You see when I started my journey as a Product Photographer, there was nothing like an “Ultimate Guide”. Nor do I think there is something like today. All you can do is learn, what are the challenges of Product Photography and how to overcome them.
But before I dive right into the solution, there are a few important things you need to keep in mind if you want to learn Product Photography.
Product Photography is a common term used to denote a waste genre of photography work. You can be a Jewelry Product Photographer, Fashion Product Photographer, Food Product Photographer, etc.
As you see the possibilities are endless and you can master any of them. But One thing common between each one of them is to make your product look appealing. It’s never just about liking and sharing in the world of Product Photographer. Moreover, it’s about making the product look purchase-able. In this blog, we are discussing on challenges of product photography.
Now, as you know your ultimate goal, let me share 9 Challenges of Product Photography that I faced as a beginner and how you can dodge them today.
9 Challenges of Product Photography
1.Capturing your Product details
The goal as I said is to sell a product through your photos. Hence you will need to show every little detail of the product.
The customer today is purchasing the products from the comfort of their home. The decision is completely based on how a good product photo looks. You as a Product Photographer need to show him what he is looking for in your product.
For eg: If you are capturing jewelry, your customer would like to see a closer shot of your product from the front, back, side, etc. Whereas if you are capturing a t-shirt for an eCommerce, the customer would like to see from the human perspective from different angles.
Among other challenges of product photography, capturing the product detail could be somewhat hard for beginners. Blurring is a great tool yet if not used correctly can destroy your campaign.
It would be very wise if you could take some sample shots and set the camera in the appropriate settings. In addition, this will bring consistency in your shots, you will be capturing the appropriate details and all this at a faster pace.
2. Use Tripod Right
Talking about the detail and the consistency, you may see a new trend in eCommerce nowadays. People are more attracted to minimal and consistent looking stores. Each and every product has the same focus range, distance, light, and much more.
Freehand photography might not be the best option here, as the slightest change of angle would break the chain. On the other hand, the tripod will allow you to enhance your product image and bring better stability.
And after working in various niches, I would suggest you get at least two tripods. One for capturing the regular products at the normal height. Another for capturing products at a shorter height.
With a tripod, the challenges of product photography such as stability, quality, and consistency will be gone. You’ll just need to set up your camera and start clicking eCommerce images.
3. Choosing the right lens for the right time.
At the beginning of my journey, choosing the right lens was among the first few challenges of product photography. It is like choosing a particular flavor of ice-cream from the widest range of options.
But in this, Lens isn’t just another purchase. It must fit your budget. Secondly, as you start exploring your own style of photography, the options will start to narrow down. For eg: I am the kind of photographer who likes the light bright airy style photographer. This means I need a lens that’s quick and has wider apparatus.
Now if you are in micro-photography, you may need a whole different set of lenses than mine. According to expertphotography.com, you can start by narrowing the list by choosing between:
- Cropped or Full-frame sensor
- Prime Lens or Zoom Lens
- Speed of the Lens
- Focal length or the minimum focus distance
Sorting out the requirements and knowing your style will reduce the challenges of product photography you may be facing.
Even today, after having so many options at an affordable price, proper lighting has crowned itself as the king of challenges of product photography.
You don’t have to break a bank and get all the lighting equipment on the first day of your shoot. Moreover, I haven’t purchased every piece of equipment for lighting. Again, this will depend completely on your style and product.
The goal of the light is to illuminate the object appropriately. Less lighting may hide the details and excess can form hard and unpleasant shadows.
To start with you may choose which lighting condition would be right for your object.
- Natural Lighting- Most preferred as it gives the right time to the shoot. But skipping the golden time (Sunset and Sunrise) would be preferred if you wish to get the right colors pop.
- Studio Lighting- As the name suggests, it is an artificial lighting condition appropriate for consistency. You are in a controlled environment and can be manipulated according to the product.
- Lightbox – These are special illuminated boxes that are specifically designed for product photography.
You can read more about lighting on 101 Photography Lighting Equipment Guide for Beginners.
5. Right Background
As important as it is to capture the product with the right angle, lens, and light, background plays a vital role too. Mostly, people used to prefer a white background for their product. But as the trends are changing, new backgrounds are popping in.
Some prefer a busy background, some prefer natural and some prefer a background with colors. But as we are discussing the challenges of product photography, you’ll have to make sure the background doesn’t catch any eye.
The goal is to get the viewers to focus just on the product. Also, the background shouldn’t make the product dull. The only aim of the background should be to get focus on the product itself.
6. Use of the Grey Card
After facing all the challenges of product photography, and setting up all your equipment, what if I say that the colors of the product will not be right. This is due to the white tone setting in your camera.
To make sure your image has exactly the right color like the product you may have to use Grey Cards. This is an additional tool that you could use and get the right color for your product.
What it does is, it neutralizes the white balance of the camera. This way the original color of the product gets clicked.
7. Volume of product
Now after setting up everything and it’s time you understand the in-frame challenges of product photography. The first thing that you will have to see is, how many products are going to be in a frame.
Will it is one product or will it be a group of products in a frame. Well, the number actually doesn’t matter the most. What matters is how you present the volume.
Make sure the frame isn’t cluttered. If there is more than one product in a single frame, provide them with an equal focus.
8. Adding Props to your frame
Adding Props in your frame isn’t a tip or the challenge of product photography. It is more of a creative choice. But when you are adding a prop in your product image, you’ll have to be careful with that.
As we have discussed above, the focus shouldn’t shift from the product at any given time. The prop that you should be a compliment to the product, not a distraction.
Hence, be careful of what you are going to add to your photos. The right prop can surely enhance your product photography and the wrong one can ruin it.
So after dodging all the challenges of product photography and clicking some good images what could go wrong?
Well, the reflection. Reflection isn’t obvious from any other factor. But while working with reflecting surfaces this can create a lot of problems. The first thing you could do is to turn off the flash.
Moreover, any direct and sharp light can make the product look cluttered. To overcome this you can use a flash diffuser. It will soften the light coming over the product and make the product rightly illuminated.
Bonus Tip for you
Now that I have disclosed 9 Challenges of Product Photography that I faced as a beginner and how you can dodge them today, it’s time to add a bonus tip for you.
Even after taking all the measures to click the perfect image, some element is always missing out from the puzzle. That element is Product Photo editing. After dodging the challenges of product photography and in order to get the most out of your effort, product photo editing can be a very powerful tool for you. If you are interested to make a career in photography read this blog Career in Photography.
It won’t just eliminate any visible distortion from your image, but would also enhance your images. Moreover, to get the best professional photo editing service, you can hire Pixelphant for your images. With years of experience and at the best cost you get professionals to work for you and get the results in no time. You can learn more about it by subscribing to our newsletter or by directly contacting PixelPhant. We highly recommended reading this blog Product Photography Tips.
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Background Removal | Clipping Path | Color Correction | Cropping & Resize | Retouching | Shadows