The ultimate goal of product photography(a field within advertising or commercial photography) is to is to illustrate and sell a product or service.
This form of photography can be outsourced to a design firm or advertising agency that will utilise digital cameras and professional techniques to showcase a product in the most favourable manner.
However, if you are on a tight budget, or just interested in product photography, some background, lighting and POV tips can help ensure that your product is captured how you want.
The first and probably the most important aspect to consider before taking photos is the lighting. Knowing the difference between soft and hard light and shadows can make or break the shoot.
For most purposes, advertising and design firms usually argue against choosing overly soft or hard light and instead advise beginners to use natural light. Light distribution matters more that the sheer wattage or the quantitative specifications involved. However, it is still important for the novice to know the difference between soft and hard shadows. Basically, shadows appear when the light source scope is tiny compared to the object. When the light source is bigger than the object, then you experience soft shadows.
A subdued shadow in natural light is the best way to advertise a product. The last thing you want is a huge shadow behind the item as it tends to detract from the product you are trying to sell. It’s also aesthetically unappealing.
Capturing the product in a unique point of view can also showcase the high points of the product or even downplay the weak ones. So, for instance, if you are advertising an expensive but small piece of jewellery, you can take advantage of the overhead view to give a liberal perspective to it. In the case of capturing quality images of our doormats we used a combination of all these techniques. The hardest mats we found to light and get proper exposure across the entire surface of the product, were the personalised doormats. This was simply because of the 3 rows of font and text needs to be clearly defined in the image for readability. Check out the finished images here; Foxhill Doormats UK – Personalised Door Mat product imagery
The sense of scale is another related issue to the point of view. If your product is small and you do not want to highlight the size, you may want to avoid putting it next to an item that your audience is familiar with, for example, a pencil. If you want people to grasp the size of the item, then ensure that you position it next to an object that people are familiar with such as a standard cup of coffee.
After modifying the POV and scale options, ensure that you capture the product in its ‘natural habitat’ so that the consumers can have a feel of already owning it. These tips and techniques will certainly draw attention to your product.