It is essential that your brands product photography is of high quality because it is the way consumers are able to view your product which therefore enables it to communicate a products features and quality level. Good quality photos are able to create desire among consumers and encourage them to purchase. Forever Creative Studio have compiled their three top tips to help you improve your brands photography.
A common problem when taking a picture is that any slight movement or vibration can cause motion blur and result in the image becoming blurry. Even if this is not noticeable, and doesn't appear as a blur, it can reduce the sharpness of the image. By using a tripod it will ensure that the camera remains completely stable when the photo is taken. Inexpensive tripods can be easily obtained and will greatly improve the sharpness of your product images. If you do have a very light tripod, you can stabilise it using a sandbag.
The tripod also gives you the ability to have consistency between different product shots. By keeping your photographs simple and ensuring they are consistent it will make your photography look professional. Although if you press the shutter button on the camera there’s a possibility that you will shake the camera, even if it is fitted to a tripod. To overcome this issue, you can use the camera’s built in timer, or preferably obtain a shutter release cable. Generally, it’s possible to find these from the original manufacturer’s brand or from an aftermarket brand, which are more affordable.
While a tripod and shutter release cable will remove vibration movement from your images, this doesn't necessarily mean that your images will be completely in focus and tack sharp. Depending upon the exact camera you're using - if you're using an entry level DSLR be aware that a lot of these types of cameras feature an everyday lens that is not necessarily good for product photography. Particularly focus rings can often not be smooth or accurate enough. Even entry level cameras can be improved by a quality lens, which doesn't have to be particularly expensive. An old metal bodied 50mm lens (commonly known as a nifty fifty) will be an excellent choice. By using this lens you will lose automatic focusing, but because the lens does not have any mechanics for auto focusing, it means that the focusing rings are weighted and extremely smooth. This makes it easier and more precise when focusing. In addition to this a lot of cameras offer a focus confirmation dot.
In some scenes automatic focus can struggle to accurately recognise the focus point you require, similarly manually focusing can sometimes be difficult if there isn't an area of high contrast for your camera to focus on. In these situations, it can be handy to have something else to focus upon and place in the scene. Anything that is very sharp and can be placed either against or by the side of your product can be used.
It is very tempting to make a quick decision about the image using the camera screen, however it is beneficial to view them on a larger screen, for example a laptop, computer or tablet. It is quite surprising how many issues arise when viewing the scene larger, such as something protruding into the scene or a distracting shadow running across your product. This often gets hidden by the small LCD screen on the back of the camera and the colours on an LCD screen are notoriously inaccurate. It can therefore be useful to shoot tethered, which is where the camera is connected directly to the computer via cable or Wi-Fi. This makes it instantly possible to check the focusing, sharpness, colour and the overall product and scene. Entry level DSLR’s are actually ahead of the professional models in terms of rolling out Wi-Fi at a reasonable cost, therefore it would be useful to look into if you are purchasing a new camera. Consider that sometimes it takes quite a while to get your scene set up, and to get the camera and tripod into the exact right position. Even if you don’t tether you could have a long lead going to your laptop, which will allow you to load up the image to check everything before continuing.
About the writer: Forever Creative studio specialises in photography and design and provides creative and imaginative still life product photography to their clients. The company has worked with a wide range of clients, which include greeting card designers, glass artists, ceramicists and jewellery designers to name a few. The product photography has been used across the clients websites, social media and in print. Many images have also provided clients with additional coverage and have been published in journals and industry magazines. Using professional lighting techniques, the photographer is able to bring out textures, highlight special finishes, capture reflective products correctly, and other aspects that clients may find difficult to achieve. Clients either have specific requirements and ideas or are unsure and need creative guidance and support. Forever Creative Studio have provided various guides on their website to prepare brands for this process. The guides cover how to write a brief, what to consider when doing so, and how to prepare for a shoot.