Most photographers know the basics to good product photos – using a tripod, setting your camera to the widest aperture, using a white background, creating an out-of-focus background, and more. But what about those really unique product photographs? You know the ones. They simply don’t look like a normal product photo you’d see in a regular catalog. These are usually used for full page features in a catalog or in ads for top brands.
While the photographers of these inspiring photos did follow the most important product photography rules, they also played around with breaking some of these rules. If you are too timid and unsure in your photography to step out of the box, you will probably never produce a truly unique product photo, such as what you see with Nike or the Anthropologie print catalog. Which proves that product photography in Dubai and product photography in Sharjah seems light years away to you, and if you can’t even imagine shooting for Nike or Anthropologie catalogs do not worry! Every great photographer started from somewhere and here is a great beginner guide for how to become a photographer, if you are planning to get your hands dirty.
However, if you are ready to take the plunge, you may want to try one or more of these 10 tips for truly unique product photography.
1. Hang Products
Now, hanging products for better view is not necessarily an unusual practice in and of itself. Creative hanging, however, is. Maybe you should hang the product upside down, sideways, or in an unusual location. Suspend it from wires or ropes that remain a part of the photo. Go grotesque, sexy, or humorous. Play around with it and be sure to take way more photos than is necessary, and definitely be sure your lighting is perfect.
2. Macro Shot
Macro shots are super close-ups. You probably see these a lot in restaurants: a blob of butter slowly melting atop a cob of corn. These are very evocative photographs that are supposed to “awaken our senses” and encourage us to buy. One time I tried it when I was shooting for product photography in Abu Dhabi and the product photography in UAE is more fun than any other country. I personally love doing product photography.
Chess and playing the guitar are hobbies that have devoted followers, so macro shots like this are sure to ignite some fond memories for them that will heighten their intent to buy.
However, alongside macro shots, it’s also important to include full shots of your products. When selling online, the more information you can give to your customers, the more likely they will be to make a purchase. People want to know that what they see is what they get.
3. Use proper Lighting
Let’s start with product photography lighting. Without proper light, neither your product nor your background is going to appear how it does to you in person. “A white background without light doesn’t appear white in the photo, it appears grey,” says Tony Northrup in an article for the Digital Photography School.
There are two options for product photography lighting: studio lighting and natural lighting. The product that you’re photographing, the purpose of the photo, and the platform on which you’re advertising it will help you decide which setup to go for. Natural lighting can work really well for product photographs featuring edible items, people, and clothing, and these natural looking photos can work well in social media contexts, like Instagram.