Getting high quality, attractive images is becoming more and more important for businesses and as a result, product photographers and packshot studios need to think carefully about how they deliver the results a client expects.
Fortunately, there are some fantastic pieces of advice out there for professional product photographers and we’ve put together some simple, yet effective rules to live by.
Telling the story that matters
Every photographer wants to tell a story with their work, whether that’s for a specific product, brand or topic. However, many can get lost in all the different design choices and the story doesn’t end up being the actual one you wish to tell.
A big part of the story is using colour and lighting to convey the tone and reinforce the brand image. There are many colour emotion charts out there that help guide you, providing guidance such as green represents health, peace and growth. This may be exactly what your brand is all about or perhaps it doesn’t tell the right story and a different colour should be used.
When combining these colours with lighting and backgrounds, a product photographer is able to produce fantastic results. A top tip is to start only using a single light and build your set up around that until the images are telling the story you envisioned.
Natural Light vs Artificial Light
Whether you’re just starting out as a product photographer or packshot studio, or have been a professional for a long time, the challenge in getting the lighting right is a big one. Many think you need to choose between using natural light or artificial light but there isn’t actually a single correct solution. It is all about what provides the best results, for individual projects.
Natural light has the advantage of being a relatively inexpensive and simple solution that gives a sense of natural beauty. This is particularly desirable for social media and product photos that want to tell a lifestyle story. However, it is difficult to control natural light and this means consistency and colour matching may be problematic.
Artificial light has the advantage of offering consistency and control to almost any product shoot, being able to set everything up as you want, maximising the results. However, to get a full lighting system set up takes time, money and space, and this isn’t always an option for new product photographers.
Just use what you need
We live in an age where there are so many effects to use, props to work with and styles to choose from, which all makes for a real feast for any product photographer. However, it is important to understand that you only need to use what enables you to tell your story.
There is no point throwing in lots of filters and props when actually, it detracts from the products that you’re trying to sell or changes the narrative of the story. Furthermore, it will take more time and potentially cost to do making it less profitable and efficient for you.
In summary, plan, design and deliver a photograph that tells the right story, sells the product and meets the brief. If this can be done in a simple, yet stylish way then don’t overthink it.