What is the best way to be a great product photographer?

There are countless articles out there about how to be the best product photographer. They will tell you the top tips to deliver outstanding results and be a commercial photographer above all others. The reality is that it is incredibly difficult to be the best and beat your competitors but you can certainly put the time and effort in to improve who you are and what you do.

Across all of the different concepts in photography, the equipment you can buy and the articles you can read there is one fundamental recommendation that rings true every time. That recommendation is building consistency. So let’s explore what we mean by consistency and how it relates to your development as a product photographer.

Consistency is king

It sounds pretty obvious and incredibly simple, but it is an idea that many of us forget about. You can try new concepts and buy new equipment but if you don’t develop consistency and regularity as a commercial photographer then you’re missing a trick.

We don’t mean taking hundreds of the same image every time or sticking to the same composition and lighting. What we mean here is to practice and regularly take images even if they don’t relate to a specific project or product.

How you can stay consistent

Staying consistent in order to be a great photographer is easier said than done. So let’s explore a few ideas that may help you add that extra level of consistency to your product photographer or commercial photographer career.

Have your camera with you

Wherever possible, make sure you have your camera with you. In reality, this isn’t going to be every day and at every location but the more frequently with which you take it out and about the more opportunities you will have to practice.

A great choice is to have a backup camera that is easier to carry around than compared to your traditional set-up. You don’t need to get the perfect image every day but aim to take plenty of images so that you build those natural reactions, style choices and composition instincts.

Set yourself challenges

You will likely have seen challenges online for those wishing to improve their product photography, such as the 365 challenge. The idea behind this is to take one image a day for an entire year but this isn’t always possible.

If you feel this is too much, then maybe go for at least one image per week or multiple images per week. You can also start this challenge at any point and don’t feel like you need to wait for a specific situation or date.

Themes are a great way to challenge yourself. Explore a different theme each week or month and if possible share the results with the photography community.

Reflect on your results

Simply taking photographs every day won’t build consistency unless you also reflect on your results as a commercial photographer. Take the time to look at what images you’ve taken, how you set them up, choices made about lighting etc and you will start to see patterns.

These patterns may show an improvement over time or highlight areas that you wish to focus on in order to become better.