The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard about Product Photography

Product Photography is a growing industry nowadays, as more and more shops migrate to the online environment. However, when you put so much distance between the customer and physical product, it is easy to create confusion and advertise your products in an unfavorable way. The worst advice we heard about Product Photography is that you can do it yourself.

When it comes to Product Photography and photography in general, the difference between a professional and an amateur can be a huge one. When you take that difference and multiply it thousands of times, you obtain the contrast between a successful business and one that fails in the first year. Owning a DSRL camera doesn’t mean great photos will come your way with little to no effort. Technique, knowledge, and experience are equally important as the camera and the lenses you have. Many amateurs fail to produce quality Product Photography because they don’t know how to unleash the true power of their devices.

Another bad advice which is very common amongst business owners who want to take Product Photography in their own hands, is that you should commit a large sum of money from the beginning. We know too many cases when the enthusiasm for photography faded away in a matter of months. Those expensive new lenses and accessories end up being sold at half their initial value. This is a waste of both time and money. If you doubt your skills as a photographer and doubt your ability to learn and persevere, leaving Product Photography for those who already know how to do it is the reasonable option.

Now that we explored the biggest mistake you could possible make with Product Photography for your business, it is time to take things a bit forward. Let’s say you had the courage and decided you will be the one to shoot the products. The following paragraphs will talk about concepts you should already be familiar with. If you struggle to get a grasp of what we are saying, this means you are about to make that big mistake. Go back to the basic and invest a lot of patient until you master the ABC of photography.

LightingGreat Product Photography relies almost exclusively on two aspects – the way you use light and the way you focus. Basically, the starting point you should have in mind is that people want to have an in depth understanding of what they are buying, from the comfort of their personal computer. This means that every product photography you put online needs to perform at its maximum potential and convey the maximum information. High-resolution photos will allow your customer to breech the barrier of the screen and feel more connected and more familiar with the products on display.

Light often changes our understanding of color and you certainly don’t want that to happen to the products you need to sell. Especially when it comes to clothes and accessories, people are very sensitive to the event in which they receive something else than expected.  Avoid shooting with multiple light source, as you have smaller chances to trace with accuracy each one’s exact contribution. Natural light is the best, but when it comes to Product Photography, things are more difficult. First of all, expect to shoot for hours in a row, and this means the angle and the intensity of the sunlight will also change. In order to streamline post-processing and obtain the same quality, you will need to take the session indoors.

perfect photos for Amazon.Detail is often directly linked with how well you use light. Over-exposure and under-exposure are the biggest mistakes when it comes to making Product Photography. Learning to predict the output of your camera under various conditions can only be done if you allow yourself time and patience to accumulate experience. Learning how to shoot products often takes the hard way. You will ruin the first couple of batches before you decide to settle with some settings. Often, it is not your camera the one that makes photos look too dark or too pale. The display you use to review photos is equally important as the gear you paid so much for. Choose the right settings and visualize your photos the same way your clients will. Often computer monitors display colors in a strange way and you can fail to understand why your customers complain so often. We use calorimeters for monitor calibration on each one of our workstations and this is the way to go if you call yourself a pro. Color depth and color profile are again settings that might influence the way your photos are perceived by online viewers. Although you might think that there is no doubt which color is which, you can go wrong in many ways. For example, if you decide to print a catalog, you would have to check that the transition from RGB to CYMK is done properly. The way color is obtain on your computer monitor is very different from the way your photos are being put to paper. Again, if you feel like all this information is too much, you should end the pain and choose professionals to take care of your Product Photography needs.

Product Photography relies on a large number of repetitions, which choosing the right settings a crucial aspect. Although many software allow you to pass the modifications from one photo to another, and even to apply the settings once for all, you have to be sure that this is what you want. Shooting in RAW format might make you proud of your knowledge of file formats, but can also drain precious resources in post-processing.

The way you frame the photo and the angle from which you take the shot are essential parameters for you Product Photography session.  The product itself is the focal point, so avoid any distracting background or other item present in the frame. Professional product photographers know exactly how to isolate or remove the background altogether. This is a chapter where the capabilities of your lenses can make the difference. However, post processing can do well in terms of putting more focus on the product itself. Using a vignette might sound like a good idea, if your photography skills derive from Instagram.

Returning to the idea at the beginning, it is advice to use professionals if you have a limited understanding of how photography works. Taking a photo with your smartphone and increasing saturation will never produce great Product Photography. Although post-processing might seem as an almighty science, everything you do in addition to what the camera sensor already did, only adds noise. You certainly do not want to make your products look blurry and out-of-focus.

Our company has all the answers for your dilemmas and for the thoughts going through your mind so often. Yes, it is much better if you do only the things you are good at. Is not worth it to compromise a good business for the ambition to call yourself a photographer. Product Photography has now evolved to create 3d photos of the products you want to sell. Again, such quality features come attached only if you are willing to invest at the beginning in your photos.

