Consumers are more likely to buy a product from which they can relate to their real-life situations. Hence, it is essential that the images you show them are not merely products but something that’s part of their life.
When you perform product photography in your studio, you pretty much control everything. The lighting, the setup, the angles are all under your control. But when you go outdoors, you give some of the power to mother nature. The power of the sun, the power of weather, the conditions, shadows.
Hence, it becomes a little difficult to find perfect shots in outdoor product photography easily. In this article, I’ll be sharing with you the 5 best tips which will be ALL YOU NEED to master outdoor product photography. Hope this would help!
5 Killer Outdoor Photography Tips
1. Choose the location that reflects your buyers’ emotions
When we say outdoors, it could mean many places. You can choose the location that’s between the woods, on the beach, in the mountains, or even just the highway.
You need to choose the location that works best for your product photography. Before you go for an outdoor product photography shoot, look at your product and think about what you want your shoppers to feel.
For example, if you’re to capture an image of coffee. Do you want your buyers to feel cozy, wrapped in a blanket, and sitting on their balconies? Or do you want them to feel adventurous, camping, and trekking the heights of a mountain?
Once you have your mind clear for what you want your buyers to feel, you can instantly pick the location.
2. Choose the location that compliments your products
Before you begin outdoor product photography, let’s think about your product. What are you capturing the images of? Is it a pair of sports shoes? Or a few bottles of essential oils?
A completely green, natural place with trees and bushes around everything can best compliment bottles of organic essential oils. Whereas, a mountain trail or any rough road can work best for your sports shoes.
Hence, it is significant to understand that every product has its own relevant location for outdoor product photography that reveals the best sides of it.
You can use the beach location for some sunscreen products, beach towels, or even a Bluetooth speaker to exude the party mood.
3. Learn to work with the weather
You can either wait for that perfect day where the sun is in your favor and there’s beauty everywhere. Or, you can learn how to work with the weather.
It can be a little complicated as the weather can be too sunny, rainy, there could be wind blows, storms, or anything. But if you have a deadline, and your client needs the images on a specific date, then the learning becomes necessary.
However, a part of outdoor product photography completely depends on what kind of weather your product is demanding. Remember we took the example of bottles of essential oils before? Let’s take them into note once again.
The glass bottles of essential oils tend to bounce the direct sunlight which can create a glare. Also, if you’re taking the help of a model, then it may irritate your model too. These problems usually occur on super-sunny days.
Try finding a place that has some shade. Maybe a place that’s enclosed with trees. You can also try using translucent sheets to create a diffused effect.
This can instantly soften the shadows and give you a more subtle, even light over your glass bottles as well as your models.
You can use silver reflectors on the days when the sun is not completely out and you’re looking for some extra light.
4. Emphasize on the emotion that your model is reflecting
We’ve talked about the emotions that your final image will be reflecting. But it depends a lot on what your model is reflecting white showcasing the product.
A light, relaxed emotion may work for perfume bottles or a healthy smoothie. But, the same may reverse the results when you’re capturing the images of athletic wear for your outdoor product photography.
Have you seen the Nike commercials? Mostly, the athletes’ expressions are more intense, determined, and focused. You’ll see them covered in sweat, working out for a vision.
That’s the kind of expression you should be looking for when capturing athletic wear. Similarly, an irritated, confused look can degrade your image for perfume bottles.
Emotions and expressions on your model’s face play an important role, particularly in outdoor product photography. Hence, it’s required that you emphasize everytime on it.
Why particularly? It’s because, inside a studio, your model can be more comfortable with the setting. But if one has to be out in the harsh sun or snow for hours and hours. It can flip anyone’s mood.
5. USe a DSLR or a camera with interchangeable lens
Many photographer and eCommerce store owners use their smartphones for product photography. Though smartphone cameras can work fine for in-home, plain background photography.
You can’t get the same good results in outdoor product photography. At least not as good as you can get through a DSLR. I know it’s an obvious tip as DSLR can always work better than a phone camera.
But trust me, this one-time investment will take you a long way and you’re never gonna turn around to your phone again. We’re talking about hard shadows, strong winds, dull skies which require a lot of camera settings to find that perfect frame.
When you play with your phone camera settings, it simply manipulates the originality and degrades the image.
DSLR Camera lenses come in a wide variety and provide a plethora of options to the photographer. these settings don’t mess with the originality of the image.
Interchangeable lens cameras have the freedom of making manual exposure and aperture settings. This allows you to highlight or darken certain areas of the scene based on your needs.
Benefits of Outdoor Product Photography
There are a lot of benefits of the outdoor product photography that can be useful for increasing your online sales. Here are a few reasons for it:
1. Its relatability encourages buyers to make a purchase
Think of a summer dress on a plain white background and compare it with an image where that dress is worn by a young girl on a beach with some cool sunglasses. What would your heart lean towards?
That’s the reason why outdoor product photography works best in increasing the traffic and improving the conversion rates of your online store. It’s simply more relatable than any other product photography. People can imagine what the product’s essence is and what they can get out of it.
2. Makes you unique
From a pool of photographers and online business owners who are displaying their products in a studio, you can stand out from the rest with outdoor product photography.
Consumers have seen enough of studio product photography. But what can prompt them to notice you is your style of photography. And, nothing can be more unique, but still relevant than outdoor product photography.
3. Gives you more freedom
There aren’t enough ways for your product to be showcased in a studio. Whereas, outdoor product photography removes the restrictions and you can show your products been worn or used in an actual environment.
This ‘in-context’ and ‘lifestyle’ photography styles uncovers the ability of your products.
4. Endless creativity
Outdoor product photography enables you to be \more creative. You can have endless backgrounds, an endless supply of props, and setups.
You can use branches, sticks, sand, stones, water, and everything in the favor of your products.
Products with their natural ingredients look more aesthetic in a natural setting. If your product includes any organic ingredients, then you may simply lay it around your product, keeping the natural environment as its background.
5. Best kind of photography for eco-friendly products
If you want to give out a ‘nature-friendly message for your products, then outdoor product photography can just do the job for you. It can work way better than clicking the images in a studio and later describing how your products are eco-friendly and cruelty-free.
Remember, a picture can speak a thousand words. So make sure that you give it the correct tools to make it happen.
Outdoor product photography is a spectacular way of showcasing your products with a whole different perception. It looks more astounding and impressive when done around nature.
Because of its dynamic nature, it may give you a headache to work with it sometimes. Hence, it’s better to keep a few tips up your sleeves to bring the most out of your outdoor product photography workflow. Apart from that, the benefits of this article are already uncovered for you.
I hope you enjoyed this article. And if you found this article interesting, do comment below. And, to thank you in advance, here’s a treat for you: Why and How to Boost lifestyle Product Photography Skills.
Try PixelPhant for free
Use PixelPhant to get more conversions for your online store with better product images.
Background Removal | Clipping Path | Color Correction | Cropping & Resize | Retouching | Shadows