Product Photography. How to take Product Photos and Packshots?

Good product images are the basis of active sales. Especially owners of online stores offering services on e-commerce platforms know this. It is very important to create a photo to highlight products well with the help of photography.  Is it difficult to photograph a product? Is it necessary to decide on a professional photo shoot and hire a photo studio?

Product photography- What is it?

As the name suggests, product photography, brings together issues in the field of photography, especially product photography on a website. It can be said that it is an advertising photography involving the exposure of products so that the photograph catches the eye of a potential buyer and encourages him to make a purchase in the online store.

On the one hand, if we want to sell a product, we need to create a maximum attractive photo. On the other hand, however, we have frequent strict guidelines of auction portals, which require us to have a completely uniform white background. There is no denying that typical product photography is not one of those most interesting areas of photography. On the one hand we have to show the attractiveness of the product, but on the other hand we have to remember about maintaining the uniformity between the presented products.

It might seem that the subject is relatively simple – a small product is easy to photograph. The problem appears when we put up for sale something white, transparent or very glossy.

Product photography adjusted to the requirements of marketplaces

In many websites, the sale of a product requires a completely white, uniform background, i.e. one whose RGB is 255.255.255. It is worth remembering that even if the background is white on the computer screen (e.g. when the values oscillate within 240-250), the photograph may be rejected on the level of validation. Another option is the decrease of the product position in comparison with competitive products on the website. In this case, however, ACR/LR/C1 comes to our aid, thanks to which we will obtain perfectly white areas, which, after all, we strive for. However, the main thing to remember is that the product should be:

  • Sharp,
  • Not burnt,
  • legible.

Product photography – what you have to remember about – step by step

Step 1- Proper preparation of the product for the photograph

Product photos very often show imperfections that affect the final sale of the products. Tidiness and cleanliness and order is the most important issue in this case when it comes to product photography.

However, in online stores we can very often come across product photos that are most often crumpled, dirty or not arranged well. When taking a good product photo, you need to make sure that the look is top notch. The photographer really should start the photo shoot with this. Removing unnecessary items from the frame and taking the first photo for a test run also plays a big role here.

Step 2- Choose the right background

The studio should also have a uniform background for product photography.  On auction portals, this requirement is already becoming a norm. This is otherwise known as shadowless photography. In this type of photography there are usually avant-garde arrangements and fancy scenery.

Usually, the background is black or white. For this purpose, many photographers or private store owners decide to purchase a shadeless tent. This is a practical solution to make product photography easier. The backgrounds in a shadeless tent do not reflect light, while the products are then photographed without shadows. It is full professionalism. A white background is therefore becoming the norm nowadays.

Step 3- Proper product exposure

No less important than proper background and preparation of the product for the photo is its framing and exposure. Nowadays products are usually placed in the middle of the photo, which is the most important, central point of the photo. Such an arrangement makes the product is not covered by anything and the item itself attracts the customer’s attention more. In addition, the customer is sure what product he orders. Thanks to this the customer will not be surprised when receiving the order.

Framing is especially important in the case of product photography of clothing. Both folded and wrinkled clothes do not reflect the full potential of our product. Items photographed on models or “ghost” product photos work best for product photography. Rather, you are already coming from shooting on mannequins.

Step 4 – Appropriate lighting of the product

In the case of product photography, unfortunately, sunlight alone is not enough. For this purpose, it is best to choose special lighting blends and ring lights. It is best to buy three ring lamps to ensure the appropriate level of exposure of the subject in the studio.

Ring lights shine with continuous light. In addition, the light output and light temperature can be adjusted. Properly chosen lighting is a guarantee that the natural colors of the subject will be highlighted.

Step 5 – Keeping the photo in focus

In fact, there is nothing worse in product photography than a blurry photo that looks unattractive and sloppy. Additionally, it worsens the sharpness of the subject’s visibility.

Product photography uses cameras placed on stable camera tripods. However, it does not always have to be a large tripod. A simple tripod is enough, which will allow us to take shots without moving. A camera stabilizer is also a good solution.

Step 6- Photos of the products from different perspectives

When buying a product, customers want to see it from all sides completely just like they would when shopping in-store. We fear disappointment, so we like to use 360 degree features that allow us to see the entire product all around.

