The Art Of Product Photography

Putting your own products in perspective is extremely important, but not always easy. In online shops in particular, the quality of the images can play a decisive role in determining success or failure. Through my work on this website I have gained some experience in product photography. I would like to share this with you. It is about very decent results, which you can achieve in your own four walls. Not about professional photography.

I am self-taught myself. Therefore I turn primarily to beginners, advanced and all interested ones, who would like to obtain similar results, like those in our own Shop. So that you can hopefully save some time and research work, I will discuss the topic here in breadth. More detailed articles will follow later.

One thing before I start: In this article I am writing exclusively about digital product photography. I know that some still work with analog solutions today. But I have no experience in this field and therefore exclude it. All right. All right. Then let’s get started.

Basics of product photography

Product photography (also object photography) is a discipline within advertising photography. It therefore follows very special rules and aesthetic conventions. You don’t need to have studied to take good photos, but there are some useful basics you should know. Here are a few points that helped me in the beginning:

The aim is to photograph the product as realistically as possible. Also and especially with regard to size proportions and staging: clothes are shown, for example, with dolls or models, pictures are presented in a suitable picture frame, etc.
This also means that colours should be reproduced as realistically as possible. Especially to avoid returns and general disappointments with the customer.
Insofar as possible, the product should always be shown from different perspectives and from all sides.
The final images should be sharp, well exposed and rich in contrast. Pay attention to the minimum distance to the product to avoid unattractive distortions.
Whether for catalogue, flyer or internet: A uniform look of the product images is important. This is especially true for the background. The best way to design it is to be discreet, in one colour and not too restless – the product is the hero.
Different products have different requirements. With shiny objects, the reflections have to be tamed, large objects require much longer distances and e.g. food is a special field in itself. This should be kept in mind in case of problems. Because then one can search more purposefully for suitable solutions.
When planning the shooting, also remember that for a successful staging you may need a small square with an arrow pointing upwards to the right and small equipment: e.g. adhesive tape, poster strips, modelling clay, staples, bookends, etc.

The choice of the suitable camera

There are a myriad of different cameras on the market. On the one hand this is great, because this automatically brings a big choice for (hobby) photographers. Moreover, the strong competition in this area has a positive effect on prices for all of us. On the other hand, the large number of options can also be a deterrent. Especially beginners. Finding the right camera is indeed not easy. But there are some questions that can help you make your own decisions.

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