Product Photography

The DireLights catalog is fully underway now! There is some serious work being put into it and we are so excited to see how it comes out. We have different categories to put each candle in (5 candles for each season of the year, plus a year-round section.) The format is just about ready for the next step, pictures! We have a photographer on the team that has some background on product photography, but I am curious about how to take them myself. Similar to last week, instead of reading an article, I have decided to look at product photography examples to get a better understanding of how to take them and see how our pictures should be taken for the catalog.

One of the first things I noticed was that all of them were taken using a tripod. This is a key tool to make sure your image is straight and stable. If this tool is not used, you are running the risk of a crooked picture that nobody will want to look at. A tripod keeps everything still and uniform. You can even use your smartphone with a tripod! Phone photography can be easier than setting up a camera, and the quality isn’t that much different. Luckily for us, Mr. Oliver allows us to check out cameras and tripods whenever we want, so there is no issue there. 

Another important thing is the proper use of lighting. You want to keep your shots using one type of light, either natural or artificial. Natural lighting refers to the sun and should be used to take pictures outside where soft light is needed. For example, if we are wanting a natural picture at the beach with one of our Summer Candles, we would use the sun and place it in front of our product to make it pop and get the proper amount of lighting. Placing the candle behind the sun will give unwanted shadows and makes the image dark. Artificial lights are LEDs that give a harsher feel. These lights are typically used with a diffuser of sort to spread the light evenly on the surrounding areas. An example of this would be taking a picture indoors on a flat spread where we shoot the photo top down. The light would be placed above the image pointing down to brighten the product so people can see the entire image. Lighting is one of the most important things and is a must for all photographers to know.

Finally, location. All of the photos I looked at had different locations and they all made sense on why they were taken where they were. Locations can make or break your image depending on how and what you are shooting. An idea we had as a department is taking the Summer line of candles at the beach. This makes sense, but we need to shoot the image on a good day with a beautiful sky and people playing in the background. This will add more life to the image and make it pop more than others. A bad location would be shooting our Fall candle line indoors because fall is usually associated with falling leaves and pumpkins. Shooting the image indoors doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because the theming wouldn’t be there and the picture would be a little boring.

After looking at many different product photos, I can come to the conclusion that consistency is key. All of them had these aspects to them to make their photos better than their competition. I have some pretty good ideas on how we can shoot out pictures for the different lines of candles. This will take a long time to get all of them done because we will need to travel to different locations, but it will be worth it. I can’t wait to share this information with my team and get started taking pictures for our new product catalog.

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