By Carl Heaton

As E-Commerce becomes increasingly important, product photography follows in it’s footsteps. To build a great E-Commerce website, you must have great quality product images to show them in the best light to potential customers. According to recent online surveys, most people today prefer to buy online rather than going in person to a street based retail shop. In a matter of few clicks, you will be able to find your desired product and have it delivered to your doorstep.As E-Commerce becomes increasingly important, product photography follows in it’s footsteps. To build a great E-Commerce website, you must have great quality product images to show them in the best light to potential customers. According to recent online surveys, most people today prefer to buy online rather than going in person to a street based retail shop. In a matter of few clicks, you will be able to find your desired product and have it delivered to your doorstep.

produclightingtstudiosetup

As E-Commerce becomes increasingly important, product photography follows in it’s footsteps. To build a great E-Commerce website, you must have great quality product images to show them in the best light to potential customers. According to recent online surveys, most people today prefer to buy online rather than going in person to a street based retail shop. In a matter of few clicks, you will be able to find your desired product and have it delivered to your doorstep. The better the quality of the products, the more reliable the company will look. In order to capture those perfect product photos, you need to exert efforts and lots of creativity. Below are 10 Tips on executing a Product Photography.

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1. Use a checklist

checklist

Creating a checklist is one of the most important things to do when doing product photography. Making a checklist often occurs in preproduction. If you’re a freelance photographer, the checklist might be provided by the company, but if you are the photographer of your own products, you need to make sure that everything will be captured. Shooting in medium shot, wide shot, macro shot, and other effective shots should be included in the checklist. Preparing this in advance helps you to avoid the pitfalls of forgetting something vital as your caught up in the excitement of the shooting process. 

2. Soft lighting is the best lighting

softlightegg

One of the most common mishaps when shooting products is uncontrolled shadows. Bad product photography makes hard shadows and eliminates the other details of the product. When shooting products in a light box, it is better and advised to let the light bounce throughout the surface, or use some light filters to create a soft lighting. A direct light like sunlight creates hard shadows which eliminates the ambiance of the product. Soft lighting will also be a benefit for you in post production.

3. Use different backgrounds

earingsonbackground

In light box, backgrounds are usually changeable. When you are shooting products, don’t limit yourself with only one background (unless if it is requested by the client). Use different gradients or even different filter colours for your flash. Maybe a product with a white packaging will look better with a dark background. You can navigate the shadows and uplift the ambiance of the product through the use of glows and whiteness from the lights bouncing around the light box.

4. Use a tripod

attachingslrtotripod

For most photography occasions, using a tripod is a common thing to be advised. Tripods help to reduce blurriness in your image and produce sharper details for your product. It also keeps your photos at the same level if you desire height consistency. Even the slightest amount of motion can cause blur on your image. Investing on a great tripod won’t be a bad thing as well. If you have remote shutter, use it. If not, try using the build-in camera timer for a sharper image.

5. Shoot the details

pcrearports

A wise customer will alway checks the details of a product before buying. It’s also the same with online product photos. People tend to zoom in and zoom out of the photo for greater test whether they should buy the product or not. Showing all the product’s details will help to remove the cloud of uncertainty for if a product has the features a customer is looking for. This becomes very apparent especially in technology products where inputs and output ports are very important when deciding between multiple similar looking items. Even if you don’t describe the product efficiently, the detailed product photo will tell it all.

6. Take a lot of shots

product photography

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. With digital storage growing in size and dropping in price, taking multiple shots with your SLR become a breeze. However, If your memory card is on the small size take a few shots, transfer them immediately on your computer, do the card formatting, and start shooting again. It’s better if you get your files organized through renaming and folder segregating. Avoid using the default DCM0001 or simialr file name system created by your camera. It’s a real risky way to work and increases the chances of you accidentally overwriting an image the next time you copy into the same folder from the same camera.

7. Use the product’s natural environment as background

product photography

In product photography, your product photo is either bound in a light box or out on its natural environment. If you’re selling coffee, it’s better to show the coffee on a nice table, with a nice sweet dessert beside it, on a cozy location where there is a lot of trees, couches, and sunset ambiance. There are times when a photographer needs to decide whether the product needs to be on a light box or on its natural environment. When shooting a product outside of a light box, make sure that you emphasise on the product not on the surroundings.

8. Be careful on product angles

product photography

Shooting a product takes a lot of time especially when you are finding the right angle. As a good product photographer, you need to show the best view of the product. You can add small stages, or even put something beneath the product just to make sure that you’re emphasizing the best angle of the product. When the product is round, you don’t need to worry about anything. But if the product is multi-angled like the lamp in the above image you need to look at it and take plenty of trial shots and decide which angle you are going to use. Bad angle will cause bad impression to the product’s quality. Also, avoid capturing the angles of the light box or backgrounds for easier post-production editing.

9. Add some creativity

product photography

When you are capturing a super plain product, it is advisable to put a little bit of creativity to the shot by adding up colorful marbles or other creative things that will compliment the product (don’t if the client asked for a plain shot). By adding some creativeness, you will establish a better quality of products, plus a better texture and contrast within the image. You can also use some camera tricks like smaller depth-of-field, time-lapse, etc. Be creative to your shot but do not over crowd your shot with too much distracting items.

10. Edit your photos

After you have all your shots done (don’t forget to check on your checklist), it’s now time to retouch your photos. Add some clarity and contrast to your photos. Putting up the vibrancy and temperature of the product will also help to make it more fresh and attention grabbing. Edit your photos like a pro and always ask your clients how they want the photos to look like. A perfect shot will only require minimal editing. It’s one of the reasons why professionals encourage every photographer to shoot the perfect shot and you will not suffer editing your photos.

These are just some few tips about Product Photography. Just shoot all kinds of photos and learn from all of your mistakes. Remember, you are never too old or too young to learn something new. There are many ways to become the professional photographer that you always wanted to be. Taking a small step forward will always make you better than before.

product photography

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If you wanted to learn more about Photography and be the become a better photographer, come and take a look at our photography courses ranging from the One Day Photography course to the Photography Essentials and Lightroom Workshop courses here at Web Courses Bangkok.

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About The Author

Carl

He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.