Gloss, texture, rich colour - sensory appeal, whether it's makeup, jewellery or beauty products, consumers are more aesthetic-driven than ever. Deep down we all want to feel amazing so if you want to reap sales, superior product photography is crucial.
No-one's inspired to buy a product from a dull, low-quality image. What we see tells the story of what the product will do for us. In the customer’s mind, whether true or not, poor image equals poor product,
But what does it take to achieve a high-quality product photograph? Lifestyle product photography that delivers is about much more than "taking a good photograph" with an expensive camera.
From creative lighting to the illusions backdrops deliver, imaginative use of props, clever styling and more, there's much more to high-end e-commerce product photography than meets the eye.
In fact, most people are surprised at how much painstaking, creative work goes into producing the perfect image. However, remember that the purpose of product photography is to generate sales, industry authority and customer loyalty and it’s not surprising it’s more complex than you thought. Let's go behind the scenes of a professional, product photography photoshoot and discover what it really takes to produce stunning, high-end images that sell.
Product Photography: What Really Happens On A Product Photoshoot?
A professional product photographer does a lot more than shoot products. Lifestyle product photographers are skilled creatives who work alongside a team of stylists and professionals. Together, they visually create your brand message using lots of elements to showcase your product in unexpected ways. The multi-stage process involved in a product photography photoshoot begins with planning and concept design and ends with post-production.
Planning & Concept Design:
The journey from concept to image starts with the story you want to tell about your product. For us, at Stace Photography, our people-centric approach means that question always begins with you, the customer. Working in collaboration with you, we create a concept design which shares the story in a compelling, authentic way which resonates with your intended audience. For us, both voices are equally important. You understand your core brand messages better than anyone else, it's our job to get creative and tell them in a compelling way. That means active listening throughout the project is a major priority for us. From planning to production, we want to hear your thoughts, feedback and ideas. Pairing your thoughts with intense market research, we translate your wishes into a captivating concept your customers will love.
Now it’s time to get creative and ask: What can I (we the team) do to the product to tell that story in the most appealing way? Our goal is to elevate the product so it becomes the vehicle for the campaign, relaying an emotive message which compels the target audience to buy.
Like a supermodel, the product needs to be plumped, preened, glossed, twisted, turned, suspended, crushed, tossed, scattered - whatever it takes to tell the story. All this means props, lighting, styling, backdrops and set-building are needed to transform a mundane item into a captivating marketing tool.
For high-end product photography in particular, it's critical all these elements are done right. For example, the right backdrop can enhance appealing product details whilst expert product styling can elevate your brand style without diverting from the authenticity of your brand. An experienced stylist will understand how to work with your product to demonstrate its advantages in appealing ways that resonate with your audience and look good on camera. Similarly, a stylist can offer advice about things like how best to display your products for group shots. Group shots are useful for showcasing product variations for e-commerce product photography.
The more creative and exciting the campaign, the more work it will take and therefore time. With multiple professionals and lots of equipment involved, it’s much easier to understand how product photography costs are calculated.
Working with lifestyle and e-commerce businesses of all sizes across London, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and the rest of the UK, we always make sure every part of the process, including costs, is as transparent as possible,
We always discuss full details of what the product photoshoot will cost with our customers from the planning stage. By clearly explaining how many people will need to be involved in a concept, how many hours the process will take from design to post-production and more, we ensure you have a clear picture of the amount of work a concept will involve from the outset.
With a clear overview of how a concept will fit with your budget, it's easy for you to make informed decisions at every stage of the project. Armed with full information about costs from the very beginning, you can be sure you won’t have to sacrifice quality for costs at later stages of the process.
The post-production stage is one that’s often overlooked until it’s too late. Post-production is about much more than re-touching. Depending on the complexity of the concept, there may be a lot of work to do in the last stages of the project to bring together all the elements and produce the final image.
With your budget properly distributed across every stage of the process, you can avoid the disappointment that comes with running low on funds before the project is complete.
Lenses and Lighting:
Crisp, bright, glossy photos are essential for sales success so the quality of lighting set ups is important. From soft boxes to diffusers, it takes a lot of lighting equipment to ensure every product is captured at its best. For example, soft boxes help to ensure large items are fully lit on all sides for clear, crisp photos.
Meanwhile, backlighting and side lighting can help to light tricky-shaped e-commerce products by flooding the item with greater streams of light. Both types of lighting are also useful when you want to draw attention to an appealing texture or beautiful form. Similarly, shooting an item side-on will help to display the beauty of its shape.
On the other hand, light boxes (or tents if they have material walls) are great for lighting smaller products. By projecting a constant stream of light, light boxes help to achieve the consistent finish essential for professional results. At the same time, light boxes will also help you to show the customer the product’s many appealing design features. Add a macro lens and shoot from above to further capture the finer details, intricate designs and complex shapes include.
If natural light is limited, bounce cards are a good way to reduce shadows. Also known as reflector cards, bounce cards allow you to reflect the light in different directions and achieve a particular look.
Sending an even light across the product, bounce cards are great at softening studio lights and expelling shadows to deliver the clear, professional, natural-looking image you need. Diffusers and DSLR or mirrorless cameras are other good solutions for tackling unwanted shadows during shoots.
It’s a lot to consider if tackling yourself!
To work in collaboration with us, call us today on 01908 378 778 or send a message.
We deliver high-end, creative product photography across London, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and the rest of the UK.