The Art Of Product Photography
In this day and age, aesthetics play a huge role in the successful sale of products and services. People appreciate beautiful things and so are drawn to the visual appeal of products that are represented in a way that speaks to the emotions. If we consider product images in an e-commerce store or a sales brochure, they are never merely represented as the standalone product shot from a linear angle. They have been dressed up, positioned perfectly and shot in a way that captures what the product means or how it performs. Every element has been considered and planned in a perfect composition, resulting in an image of a product that is positioned to sell. This is the art of product photography.
Creating The Space
The first thing that needs to be considered in product photography is the creation of the space within which to shoot. The staging environment will be dictated by what products need to be shot and this will change the size of the space and the props that are required. Each product will have a certain “personality” that will influence the space it is shot in. This personality will also be considered when choosing the background and lighting for the product.
Lighting Is The Make Or Break
As our leading man, Gareth Gilmour, will always profess, the correct lighting is what makes photographs come to life. A product can come across completely differently if it has been shot in light that accentuates each detail and lifts it from its own shadows. The right lighting will also create deeper dimension within each product, preventing reflection on certain areas too. The correct lighting equipment is important as it offers variable levels of brightness, with adjustable heads to point at specific areas.
Diffusion is the art of softening the light that hits your products, so as to make the entire image appear in a less harsh light. This makes them appear more professional as an end product. The lighting will also vary according to the subject matter of the brief, making each product a unique undertaking. Often lighting needs to be adjusted halfway through a shoot to accommodate a product that needs a completely different treatment. Knowing when to make the change is what separates amateurs from professionals and is something a good photographer will generally have an eye for.
Choosing The Right Background
Almost as important as the correct lighting is ensuring that the product is shot against an appropriate background. This will vary according to the brief, but generally speaking, a neutral background will offer more opportunity to showcase the product in the foreground. Backgrounds can also aid in completing the emotive experience of the photograph. Often they will speak to the application of the product or the environment that it is used in.
The end result of a product photography shoot will almost always be touched up and edited in some way. This allows the photographer to apply even more treatment to each image to further identify the product’s purpose and to clean up any imperfections.
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