A product photographer should always be searching for those improvements that make the service you provide better. It may be learning a new technique or piece of equipment, or simply making very minor improvements to how you shot a product in your packshot studio. Everyone makes mistakes but it is the ability to learn from them and find ways to improve that helps product photographers stand out in the competitive world of e-commerce photography.
Today, we’re going to explore some easy ways to improve composition and as a result, remove some of the errors many photographers and packshot studios find they make.
At the heart of every decision we must make as product photographers, when setting up a shot is does everything add value to the product. If you’re choosing an external location, do the mountains in the background help tell the story you want? If you’re working in a packshot studio, have you chosen the right props to go alongside a piece of jewellery?
We want to remove any distractions if they don’t complement a subject or could end up distracting a potential customer from focusing on the product your client wants to sell. During the planning phase, it can be difficult to visualise exactly how the shot will look so take the time when you’re setting up your shot to scan through the frame and make sure nothing is distracting you. As a final step during the editing phase, you can also check to see whether you need to remove anything that you feel as a product photographer doesn’t enhance your image.
Whilst you may feel a little stuck inside a packshot studio, the mantra that you need to keep moving until you find the right spot to shoot from still works. As a product photographer, you may stand there feeling like there is something wrong with the composition but you can’t put your finger on it. Alternatively, it may be obvious to you that the location and viewpoint of the shot are being spoilt by lighting or shadow and something needs to change.
That change is you and where you are shooting from. Try moving yourself, your camera or your tripod around the image and see if it helps improve the composition of the overall image. After all, working in e-commerce photography is all about making sure we give the product the best possible chance to shine.
Throughout your development as a product photographer and even if you’re an experienced packshot studio photographer, you will have read about the rule of thirds countless times. No matter your thoughts on the subject, it is a fantastic way to approach composition and you can utilise the grid function of a camera to help you assess the composition in a more structured and logical way.
You can also use similar features within editing software to help explore different forms and ratios. It is never too late to learn new skills and techniques, and sometimes the old ones make a difference too.