Are you wanting to step up your photography game?
I assume by now you have purchased a camera or you are considering purchasing one. If you aren't thats okay too some of these tips will help you even with a simple iPhone/Android, you're looking at all the settings thinking, where the heck do I start? There are so many amazing photographers out there and let me tell you, not all of them have qualifications. Majority of us are self taught. The fact that you are here to begin with shows you are willing to learn! and thats an amazing start.
Well here are our 11 Simple Product Photography Tips:
Coming in at #1: USE PROPER LIGHTING
Let's begin here and talk about lighting. Because honestly your photos are not going to turn out great without the correct lighting! There are sooo many companies on the market but what one do you go for?
There are two options here you can go with Natural Lighting which is a cheap amazing alternative to the second option which is Studio Lighting. If I had to choose between the two I would always pick Natural Lighting. Some of my best shots are done in direct sunlight! Yep! No equipment needed except the trusty camera and product!
Now if you do not have the correct lighting, dark room ect then your props are not going to pop. Eg. using a white backdrop will not appear white if you have bad lighting! If you're using a white backdrop then I assume you want it to show to its full extent.
- If you are wanting to purchase some studio lighting we recommend https://www.hypop.com.au they have a fantastic range with amazing prices and deals!
If you are shooting inside we recommend that you are sitting facing a window! Simply grab a table or chair and place it right next to the window (at window level) The best times to shoot inside with natural lighting is early morning or early evening this will give you a lovely soft light.
#2 USE A TRIPOD:
Tripods might sound like they are unneccessary pieces of equipment but they make a huge difference to the clarity and quality of your product photography. Good news is they are super easy to use and not necessarily expensive either.
Tripods are literally like another set of hands. Having a tripod can really help you step up to the next level with your product photography. It will stabilise your camera and ensure your shots have no shake. Simply breathing or a tiny movement can effect your whole image.
It doesn't matter if you're using a fancy DSLR or a iPhone, there are many tripods on the market that will suit the needs you are specifically after.
- Yep! you literally can hop on Amazon and find a tripod, ensure you are reading reviews and you will be quite surprised on how good the quality is! Do yourself a favour and get one for your camera!
#3 THINK ABOUT EDITING BEFORE YOU SHOOT:
This is super important if you are wanting to have an easy Product Photography editing experience. Before you shoot you are going to need to think about how you're going to edit the images. You do not want to be messing around with photoshop for hours on end on multiple images.
So make sure all of your equipment is SUPER CLEAN! No streaks, smudges, dots, specks of dirt ect. If there is a smudge on your backdrop you are going to see it in all of your images. You do not want to be editing out a smudge in every single image you have taken for a client!
Make sure if you are using a messy product eg. skincare facemask and you are doing texture shots, that you are wiping everything down every single time you shoot a new position. You are going to also need to wipe down the product every time you take some out of the package/container ect as it will leave residue on the packaging, yep you will see this in your shots!
So make sure you are considering how much time you have to edit your Product Photography before shooting and take fine details while shooting to ensure you don't have to spend hours on end editing out something that could have taken 3 seconds to wipe up!
#4 TAKE A BASIC PHOTO EDITING CLASS:
I'm talking as basic as YouTube! Yep, go to YouTube now and search up photo editing tips or classes and you will find hundreds of videos that can help you in learning how to edit your product photography images. Not all of us have the funds to pay for courses or classes that cost over 2k. Use the free resources that are available to us, you can thank me later!
- If you still cannot get the hang of editing just yet, Adobe Lightroom Presets are the perfect way to get started and learn how each layer of editing works. Check out our Preset Packs here
#5 GET YOUR INSPO:
Seriously this is one of my favourite parts of the process! You are going to want to find amazing Inspo that automatically makes you want to grab your camera and shoot! Pinterest.com is FAB for this! The amount of amazing images you can find on Pinterest for Product Photography is out of this world!
Set yourself up an account and create some albums where you save your inspo. This also can help when you have product photography shoots coming up! You can use these images in a Mood Board for your client to show what type of Product Photography direction ideas you have for their product. Obviously ensuring that it suits their branding and product they are wanting you to shoot.
Also looking on instagram at other brands that sell similar products to see what type of vibe their images give off and this can help you with direction that suits that type of product.
