Home » Blog » What type of product photography is right for you?
Posted on January 10th, 2014 by Tom Girling
Good product photography shows your products to their best advantage. If you want to make your products more desirable to your customers and increase your sales there are a few different routes you can take.
White Background photography is most commonly seen in catalogues and is also prevalent online. It is widely used for its crisp, clinical style that puts full attention on the product.
One of the advantages of white background photography lies in its relatively low costs which make it a common medium for large volumes of product.
It’s also very well suited to the web as the images generally have a smaller file size and can sit on a webpage seamlessly without a border.
Here, the same image has been “clipped” meaning it can be dropped seamlessly into a brochure or website without a border.
Using a black background adds a different look and feel. It’s often used to showcase high-end or luxury products. Coloured backgrounds and textures add interest and can give your photography the edge against a white background. Black can work especially well with glass and chrome products, highlighting reflective surfaces and creating contrast against lighter surfaces.
Cameo shots are often used to highlight great selling features and details of a product. Whether it is intricate stitching on a leather suite or a dial on an electronic appliance, they help showcase your product to its full potential.
A lifestyle or styled shot helps to convey a setting and level of emotion that is hard to achieve with a white or coloured background. Styled shots help to make products more desirable by showing them in a real life situation, altertatively they can be propped in a more conceptual manner which can be equally as effective.
Here we see how the same toaster can be styled in very alternative ways to appeal to a different target market.
A lifestyle shot is much more personal to your brand and can be tailored to your product and target audience, making it unique and far more valuable as marketing material.
To achive a high quality styled shot we work with experienced stylists who will ensures that you get the best possible look for your product.
If you would like to talk to us about our Product photography service then please give the studio a call on 0113 272 0277 to discuss what style would be most suited to your needs
We’ve created this dazzling image for Bonfire night. Its created using a technique called light writing or light drawing. By using a long exposure a trail of light is captured giving the effect you see here. We’ve used a sparkler to give it that Bonfire night feel.
What’s it all about?
Pablo Picasso’s experiments in light drawing in 1949 were fairly revolutionary and helped bring the medium to the attention of the art world and in turn the greater public. The work came about as a result of a collaboration with Gjon Mili of LIFE magazine who later published the photos.
Another interesting innovation came when French designer Alissa Logerot came up with the LED spray can. As an alternative to spray paint graffiti the bulb is charged by the kinetic energy generated when you shake the can. This coupled with the option of different caps for different effects gives the concept an authentic feel. Here are some of the results.
How do you create your own?
Firstly you’ll need a dark environment, if you want just the light trail to be visible then the darker the better. If its not completely dark you’ll get a blurred image of whoever is doing the light writing. This isn’t always a bad thing and having a figure can give the image context and create a striking ghost like effect. Next you need to have a play with your settings. The longer you set your exposure the more light you’ll be able to fit in. We used a 8 second exposure at F16, but half the fun is in experimenting so give it a go yourself.
After we were happy with the form we added smoke in photoshop to give the image a little more interest.
5 Top Tips for light drawings:
- The brighter and more defined the light you use the better – LEDs work well as they throw out a bright and concentrated light.
- Make sure you keep the end of the light in the same field of focus for a clean, crisp image.
- It can help if you use a visual marker for the edges of the frame so that you fill it to its entirety.
- If you’ve set your exposure to 8 seconds then you can count to 8 in your head whilst drawing your image to make sure you fit it all in.
- Try not to move too quickly as the image can blur or distort and to create thicker lines try going back over the same areas.
An example of light drawing graffiti using the surrounds to its advantage.
An exciting Batman inspired image, don’t worry if you can’t achive these kind of results, a lot of work will have gone into the post preduction on a shot like this!
If you would like more information on our photography service then please give us a call on 0113 272 0277 or drop into our Leeds based studio.
Posted on August 27th, 2013 by Tom Girling
At 2020 we are passionate about food photography. We also run a Promotional merchandice department meaning we are always on top of whats hot in the world of PM. So when we saw these brandable herb grinders we had to have them!
Have you ever spent a frustrating amount of time chopping up herbs for a garnish only to find you’ve got it all over the kitchen? This herb grinder is the perfect soloution. It’s stainless steel blades are great at producing a fine even garnish. You can even try mixing fresh herbs in it to produce a more exciting garnish or rub.
It took some thyme but we ground out the shot and we think that it looks mint!
