Product Shot: Tips And Tricks To Get Started
Perhaps you recently have heard of the “product photography” term, and you loved how it sounds. If so, surely you recently want to know more of what it is about, what it is, what you need to start. How can you make product photography? You are in the right place. Today we will show you simple steps, and we will guide you through this post so you can get started in this fantastic category that no photographer can miss and experience: product photography or more commonly known as “product shots.” Here we go!
Product Shot Definition
In the first place, product photography is nothing more than a portrait of a tangible good where the edition is usually minimal so that it is faithful to reality. It is the visual representation of the product, where it is made known by its most relevant features such as colors, textures, shapes and sizes.
What are looking with this type of photography is to get the attention of a potential client and create the sensation of wanting to have it at the precise moment he/she sees it. Do not confuse “product photography” with “advertising photography” even they are intimately linked. Advertising photography usually has one more intensified post-production; It is accompanied by a much wider environment, contains persuasive texts, and many other things do not common appearing in the product photography which is more unadorned, visually cleaner.
Product Shot Tips
If you want to get started in this field you must have some basic knowledge on photography. Such as the exposure triangle, ISO sensitivity, diaphragm aperture, and shutter speed. Starting from this base will make everything much easier to you. As in any photograph genre, the light will be our greatest ally or our greatest enemy; since a well-lit product will get better attention from buyers.
Different Camera Angles
We can start with one of the most used planes in this type of photography, which is the 45º one. We will place the camera slightly in a steep plan to the product. However, you can use other planes types that will give another prominence to the product. As it can be an overhead plane, in which the camera is located just above the object, with an angle of 90 ° to the surface.
It will be very helpful having a tripod. If we do not have one, we will try to support the camera on a fixed and stable surface. This will help to maintain the shots that we make as focused as possible. It is important that our product be as faultless as possible. This will save us post-production time and avoid us future troubles.
What We Will Need
To Start Practicing Product Shot
- Camera with the Manual Mode option.
- White or black background.
- Reflector for 5 in 1 photography.
- Table, desk or any large surface.
- An external flash – speedlite.
- A lightbox
· Step by Step Lighting ·
We will begin by placing our base, where we will support the product, as close as possible to a window where comes in the greatest amount of light. We can choose a white sheet to fill in the dark areas. If we use the flash, we must pay attention to its power and use some modifier type such as a diffuser to avoid a hard light upon the object. If you do not have a window with good light, you can replace it with an artificial light box; it provides a soft light, similar to the one that filters through a window.
Since we want to highlight our product, we will place the cardboard on the table surface and stick it to a wall to give it a curve. We will stick it with adhesive tape to keep it firm.
We place the camera on the tripod or support it on a fixed surface. We must already keep in mind the angle and perspective we want to achieve in our shots. We will place the product on the table center or on a white cardboard.
We will use the RAW format to obtain the best image quality offered by our camera’s sensor. In this way, we will avoid further retouching later in the edition.
Keep in mind using semi-manual modes to have better control. The Aperture Priority mode-A or AV-will automatically give us the shooting speed. Try to use the lowest ISO possible; between ISO 100 and ISO 400 will be perfect.
Since we want to have good details of the object, it will help us, use a diaphragm starting at f / 5.6, however, open up the diaphragm can be another option to achieve very bright blurs. Keep in mind how important it is to try different settings from the ones mentioned above and especially to exploit our creativity. Tip: Shoot more than one photo per product with different settings to have a wider margin of choice later.
Once we have all the photos, we proceed to export them to our PC, and we will use digital editing software such as Lightroom or Photoshop. Here is the time to do any retouching to complete our product image. We can change the color background and retouch up the lighting; However, remember that we seek to deliver a true image to the real product.
Light Box For Product Shot
If you want to save time in setting up the table, with the cardboard and reflectors, you can choose to buy a Lightbox. This will greatly facilitate the process. You must take into account the size of the products you are going to photograph, to acquire the right size. They come in 80cm, 90cm, 120cm and 150cm.
Product Shot Prices
Finally, if you want to make profits by getting started with products photography, you should take into account the following:
- How much do you want to earn?
- How much time will you need for each shot?
- What equipment will you use?
- How long will take you retouching each photo?
Remember the camera like the flash-they have a useful life- so you have to take it into account when pricing your photos.
A practical exercise you can do is to consult prices around shops where you reside, compare the quality and then put a cost to the work that you are going to carry out. We cannot give you an exact price since it will vary depending on the country in which you are and level of professionalism which you will deliver the final work with, to your clients. A picture is worth a thousand words; try always getting the best image of the product!
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