In our daily life, you will see product photos everywhere, i.e. advertisements on newspaper, magazine, promoting brochure or pamphlet, product instruction manual, plus the Internet etc. You may wonder: where do these pictures come from? Who produce them? In most cases, commercial product photos are created by product photographers in professional photography studios. It is an interesting but challenging job to shoot products. There are so many different types of merchandises, which are made with different materials targeted to different customers: industrial/corporate clients and end consumers. One challenge to product photography is that: different shooting subjects require different settings in terms of lighting, props or scenes.
Key 1- use appropriate photography equipment
Choose the gear according to your shooting subject. First of all, a right lens is critical. A lens with f/3.5 aperture or bigger will easily help you highlight the product out of the background. It is especially helpful if the environment is not bright enough. Secondly, a good tripod is necessary for product photography in many occasions. However, sometimes the product photographer must hold the camera with his hands for shooting. In this case, you have to rely on the shockproof system in the lens.
Key 2- white or black background
Unless the customer requires some creative or live setting pictures, most products are shot against a solid color background. White background is the most popular for product photography nowadays, because firstly viewers will tend to focus their attentions on the product with white background. In addition, digital trend has made white background more important because it is easier for image manipulation afterwards with an image-editing tool such as PHOTOSHOP. On the other hand, a pure black background normally makes the product look high quality or more artistic.
Key 3- professional photography lighting
Needless to say, lighting is one of the most significant factors in commercial photography. You need to ensure your working space is big enough to arrange the lighting equipment effectively. Or sufficient natural light can illuminate the shooting area through the window, so that the product can receive even light without heavy shadow.
Key 4- photo composition
Simple composition is a better way to convey the product features. As most product shots must be able to demonstrate the true shape and appearance of the product, it is better to take closer shots of the product to make it clear. Don’t shoot from some strange angles. Fancy or distorted photos may be added into a photographer’s portfolio, but it is hardly to please a customer.
Key 5- positioning the product
To ensure the product looks sharp and crisp in the photo, you need to place it a bit far from the background. Remember to set your lens with correct aperture before shooting.
Key 6- image retouching or manipulation
Nowadays with digital photography prevailing, using image editing software to retouch photos becomes essential. Brightness adjustment, white balance correction, color adjustment, resizing or cropping, all these actions may transform an ordinary picture into an awesome artwork.