When it comes to commercial product photography, people often ask, "Why do professional photographs look better than non-professional?" The answer is complex and the process requires a great deal of skill and practical experience, but it is a skill that can be learned. If you've got products to photograph, investing the time and resources into learning how to correctly shoot commercial product photography - or hiring a professional product photographer is a choice that can drastically increase your return on investment.
The Importance of Lighting
In commercial product photography, professionals use special lighting techniques to bring dramatic effects and crystal clarity to the images. By using lighting correctly, you can bring a three-dimensional feel to a two-dimensional product image; making it seem more tangible to the viewer - as if they could pick it up in their hand and actually feel it.
Typical lighting used in commercial product photography includes powerful strobe lights to gain depth of field, special soft lighting boxes, reflectors, and macro lenses for close-up work.
Creating a Mood
Anyone can throw a product on a white background, but a professional creates a mood in commercial product photography instead of simply documenting a product. Creating an atmosphere that makes the customer want to buy the product is vital.
Lighting and staging play a huge part in creating mood. Modern lighting, home lighting, colored spot lighting, and dramatic lighting are well suited for producing a mood or feeling. For example, a commercial product photography shot of caramel covered apples in front of a plain white background is not very appetizing. It would not create the mood necessary to motivate people to want a caramel apple. A makeover of this shot includes creating a homey look.
An old wooden table in front of a window with special bright outdoor lighting coming through highlighting the apple uses light to create a cheery feeling. Additional staging for this shot could include the apple sitting on an old-fashioned plate positioned on top of a crocheted doily like the one Grandma used to make. An antique white vase full of daisies adds to the homespun photograph, making the apple seem homemade and more appetizing than with a plain white background.
Evaluating a Commercial Product Photography Professional
If you choose not to invest the time to learn how to accomplish high quality commercial product photography yourself, you'll still want to invest some of that time in evaluating a professional product photographer. Finding the right product photographer can be the difference between average online or catalog sales and record-breaking sales.
A great commercial product photographer not only has a keen sense of marketing, but should also take the time to learn about your product specifically. The photographer should ask questions about your target audience, your competitors, and the formats in which the image will be displayed.
Hiring a commercial product photographer is an investment, and you'll want to make sure you get results that absolutely thrill you. With the computer equipment available today, a great commercial product photography professional should be able to show you the images before the shoot is over so that you can be certain that you love the quality. Steer clear of any commercial product photographer that refuses to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
With these three tips under your belt, you can achieve professional commercial photography that works overtime to sell your products. Whether you choose to master the art of commercial product photography yourself or hire a professional, refusing to settle for less than professional product images is a decision that will pay off dramatically in both sales and the way in which shoppers perceive the quality of your company.