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Mastering Product Photography: Bring Brand Character to life?


product photpgraphy of tea

Product photography is more than just taking pictures of items; it’s about conveying the essence and character of the brand through every image. When done right, these photos can speak volumes about a brand’s identity and connect deeply with the audience. Here's a comprehensive guide to mastering product photography with a focus on incorporating brand character.


#1: UNDERSTANDING THE PRODUCT

#2: CREATIVE SET DESIGN

#3: USING COLOUR AND TEXTURE

#4: LIGHTING: YOUR BEST FRIEND 

#5: COLOUR CORRECTION AND RETOUCHING

#6: TACKLING BRANDING CHALLENGES


 

#1: Understanding the Product


To truly capture the essence of a product, it’s crucial to understand how it is used and the story it tells. For example, while shooting cocktails, I placed the drink on a square coaster among a book, ashtray, and singing bowl, using the model's hand to direct the viewer’s eye to the cocktail. This setup not only highlights the product but also creates a context that enhances its appeal. By embedding the product within its intended environment, you create a relatable and authentic scene that resonates with the audience.


product photography of a cocktail

#2: Creative Set Design


Set design is a powerful tool in product photography. The goal is to create a scene that highlights the product without overshadowing it. Always ask for the brand’s branding guidelines to stick to the preferred colours. If guidelines are unavailable, select the three dominant colours of the product and design around them. For instance, when shooting a high-end watch, use a sleek, minimalist backdrop with props like luxury magazines and leather accessories. These elements should complement the product and direct the viewer's attention to it.


close of tea

#3: Using Colour and Texture


Colour and texture add depth and dimension to your images. They can evoke certain emotions and make your photos more engaging. Choose props that tell the story of the product but do not distract from it. For example, using soft, pastel colours and textured fabrics like linen or cotton when shooting skincare products can create a soothing and luxurious atmosphere that aligns with the product’s purpose.


product shoot of ginseng

#4: Lighting: Your Best Friend


Lighting is critical in product photography. A well-lit product can enhance its features and appeal. A common setup involves using a key light close to the product, a top light above, and a fill light to balance shadows. The lighting setup may vary depending on the emotion you aim to express. For example, harsh lighting can create dramatic effects, while soft lighting can evoke warmth and intimacy. Experiment with different lighting setups to find what works best for the product and the brand’s character.


 Food photography of wings and chips

#5: Colour Correction and Retouching


Accurate colour correction is vital in maintaining the authenticity of the product. Use Adobe Lightroom to adjust light and colour and Adobe Photoshop for retouching. Ensure that the colours in your photos match what you see in person. Over-editing can distort the product’s true appearance, so aim for subtle enhancements that bring out the best in the product without compromising its authenticity.


Ginseng cocktail product photo

#6: Tackling Branding Challenges


A common challenge is working with brands that lack a defined personality. To address this, offer a branding guide template to help them articulate their brand identity. This proactive approach not only assists the client but also ensures that your photos align with their vision. Before the shoot, agree on a timeline that includes the shoot date, rough draft review, and final edit delivery. Delivering the final drafts a day before the agreed date can impress clients and build trust.


Moringa powder studio photo

 

Incorporating a brand’s character into your product photography can significantly enhance the impact of your images. By understanding the product, getting creative with set design, using colour and texture effectively, mastering your lighting, and addressing branding challenges proactively, you can create compelling product photos that stand out. Remember, the goal is to tell a story that resonates with the brand’s audience and showcases the product in the best possible light.



Here's a free brand style guide template and my editing checklist for making it this far.




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