Product photography has been and will be the most demanding genre in photography. A new business man/woman exploring the field or a new entrepreneur starting small, has the luxury of time and when you’re releasing a new product or you’re just starting out a new business from the comfort of your home, you may not have the budget to hire a professional photographer or a team of Creatives to get your shoot done, to kick things off you can do these shoots yourself. This article may also help in case you’re working for an agency and your boss has asked you to plan a product shoot and you have no idea where to begin. Here is a short timeline and process involved in Executing a product shoot. For the sake of explanation, let's assume that you have a skincare brand.
Planning the Shoot
Before executing and taking action, sit back and decide what you want to shoot, your product yes but how, where, when, and why are the questions you need to answer.
What - I want to take pictures of my skincare product.
How - I’m going to use my phone/old camera/my Dslr.
Where - I’m going to shoot it on my Terrace/room/friend’s place etc.
When - I’m going to set a deadline for my shoot and get everything prepared for the shoot and execute that shoot on the decided date.
Why - I want to showcase how good my product is and that it really makes a difference on your skin. I want to help people achieve their best selves and use my product to maybe reach there. Incase there is something special about your product, for example there is some rare ingredient or special ingredient, that can also be a solid why for your shoot.
Planning the Shoot
- Making a moodboard
- Prop sourcing
- Model Sourcing
Making a moodboard
A Moodboard helps you plan and visualise your shoot before seeing the pictures, sort of a blueprint for your shoot. It is subjective but a moodboard can have the following or more information:
- Reference images or Rough sketches of how the set up will be
- Colors / backdrops / Model details
- Shoot Date and location
- Prop list
An ideal moodboard will have product images from other creators, these images are added for inspiration for your shoot. Some people use a reference image and copy it as is and some people use the reference image as a starting point and then use their own creativity and add props around it to style the shot accordingly. You can follow whichever method that seems doable depending on your own creative skills.
Depending on your product and reference images, you should make a prop list which includes not only chart papers, backdrops, tape, mount board but also wooden props, cutlery or ingredients if required. The proplist comes in handy when you go shopping for your props and supplies.
There are multiple prop shops on instagram that you can reach out to for props
Local shops, Amazon, Quirky websites that deal in stationary or cutlery. Sometimes even mother nature helps out so keep an eye out for broken branches , moss if possible or couple of leaves and twigs.
If you’re starting out and don't have the budget you can always ask your friend’s and family to pose for these images, its better to take help from friends and family specially when you only need hand models, Incase you want to do this right and get proper models, there are multiple agencies in mumbai that can sort you out with a model, the price really differs from model to model and from agency to agency but i have worked with model’s ranging from 10,000 a day to 60,000 a day. There are always people who want to get into modelling and are looking to build their portfolio for which you can also try Facebook groups and they potentially may agree to work on barter basis or just for images.
Photography is why you are doing all this hassle, so make sure you get this part right. Depending on what you’re shooting you should decide the space and other details. Since you’re a business person and not a photographer, let's assume you do not have any lights or a good camera set up but just your phone. In a situation like this you should ideally shoot sometime between 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM under sunlight, so you get a good amount of light to shoot under. Since you have a continuous light source (The Sun!) you can style your image and move it around to decide under what light situation your product looks the best. In case you think the sunlight is too harsh and is creating really harsh shadows, Look for a 5 in 1 Reflector. The 5 in 1 Reflector has many uses but for this particular situation you’re going to use it like a curtain between your setup and the sun to get softer light and softer shadows.
People give editing very little credit, we sometimes shoot for just 2 hours and edit the same image for 6 hours. Don't worry you’re the boss here, whatever looks good to you, works! Just keep these things in mind - The product should look bright and should be sharp - If its a flat lay there shouldn't be any dust or creases - Product should be in focus and should not have a colour cast or a tint.
I personally love using photoshop for all my edits and many prefer lightroom but since you're doing everything on your phone you can edit and make your images look 10 times better using the editing software for phones called “Snapseed”.
Now don’t worry this is a lot of information and I am not a professional writer, so bookmark this and read this as you go ahead or maybe drop a comment and ask if something is confusing. You could also always hire us to avoid all the hassle! Haha ok bye. Thank you for reading!