Let's talk product photography...

Photography is important to a business. So very important. A business is very little without imagery - without people seeing your product or service, there is little trust. People are totally drawn in via imagery. Imagery is the first impression, if its poor imagery or poor quality, the client is already turned away. We are very very quick to judge too, it is something like 0.5 seconds for our brains to make a judgement. Poor judgement, and your eyes are on to the next business.

This is really important with imagery too, as it is so imagery focussed. People are into feed aesthetics, vibes and the emotion they feel when viewing a feed. Imagery is what invites that person to see more - imagery is VITAL!

What mistakes do I commonly see creative business owners making with product photography?

Firstly, I would say some images can be very flat, and it doesn’t do the product justice. Having objects in the background or foreground, creating that depth of field, can give that little extra bit of detail and recognition, it can make a huge difference. Having another object can also give the viewer an idea of scale, as they have a comparison. So as well, you can also play with focus here when considering depth of field. Your actual product could be the only object in focus within the shot, but having that slight blur of ‘something’, adds detail, perception and colour.

What is the best way to get good lighting for product photography, at home?

You want to be placing your set up near a window - obviously there is going to be more natural light here.

In regards to light, it depends on the vibe you would like. If you are looking for subtle, delicate tones then you want soft lighting. In this case you are better to shoot earlier on in the day, or later on in the day, when the sun isn’t too harsh. If you are hoping for strong contrast, with greater definition, then you want to use hard lighting, which is just much harsher. This can be achieved in broad daylight.

Most people prefer soft lighting as hard lighting can be so harsh that you loose detail in the product. You can soften sunlight, by diffusing it. You may think I sound stupid, but if you place white printing paper, or thin linen over the window, this can soften the light. It’s really a case of playing around and firing out what works best for your product.

Product Health Beauty Photography Photo Visual Soap Blog Visual
Product Health Beauty Photography Photo Visual

How important is styling to product photography and do you recommend using props?

So important. The styling part is what creates the overall image and vibe. Your styling should compliment your product, so you want it to be good! It sets the scene.

I 100% recommend using props. I love props, they can add so much to the image. Think about the kind of vibe you are hoping for and find props from that. If you are hoping for a fresh, colourful look, think about adding a few flowers. Remember, the whole of the prop does not need to be in the image. Say your product is quite small, you could add a bigger item such as a vase into the background, and just show a slight edge or curve, to add some texture. Again, that’s back to looking at depth of field and distance.

6. What are your top three tips for taking great product photos?

Tip one: Keep the background simple, and play with props to add detail.

Tip two: Definitely place your set up near a window or where there is plenty of natural light.

Tip three: Take your photographs as if the product is in use. For example, if you are taking a photograph of an earring, get someone to wear it. You don’t have to worry about background or props, in a way the person wearing it, their hair and neck is the ‘background’. If you are taking photographs of wax melts, start to melt them and photograph them in use. In action shots may come more natural than styling from scratch.

Thanks so much to Lynsey Warren for inviting me to talk about product photography.

I would love to hear your simple product photography tips for at home...