What is product photography?
It is historically considered that static objects in photography are an ideal plot. And even with the development of modern technologies, the attractiveness of subject photography remains one of the main areas in the market. The creation of images for advertising is widely used for products on websites, in online stores, magazines, advertising booklets and layouts, product packaging design, etc.
Creating "idealized product photography" is the main task of experts to maximize the merits of the subject and try to hide possible flaws. You need to create a picture, which will bring up a desire to buy the advertised product. It is not obvious to use only professional DSLR for such an objective. Modern technologies permit using smartphones for taking a good photo, due to its high quality and multiple functions.
How to shoot product photography?
Based on target orientation, subject photography for advertising is significantly different from art photos. It is necessary to convey texture, color, shape of an item, choose a good angle and, at the same time, without using artistic techniques. When you decide to photoshoot the product, consider two types of production: streaming and image.
Streaming is a shooting of individual objects on a uniform background and is used to capture items for websites, booklets and does not require complex post-processing.
Image shooting is performed using additional props, individual set up of lights, elaboration of details and composition.
In a product photo, you must remember that the subject must be captured attractively. It is necessary to choose the right lighting. You can try to arrange lamps in different ways to achieve perfection. If the light falls on the frontal part, one effect will be obtained, if it is going to be placed otherwise, then it will be another effect, which will add depth to the picture. For a wider variety of images, it is better to change angles and height. The product photography background is best simple, evenly colored, or just white. Small items must be placed on some surface. Black velvet can be successfully used because it absorbs light and looks like a solid black surface.
The more diffused light sources, the better effect pictures will have. There are many sets for lighting which you can purchase or create. The simplest example is a white cardboard sheet and one softbox. Sophisticated set includes a lightbox and several illuminating devices, or a table for subject photography, or a photobox. Depending on requirements for product picture, light sources can vary, both in quantitative terms and in different angles of illumination. If you need to get rid of all shadows, it is better to use a photo cube. It is applied in most cases when there are no more than two light sources and they do not have diffusers (umbrellas or softboxes).
When working with a table, an interesting frame is obtained with backlighting from below. This allows you to make the background white without highlighting the subject. Another way is backlighting, which makes it possible to draw an outline. Shooting in a white room, you can direct light sources to walls or corners.
For any kind of photography, lighting equipment tips are especially important. Studio flashes or lights, incandescent or fluorescent sources are used. Mixing different sources is undesirable because there is a concept of color temperature. Different types of sources should have the same characteristics. Soft diffused light is obtained when using a softbox or photo cube.
The light source performs different functions depending on the position of an object:
- key light provides illumination of the object;
- compensating light balances shadows, reducing contrast;
- contour. Placed behind to highlight shapes and contours.
- background light. Highlights the background to separate the item from the background.
To produce a commercial subject photo for advertising, it is necessary to clarify the technical task. Pay attention to the presence of distracting elements, or, conversely, try to fill the empty space. Thinking outside the box will add appeal and emphasize the uniqueness of a picture.
Terms of reference should specify where the photo is planned to be used, the format should be indicated: horizontal, vertical or square. If dimensions of the final image were indicated in pixels, then it will be clear what image should be in the finished form. If this is a photo of a bottle of 600x600 pixels for a site, then the smallest detail and dust particles will not be visible. But if you need a photo to print on a billboard, then you will need to try to convey the smallest detail, and ensure the depth of field throughout the frame. Take into account the need for subsequent retouching of micro-dusts, flaws, and roughnesses of the texture, which will certainly become visible with a large image scale.
When shooting jewelry, there is a certain specificity of production and the most favorable angles. You need to know which background to use. Most often, you need a photo on a white background, followed by clipping. Clipping path is replacing the background in a graphics editor with a transparent or completely white or neutral background. Similar photos are relevant for websites, printing objectives, layout pages. But sometimes photos with shadows from objects, reflections, color or textured background are necessary. These tricks are more often used in image shooting.
Looking at the image, a potential buyer must believe the seller that his product is of high quality and he needs it. Take into account all aspects that affect the consumer's subconscious mind, because he will not be able to touch the product. It is necessary to unobtrusively emphasize all advantages of an object and at the same time take into account the style. This is the main feature of advertising photography.
A complex process of photographing polished glass, chrome, inlaid objects. Additional study is necessary to correctly reflect the natural color of the subject.
Special equipment is used for food, that allows conveying the attractiveness of finished dishes, as well as the design of a dish plays an important role. If a photograph of food causes appetite, in this case, it is considered a success.
