It can be quite daunting when you’re having your products photographed professionally for the first time, or maybe just with a different photographer. I’ve put together a few tips on how to prepare for a product photoshoot, and a bit about how I work.
I usually suggest to a client that they start to think now about how they want their photos to look. Most people have already got a good idea of what they’re looking for, but whether you have or not, Pinterest is a really good place to start and if you have a Pinterest account I’ll create a secret shared board that you can pin to and I can see too. Remember this is just inspiration – I’m not going to COPY someone else’s photos! But what we can do from your Pinterest board is to get a gist of the kind of images you want. Hopefully this will include some images from my portfolio too! Do put some time aside for this as this is a really, really important stage of the process – my vision could be completely different to yours and if you leave it entirely up to me you might just hate the results!
Props and backgrounds
I have a small selection of props and backgrounds but clients often provide their own. We’ll discuss the colours and the look you want – whether you want something clean and fresh, dark and moody, bold and colourful – we’ll work out what we need. You’ll gain inspiration for props when you’re pinning to your Pinterest board – it can be things like paper clips, scissors and pens if your product is stationery, coloured pencil crayons and/or small toys for children’s party invitations – you get the gist. Think about how the colours of your props work with your product. I generally ‘build up’ the shot by starting with just the product, and adding props one by one, trying them in different positions for the best composition.
I do a lot of product shoots at my home, when clients have posted their products to me or we’ve met up for me to collect them. If you want to be there for the shoot or if it will involve your workspace then I’ll come to you. I’ll bring lights and reflectors but I usually prefer to work with natural light so being able to work near a window is great. Obviously you can then have some input on the shots taken, or you can just go off and leave me to it!
Make a list of all the products you need shots of, any particular angles you like (overhead shots are currently really popular), whether you need a shot of the front and back of the item. Also think about the format of the images – whether it’s important for them to be landscape or portrait orientation, or square.
I hope this gives an understanding of what to expect before and during a shoot. If you still have questions, I’m always happy to answer. Just email me on email@example.com, leave a comment below or send me a tweet to @sarahazeldine.