You may be planning a photoshoot for your own e-commerce site, starting out in fashion photography as your profession, or simply an experienced photographer searching for advice. No matter the reason, there are some simple but important things to consider before undertaking any photoshoot, whatever type of product photographer you are. Planning is king if you want to achieve high quality, meaningful shots that will drive sales of your products.
Learn about the product
Before you can consider taking photos or thinking about designs, locations etc, you need to understand the items you will be working with. Take the time to think about what they are, what they represent and the story behind them. For fashion photography, this may involve a specific design choice, if it’s ethically made or how it represents the designer. Once you’ve done this, it will shape all of the other preparation you do.
Personality and Inspiration
You want to turn products into stories, 3-D items that have a character to them and this is all about personality. If you can add some emotion to the photos and build a character that helps connect with the customer, then you’re on to a winning formula as a product photographer.
A useful tool in helping create this personality is by taking inspiration from the world of photography already out there. Search through competitors, Pinterest, Instagram and anywhere else that is an amazing resource for photos. If they do something right, think about how you can incorporate that idea into your own plans. Perhaps they have used multiple products in one shot to help sell complementary products or a particular location.
This part of the planning is all about the types of shot you wish to take and thinking about the best way of achieving that. It will involve planning the order you take your photographs, the equipment each shot will need and coordinating with models, support staff etc, This will take time to piece together so that you create an efficient, streamlined approach and it is important to make sure you list all of the shots you want first and then try to find an order to it.
More is better
When we say more is better, we mean that the more shots you take of an individual product, the more you have to work with and less chance of not having everything you need at the end. Equally, due to the lengthy nature of fashion photography sessions, think about photographing multiple products and items at once. This will help with the consistency of branding, background and the story, key aspects of any set of product photos.
Review your photos in real-time
Remember to review shots you’ve just taken, testing the settings of your equipment to make sure you’re getting what you need. This will save you a lot of time further down the line in having to set up a shoot again if certain images are underexposed or lacking a particular detail you really wanted to show. It may seem a bit annoying at first but follow the rule that you won’t always get it right and adding in these quality control measures will really make a difference.