The ability to take 360-degree photos should be one of the fundamental skills that any product photography expert has. You don’t need to be one of the big packshot studios to be able to offer effective, high-quality product photos in this way. We’ve put together a list of the pieces of equipment needed to succeed.
The number one piece of equipment for this type of product photography is a turntable. This allows you to spin the product around whilst keeping the camera and other equipment perfectly still. You have two options here: either invest in one of the professional turntables that many packshot studios use or create your own using cheaper materials.
If you want to create your own, there are many guides out there to help you but the number one rule is to make sure it is smooth, offers an even rotation and can cope with a variety of products.
It is very likely that you will already have a tripod and so this won’t require extra investment, but if not then should it be near the top of your list. The biggest problem with taking 360-degree product photos is ensuring you keep the camera and product stable. Trying to hold a camera or having a wobbly tripod will ruin any images you take.
Test your tripod out and make sure it is on an even surface and each of the legs rests safely on the floor without any kind of movement.
A common theme running through almost every product photography article, lighting can make or break images and it is no different for 360-degree photos. To start, you will want to ensure you have a bright light source to maintain consistency, most likely using two or three lights.
Think about getting some lighting stands and softboxes to create the kind of professional packshot studio set up that will truly make a difference to the quality of your images. Once you have them, it is all about testing different setups until you find the perfect one for each particular product. An item of jewellery will require a different type of lighting to food or drink photos.
There are a few other useful items to think about to really maximise the results with your product photography and these include:
We’ve created specific articles on the topic of lenses for packshot studios and product photography in general, but the key thing to ask yourself is do you have the right lenses for the product you are shooting? As long as you understand what is required and how they can help get the best shot, then you will be good to go. You don’t always need to invest in the very latest types so do your research!
This is an incredibly useful tool to have at your disposal because it reduces the risk of you accidentally moving the camera and spoiling the 360-degree shot. If you can remotely control the camera, then you have no need to go near it. We really do think this is one of the best tricks out there and so simple to achieve.
Many cameras come with a remote anyway but if not, do some research or speak to your local camera store and find out the best one for your make and model of camera.