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Product Photography: Tips For Beginners
Product photography plays a very important role in the advertising industry. If with your photo you are able to highlight the best side of a product and you manage to differentiate it from the competition, you will be able to capture the attention of the public and will generate in the viewer the desire to buy it.
When we talk about product photography, we mean everything that can be sold or exhibited, such as images of food, drinks, cars, accessories, medicines, clothing, etc.
When taking the picture, you must bear in mind that the consumer cannot see the object in person and, therefore, with the photo of the product you must give him as much information as possible and persuade him to buy it.
Bearing in mind that e-commerce is more powerful than ever, in this article we will give you some tips to get started in the world of product photography. If you are interested, keep reading!
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
The essential things to have are an enabled space (studio) to carry out your work, a camera, a neutral colored background and good light. However, if you want your images to have a more professional finish, we recommend you to get the following items:
- Camera: for product photography, you should have a camera that lets you work manually and shoots in RAW.
- Camera Lens: the choice of lens will depend on the result you are looking for. The advantages of a prime lens such as the 50mm f/1.4 or 100mm f/2.8 macro are that they are well built, tend to be very bright, and are more resistant. The pros of a zoom lens for product photography are that they are more versatile and you cover more focal lengths by investing in a single lens.
- Tripod: it allows you to maintain the framing and composition characteristics and, in addition, it will provide stability and sharpness.
- Camera Trigger: it will help prevent any kind of movement when you press the shutter.
- Neutral background: the background is essential for this type of photography. Choose a neutral background, either black or white, depending on what you want to achieve. The objects that are on a white background are much simpler when it comes to easily integrating them into catalogs, brochures, magazines and websites. The black background gives the photo sobriety and can create very elegant effects with transparent products.
- Light meter: it is the most precise way to control the exposure of an image.
- Lighting Equipment at least one continuous light source, an external flash or even a light box for small objects with simple compositions. Diffusers and light reflectors are also recommended to better control the light.
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE INTO ACCOUNT?
PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION
Before doing the sessions, it is convenient to think about and decide on the following aspects: what kind of consumers are the photos aimed at, what else do you want to say about the product, what would we like to convey, even the promotions we plan to do.
Apart from this more theoretical preparation, it is also important to plan and organize yourself to have everything you need in the studio when you start shooting. The product, in particular, must be in excellent condition, as all positive and negative features will be magnified by the lens.
Once all this is organized, you must prepare the lighting. Lighting is key in this type of photography and it is where you should spend more time learning and getting good tools and accessories. If you do not have enough natural lighting, or you simply want to have one more point of lighting, you can use led lamps or flashes. It is always recommended to have some element to blur and better control the light. You can find quite interesting kits. Also value the use of a reflector to be able to fill shadows that are too harsh due to artificial lighting.
Another characteristic of light that you should know is how the light behaves depending on the direction from which it is projected on the object, as this will determine which part of the object or subject will be in shadow and which part will be illuminated. It will also affect aspects such as volume or textures, so it is very important to know how to work with it to obtain the desired results.
In addition, when photographing, you should also keep in mind that product photography must be true to reality and therefore it is important that you make a correct white balance. To achieve this, it is recommended to shoot in RAW, since in this way you will be able to vary the white balance in the editing phase without losing quality.
COMPOSITION AND COLOR
Remember that product photography seeks to sell the product, making it attractive, different and dynamic. To achieve this, apart from the above, you must master color in composition and offer unique and different photos (for example, by varying the position of the product, adding props that do not compete with the product and/or exploring different angles and perspectives).
One last important aspect to keep in mind is post-editing. Product photography requires millimetric attention and therefore, even if your photo turned out spectacular, some retouching will always be necessary after finishing it, such as balancing the whites, defining the shadows, reframing if necessary or cleaning any dirt that the image has.
We hope that these recommendations will help you and motivate you when it comes to getting started in this fascinating discipline. If you have any other advice, feel free to share it!