3 Basics of Product Photography

07.17.20

The one thing that every business needs: product photography. Whether it’s going on your website, in a brochure, or posted to your social media profiles, it is an essential element of your marketing strategy. Unfortunately, curating images to express your brand is not the easiest thing to do. It’s more than picking up your iPhone, turning on portrait mode and clicking the button. There are many aspects to product photography, but I have distilled the three things that will make it or break it.

DETAILS.

It’s all in the details. Are there wrinkles in your back sheet? Is there a shadow that cuts just a little weird? Does your product sit just slightly crooked? Do the colors match your marketing look and feel? Can you repurpose this image to be used as a gif? Are you shooting for the correct aspect ratio depending on how your photo will be used? These details are the things that make your images feel just a little off or absolutely perfect. Paying attention to all of the details can add to the amount of time needed to go into product photography, but it is what makes your products stand out. When I am scrolling through social media, I am more likely to stop on an image that has every detail in place. There is a 46% increase in engagement for brands when they include good imagery. That company has got it together, and I appreciate that.

INSPIRATION.

Instagram and Pinterest are great places for inspiration. It’s easy to get stagnant in product photography because you aren’t able to use movement like you can in portrait photography. Pull in all of the inspiration you can. Pinterest is amazing for inspiration. Often before even starting a shoot, I use Pinterest to pull together a mood board. This gives me an idea of style, layouts and colors that I want to use when it comes to actual shooting. After shooting multiple shots, I may feel a little dry in what I’m doing. If that’s the case, it is so easy to go right back to that Pinterest board I already created and feed the fire of inspiration all over again to keep shooting.

STYLE.

No, we aren’t talking about looking good when you go to a shoot. We are talking about the style of the images. Your products tell your story. So the pictures of your products need to match you and your company perfectly. Are you a children’s boutique? You probably want your images to be bright and fun, just like children. Are you a local coffee shop? Your images should match the aesthetic of your shop, whether that’s dark and moody or full of neutrals to give a cozy feel. Product photography requires a photographer to be versatile. The editing process will look different for every company because every company has a different style. The ability to take and edit pictures to match your company aesthetic is what will create a consistent look and feel for your brand.

There’s so much more we could talk about like equipment, lighting and props to highlight your product. These three things though are the basics to taking your product photography to the next level. Your images represent who you are; let’s do that well.