#6 USE SIMPLE PROPS:
Ok so this is a big one! This is one that can make your head spin because there is so much out there! But did you ever look around your house and realise you actually have ALOT of props that you will not need to purchase. When starting product photography we all seem to look online and buy a bunch of stuff to only then realise that you have a lot of it at home already.
Starting off and don't have many funds to buy things such as $70 plain white backdrops. Improvise, seriously... Do you have a white bed sheet? Majority of us do, use that! Using a sheet can actually create the most gorgeous soft texture to compliment your product photography! What about those candles hiding away in your cupboard that you've never used? Grab them and use them in the background of the product photography that suits candles/homewears.
Plants and flowers? We all have an outdoors! Get your shoes on and go for a walk, you will be surprised what you find along the way! Don't just think about flowers but also what plants or flowers will make amazing shadows! Remember they don't have to actually be physically in your product photography but used for shadows!
Get creative! Look around you and you will be surprised what you can find and come up with!
#7 TAKE MULTIPLE SHOTS FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES:
This is an important one! Angles are everything, different angles can give your product photography a completely different feel and emotion. If you have a large collection of products you need to photograph the easiest way to get multiple images is to change angles. When I am shooting I tend to take some from different sides and a birds eye view angle! Move around some props every few images and continue on with the next product! This will really show every angle of the product!
Don't worry its common to go into a shoot having all these ideas of angles and when you actually work with the products it just simply doesn't work! Thats okay! The beauty of Product Photography is that you have the ability to take 10 of the same shot and get to choose the best one!
YOU MUST make sure you are sticking to the context of the product! The selling point of your product photography is that they understand what the product is from your image before even reading what it is! Basically your product photography should always tell a story and show exactly what the product is.
- You wouldn't see a man standing by a blank wall if he was advertising a fridge! Eg. If you are doing product photography of Skincare, would you place the skincare with a drill? NO! Ensure you are photographing the skincare with relevant props such as key ingredients, face washer, bathroom, water ect anything that can relate to the product.
#9 DOUBT? STICK TO WHITE:
We all doubt ourselves time to time with our product photography. When you are in doubt always stick to white, you cannot go wrong with white! White makes products pop and stand out! BUT do not see white as weak or amateur photography. Once you have been in the business for a while you will realise how powerful a white background is! Eg. When you are photographing food the worst thing you can do is put your food in an image with a textured backdrop (busy background), this takes the texture away from the key product! THE FOOD! You want your products to stand out and white is the perfect way to go about it!
You want to make sure that the product doesn't get lost in the shot, white while never allow your product to get lost unless the product packaging is white! Then we suggest using creams or any colours that relate to their brand. Remember white is powerful and is the best colour to work with in photography!
#10 SHOW THE DETAILS:
The powerful thing about product photography is when you can show the texture perfectly which shows the exact consistency of the product! (eg skincare) Your product photography is their visual guide! People can read the info on the website but your image is what is going to speak to them and make them feel like they know the texture and details already!
Always take the time to make sure you are taking photos of all the small details that you usually would miss looking at the image on a website. Eg. If you were photographing an item of clothing, show the stitching, get a close up of the label, try and show the texture of the clothing item, get close up to the mesh or zip that is on the clothing.
#11 GET UP A LEVEL:
Levels will be your best friend when you are doing product photography of multiple products in one shot! There is nothing more boring than products just all lined up on the same level. This creates an interesting shot! You want an image that makes the audience look and look again! If you have products on levels it creates depth. It also helps lighting hit different parts of the products which creates interesting shadows ect.
Elevate the small products so that they are standing out just as much as the larger products. If you have small and large products all on the same level the smaller products will get lost. When taking group shots you want to ensure they are all capturing the spotlight not just one or two !
#12 WATER IS FREE, USE IT!
You cannot lose with water! Seriously grab a clear container or glass container, grab a glass of water, place the product inside the container and simply shoot as you are pouring the water onto the product! This creates an extremely interesting, fresh and elegant shot! It is so simple and so effective!
Even chuck a coloured backdrop or material under the container so that there is some colour! Mirrors can also create amazing effects. Using water is best in direct sunlight to really capture the beauty and details of the water falling onto the product! Seriously its free and so effective!