When your company needs to update its product catalog or create a new catalog where lots of products are involved, there are some very important things to consider that will make an impact on how the job is photographed, the end results you will get and of course the cost of the project.
Select Good Quality Products
The first thing to consider is that of the quality of products you are sending to the studio to get photographed. Unfortunately in this day and age many laymen are under the impression that everything can be “fixed” in Photoshop, so they tend to overlook sourcing good quality samples of their products for the photo shoot. This is a big mistake because while it is possible for a skilled Photoshop user to do amazing things to photographs, those corrections take time and end up costing you money.
Make sure that when you are gathering your products together for the photoshoot that you choose the best ones you have and where possible always include backups (because accidents do happen on photo shoots).
Prepare Your Bottles!
When we shoot bottles, particularly see through ones, we light them from behind. If you have a label that wraps all the way around your bottle, or if you have a second label on the back of the bottle, it is advisable to remove these completely otherwise the resultant image is going to show the rear label and they tend to look very ugly when backlit.
If the label wraps around the entire bottle and is translucent then we recommend removing the rear section carefully using a sharp blade to score the edges where it meets the front. Alternatively, if you have the budget for it you might want to consider adding labels in post production, therefore sending through unlabelled bottles would be a good choice.
Batch Similar Items Together
When we are photographing large and diverse ranges of products things go a lot smoother when we photograph everything that is similar in one batch. The reason for this is because of our lighting and camera positioning doesn’t change for similar products, but if you send us a few of one thing and some of another, we have to change the setup for different types of objects. For instance, if we have a bunch of bottles in one batch that need to be shot head on, plus a few items that need an elevated shot at an oblique angle, changing between the two setups is bound to result in slight variations of the angles. It’s best to keep all your similar products in one batch, let us get through them all and then move onto a different setup for the other types of products.
Label Your Products Clearly
This may seem like a bit of an odd request, but trust us, it will save you tears later on.
Imagine you have sent through 1000 items for photography and you need to be able to quickly find an image of any specific SKU. How would you do it? Visually? You could, but it would take you a long time, especially if there are 1000 similar items to look through. What you would probably prefer to do is type in the SKU into a search field and have whatever software you’re using to manage your digital assets bring it right up. That’s entirely possible but it requires metadata for the software to be able to search for it. If we simply supply you with 1000 files that have our sequential file numbers on them you would have no way of knowing what image belongs to what SKU. Then you will cry long tears.
So what we do for big jobs (as a favour to our customers for bringing us their business) is we save the SKU into the file name, along with our own file name. This makes it easy for computers to find the things you are searching for. But it is entirely dependent on you making the effort to mark all items clearly with the SKU. We suggest using masking tape, writing the reference number on the tape, then sticking that to the item.
Tell Us What Your Customers Are Looking For
Most entrepreneurs know very well what their customers are looking for when it comes to product attributes and they will make sure that their brief includes clear instructions to the photographer on which parts of the product are most important. However, sometimes the product may have hidden features that are not obvious to the photographer, so it’s very important that you point these out in your brief.
As always clarity on your brief is probably the most important part of getting your product photography project done to your satisfaction, so please spend as much time as possible on it.