Jewelry involves the use of studio equipment. After all, not everyone can correctly convey the volume and realism of the image to show sparkling and reflective details of an item. Any jewelry item conveys a certain mood and viewers must catch this mood and feel the beauty.
Bulky goods (furniture, vehicles, machines) require large sizes and corresponding equipment in order not to distort the image.
Toys excite our children's fantasies because everyone remains a child. A toy can get a specific action to blur the line between an animate and still object. Looking at a photo, even an adult would want to play with it.
A portfolio is a favorite topic. Improvisation and fantasy using all kinds of accessories, technology, background, light are attracted to show something special or unusual in the image.
Instagram pic definition can be used to build your personal brand on social networks. To get a beautiful image, come up with a common theme that will unite them. It can be a working atmosphere, breakfast, travel, a cup of coffee and an interesting book, autumn leaves, or just listen to your mood and a beautiful photograph is provided. Mandatory attention is paid to the background of the composition. It can be marble, carpet, sheet, plaid, fabric napkins or tablecloth wood or just a white surface. If the background is solid, then it can be supplemented with magazines, postcards, fruits, flowers. It is better to capture in daylight in the morning or evening hours. If shooting is organized in a daytime, a reflector must be used to damp out bright sunlight.
Composition either with the effect of creative chaos or with geometric accuracy is a half of success. It must include the peculiarity of the object so that it is not distorted. It is necessary to monitor the distance between objects. For harmony between large items, include also small ones. To give the image volume, things can be stacked on top of each other. If you crop a photo so that not all objects fit in it, interest and curiosity will appear. You need to try to interchange objects. Do not be afraid to experiment.
An interesting mood is created by the presence of hands. Let them reach for a cup or cookie or just hold an apple or a postcard, so as the frame becomes more vibrant. The magazine in native language pays attention to the text, and in a foreign language to a picture, so it may not be in the frame completely, but only in the corner. For the same purpose, you can put postcards to fill in the empty space in a frame. Perhaps these will be other objects and they will help to fill the composition and diversify the photo. The most popular accessory is flowers and plants. You can put a flower or petal and the frame comes to life. Food can also serve as a prop for a beautiful shot even of a beginner.
Building a good composition, it is necessary to take into account the color scheme. This does not mean that you need to take objects of the same color. They just need to harmonize and complement each other. A distinctive example of the layout is repeated color accents on different objects. Get a beautiful picture with the help of inspiration and then you can see the beauty around.
How to photograph products for the catalog?
Choose a good location
Good product photos can be captured in a well-chosen place, which permits you to come up with a variety of compositions. It is necessary to immediately determine which photo of clothes will be more advantageous on a mannequin, on a model or a flat lay. For an online store shooting from above can be beautiful, as well as putting them out on a sofa or table. Emphasis is required on details of things, texture, and quality of material, an image of a tag, stripes, buttons.
To expand the target audience among customers of online stores and optimize web resource, a lookbook is used. It is an album of professional pics with goods "face-to-face" effect to demonstrate the shape, cut, size. A lookbook is a collection of images with ready-made solutions for clothing sets, bows.
Another direction of commercial shooting is an advertising campaign. This is a story-driven product advertisement with active decoration and light. The main goal of a campaign is a specific, vivid, memorable transmission of the main idea of a new clothing collection.
Use a tripod
Make several shots of different angles from hands and adjust pics with necessary effects. Then fix the camera on a tripod and add other images with angles provided by the tripod. The more options you have, the more possibilities to get the best images.
Different types of product shots
High-quality photo content is the basis of the life of any brand. Its role is essential and here you will learn some types and tips.
- Original photo content.
Original photo content can consist of shooting series of images united by one idea. The style of shooting with the creation of original photo content includes the preparation of moodboard (general idea and mood of shooting, model, location, images, references for a photographer).
- Street photo content.
Street style photo is working with a model and juicy images that catch the eye on a picture.
- Subject picture content.
The style of subject shooting includes a definition of a concept and location of the shooting, selection, and preparation of goods for shooting, creation of atmospheric, color-literate compositions in a frame. Subject photography is in high demand because there are photo banks that magazines use to generate online content.
Learn general ideas and try your own style. Because there is no chance of a second first impression. Practice, experience new trends, and techniques to become professional if you consider photography your life. It will permit to realize your dreams by earning money and creating artistic personality.