How To Shoot Product Photography

Brandon LazovicJuly 30, 2018

Looking for tips on how to shoot product photography? Learn more in our latest product photography guide.

Tips on Photographing Products

2018 Photography Challenge: Product Photography Lighting

Having an array of great product shots is necessary for any local business, whether you use them in your advertising efforts or as images for your online store.

The biggest consideration you should make when shooting products is the lighting you’re using to capture the details of your product. Most photographers will utilize window light, but a best practice is to avoid photographing at night or using indoor lights. You can also use a white backdrop with studio lights, but this isn’t necessary.

If you’re using window lighting, it’s important to be consistent and shoot at similar times if you’re taking photos on different days. Low key photography may be an option if you're looking to create a harsher contrast and tone in your product photo.

Another consideration is how close up you want to shoot your products. Most photographers will use a 50mm 1.8 aperture lens, but it all depends on what details you want to highlight in your product.

Using a 50mm lens is great for making the details sharp while creating a bokeh effect, blurring out the background to draw more attention to the subject of your photo.

Even if you don’t have a DSLR camera, you can still get away with using a phone that’s equipped with a good camera like the Samsung Galaxy S9, Google Pixel 2 or iPhone X if you have good lighting.

This Week’s Product Photography Challenge

Product Photography Rose of Sharon

I had a lot of fun shooting this week. There were two different ideas that came to mind; the first was to take car rim shiner and place it in front of my car. Considering how dirty my car is, I decided to go out into the backyard and shoot around in the garden instead.

Our Rose of Sharon are in full bloom, making for an aesthetically pleasing composition. I used my macro lens for the roses and incorporated the rule of thirds to make room for the product and text in my photo.

I shot a second photo of the product, Schultz Plant Food, and superimposed the product into my Rose of Sharon photo. I’m happy with how this week’s challenge prompt turned out, but the editing work was a pain and a half.

Product Editing Work Behind the Scenes

If you haven’t watched my editing video already, here are the color edits that I made for the Rose of Sharon photo:

  • Contrast: +30
  • Highlights: -20
  • Shadows: +20
  • Whites: -20
  • Blacks: +20
  • Clarity: +50
  • Vibrance: +30
  • Saturation: +30
  • Point Curve: Medium Contrast
  • Green Hue: +50
  • Red Saturation: +79
  • Orange Saturation: +17
  • Yellow Saturation: -100
  • Yellow Luminance: +20

After I performed my color editing, I dragged both photos into Adobe Photoshop. It was a relatively simple process to superimpose the Plant Food product on top of the Rose of Sharon photo using the magnetic tool to cut out the background.

Initially I tried using the quick selection tool, but the results were horrendous. After using the magnetic tool I tweaked the placement and size of the plant food, then exported the photo over to Canva to add text.

I used Lato Heavy and italicized it, placing the text in the black part of the background for optimal transparency.

The hardest part of the editing was grabbing the product from the second photo I shot. Using the quick selection tool was a nightmare and I wasted nearly an hour trying to pull the product as cleanly as possible; the edges weren’t straight no matter how hard I tried to clean everything up.

Product Photography Header Photo
Here's the finished product for this week's photo challenge!

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