5 Must-Follow Photography Tips
Proper representation is key, which is why there is a saying that goes, "dress the way you want to be addressed." In this scenario, the "dressing" is the kind of image you are putting out for your brand. Is it a professional image or a regular, laid-back one?
Product photography plays an important role in making sure that a product looks appealing to potential customers. This is especially important as visuals are a key deciding factor for many clients.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs do not know the importance of professional product photography, so they neglect it and choose to do the job themselves. They feel that the cost of professional product photos can be diverted to another thing, and hence they treat the most important aspect of business growth with the utmost levity.
Product photography is a vital requirement for successful online and offline marketing. It makes up a whole lot in advertising and marketing. It is used in billboards, pamphlets, social media posts, company websites, and basically anything related to direct contact between your brand and your potential consumer. Product photos are often the first thing your customers will see when encountering your brand or thinking about it later.
When done right, product photography can help boost products sales and conversion rates. It has numerous benefits for your business but if you choose to do it yourself, allow us to help you do it right.
Because we care about you and your business a lot, we want to help you save money and still get amazing pictures. So, in this article, we will be giving you the 5 most important rules to follow in product photography so that you can arrive at pictures that look professional.
Without further ado, we present 5 must-follow product photography tips. These tips are cost-effective, and they would help you achieve your goal of saving money.
Set a Vision for the Kind of Message You Want To Pass Across With Your Product Photo
Have you ever heard the saying "a picture tells a thousand words”? You have to use this old adage to your advantage. Every detail in product photos sends a message to the audience and evokes certain emotions in them. So you want to use everything to tell the story: the light, the tonality, the point of focus, and the composition. We would want you to be aware and deliberate of the message you are passing across to your audience through compelling product photos.
Using light and colours can be a great way to use pictures to tell stories. However, every colour and lighting has a message that it passes across to people. So we encourage you to learn about colour theory, white balance, and all the tools that good colouration brings, as well as how to utilize these aspects to your advantage.
Colour can be used alone to convey a sense of balance, trust, craftsmanship, or elegance. Alternatively, it might elicit a sense of intense stimulation, frantic activity, and tension. Be sure not to cramp up a lot of details and colours into a single frame. In product photography, less is always better.
A general rule of thumb for successful product photography is that if you think you can make a sale with product-only images, then that’s an effective shot.
Make Sure That Your Lighting Is on Point
When it comes to product photography, there is always the question of what kind of product photography lighting is better— natural or artificial lighting? The truth is that there is no right or wrong kind of lighting. It depends on the products you are planning to sell and the photographer’s preference. Of course, both kinds of light have their advantage and disadvantage, just pick the one you prefer and work with it.
Natural light for product photography can be a fantastic asset when you get the angles and tones just right. However, direct sunlight does tend to wash objects out and is not as scalable as studio lighting or adjustable with different angles provided by an artificial light tent. But sunlight can still be a softer light and one that enhances the quality and tone of product photos, including natural textures and shadows.
On the other hand, artificial product photography lighting is very adjustable and more readily available than natural light sometimes is, particularly if it's a stormy day or your product photography session is running late in the day and the sun has set.
But apart from its accessibility, artificial light has a very different aesthetic effect than natural lighting, and photographers can tailor the illumination directly for the product photo placement. For example, if certain fixtures create harsh shadows across or behind a product, they can be easily moved to cast a softer light.
Ultimately, when choosing proper lighting, pay attention to how it performs on the set and consider some of the following aspects of good product photography lighting:
- Is the lighting bright enough to draw attention to the branding and make the logo stand out?
- Is the light highlighting or masking the shapes and design materials?
- Is it bright enough to see all aspects of the product, without washing out the scene?
- Is it evoking the desired emotion?
- Does the light in the photo capture the essence of your product listings and product descriptions?
Pick a light source that ticks all the boxes for good lifestyle product photography. If it is doing all of the above, then you are good to go.
Avoid Filters in Image Editing if You Can
New or inexperienced photographers often feel compelled to employ cool lighting, a splash method, a film filter, or other trendy effects when we see them. Before you use a filter on your photo in post-production editing, ask yourself if it matches the brand's identity or the product's purpose? If that's the case, go for it; if not, it's a much better idea to stick to the brand, and you'll still stand out.
Filters can be very frustrating to work with when in post-production photo editing. Furthermore, these filters tend to ignore all of the time and effort that went into colour balancing and maintaining brand consistency. So, it is generally best to avoid them in product photography.
Plus, there is always the concern that over-filtering your product photos will create false expectations in the mind of your customers, even if over something as seemingly trite as packaging colours or how your logo looks. These things all matter and the less image editing or filters used, the better!
Always Print Out a Copy of Your Product Photos Before Making a Final Decision
In our fast-paced society, the process of printing work, living with it for a day or two, revisiting it, changing it, and then re-printing it is becoming increasingly impracticable. But, though it might seem awfully time-consuming, we can assure you that it is definitely worth it.
Viewing a print vs a digital display is a very different experience. Pinning a workprint to a wall and taking a step back to evaluate it shows details that are all too frequently ignored when seeing it simply on screen. When working on a vast catalogue, this method is invaluable!
It also gives you the opportunity to bring in family, friends, or colleagues, and ask their opinion on the product photos. Second opinions are key at this stage, as you want to make sure not only that they're high-quality images, but also that the product shots capture the essence of your company and evoke the right feeling in onlookers or buyers.
Depending on the type of shot, more light or less, the number of props, and by using a macro lens versus a wide-angle lens, the same product could look completely different in two separate photos that were taken. It's best to assess all of your product images and see how they work together as a group.
Plus, seeing all of your prior and present initiatives together on a wall allows you to instantly evaluate the brand’s consistency and notice when something is off.
Don’t Go Overboard With the Props or Background For Product Photography
Remember that less is more in product photography. You don't want your viewers to be distracted from the story you are trying to tell them. In other words, don’t be too ambitious when it comes to product photography props! Remember that the product should be the main focus of each product shot.
Props provide a purpose in the picture, but they should not be the star. Keep an eye on what enters the frame and make sure the product shots are not too cluttered or distracting. Also, make sure they are not obstructing important features like your product logo and design.
Props can be useful in brightening up a shot for your viewers but don't overdo it. Deciding on what props to use or how to style them can be very frustrating, so you can hire a prop stylist to do all the work. But if you decide to do it yourself, that’s completely fine! Just be sure to keep the props within the same colour scheme as your product.
Additionally, you should make sure the background of all product photography sessions is right. The set or backdrop of your shoot product photos will be pivotal in making them appear like professional images or not. Keep the visual appearance of your backdrop neutral, with a white background to complement any soft light. While you might be tempted to style backgrounds with a theme, it's better to get lifestyle shots with a plain white background that doesn't clutter the product images.
We hope that you can take these product photography tips and apply them to your own lifestyle photos to create amazing images. Mastering product photography is not an easy process, but detailed shots and great photos help sell products quickly and are essential in fine-tuning growth strategies for your business!