As an individual product photographer or established packshot studio, you get asked to photograph many types of products and the one we are going to reflect on today is furniture. This covers a wide variety of sizes, shapes, materials and colours, and really does challenge you to think carefully about how you’re going to achieve the perfect results.
Do your research
It is always important to do your research, explore what competitors are doing and see what inspires you. If you understand what works for your competitors, what doesn’t work and how you can create more appealing images then you are doing your job as a product photographer. This is particularly important if you’re working in a competitive niche or with high-value furniture where the expectation of quality is at its highest.
You don’t want to go to the effort and expense of setting up and taking incredible images, only to find out in editing that there is a stain, mark or stitch out of place. As a result, one of your first tasks is to clean and prepare the furniture thoroughly. When doing this, make sure you get the correct cleaning products, such as wood treatment if it is a wooden chair or leather cleaner for a sofa. Take your time, inspect your furniture a few times and make sure it is looking it’s absolute best, even if it is a second-hand item.
Prepare the scene
Now you have sparkling furniture ready to shoot, you want to prepare your scene to really show off your product. When it comes to props, it is absolutely fine to have some in there to create a scene and tell a story but don’t use too many. You may put customers off who dislike your style, and they won’t be able to imagine that item of furniture in their own home.
You may wish to use some different backgrounds but its important to remember that many of the e-commerce websites will require white or plain backgrounds. In this case, ensure your products look good and stand out in these plain scenarios.
Get all the angles
This is one of the most common pieces of advice we give to a product photographer or packshot studio reading about the perfect e-commerce images. The customer is not able to interact with a product, walk around it or touch it and with a single angle, they won’t be able to get all the information they need.
If you have a front-on view then it doesn’t always provide perspective on size or shape and so you want to take images from an angle as your primary image, with supporting shots of the front, back, top etc.
Spend time on editing
An important stage of any photoshoot is the editing phase and it’s important to spend plenty of time editing your furniture product photographs. You may wish to outsource this or do it yourself, with plenty of guides available for the less experienced product photographer out there. A few key tasks to go through include removing the background for your classic white background shot, fixing the white balance and then making sure brightness, shadow etc looks natural.