you use the wrong lighting source, it could give your photos a yellow tint, that the products normally don’t have. So make sure you color correct the photos before delivering them to your clients. Also, make sure you make the necessary corrections to exposure contrast if needed.
5. Ghost Mannequin
A popular way to display clothing in e-commerce shops is to show it without a mannequin, but still displaying the shape of the clothes. You should learn to remove a mannequin in Photoshop or get a professional company to help you with the time-consuming tasks if you have a lot of images.
Creative Product Photography can quickly become a neat income stream for you, if you invest in a small amount of gear, and utilizes creative components such as props, backgrounds, models, or surroundings to inform a new narrative or impress audiences visually. A lot of companies need help with getting better images for their e-commerce site.
The beauty of it is that you can easily set up a small space in your home or workplace for product photography, and you do not need a good deal of expensive gear. If you find the editing part to be a little too tedious tasks for you, you can hire an external photo editing company, and just focus on the fun stuff with making the products look their best in the camera.
Hey, I’m Amy. I’m part of the writer team at Photography-RAW. Besides writing in-depth articles about photography, I also take part in making sure that the website runs smoothly here on Photography-RAW.