Globe myBusiness Hosts Product Photography Tips by a Pro
Craft MNL in partnership with co.lab, Manila Workshops, and Globe myBusiness has been holding a series of workshops called “Growing Your Homemade Business.”
In one workshop, professional photographer Jeryc Garcia gave a short lecture on the basics of photography and a few DIY tips and tricks to get small business owners to put out engaging and eye-catching product photos. The attendees peppered Garcia with questions and showcased their original products while he assisted them from conceptualizing to composing great photos.
Sell a Lifestyle
Product photography is not just snapping a nice picture of your wares, hoping that people are going to want to buy it for its prettiness. Good product photography does not just sell a product, it promises a lifestyle. You got to get your product photos to tell stories, and not just any stories, but the stories of the people viewing them. Viewers have to look at your product photos and say to themselves, “I know how that is going to add to my life.”
Using photography to tell those stories as creatively as possible is the best way to invite viewers to the luxuries of homemade jewelry, the deliciousness of sweet or savory delicacies you are serving up, or whatever lifestyle your product caters to.
Set Your Product Up
Getting photographs of your products to tell stories is a huge creative task. So the first thing you have to do is make sure you know your product inside out: What is it about? What is it for? How many ways can it be used?
When you get a clear idea in your head on what you want your photos to say about your product, you have to figure out how to get the photos to actually say that. Visual language is not particularly difficult to learn and there is so much resources on it. You can get lots pegs or inspiration by turning to movies, paintings, Instagram, Pinterest, and the trusty Google search bar.
Next, you need to decide the setting in which to shoot your product. There are two basic set-ups. First is the Seamless set-up, which is a closed set-up. Anyone who has flipped through a catalog has seen Seamless set-ups. These are tasteful and elegant, identifying the product clearly and straightforwardly. It is a set-up that says, “Here it is, and it is great.”
Second is the Environmental set-up, which places your product in the world and contextualizes it like cookies on a plate on a kitchen counter or soap gliding down the skin of an arm. While this might seem ideal for product photography to tell stories, it is important to keep in mind that Environmental set-ups can sometimes be distracting and can put your products out of context too.
Maximize the Product
Getting the most out of your product in a photograph is not only a creative task but also a technical one. Examine your product and dissect its visual properties: Is it transparent, translucent, or opaque? Is it edgy or is it rounded? Is it very colorful or muted? Is it a product that is actually attractive or are you going to have to shoot the packaging instead?
There are many things to consider because getting the product to look good in a photograph means picking its most engaging visual properties and highlighting these. This can be done with lighting, which is the most immediately important consideration for any photographer because it is literally how your product will be seen.
Lighting will also determine the mood of your photograph, affecting the mood in which your product is received. Is the light soft and warm? Is it hard and edgy? What does that say about the product?
The Overrated-ness of Cameras
One thing many aspiring photographers struggle with is a sense of insecurity about whether their cameras are “good enough” to capture professional or even just high-quality images. But according to Garcia, the camera is only as good as the photographer.
It might seem a bit hackneyed, but nearly all professional photographers are more concerned with setting, lighting, composition, and concept than they are with the camera they are shooting with. A great camera is not going to make up for a lazy photographer and most digital cameras, even the underrated phone cameras, already have the ability to capture high-definition images anyway.
Globe myBusiness provides its customers with these business tips to cater to all new and existing entrepreneurs. For more tips and exclusive invites to relevant events, readers may sign up here.