One of the most basic editing tools available to a packshot photographer, or anyone working in e-commerce photography is cropping. Using the crop feature on software to change the size and shape of your image is a skill that everyone working in product photography must learn.
However, it can often be a challenge to understand when best to use the crop functionality and how it can enhance the final image as opposed to having a negative effect. We’ve put together the top three situations where cropping an image is one of the first things you should do when editing e-commerce photography images. This should act as a starting point for individual packshot photographers and others working in product photography to explore how they can use crop and other features to their advantage.
The most common reason for using crop is to remove any kinds of distractions from the image. As someone who works in e-commerce photography, you never want anything to detract from the story you are trying to tell. This is particularly challenging when working on an outdoor shoot where you can’t control every aspect of the process.
For example, someone may walk past in the background, a bird may fly through or you may fail to notice something relatively small during the shoot itself.
The best way to approach this as a professional in product photography is to ask yourself whether that particular part of the image adds value. If it does, then keep it in and if it doesn’t, then add it to your list to drop during the editing phase of the project.
As a packshot photographer, you will spend a lot of time working out the composition of each shot. We want to make sure every element within the shot works together and presents the subject in the best possible way. However, when working with non-static objects like people then the perfect composition is hard to reach without using editing tools. This is where the crop function comes in.
Another suggestion for anyone working in photography is to shoot wider than necessary on the basis that you can always crop an image during post-production. It is better to include something you may not want than try to be too controlled and potentially need to reshoot an image because it doesn’t tell the desired story.
Anyone who has worked in e-commerce photography will know that each platform has its own requirements for a product image. Some may require the main image to be on a plain background and all will have specific requirements for file size and dimensions.
As a result, a packshot photographer should think about these requirements when planning a shot and then during editing utilise crop to make sure images meet those rules and regulations. Crop really does make this process easier but you never want to reduce the quality of a shot with crop, so make sure the final result still maximises quality.