Top tips for a photo shoot!
Lately I have been asked about my product photography & who my photographer is/ would I do some product photography for someone else?! I just find this totally crazy! I am self taught (which has been a steep learning curve) and I take all of the photos myself - just me, my camera & minimal set up! So I thought I would share some of my tips for product photography - I am by no means an expert - but this is my self taught method that seems to work - so here goes!
1. Have time with your camera
I have a Canon 600d - not the latest or swankiest camera on the market, but I have spent a lot of time behind the lens. It's been on multiple adventures with me all over the world, taking thousands of product shots and taken many blurry & out of focus shots.
Getting my F1.8 lens was a turning point for me and my product shots - but it did take some getting used to. So just find the lens that works for you and practice, practice, practice!
Phones are great for taking social media snaps - again practice and find out what style works best for you.
Do you use a white setting? Do you use a coloured background? Do I have props? Again this is entirely up to you! Think about what your photo is for - is it for social media or for your website as a product shot? If it's for social media then use props, a coloured background and just have some fun! If it's for your website then how can you present your product best? Does it show it off to it's best? If I am a customer can I see everything that I need in order to make an informed purchase?
I got a fab set up on amazon with a backdrop, frame, 4 lights and a whole host of other accessories for £100 - well worth it in my opinion.
Lighting is so important! No one wants dark, blurry photos!
Artificial light can be quite harsh - so I prefer to use natural light or a light box with a white cloth over it. Sunlight can also be too bright - so sometimes shooting in the shade is better! It just depends on what look you are going for. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and where possible try and shoot on the brighter days.
Sunrise & sunset can give some gorgeous dewy light - which just makes photos amazing in my opinion!
4. People or no people?
It's important to have people in your pictures - this give the consumer validity and allows them to picture themselves wearing or using your product. Even if it's just a hand holding a spoon if you sell honey or a foot if you sell flip flops!
Editing your photos does take time - but if you take good photos they don't need that much editing! You don't need fancy photo software - I use GIMP or even just the free windows photo editing software - that's enough for me.
Again you need to spend time practising editing your photos - find your style and what works and then you can apply it to all of your photos.
On my phone I use snap seed to edit all of the social media pics - I would be lost without it as my camera is a bit dodgy on my phone.
6. Keep your photos on brand
Think about what your brand is and who your target market is. For me this has been a steep learning curve as my actual customer is not who I originally thought. It is hard when your customers span a large age range, but it's manageable - it just takes a bit of thought & careful planning.
Hopefully those tips help and get you started along your photography journey - but biggest
piece of advice is even if you only get a couple of shots that you are happy with when you first start out, don't be disheartened. You will have learnt so much, and your next shoot will be even better!