When you own a small business, product photography is a necessity, right up there with making the perfect website and business cards.
Lights! Camera! Click! Error? You once again left the lens cap on. Product photography isn’t quite for everyone. But when you own a small business, it is a necessity, right up there with making the perfect website and business cards. Professional photos do more than just show your product; they make your product part of your customer’s reality. They sell the idea of your merchandise—the atmosphere associated with having your products. Using our own work with Kellie Brook Farm (Greenland, NH) as a case study, we’ve outlined some basic tips for mastering the snazziest product photography around:
Take enlightened photos
This may be the one place where you have to either: (a) invest money, or (b) get super creative on a budget. LED panel lights (or even softbox lighting) can immediately turn a bland photo into something that looks production quality. But let’s face it, those can sometimes come with a hefty price tag. Product photography box tents can be a cheaper alternative, but they come with a limit on space.
Sometimes the simplest option is the cheapest. Have a room that gets a lot of natural lighting? There are times where natural lighting (albeit the most difficult to control) can be the quickest and simplest way to get appropriate lighting cast on your products. The product below uses a three-point softbox lighting setup which helps to amplify the vibrant colors, while tastefully diluting the backdrop.
Get frisky in the background
The background is just as essential as the product you’re trying to capture. You want to complement your products with items that add value to them, without taking away too much focus. Take for example the photo below, which has eggs and coffee grinds complimenting the main item—a ham steak. These items work together to create an aesthetic—they intentionally make a viewer think of breakfast items. These items work together to frame the idea of breakfast in a viewer’s mind. Don’t ask us about the kale in the corner.
Also, consider changing up the background with different styles. We prefer to use real textured backgrounds, but product photography mats can be purchased. While these textures are often compelling, they don’t always sell the background as effectively as real textured backgrounds.
Shoot from a fixed location
In product photography, you want to choose an angle and commit to it. Viewers will rapidly scan through your product lists (especially if they’ll be listed on an e-commerce site), so even the slightest change in angle may make a shot look subpar or rushed. You don’t necessarily need a $1,000+ video crane (as used in the photos above), but a tripod is a relatively inexpensive investment that can help your products be captured at a clean, consistent angle. Just make sure not to touch it after it has been set up to maintain consistency. Shooting from a continuous perspective will help to give your photos that final, professional-quality look.
We are living in a fascinating moment for product photography all across the Seacoast Region—modern phones are able to take professional photos, programs like Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop make touching up photos a breeze, and the rise of social media makes sharing photography easier than ever. With just a few easy steps, everyday small businesses can take professional product photographs that are comparable to those produced by big-capital corporations. Now may be the best time to tackle your company’s product photography needs and invest in your company’s brand image.
Tell the world your story
Looking for product photographers and videographers in New Hampshire, Maine or Massachusetts? Get in touch with us.
Mintleaf is a creative marketing agency based out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It serves the greater Seacoast Region and specializes in videography, content marketing, social media and web design.