8 Beginner Tips for Product Photography

Product images testify to the quality of a product, so getting product photography right with a strong set of images can go a long way in helping a client or customer to sell their products. There are many articles covering camera set-up and lighting alone so here I will just go through some of the basics.

Planning

Before you set up your cameras, before the product arrives, before the lighting is decided, you need to have a plan of what you want achieve and how you want to get there.

What shots do you need?

Put together a list of the images you want to capture. It should include the angles you want to use, product details you need to highlight and any props you might need.

Lighting

Will you use natural or artificial light. Artificial light is more easily controlled but if you are working to a tight budget you can get great product images using natural light. Even if you plan to use artificial lights, you can include natural light if the weather cooperates.

Prepare Your Product

Good product preparation is essential for a successful photo shoot. When you receive the product from your customer pay close attention to the product’s condition. It will be very difficult to shoot a great product photograph without the product in a pristine condition.

Use Unusual Angles

Most photographers have the camera at the same level as the product, but you can get some great results shooting from odd angles, from underneath, above or close up. However, you need to be careful as this can distort the product which may not be what the client wants.

Use an Interesting Background

Although the general rule is a plain background to keep the product as the main focus, using an interesting background with the product in the foreground can create a more interesting image and provide greater context.

Add a Reflected Surface

A reflection can add depth to less exiting products. Use a mirror or place the product in a shallow tray of water and use lighting to enhance the reflection.

Add Personality

Find out what makes the product unique or different and use your photos to portray this. Give the product a character and a personality, create a story around it. 

You can also check out some of Mike Green's product photography.