The quality and content of your product photography can make a huge difference in your marketing effectiveness. Product photography skills are relevant and necessary for bloggers, as well as those in the marketing or social media professions. You can capture the attention of your viewers with well-produced images that create a story about the product’s brand story and overall essence. Make sure you know the technical elements of photography as well as the artistic techniques that go into styling. Here are some tips that will help you master product photography:
Gear and Equipment
Quality is everything when your photo is being assessed by viewers. Poor quality will cause disengagement with your content before the viewer can even appreciate the styling and other aesthetic elements. Have a solid digital SLR for shooting — smartphone cameras are great, but their specs and abilities pale in comparison to SLRs. You should have lenses for your camera that can help you achieve varying depth of field and enhancement of zoomed-in details.
If you can’t shoot in natural light, make sure you have proper lighting for your studio. Create a space where you can lay white paper, as a photo backdrops, and light it with filtered or box lights. Make sure the lighting isn’t too harsh, as it will cast extreme shadows that will affect the tone and clarity of your shot.
Know your camera! Brush up on the basics, like ISO, white balance and shutter speed. The ISO sweet spot lies around 800 for photos that aren’t too grainy. The best way you can get clear, well-lit shots is with natural light. Try shooting near a window or in a shaded outdoor area. If your product falls in direct sunlight, the shadows may be too harsh. Though, if you want a contrasted look, sunlight is the way to go. Also, make sure you shoot with the sun behind you, so you avoid any glare or white outs.
For photography tips, reference Pop Photo and Digital Photo Magazine. They will provide you with instruction and industry methods, as well as examples of outstanding photo captures and compositions.
Staging and Styling
In product photography, your composition is created through your own style. It’s important you know the key elements of product styling so you can help your centerpiece shine. Mainly, you must keep the tone, or theme, of your product in mind. For example, Ketel One is a brand that exudes elegance and sophistication. In congruence with its brand ideals, Ketel One’s product photography keeps its social media content and photography aligned with its brand identity. On its Instagram, Ketel One creates well-curated scenes that show its product in various forms — cocktail, in a gift ensemble or on its own.
If your product is related with the themes of ruggedness and adventure — like a backpack or hiking accessories — you should take your photos outside in nature. Have a variety of natural sites as backgrounds for your product. These settings help create a well-composed photo, while also displaying the product’s theme in an artful way. Don’t be afraid to incorporate models or props, when necessary. Even a person whose hand is in the shot, holding the product, will add an element of realism and enhance the visceral quality of the photo.