As more businesses are starting to do product photography. It may no longer be enough to just do it. This is especially true for those that are competing in a tough market. What will set your product photographs apart from the rest? This may not be an easy question to answer. Product photography has largely been about placing your product in a well-lit environment and getting some clear shots. How can we improve on this?
Part of the process of rising above the rest is being able to think outside the box. To help get your mind going we are going to share some of our own creative ideas as well as those of other people that we have found while researching. We will highlight what makes these special. While you cannot always be unique, you can always put a unique spin on an old idea.
1. The Use of Smoke
Smoke machines are often used to add an almost mystical atmosphere to events. You can see them used by musicians in their live performances. They do just as well when used in product photography. Adding some smoke to your shots will cloud the surroundings, and add some punch to the colours of the products that you are photographing.
A good way to do this is to take several shots. Start with very little smoke, as the machine builds up its output. Continue taking photos as long as visibility permits. It is worth experimenting with your lighting positions when working with smoke. Point the light in the direction of the key things that you want to capture. These may include product branding.
2. Freezing in Motion
There is just something astoundingly beautiful about freezing something in time. That is the view that we get when we take a photo of a product in motion. It creates a sense of anticipation in the viewers. Easy shots can include throwing a product from one person to another and capturing it in motion. You may certainly make full use of a model within the shot.
3. Capturing a reflection
There is some charm in taking a photo of your product from a view that isn’t directly aligned to your lenses. This is where reflection comes into play. Some great options that you can try out include mirror reflection, through a screen, and water reflection. The first one is fairly self-explanatory. Instead of focusing your lenses on the product, you place a large mirror at an angle that fully reflects your product. Take photos of the reflection from the mirror.
The second option involves a second camera or smartphone. While the smartphone camera is focused on the product, get your lenses to focus on the image that the smartphone is capturing.
Capturing the water reflection can deliver a natural ripple effect. Depending on the size of the product that you are working with, you can dangle it over the water source. Capture the reflected image. It is worth causing some ripples in the water for some of your shots.
4. Placement as a way to highlight USP
This one may not work for all products but is certainly worth considering. Let us look at a real-life example. When Virgin Media wanted to raise the profile of their broadband product as being “super-fast” they brought in a “superfast” human to highlight this. You will have come across the adverts with Olympic and World champion sprinter, Usain Bolt.
How can this be applied to your product photography? Pair your selling points or features with corresponding props. A heat resistant product could be photographed next to a flame. Be daring in your creativity.
5. The Contrasting
The contrast is the idea of using your photos to highlight the difference between your products and those of your competitor. It can also be used to show things that set your products apart or to highlight. One example of this would be pairing fire with ice.
6. The Accident
There is a reason why we love action movies. Chaos has some beauty to it when capture in the right way. You will often see this done by cosmetic companies. There is no formula for this. Experimenting will give you a wide range of photos to choose from. The main thing to get right is making sure that your branding is clear in the midst of the chaos.
7. One second before
There is something poetic about having a “before” photo. This is a photo that was captured a moment before something happened or was about to happen. An example of this would be to capture a mobile phone device on its descent into water. This would be perfect for a waterproof case or electronic insurance. It highlights what could happen, and how the product would help.
8. The Floating Product
There is something within each one of us that loves to see things defy the odds. That is why floating products work. It is the same reason levitation draw keen interest. How you execute it will depend on the weight of the product. Lightweight products can get away with a bit of string holding them up. Other products may require more sophisticated equipment such as air blowers.
You can always add this effect in post-production. The important thing to do is to take shots with this end goal in mind.
9. The Timeless
The timeless product photography idea works best when executed in a series of photos or on a large canvas. It can also be done on a panorama. It is done to highlight either how a product has been there for a long time or how it has evolved with the times. It can be done by playing with the colours or using props from different eras.
10. The Product in Situ
This is often referred to as the “product series” technique. Most people buying things online have the burden of having to envision how these products will fit into their lives. Where clothing is concerned, there is a reason why we are more likely to purchase products modelled by a person who we can see ourselves as. This may be down to their body type or physique.
Placing a product in situ makes this decisionmaking process much easier. You will often see this done by household retailers. A product photograph will show a fully kitted out living room, then highlight individual items. It shows the customers how these things would fit into their home or indeed together.
There are countless ways to capture your amazing products. Which of the ideas above do you like the most? A good approach is to consider each idea in the context of the product that you are working with. Pair an idea with the product, and not have to force the idea to work for a product. Here’s to great product photography!