As a product photographer, you will be doing your best to get stunning images that your clients will love. One part of this process is the editing phase and we’ve put together some top tips for editing your images. This is particularly important when working with small, intricate or highly detailed products, such as jewellery photography.
Exposure and brightness
Every product photographer wants to make sure that each image has the right level of brightness. An image that is too dark or too light will obscure detail and put customers off from buying the product. Clearly, the best way to achieve this is to make sure you have your camera set up as accurately as possible, but editing does allow you to make fix minor mistakes to exposure and brightness.
The various pieces of software out there will have added tools built-in to help guide you but fundamentally, you need to trust yourself to make the relevant changes. Avoid excessive shadows or highlights and think about whether you can sacrifice some detail for an overall better image.
Brightness offers a more balanced change to your images when compared to exposure, so if you feel it is already balanced but you want an overall brighter picture then test this feature of your editing package out.
No matter whether you work in jewellery photography, fashion photography or any other industry, you will have used crop before. It isn’t the most complex feature of editing that a product photographer will use but it shouldn’t be forgotten about.
It may be that you want to tighten up an image to remove some unnecessary distraction or unwanted objects if you’ve been on an outdoor photo shoot. Equally, you may wish to straighten up any lines, such as the horizon. The obvious point to note here is that you don’t want to crop an image too much and end up creating a different feel.
Some editing suites will have an automatic straighten function included within crop but it doesn’t take much effort to manually crop a photo.
The contrast is the relationship between light and dark within an image and as a product photographer, it is incredibly important. What this editing function deals with is the difference between the darkest areas and the lightest areas of a photograph, whether that is reducing this difference or creating a more dramatic contrast.
If you reduce the contrast in an image, then you will create a more balanced picture, whereas increasing the contrast will have the opposite effect. Depending on the type of product you are photographing, then your choices will differ so you will need to do your research. Always be careful with playing around too much with the contrast, whilst some products lend themselves to a dramatic feel they can sometimes detract from detail or branding.
Other key features
Aside from the three main features of editing software above, you will want to think about the saturation of an image. This refers to how much colour is present and it can be a big help when wanting to show off some of those harder to see tones. Another feature to utilise is the white balance, which is sometimes known as warmth or other types of balance. This really can change the feel of your image.