How can I test if I have improved my product photography?

We often forget to reflect on how far we have come as a professional in the product photography industry. It is frequently about moving on to the next project, searching for that new idea or trying to win a new client.

However, taking the time to reflect on how much you’ve improved as a product photographer can reap significant rewards. No matter whether you work in fashion or jewellery photography, testing if you have improved will not only build confidence but also help explore new ideas.

So how do you go about testing whether you have improved? We’ve put together three top tips to help recreate your old product photography images and compare them with your latest work.

Think about composition

The first step to creating your photo is to think about the general composition of your product and any props. How did you get up the original photography and do your best to recreate this wherever possible. When it comes to light, you may wish to recreate it from the same direction which may be hard to do in certain scenarios.

Once you’ve done this, you can then make decisions about camera settings (for example aperture) and any light modifications. Now you can take your photograph and discover how your skills and preferences have changed over time.

The props you used

This can be a challenge if the photograph you’re comparing was taken a long time ago. However, the vast majority of professionals working in product photography and jewellery photography will keep many props, or at least have similar ones available. Do your best to utilise these but if necessary use new ones that offer a similar style.

It is likely that you will have created the same composition as before and if this is the case, you will not only be able to see how you’ve improved as a product photographer but also how your style has changed.

Try to find a different aspect

The third tip in this article may seem a little confusing but it does genuinely help you compare your previous efforts with who you are as a product photographer now. As individuals and professionals within the product photography industry, we are always evolving our preferences and processes.

Once you have set up your shot with the same composition and props as before, try making a single change. This could be a small change or a larger, more obvious change. Some examples include adding in a prop or changing the angle of the camera.

This change will genuinely showcase who you are as a photographer now, compared to when you started.

A final thought

Take the time to reflect and assess how far you have come as a professional in the product photography industry. By knowing how far we have come, we can build the confidence to go even further. Getting more creative, working with different products or clients and trying new techniques can help you stay ahead of the competition.