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A Beginner’s Guide to Product Photography

As we are living in a digital era, product photography is essential for businesses. It serves as a tool to showcase goods and services with the right captured photo. And sometimes, you don’t need to add information since the image does the job already! If you’re an entrepreneur or new to photography, follow this guide to enhance your skills. But first, let’s discover what product photography is. 

What is Product Photography?

Product photography is a type of photography that is mostly used by e-Commerce sectors. The goal is to represent a clear picture of what your products or services are. As a consumer, you are quite hesitant to buy something that you haven’t seen personally. This means you need to know every aspect of the product before you purchase it online. Or, as an online seller, you wouldn’t want to receive negative feedback on your products, goods, or services because that would mean a lost lead.

Having basic knowledge about product photography can help any business hit that sales and revenue goals. And you don’t necessarily have to invest at a high cost to get better at the craft – passion, determination, and the willingness to learn can go a long way.  

Product Photography Guide

Camera

To get started, you will need a camera to capture images. If you have a camera with you, you’re already good, whether it is an older model or the newest one. An alternative for a camera would be a good quality smartphone with at least a 12MP back camera or a higher megapixel.

Use A Tripod

Tripod is essential for photo consistency. What’s good about having a tripod is that it stabilizes your camera or smartphone for a better image result. When you compare it to a shooting handheld photo, a tripod gives you more convenience and saves you more time.

Although using a tripod is optional as you can DIY using stacked books, this is a good investment in the long run. You might consider having your product photos standardized. Also, keep in mind that different kinds of tripods are appropriate for cameras or smartphones, so choose what is suitable.

Adjust Your Lighting 

In this part, you have to be very detailed on what you are aiming for. You have to think that your consumer must buy what you sell, which is done by having proper lighting.

Natural Light

Natural light is also known as “soft light,” which directly comes from the sunlight. Using a natural light gives a certain mood on your product and is suited for:

  • Highlighting a product that can be worn or used
  • Adding the right amount of element or connection between real-life scenario and product

One unfortunate event you may encounter while using natural light is that the light may be too harsh or natural light isn’t achievable due to weather changes. 

Studio Light

Studio Light is also known as “hard light” as it produces a smaller but more focused light surface. If you do not have enough sunlight, but would want to shoot during the evenings or achieve a crisp outcome, then this is perfect for you.

Shoot In Different Locations

Relatively with proper lighting, shooting in different locations sets your product in different ways. You may also add elements and twists while shooting.

For example, when you are trying to sell swimsuits, models are best photographed with the beach or pool as your background to set the mood. Another good location to shoot is a modest home setting wherein ceramic plates, utensils, and teacups are the subject. This is to create a “homey” feeling to your customers.

Lastly, you can try having it in an urban street setting. This works for urban clothing and apparel as it gives you an insight into what urban fashion is – hip, edgy, angst, and individuality. 

Know the Types of Product to Shoot

Thinking of how your photos can create a “wow” factor? You must know what your subject or product is. That way, you can determine what the things applicable to shoot for a specific product are.

Jewelry

Jewelry is often associated with class, elegance, and beauty. With these characteristics in mind, try going for close-ups from various angles and make sure to keep the images sharp.

Shoes

The primary rule in footwear photography is to use a white background so you won’t spoil the color of your shoes. Ensure that the shoe looks its best by creating the illusion that someone’s wearing it.

Bags

With bags, there are two things you need to keep in mind: the design and how it’s worn. You can place it in a neutral environment where it stands out or hire someone to wear the bag for you.

Dresses

Just like bags, you also need to capture a dress’s design and how it’s worn. Women are very particular with the details – Aztec, floral, glittery, stripes, etc. The best way to highlight a dress is to hire a model and make them pose in ways to accentuate your product.

Menswear

Men are not that particular with details as they always go with plain designs and neutral colors. What you need to achieve is the clothing should look classy and manly enough. Again, it’s best to have a model. Using hangers is too basic and ordinary, which won’t help you capture people’s attention.

Accessories

Close up shots are the best for any accessory. Plus, you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to angles; the most common, though, are top-down shots. And just jewelry pieces, your accessories must look stunning and attractive, not dull.

Electronics

When you’re shopping for electronics, you’re not only looking for physical attributes, right? Therefore, you need to take shots of every detail that makes it a functional piece of technology.

Be Creative, Don’t Be Afraid to Commit Errors

There are many ways to do product photography. Don’t be afraid to commit errors and fuel your creativity. This is the part wherein you’re free to do whatever you want. And this is also a room for learning and improvement as you get to build your confidence and know your art style.

But most importantly, make sure that creativeness does not overpower the message. Though you’re given a chance for creativity, never miss highlighting and portraying the message through a single photo. It may look like a simple photo, but it can tell hundreds and different stories.

Product Photo Editing

In editing, a lot of adjustments are involved. You have to determine what are the right sizes you need in each platform you’re using. You also need to tweak and adjust the colors of raw photos to emphasize or match it in a realistic scene. Specifically, you need to do the following:

Background Removal

There are times when elements in the background are either too bland or too eye-catching. This prevents your viewer from looking at the main subject. If that’s the case, you may remove the background.

Clipping Path Service

The clipping path method is more tedious when it comes to removing unnecessary elements in a photo. Since it’s a long and dull process, you can outsource photo editing companies to do it for you. Typically, graphic artists use Photoshop to perform a clipping path.

Color Correction

Oftentimes, the colors you see on your camera are not the same when you import them to your computer. Color correcting is the first step when editing a photo. Keep the colors neutral, and don’t make it too warm or too cold.

Resizing

Maybe your clients want to print a photo. However, the image’s dimensions are not quite the same size as with the frame. Fortunately, you can resize your photos in Photoshop.

Product Retouching

Distraction is your main enemy when it comes to product photography. That’s why you need to retouch your images. It enables you to remove any unnecessary components in your photo so that your customers stay focused on the product.

Manipulation

Photo manipulation is an advanced technique. It allows you to do unlimited edits on an image. You need to keep everything balanced, as doing an absurd amount of editing can lessen your image’s quality.

Once these post-production methods are done, and photos are exported, check the pictures’ outcome as viewing them on different devices may vary.

Product photography isn’t as hard as you think. After learning the basics, try to find your style and take that creativity to the next level. Who knows, you’ll be a pro in just six months or a year!

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