Product photography can be a difficult task. One of the most important factors would be that of setting up the camera. So, before you get started; ask yourself some questions. What is your objective? How do you want to set the scene and what is the outcome? Try and visualise the final product shot in your mind. Will it be clean? do you want small shadows or large shadows? will the product be on a shelf or will you be using coloured backgrounds?
So much to consider but let’s get going by playing around with your products. If you’re not smiling, stop! have a break and come back fully charged.
For this article, we will be using a close lighting system with light coming from the bottom, left and right. Keep it simple. We use a transparent plastic table and two 1050W EzyLite Softbox Twin-Head lights. Turn them on and angle each light with a forward twist to capture the front and side views. Sometimes you might want to bring the lamps in really close. We find this works better with black coloured products.
Set the camera to auto and high resolution. What you’re looking for is nice shadows. The image should look dark and unnatural. This is a good sign the picture is sharp and packed with detail. A top tip would be to turn off any office lighting you have as well. Let the studio lights do the work.
The product is a stylish lipstick case from Raepak Ltd. A company that specialises in cosmetic packaging.
All product photography is cut out from the original raw image. Use the pen tool in Photoshop. The pen tool should be your best friend in Photoshop, learn to master it. A web ready jpg should be around 1000px by 1000px max, this will set you up for retina ready screens. Paste the cutout lipstick container image onto the new file. The image should look dull.
The first thing to do now is action your contrast and brightness tool. The trick is to pull the brightness up and pull the contrast down. You can keep doing this until you are happy with the final image. Straighten up the image by using the Photoshop rulers. Add a small amount of sharpness using the Sharpen tool. Now play around with the vibrancy options. Remember, your eye becomes skilled over time in seeing what needs to be done to make the product shot look great.
Use your shadow library or paint in the shadows needed for each product.
These editing tips should really put you on your way to making great images for your clients.