A set of professional photographs will make your products stand out online and a little planning will make sure you get all the beautiful images you need from your product photo shoot.
Here’s how to get ready for your product photography.
1. Work with a professional photographer
Yes, you can take your own product photos. But styling, shooting and editing eCommerce photography are probably not your superpowers. And as a small-business owner, you already have a-million-and-one other things to do. Hiring someone to take your photos for you will save a huge amount of time and stress.
When you’re choosing a photographer, look for someone whose portfolio makes you feel really excited about working with them and whose style really fits your brand. Ideally you want to find a photographer who specializes in product photography.
2. Brief your photographer
Once you’ve chosen a photographer, it’s time to talk to them about what you need. Let them know what you want your images for. Will they be using them for your website? An eCommerce site, your social media feed, or a combination of all of these? A good photographer will work with you to make sure your images are formatted and sized for your chosen platforms.
Get clear on price, how many images you’ll get and when, and how you’ll receive them. Ask your photographer if they offer a remote product photography service (like my Send & Shoot), to save you the time and hassle of having to be at the studio all day. With remote photography, you simply send the photographer your products; they style, shoot and edit your pictures; and then send your products back to you.
Once you’ve got the basics sorted, it’s time for the exciting part - styling your shoot.
3. Style your shoot
Start looking online for inspiration. Check out your photographer’s portfolio, look at your competitors’ images, pay attention to what stands out on your Instagram feed, and go wild on Pinterest.
Start a Pinterest board with your favourite style elements from all the images you like - think about colour, props, backgrounds, and compositions. To get you started, take a look at my Product Photography Ideas Board.
It’s also really useful to gather together the images and elements you don’t like. This will help your photographer hone in on your particular style and avoid anything that doesn’t fit your brand.
4. Choose backgrounds for your photos
Your photographer will style your products on top of or in front of different backgrounds - a range of coloured or textured surfaces.
They’ll have a number of backgrounds in their studio for you to choose from. And a good professional will also be very happy to source something special for you, if you give them plenty of notice. Play with incorporating your brand colours into your background. And ask your photographer for their ideas on what will work with your products.
5. Select the Right Props
The right props add touches of your own personality and style to your photographs. They also help to tell the story of your products, giving them context and helping customers imagine how they’ll use or enjoy them. The idea isn’t to overload your images with too much stuff. But to add one or two elements that will enhance your shoot.
Look around your home and studio for any props you’d like to include and think about what works with your brand. And talk to your photographer about the props they have already or could source for you.
6. Create a shot list
A shot list is a list of the individual shots you want your photographer to take of each of your products. It helps them be more efficient with their time. And makes sure you get the pictures you need.
Use your shot list to specify which products are in each shot, the camera angle, the background and props you’d like included, and other styling you’d like to see in the photograph.
You can download my FREE Product Shot List to get a good idea of what to include and to start planning your shoot right now.
7. Get your products and props ready
With your shot list in hand, it’s time to get your products and props ready for the big day. Go through your handy shot list and make sure you’ve got everything you need to create the photographs you want.
If you want to show multiples of some products in the same shot (or the front and the reverse of an item), make sure you give your photographer enough products to do that. Get together any props you’d like to include too. Then all that’s left to do is package up and send your products and props to your remote photographer, or take them along to the studio.
Planning and preparing for your photo shoot means you’re sure to get all the beautiful images you need. And getting creative with your styling is a lot of fun!
Don’t forget to download my FREE Product Shot List so you can get started with planning your shoot. And if you get stuck for ideas or if you have any questions about my Send & Shoot service, you can book a FREE call with me to see how we could work together.
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