This type of photography can be achieved through a series of photos taken while rotating the product on a stand. Unfortunately, not every seller can afford this solution so it is important to take photos of the item from all sides. Not only from the front, but also from the side, top and bottom. In practice it means that we have to decide on one frame orientation, i.e. horizontal orientation (horizontal) and vertical orientation (vertical).

Step 7- Proper graphic processing

Photomontage is not an option for shadowless product photography. However, subtle retouching is something else. Why? Unfortunately, neither professional photographic equipment, professional technique and years of experience, or a skilled photographer will not guarantee us to get the right, real colors, as it is in reality. However, when we talk about retouching we mean delicate contrast improvement or shadow correction. Small artistic tricks can do real miracles here.

Product photography tips and tricks

Tip 1

Product photography is primarily characterized by the background. It does not always have to be black or white. In some cases, it is worth playing with color and messing around when it comes to creating photos. You might also consider matching the background color to a specific product. An example would be photographing orange products on a green background. This is a very commonly used option in campaigns of companies offering clothing for young people.

Tip 2

The key to success in displaying products on the website is minimal scenery that does not distract us from the product. However, it is important to choose the right background, and not just give up unnecessary props. Clothing looks much better when photographed against an elegant closet, rather than clothes on a hanger. In addition, you can also play on the senses of customers. Placing juicy fruit in the background immediately increases thirst, which is important in advertising, for example, drink.

Tip 3

Matte products are always worth photographing on a glossy surface and vice versa. Shiny surfaces create a creative reflection of the product on the surface. It can also be a good idea to use a polarizing filter solution to remove unwanted reflection when photographing glass, glasses, or screens.

How to do a perfect product shoot?

Ring flash or softboxes

A flash is a must-have piece of equipment for any photographer. More and more photographers are fans of the so-called softboxes when it comes to the subject of product photography. Although many people start with umbrellas, but this kind of photography doesn’t usually pass the test. If our product is shiny and its surface is visible, unfortunately, the ribbing of the umbrella will be visible. The most universal softbox turns out to be 60×90 cm. This solution is considered to be the most universal. Larger products may require slightly bigger dimensions (80×120 cm). However, what type of a flash should I choose?

The flash light should not disturb the natural texture and pattern of the photographed product.  Everything depends on individual preferences. You can bet on the flash, LED lamps with a mount or continuous lights. However, energy-saving fluorescent lamps will not be the best solution due to the lack of light direction and difficulty in modification. Continuous light is easy to modify because you can see on the screen exactly what you get when you press the shutter button. On the other hand, it is extremely important to equip yourself with a tripod, which will provide us with depth of field and the need to make only minor adjustments in product photography.

Professional photo backdrops

In fact, high quality, professional product photography is not just about the right lamp, camera equipment and shadowless tent. It can also be useful to have a professional, uniform background, which will provide us with the possibility of a variety of photos in the right quality. The photographic background can help us to expose the photographed object. Backgrounds are usually made of materials that absorb light. Recently, backgrounds with interesting textures are also available.

What are the benefits of professional product photography?

Product photography is becoming more and more professional. Thanks to appropriate, attractive photos on our website, we can primarily contribute to higher sales in our online store. A properly exposed product attracts customer attention and makes our profits rise. Product photography done properly is also very important for the development and image of our brand against the competition.

Good photos are created only if we pay a little more attention to them. Photos like “I’ll do it fast and dirty” certainly do not pass the test. We will not be able to sell such quantities of goods as in the case when we bet on photographs from the hands of specialists.

How to increase conversions with images?

Show the details up close

When you are into product photography, you should remember to highlight all the details. Photographing should highlight all the details that are not in the description (especially if you are selling post-show or damaged products).

Playing with emotions

Product photography should also include the theme of emotions. These can be turned up a notch with additional photos showing a beautiful woman, a handsome man, or an eye-catching body.

Symmetry

The product being photographed should also be symmetrically positioned in relation to another product if you are selling a set. Symmetry improves the overall impression of the photo and adds order to it. Product photos should not be taken casually. The attractiveness of the photo depends primarily on the background and setting.