A product shoot can be an intimidating endeavor. It’s a lot easier just to find some stock imagery or ask a supplier to send you their image catalog for their products. But using curated and custom imagery can give your business and your products more of a personality and help draw consumers' eyes to what you offer.
What is a Product Shoot?
A product shoot is more than just taking fancy pictures of your products; it's about creating a personality for your products that is just as unique as you and your company. After all, no one else does what you do, so why should your product imagery be any different? Here at Flywheel, we recently did a photoshoot for a project we're working on (be on the lookout for something really cool!) The first thing we did was ask ourselves what the feel of the project was and how the photoshoot reflected that. We decided that the traditional white background and props wouldn’t cut it, so we went out of the office one morning and did the shoot in a location that meshed with the project. Original work distinguishes you as a company, especially with stock imagery being relatively easy to spot, making it your own, and making it better! Now that we’ve inspired you to go out and shoot your custom branded products you’ve received from us here at Flywheel, let's talk "tips and tricks".
One of the first things you need to do is a "vibe check". For example, know the feel of the shoot and the products. If you’re highlighting your summer products, don’t use winter or fall-feeling props and locations. Don’t do a swimsuit shoot at a ski resort. But this also goes for the design of your products. If they have a more modern design, then make sure they’re displayed in a more modern fashion rather than something that feels nostalgic or vintage.
Set the Mood
Now that you know the feel of your products, it's time to build a mood board. These go by many different names; vision board, color board, design board, etc., but regardless of what you call them, they're going to be an incredibly helpful tool for you as you curate your shoot. As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to know the design of your product so you can match the mood of the shoot to it. A mood board is great for finding inspiration, colors, and even framing or styling that you like and want to incorporate into the product shoot.
Set the Scene
Now that you know the vibe and the mood of your shoot, it’s time to decide on the location. You can be as creative as you want here. Want a more lifestyle shoot? Go outside or inside a house. Want more of a clean, modern feel? Use a clean backdrop with strategically selected props. Let the products dictate how you shoot them and play with the layout of your location and the things located within it.
When it comes time to shoot the products, it’s always good to have someone to help you model the products, even if it's just a hand to hold a water bottle, because it shows the product in use, and consumers like to see things used and how they use them. It gives them a connection to the product. When using people in your shoot, whether they’re coworkers or hired models, make sure to give them an idea of what's happening, give them a dress code and location, and send them your mood board if possible. Itineraries are essential. Making sure that everyone involved has a good idea of the vision helps the shoot go more smoothly.
And one last bit of encouragement from your friends here at Flywheel; good cameras don't take good pictures.
Good photographers do. Take the time to learn framing and composition when starting your photoshoot and it’ll make all the difference.