The world of product photography can be as formulaic or as creative as you want it to be. As a packshot photographer, the more you work on your own style and creative approach then the greater the impact your product photos can have. We always want to deliver a product that clients will love and that their customers will love, driving conversions or engagement.
There are different opinions on how best to define style but our belief is that style in photography is the distinctive appearance that your images have as a product photographer or packshot photographer. This style is a result of various choices, interests, tools and skills that you develop over time as a professional in the world of product photography.
It is important to remember that style and genre don’t have the same meaning and just because you operate in a specific genre such as product photography, you can still have your own style. Explore other aspects of photography that appeal to you and embrace ideas and concepts that add to your personal style.
Finding and developing your own style takes time and patience. In the world of product photography, a packshot photographer will be used to having to shoot a series of subjects (products) that need to fit together. Thinking about how to compose these product shots is helping you find your photographic eye and your style of conveying a message.
There are two important steps to follow for anyone in product photography who wants to develop a style. They are as follows:
- Start off by realising that almost everything has been done before and there is little point trying to reinvent the wheel. Go out there and do research on the different techniques, tools and concepts that interest you. Read articles, interviews with photographers, competitors content and anything else that may be of interest!
- You can then experiment with these to discover whether you like them and how they fit into your role as a packshot photographer. It may be an existing concept or technique but you can still try them out in a new or creative way, or combine together multiple concepts that are rarely used.
There is a significant amount of pressure in the world of product photography to follow trends, listen to all opinions online and act in a more conservative way. It is a difficult balance between taking risks and delivering safe results for your clients.
It is important to remember that a lot of this is subjective and just because a popular opinion is to use a specific lens or lighting set-up, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong to search for a different style. If you believe in that style and it delivers results your clients love then embrace the difference.
The idea that editors and critics are vital to success has changed over time as well, with the internet making opinions on style a far more democratic process. This can help test ideas and styles before making expensive changes to client work.