I have always admired high-quality professional product photography. Back when I was working for my local newspaper, trying to arrange a group of excited school children into something that resembled a decent photo, I dreamed of working with a subject that wouldn’t constantly move around shouting “I’m going to be famous!” Little did I know just how difficult this genre of photography can be and that it would come with its own specific challenges.
Throughout my newspaper career, I have taken photos of a variety of items for advertising clients with my travelling studio kit. From wine bottles to beauty products, food to jewellery, sunglasses and all sorts of tabletop products. But my latest product job really pushed the boundaries of my skills and was an invaluable experience.
I was asked to take some packshot photos of some Christmas decorations for a company who would be selling them on Amazon. These decorations included glittery stars, Christmas tree stands, fake holly leaves and the dreaded baubles! The hardest thing in product photography is spherical, reflective items and a bauble is the epitome of spherical reflectiveness. The first batch of these decorations I was asked to do, took place on location at a hired venue which luckily enough had a large enough hall for me to turn off the lights and not have too many distracting reflections. It helped that it was a very dull day outside too, so no bright sunlight to contend with. The next batch was shot in a warehouse and after my previous experience I took along a white product tent which would allow me to minimise the reflections from the surroundings. This made things significantly easier. One thing you definitely get better at is masking out subjects to make sure you get a pure white background and shooting tethered is also a good idea.
When shooting on location, space can sometimes be limited so you need to be creative to make sure you can get what the client set out in their brief to ensure their satisfaction. It is really cool to see pictures of products which you have photographed advertised on places like Amazon when you are browsing through and really does give you a respect of the work which goes into a good product photograph.
Like most event photographers, my diary for the next few months completely emptied from mid-March. Due to this, I have been contemplating how I can safely work in these unprecedented times without putting my clients at risk. In the past, I have had products posted to me to photograph and even picked up products from local companies for packshot photos. Looking forward, I see this as a viable way of working in the current climate. I am now asking for any companies who need professional product photography to get in touch. We can organise a no-contact way of working and I can produce some professional photos to help sell your products on your website or other platforms like Amazon, eBay and Etsy.