How to Compose Good Product Photography
Product photography is a staple for any e-commerce store. It helps attract and engage customers. It also contributes to brand consistency and reduces image editing post-shoot.
Different types of product photos serve different purposes — standard white background shots for marketplaces, lifestyle shots that showcase the product in aspirational settings, and detail shots that show off specific features. Regardless of the type of product shot you’re creating, composition is key.
Product photography is not as straightforward as pointing a camera at something and pressing a button. It takes a lot of planning and skill to produce consistently high-quality results that do their job, which is to draw customers into your shop. Whether you’re shooting your own images or working with a professional studio, understanding the principles of composition will make the process much easier and ensure you end up with better-looking photos at the end of the day.
The first step to creating compelling product photographs is to set up a clean, well-lit scene. The best lighting for product photography is natural light, which will give your images a warm and inviting feel. But even if you’re shooting in natural light, it’s important to set up your lights in a way that produces soft shadows and isn’t too harsh on the subject’s face.
You’ll also want to keep the background of your image simple. A plain white backdrop is usually the norm, but you can experiment with different backgrounds if your product calls for it. For example, a skin care product would look great on a natural setting like a beach or a mountain, and a clothing brand could use group shots of their products in creative locations to create an engaging image for their homepage or social media posts.
Another way to add some interest to your product photos is to play with negative space and use the shapes your products create to frame them in interesting ways. For example, handbag handles can make the shape of a Q or create an elegant line that draws the eye to your product. You can also play with the color of your background to create an appealing contrast between the product and its surroundings.
When you’re shooting a set of multiple products, it’s crucial to carefully place them so that they look appealing as a whole. Having a few pieces piled up haphazardly in front of each other will not look attractive, but neither will spacing them too far apart. Aim for an even number of products in the frame and a good balance between colors, shapes and textures.
If you want to work professionally as a product photographer, you need to understand how light affects the results. Its position, dispersal, intensity and quality have a much greater impact on your shots than the camera and lens.
For this reason, you’ll need to invest in a photo studio with the right lighting. A good place to start is with PackshotCreator’s Photo Studio Kit that includes a top light to control and manipulate the light. It’s important to experiment with a variety of lighting effects, as well as playing with shadows and reflections.
In terms of capturing fine details, you’ll also need to use a tripod to keep the camera steady. Depending on the size of your product, you may even need multiple lights to capture different perspectives and highlight specific features.
A good product photographer knows how to manage and manipulate these elements to create a compelling image that stands out from the competition. In particular, they know how to handle hard light and strong shadows.
However, it’s important to balance this technique with other techniques in order to achieve a well-rounded and visually appealing shot. For example, using hard light as a sole source of illumination can be overpowering and unrealistic for certain products.
Similarly, direct reflections can be challenging to manage and can ruin an otherwise beautiful shot. It’s essential to practice and learn how to handle these types of situations as a product photographer, or you could find yourself spending hours in post-production removing unwanted reflections.
To help you avoid these issues, it’s recommended that you use a diffuser with your speedlight to soften harsh lighting, reduce glare and reflections and enhance colors. The diffuser will also prevent light from spilling onto other surfaces and causing color casts.
Lastly, it’s important to have a dedicated space that’s free of distractions and interruptions. That means that if you’re shooting in your home, you’ll need to designate an area for this purpose and keep all your equipment nearby. This way, you’ll be able to get your shots quickly and efficiently without having to worry about other people or pets running around the background.
As the name suggests, props are objects used in product photography that add to the overall image and tell a story about the products being shown. While there are many types of props available, it is important to choose ones that complement the product and don’t distract from it. It’s also important to make sure the props are not too large, as this can overpower the product and draw the customer’s attention away from it.
Creative props are a great way to add color and visual interest to your photos. They can also be used to highlight specific features of a product, such as a cup’s handle or lid. In addition, they can be used to create a sense of scale, especially for products that require a closer look to inspect details like stitching or fabric texture.
When choosing props, start by looking at your brand guidelines and determine what kind of message you want to convey with the images you’re taking. From there, it’s important to consider your audience and what kinds of things they would appreciate seeing in your photos. It’s also helpful to keep up with current design and photo trends, as these can affect how your images are perceived.
For example, if your company sells food or drink, it’s likely that you’ll want to include fresh ingredients in your product shots. This can help to show the quality of your products and also entice customers to buy them.
In addition, books and general literature can be useful as props for product photography. They can add a sense of sophistication to your images and may be a good fit for products that are aimed at a more mature market, such as smart shoes or suave furniture.
Other props, such as branches, flowers, and other natural elements, can also be used to add a more organic feel to your photographs. These can be used to highlight the texture of a product and to bring out its natural beauty. They can also be used to evoke certain feelings in the viewer, such as a sense of calm or rejuvenation.
Color has a big impact on how we feel when we see an image. Bright colors can make us feel happy and energized, while muted colors create a sense of calm and nostalgia. When creating product photography, it’s important to think about what type of emotion you want your images to evoke in your audience.
It’s also important to choose the right colors for your products. Different colors create different emotions, and knowing color theory can help you pair your colors for the best effect. For example, if you have a red product, pairing it with yellow can create a sense of excitement and energy. On the other hand, if you have a blue product, pairing it with orange can create a sense of calmness and tranquility.
Choosing the right background color can also have a big impact on how your product looks. While it’s common for ecommerce images to be shot against white, there are many options available for background colors.
For example, a light grey background can provide a clean and classic look, while a darker backdrop can add an interesting texture and depth to your image. You can also use a solid color as your background to create a bold and attention-grabbing image.
Bokeh is a great technique to use when shooting product photos. It creates a soft and dreamy effect that can make your product stand out from the rest of the image. It’s also a great way to add a little bit of movement and interest to your image without distracting the viewer from the product itself.
Another great way to add interest to your product photography is by using the human element. Including a person in your photo can give the viewer a sense of scale and show how the product is used. It can also make the product appear more relatable and increase brand awareness.
Product photography is a form of art that requires a lot of skill and knowledge. By understanding the basics of composition, lighting, and color, you can take your product photography to the next level and create more effective marketing materials for your brand.