As a product photographer, you may well have been taught about composition rules, the rights and wrongs of taking photos. For product photography, it sometimes helps to throw these rules out of the window, particularly for jewellery photography. However, it is also good to follow some classic pieces of advice from professionals, to really make those images stand out from the crowd and beautifully show off the products.
Front and Centre
We start off with a simple, yet effective piece of advice for any budding product photographer. In most cases, putting your product front and centre of the shot makes a massive difference. It instantly grabs the attention of the customer, reducing the chances of them being distracted.
You will still want to create depth, contrast and build a story so that the product photo isn’t two-dimensional. This can be done by being clever with lighting, ensuring the product is in the foreground and utilise the negative spaces around it.
As highlighted above, negative space is a valuable resource for a product photographer when working with all products, including jewellery photography. It helps draw the customers eye to the product and create focus.
It is also helpful for those that need to add text or information to a photo, for when uploading to a website. For example, you may want to add some special text or sales information next to a beautiful image of a necklace and getting the negative space right will make post-product easier and make the entire image far more attractive.
Choosing your angles
Getting the camera angle right adds value to your images in so many ways. Professional product photographers will understand how utilising the best angles can add depth, highlight key features or even enlarge intricate detailing.
One useful technique is the 45-degree downward shot. This is very similar to how people look at objects that are on a shelf or table in a shop. It helps the customer to imagine seeing the product in a shop, picking it up and even owning it. These are key emotions that form part of the purchasing process and as a product photographer, they truly make a difference.
Other useful advice
You will see so many product images out there that use focus to emphasise the product or foreground, whilst keeping backgrounds or distractions out of focus. This is a fantastic way of directing the customer’s attention to the product quickly, without it getting lost in the environment around it.
Rule of thirds
You may think this goes against the idea of sticking your product in the front and centre of the frame, but this classic rule still has a place in a product photographers bag of tricks. Utilising the rule of thirds can make your image more interesting, more engaging and ultimately more exciting, so you need to think about what method works for your particular project.
Rule of odds
A simple yet effective rule, it is the idea that an even number of objects is too uniform and boring for most peoples minds to engage with. Choosing an odd number causes interest and engagement from the customer. This is particularly helpful when trying to tell a story and using props to go with the individual product. An example may be adding some props to a single ring in jewellery photography.
It is all about adding value, intrigue and engagement, so play around and find the perfect rule for you.