BEST LENS FOR PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY

There is a huge craving in photographers that is difficult to hide, and we tend to get a little bit freaky with gear. Gear gets our enthusiasm into a level that can defocus the real purpose of photography. A great piece of glass will be translated into great quality. Lenses fit into the category of optics when cataloging it as an asset. Optics is the branch of physics that involves both properties and behavior of light. It also has an interaction with the object that is used for detecting this light. Said and done, we have covered what lenses true nature. When it comes to photography, optics has an interaction with the camera’s sensor or the film that we are using. Continue reading “BEST LENS FOR PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY”

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE CALLING A PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHER

You have a great handmade crafted product, you have a huge project that is related to some serious money, it doesn’t matter the size, but you need to have a visual asset surrounding your product or your service, so you decide it’s time to hire a freelance photographer to do the job. It doesn’t matter if you are a big client or a newly entrepreneur with a fascinating start-up, you have to keep in mind certain things to enhance your ground as a client when looking for photographs as assets for your business.

The first thought of somebody with a business might be to get a stock photo, but then the stock photo would look clichéd if you are a picky person, and then, the necessity of a different asset, will see the light. There is a huge demand from sellers and producers in our organic globalized market of today, ruled by e-commerce for Great Product Photography.

Is not a secret that products tend to get their desire from customers thanks to their visual attractiveness. The experience here comes into two ways, of course, the principal actor of expertise, is the photographer, but I think, clients need to get their selves some level of expertise as well. And here is a simple way to hack into it.

Product-Photographer-NYCThere are certain things that you, as a customer, need to keep in mind before calling a product photographer. We as photographers, have niches, and you need to know this because photographers tend to specialize in a certain niche, so not all photographers will deliver a pleasant job when you relate a certain type of professional with your product or service. The most basic thing you need to keep in mind, is your product or service. You know this by instinct, but there are certain kind of products that need some special treatments.

Type of product or service that need a special focus:

  • Fashion: You’ll need to have a staff of models, or ask for a photographer with plenty of experience in this field. You can skip the responsibility by trusting the job to a photographer that can handle the whole project from models and stylists, to lightning and catering.

 

  • Food: You will need to go beyond the photographer, and you’ll have to ask for, or hire, a food styller. There is a somewhat huge problem when it comes to food because the chef is going to be aware of the taste, and the looks will come to a second plane in his priorities. You’ll have to get a food styller. You’ll have to be prepared to invest in ingredients and other things that will work as props for this job. I can state an advice here, and is to plan ahead the dishes that are going to be shot, your star products might be the way to go. There is no necessity to shoot the whole amount of plates on the menu.

 

  • Patented products or patent related products: You’ll have to consider certain legal credentials, since you want to protect your intellectual property. I highly recommend you to get some information about intellectual property and patents, since it would be very desirable for you to be the owner of the entire amount of files or negatives that might be produced in the shooting. Of course this would raise up the price of the photographer’s quote, but it’s a great way to keep your intellectual property protected.

 

  • Product: There is virtually an endless list and categories of products, but Product Photography NYCthe only advice I can give you, is to define a scope in which you will include the stars and certain specific products. There are certain cases in which you’ll have to get a huge amount of photographs, like an online store for hardware, but this can fit into a rare case.

 

  • Product as a Service: The only thing that would really be helpful, would be to do some research before calling a photographer. You need to analyze trends by doing some benchmarking job online.

 

  • Staff: Sometimes you need to show to the world why your business family is different, and why they can trust you as business partners.

 

Other things to keep in mind regardless the product:

 

  • Rents: You’ll have to keep in mind on your budget to invest in several kinds of rents. This can go from Props and specific architectural locations, to helicopters for aerials.

 

  • Setting: There are certain kind of settings that the photographer would suggest for the project, and you’ll have to keep in mind this because of transportation and logistics.

 

  • Legal stuff: There is a great variety of contracts you can arrange with a photographer, and they all depend on the level of ownership of the negatives and photographs and the period of time that this statements would be valid. You can consider Creative-Commons as a way to go if you are a small entrepreneur.

 

  • Extra Skills: We can do multitask, we are used to do a lot of things that excel our scope, you can ask for some extra skills related to post-production or graphic design as well.

 

Meetings

It all comes to a certain point in which you have decided exactly what you are looking for, and you now, can plan a meeting with some photographers. Be sure to be very clear on what you want for your photography asset. There would be a huge difference between an unexperienced clients, and a client with experience at the moment of the meeting. We all need to get experience when it comes to business, and both clients and suppliers can grow their expertise. You need to have a repertoire of references so you both can work in a more organic way. It is your business, you’ll enjoy doing some research to get the perfect mixture of references and own vision to get a visual product that will fit all your needs. For me this is the most valuable moments of this process, because all the background effort of yours, will be useful when stablishing the desired objective that you want to achieve.

 

Things to ask to the photographer

  • Photography equipment
    Photography equipment including a professional digital SLR camera and light meter with a blank notebook

    Ask for a portfolio: There is no better way to share experience than by showing clients a portfolio. Ask the potential photography partner to show you their portfolio.

Ask for a formal quote: Please do it, this will keep things traceable and it pushes us to work in a more professional way.

There can be moments in which you realize that you need two or three different kind of images, and it is not crazy to request different photographers to work together to get the project done. We as photographers tend to be kind of loners, but trust us, we can work in teams as well. For example, you own a restaurant and you want to show not just your products, but also the ambience of your place. You can hire a food photographer, and a photojournalist.

Said and done, you’ll begging to include this in your natural workflow if you practice this advice’s, and this will maximize time, and believe me, time is money.