5 Things to Consider When Photographing Products

In a company with a large creative team, each person works together to accomplish the common goal of success.  Each role has responsibilities to complete a part of a project and oftentimes, photography and design can be separate roles.  However, it is vital for the photographer to share the same vision for photography as the designer.

Since my role falls more into designer than photographer, I often wish I had different angles of a product or something was missing from the photo that would have made it really great for my project.  So I have compiled a short list of things photographers need to consider during photo shoots:

  1. Consider the background. When photographing a product, make sure you are aware of the product’s surroundings: does the background reflect off or blend with the product? Will it be difficult to remove the background from the product when editing the photo?  A large item may not fit in your standard photo booth, but removing a checkered floor, patterned carpet or pegboard background can be incredibly difficult; find a place with a solid background that contrasts with the product.
  2. Get multiple angles.It’s easy and necessary to use a default angle when photographing products, especially if your products are similar.  However, it is wise to get multiple angle shots of products for multiple reasons:
      • To show what the product looks like from all sides
      • To capture a UPC, model number or other information printed on the product
      • To make marketing content more interesting
      • To allow multiple angle shots online
      • To show close-up angles of parts or the product itself
  3. Focus on branding. If your product has a logo or tagline on it, make sure that the photos show that logo or tagline clearly.  A product photo showing only part of the logo gives the impression that the brand is not important; make sure you always capture the logo in a manner that is representative of the brand.
  4. Product quality is vital. While Photoshop can work wonders, nothing beats a high-quality product photo to begin with.  Make sure the product is clean, without flaws and a perfect example of the product.  Loose threads should be trimmed, dirt or fingerprints should be wiped off and all parts should be displayed in an orderly fashion.
  5. Be consistent. While it is important to get multiple angles, it is also important to be consistent in default shots.  Create templates of how products should be displayed for photographing by using tape lines or specific points on the products themselves.  For example, if you are photographing different angles of shoes, you may want to set up a shoe template that has an outline drawn around each angle the shoe should be photographed in as well as a print out of the different angles photographed.  This will ensure that you get the correct shots in a consistent manner each time.

What are your photography tips?

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