Product photography is all about making a product stand out from the crowd, drawing traffic to a particular website and converting them into sales. A big part of delivering stunning photographs is making sure you get the right colour combinations. We’ve put together some top tips that map across all aspects of product photography, including jewellery, food and fashion photography.
The fundamental concept we will touch on today is the complementary colour wheel. You will have likely seen this before but ultimately it helps you to find suitable colour combinations that either complement each other or contrast, or somewhere in between. In general, for complementary colours, you can select two opposite colours or a combination of three that make up a triangle.
However, it is important to note that there is a whole range of colour schemes to choose from based on this theory. For example, you can select four colours that form a rectangle and this is called colour harmony. Explore these tools and think about how they work with your chosen products. If you’re working in fashion photography and have a clothing range that is a diverse selection of colours, then you may need to prepare different backgrounds, props, makeup and accessories to ensure each photo has complementary colours.
Brightness and Dominance
To maximise the potential of colour combinations in your product photography, you also need to think about brightness. You want to make sure that you don’t lose detail or sharpness due to colours making the image seem darker. This particularly important if you’re dealing with vibrant colour combinations or intricate detail that needs to be shown off.
Aside from brightness, you want to think about if there is a dominant colour in your photograph. If you’re taking a photo and there are two main colours that are fighting for equal attention, then there is a risk that the customer’s attention could get drawn to the wrong detail. Consider what should dominate the image and what should complement and support that focus.
Spend time on editing
Post-production has always been a vital aspect of product photography but it is growing increasingly important given the tools now available. With a wealth of free and paid-for resources out there, you always want to spend sufficient time in the editing suite or outsource it to experts.
Once you have the perfect photographs of your products, then you want to make sure you sit down and correct any colour problems. This may be ensuring that they are as bright and vivid as possible, or perhaps make one of your complementary colours stand out more than the other. Always remember your complementary colour wheel and don’t start to involve colours from your palette that fall foul of these rules unless it adds value to your images.
Ultimately, colour combinations are a powerful tool in your product photography armoury and taking the time to brainstorm the best complementary colour choices for your specific products will elevate your products to another level. A website only has a moment to attract customers and stand out from the competition, so use colour to get ahead of the crowd.