Product Photography 101
Posted on November 04 2013
It is important that the products you photograph to sell look appealing to the buyers. It doesn’t matter if it is a pair of shoes, a diamond necklace, or a cheeseburger; it should look as appealing as possible to the buyer. One of the most important aspects of product photography is the lighting and this is achieved through proper lights and accessories.
Diffuse the Light
In lighting any subject, most of your light should come from a primary source and one or more fill sources. Using a soft light from the primary source is more appealing than harsh lighting because the light wraps around the product versus creating minimal shadows. It is best to use something to diffuse the light from your light source. Softboxes come with a diffusion panel that creates a softer light. It is important that you use a brighter light source so that you can soften the light with diffusion. Also, light tents can be very useful in product photography as they have built in panels that diffuse the light and are made specifically for product photography.
Create Edge Light
To make a product look glamorous, such as jewelry you can create an edge light. Creating a halo around the product is different than diffusing the light. For this method you use a harsh beam that will highlight the edge. This is done by lighting the product from behind. Experiment with the position of the light and camera to get the best results.
Watch out for Hot Spots
You can overexpose a product which will indicate that the product was poorly lit. If you notice that your products have areas that have hot spots (over exposed areas) the first thing would be to pull back the light source. Another solution would be to use a light source that covers a larger area so that it doesn’t create these spots on the products. Changing the angle in which you take the photo can also eliminate and reduce hot spots.
Stabilize the Camera Using a Tripod
Any movement can cause motion blur in an image. When you get close to an object the slightest movements make motion more obvious. Any tripod will make a big difference by eliminating any shake produced by hand holding the camera. Another product you can use is a remote shutter release. This will allow you to take a photo without touching the camera. Another option would be to set the camera’s timer.
Use Aperture Priority
Using aperture priority will allow you to get the largest area in focus. When using this mode you set the aperture / f-stop to the highest number possible. For this it is important that you have a lot of light. The closer you get to your products, the more important this will become.
It is hard to shoot an image exactly how you want it. Software can make this much easier to crop and adjust an image. With software you can change the exposure, sharpen, crop, and resize it. It usually doesn’t take much time to make basic edits to an image and can make a big difference in the outcome of the quality of your photos.