If you are lucky enough to book some clients who need photos of their “stuff” then you should know ahead of time, these should be easy, breezy and here’s why: things don’t move until you move them and they can be manipulated by light easier than living beings. However, if you’re just getting started, don’t try to take these photos with a flash. You’ll need a healthy lighting kit, something to prop up the items or a blank white background. Here are great tips for beginning product photography:
1. White background—you can purchase a foldable white board at any general store or craft store. These will serve well for small items, food or anything that needs definitive clarity.
2. Use natural light if that luxury presents itself. You can pull off product photography well with sunlight but it may prove difficult because shadows shift throughout the day. If you do need to use artificial light, you will want to purchase a professional light or lighting kit. The reason a flash doesn't always produce great photos is because of the shadows it creates or the fact that it illuminates a concentrated area of the product which, in certain circumstances may not be esthetically pleasing in the end. If you review the below paintings, you would not want a bright ball of light in the center of the photograph, taking away from the honesty in the art.
3. If you are in the market for a lighting kit but don’t have a clue where to start, there are many affordable kits on amazon or eBay. I recommend doing a little research on 3 point lighting before you buy. In order to eliminate shadows, say if you’re photographing artwork (like the kind posted in this blog) you will need to light it from top to bottom and on both sides. This will probably require at least 3 separate lights.
4. Take different angles of the items. Your client may be using these photos to sell a product, promote a blog, post on their social media outlets or to design their website and as the hired servicer, it’s your job to provide variety—unless it’s artwork and in that case, you’re showcasing one angle.
5. Sometimes you have to stage products for photography. In that case, ask your client for help with ideas on how they see their product being used and try to infuse that style into the artwork. People aren’t every photographer’s forte. Some photographers would rather work with things versus people. For those of you who fear the idea of live events, babies or even working professionals, maybe product photography is for you. Building this type of portfolio could expose you to larger clients such as advertisement agencies, internet-based retailers or internet bloggers.
Paintings by: Lindsey Rae Brown see more of her stunning work at www.lindseyraeart.com