Keith Bennett, professional photographer, shares why he thinks product photography is one of the most important considerations for your website, and 5 simple product photography tips to remember when shooting your products or working with someone to do so.
The Importance Of Product Photography
Product photography is often overlooked and underestimated. It is in fact the single most important factor to consider beyond the behind-the-scenes actual running of your business. Your outward appearance, whether it be a shop window, website homepage or magazine article, is extremely important in attracting business. Your product and business images are everything; uninspiring product or service images can damage your business and brand, holding it back from realising its potential. If you are proud of your products & services through your images the consumer will see this.
5 important product photography considerations
- Aim to inspire and empower your customers through your product images. If your product photography is uninspiring, passers-by will do exactly that, they will pass you by.
- The boredom threshold for webpage browsing is less than 3 seconds. If you do not captivate your audience they will keep on clicking until they see something that excites them.
- The great thing about product photography is that you can outwardly project confidence and pride in your products and services. Think about how you can do this creatively to encourage customers to buy.
- Customers trust images over text. Support your products with strong photography and brief descriptions. Don’t give your customers an essay on your product with a small photo.
- Less is more — show fewer images on your homepage that inspire a further, deeper look into your business.
5 simple product photography tips to remember
- Product photography should be bright, sharp and free from distraction.
Shoot products against a white background or neutral wall. Remove clutter that will be distracting.
- Shoot products at the correct height.
If you took a photo of a child, you would not stand on a stool looking down at the child, you would most likely be at eye level. Choose a height at which the product might be used or handled.
- Select the correct Aperture/ F-Stop number on your camera (Av value).
This determines how much of your subject is in focus from front to back. The higher the number the more in focus from front to back your product will appear. However focus is not all about the Av number. To further increase depth of field focus (how much is in focus), be as far away as possible, zoomed in as much as possible. Distance to subject and depth of focus is directly proportional regardless of F-stop.
- Control the light hitting your subject by using a camera flash.
Ideally product photography would use a minimum of 4 separate flash heads controlled using a wireless or wired remote control mounted on the camera. Ambient light from a window can be used but it is uncontrollable and ambient light may have other colour in it which will require your product to be colour corrected afterward. The two flash heads behind the subject whiten out the background. The two front flashes would be set at different power outputs to create subtle shadow areas on your product which highlight details.
- Choose the point of focus on your product carefully.
If there is a particular part of the product that is important, choose a shallow depth of field, i.e. a small F-Stop number, this will focus the clients eye to this area by defocusing areas not important.
Take your product photography one step further with interactive brand photography
Keith Bennett has been an engineer and photographer for 30 years and is based in Wellington. Photography is Keith’s passion in life whether it is product, family, real estate, aerial, corporate or commercial. He loves creating images, and prides himself by making even nuts and bolts look sexy. His latest photography passion is interactive product photography by rotating and revealing products and processes which in turn takes the consumer a step closer to being inside a real store. Take a look at Photo360 on his website. www.keithbennettphotography.com