There are various aspects in the world of photography. If we talk about product photography specifically, props and styling play a crucial role when creating captivating visuals.
From an elegant backdrop to carefully chosen accessories, all the elements enhance your product’s appeal. They tell a story.
We are sharing 12 product photography props and styling tips. They’ll help you explore the importance of props and how styling in product photography makes all the difference.
So, hold on to your cameras while we share how to set up your scene. Let’s get started with the list.
Top 12 Product Photography Props & Styling Tips
Understand your target audience
In order to attract customers, you need to understand them better.
What they like, what they do, where they will see the image and what they must feel, and What actions they shall take—all these are essential questions.
As a photographer creating a scene, questions like these will help you pick better props and style them more effectively.
If you are shooting for a large banner, using negative space along with graphic text would work. On the other hand, if you are creating a scene for social media, the image shall be more product-driven with less text.
By meticulously analyzing your target audience demographic and interest, you can choose better product photography props and styling. This is to grab attention and build relatability.
Choosing right colours
From background to props, the colours you choose as a photographer will set the overall mood of the image. Darker tones will create a sense of sophistication, while lighter tones will be more pleasant and easygoing.
This combination of accurate colors in product photography works cohesively to create a stunning visual composition. It involves understanding the relationships between colors and utilizing them to create a balanced visual appeal.
Creating a mood board, along with the client and creative team, would surely help you understand what they are looking for.
Once you understand what they like and look forward to, it would be your choice of the product photography props and style them to create a scene as per the goal.
Choosing the background
While one might not consider the background as a prop, it is the singular most influential element of product photography.
It plays a vital role in elevating the overall aesthetic, as well as conveying a message directly without a text.
The background creates a sense of elegance and sophistication, letting the product shine without distractions.
Additionally, selecting a product background that aligns with your brand’s aesthetics creates a more cohesive experience.
If we look at Tiffany & Co, we’ll find the use of color Tiffany, used for product photography. It makes the product more relatable to the brand while also making it stand out.
Just like background, lighting is another vital product photography prop. Too far-fetched? Not really.
The way you use your lighting affects the overall styling of the image. What features of the product will be showcased, and what will be hidden? It all depends on the way you use lighting.
There are various lighting techniques that can make or break the visual impact of your images.
Natural light creates a soft and pleasing illumination. Golden hours are among the most ideal times for capturing products with a natural aesthetic.
But since the lighting can’t be consistent or in our control, Artificial lighting is used. It offers more control over the intensity, direction, and color temperature of the light.
A Studio lighting setup can consist of continuous lights, strobe lights, flash lights, and reflectors. Depending on what you are looking for, the setup will vary.
Composition techniques in photography give direction to create visually appealing and balanced compositions.
These techniques ensure that the viewer’s attention is drawn to the product and that the overall image is aesthetically pleasing. There are various kinds of composition techniques, which you can pick and choose from.
Some of the most common ones used to setup product photography props are:
- Rule of thirds: It involves dividing the image into a 3×3 grid and placing products along the grid lines or at the intersections. This technique adds visual interest and balance to the composition.
- Leading lines: In this composition, lines or shapes in the image are used to guide the viewer’s gaze toward the product. You can use props for this technique to create a sense of depth and movement.
- Negative space: It involves intentionally leaving empty space around the product to create visual breathing room and focus. This technique can enhance the product’s prominence and draw attention to its details.
Storytelling through Props
Photographers convey stories through images. Props are the character that plays extras roles while the product takes center stage. A prop is nearly anything. It can be something that we already know, like flowers, fruits, etc. Props can also be something entirely new for the shoot.
You can use different props as storytelling elements in your product photography. Usually, the props are either the original source of the product or it can the what customer can get.
It is important that props are carefully selected and styled to tell a story. All you need to do is put two closely related objects in one frame, and the viewer will find the story between them.
The key objective of product placement is to create brand awareness and influence consumer behavior.
It involves the intentional integration of branded products in the scene. One of the prime examples of this is Red Bull. They associate it with thrill. And if a sport or an event is giving that thrill—even to a small set of audience—they will feature their brand.
By associating a particular product with emotion, it starts becoming an everyday part of customers’ lives. As a photographer, you need to understand this.
When choosing product photography props, use something that aligns and elevates the brand’s emotion. This style of product placement has a higher chance of engaging viewers and reaching the target audience.
Texture and Detail
Product photography can sometimes be all about sharing a feeling through images. How can we do that? Through texture and detail.
Texture refers to the surface of the product. This targets the sense of touch, taste, and sometimes smell.
Details of the product involve capturing the intricate elements. It features a product through high-resolution cameras and close-up shots. More or less, it targets the sense of sight.
Both texture and detail contribute to the overall visual appeal and effectiveness of photography.
You can use product photography props to enhance these elements and highlight them.
Experiment with Angles
The way products are presented has a major impact on how the viewer interacts with them.
When we are talking about product photography props, it is important to share how you can use them from different perspectives.
Here’s something that you must remember. If you share how customers would generally see the product in real life, it will build relatability.
If you show a product from a new perspective—it can grab attention for its uniqueness.
There are various product photography angles that allow you to discover appealing views. By exploring these perspectives, you can create dynamic and engaging images.
In the straight-on view, a vase would look elegant and symmetrical. It emphasizes the vase’s clean lines and intricate patterns.
Now if we talk about it, the top-down angle reveals the wide opening of the vase. This creates a top-down view of its interior.
Lastly, the close-up shot from a low angle showcases the vase’s craftsmanship, emphasizing the delicate curves and surface textures.
When we talk about product photography props, let’s also understand that the products can themselves be props when the subject of the shoot is the brand itself.
One of the common ways to feature a brand in your shoot is through product grouping.
It is a collection of different products by the brand. The goal is to feature them in a way that complements each other while the focus stays on the logo or particular brand asset.
The background, lighting, and additional styling—all play a critical role here. One has to curate the scene cautiously. Multiple products can sometimes be distracting.
Find consistency within the products and let the brand take center stage here.
Play with Reflections
When we think about props, we always think of physical objects that we can feel. But have you ever thought about reflections?
Reflections from light or the reflection of the product. These are two of the most common forms of reflections that are used as props.
You can start experimenting with different light sources and positions. This way, you can create soft or hard shadows, utilize side or backlighting, and incorporate negative space to enhance the product’s impact.
The more you learn about this important product photography prop, the more versatile and unique your images can be.
Editing and Post-Processing
To make the scene look the way you intended—product photo editing plays a crucial role. From cleaning the product to balancing the lighting, post-production is an integral part.
The goal of this final step is to present the product in its best form while maintaining authenticity and consistency in branding.
Based on the style of editing you need, you can hire a post-production service like PixelPhant to help you edit your product images. With the team of expert retouchers, you will get back your product images in less than 24 hours.
Incorporating these product photography props & styling tips into your photography can create powerful and compelling images.
As a commercial photographer, your goal here would be to create a lasting impression and make the product memorable.
Product photography is an ongoing learning process. So, continue to explore and refine your skills to continually improve the impact of your visuals and stay ahead in a competitive market.
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