Using our creative side, a bit of patience and a lot of parsley, corriender, dill, chives, thyme and rosemary we came up with these fun photos to promote the grinder. Not only did it look and smell fantastic but it would make a great rub for a nice leg of lamb!
If you would be interested in making use of our food photography service then why not pop in and we can give you one of our new grinders and have a chat about your requirements. Give us a call on 0113 272 0277 for more information.
New in the studio this month is our Apple TV. We’ve just about managed to resist the temptation of watching talking cats on YouTube! Instead we’ve linked it to our Capture One software so that clients can watch their shoot snap by snap from the comfort of our sofas – crisps and chocolate provided.
Linking the camera to our studio iPad allows you to either flick through previous shots or use the app to capture new ones, these are then relayed from the iPad to the Apple TV which displays on a 32” flat screen. Our photographers love it because it means they don’t have lots of people crowded around their monitors and they can fire a shot from anywhere and not just from behind the camera. Everyones a winner.
Dan from White Meadow was one of first clients to take advantage of it. This is what he had to say about it:
“Its great, it allows me to sit back and look at the photos from a comfortable position. I can then flick through them nice and easily and compare the different shots. Its me who’s got control and I can just skip through them while the photographer gets on. Sometimes the difference between shots is very subtle, just a slight change in lighting so it’s great to be able to see it on a big screen. You get a bit more space rather than crowding round a screen and its the flexibility that I really like.”
I also had a word with Leon our Photographer:
“Shooting off the ipad was good, in some ways it was a bit of gimmick in that you could show and explain what was going to the client without being next to the Mac. Its a real advantage being able to walk onto the set with a screen in your hand, and really pinpoint what you were trying to achieve with the lighting or whichever element you are altering. It also helped with an item that was being back lit from below; being able to fire the camera while adjusting the light, and it all being done in a matter of seconds was fantastic. Before you would have to adjust the light, then go to the camera, and then finally to the Mac to view it, and repeat that process many times. It really helps the client as well because they can see the journey you’ve been on, and they can go back a few shots and identify something they really like and ask you to go back to that”
If you’d like to find out more about the photography services we provide at 2020, call us today on 0113 272 0277 or email us.
The aim of food photography is to show food that looks good enough to eat.
Because creating excellent promotional images of food requires experience and expertise, you should always use a professional commercial photographer. Skimping on costs by looking for cheap food photography is a false economy: it’s much better to invest in high-quality photography that will show your food products to their best advantage.
- Use a kitchen setting
Any commercial photographers who take a professional approach to food photography will have a kitchen on site. Having installed a fully functioning, permanent kitchen at the 2020 studios, we can prepare your food on the premises so that it looks as fresh as possible on the final image.
It also means that there’s a ready-made setting for the shot, so if you’re looking for lifestyle photography this can be accommodated and we can also source models when required. Along with the room sets that we often build to showcase our clients’ furniture, flooring and décor, it means we can recreate any room in a house.
- Hire a good food technician
Using a food technician or food stylist will vastly improve your food photography. Whatever the product, they have the expertise to make it look as good as it possibly can – or even better than it is!
Using fresh food for your shoot will result in a better quality image and a food technician can help to keep the food looking fresh for the duration of the session. At 2020, we have a food technician who works with us to achieve the best images of your food.
- Get the setting right
In food photography, the food is the star but the background and setting are also important. At 2020, we believe that preparation is key for any shoot.
Food photography may require clean, bright close-up shots with a soft focus background, or images that show the product in a particular setting. Whatever the product, a good photographer will spend time preparing the setting before starting the shoot.
This warming winter soup is perfectly complimented by the rustic loaf and appropriate crockery. The use of the garnish surrounding the bowl helps to continue the comforting feel and give the food a setting and situation.
- Add garnishes and props
With a little thought and care, additional items such as garnishes and props can dramatically improve your food photography. Table dressings and crockery, along with food and drink items associated with the product being shot, can make a big difference to the feel of the image and can be chosen to complement the food.
Depending on the product, the props and garnishes may fit into several categories, such as rustic, classic, contemporary or ultra-modern. A rustic loaf of bread, for example, could be shown on a solid oak table next to a carafe of wine, rather than a bottle. A new dessert being launched in contemporary packaging could be shown on a slate plate with a simple stylish table setting.
This more contemporary shot makes use of soft focus in the background to highlight the Salmon roll, which is the focus of the piece. It’s well lit and clean, which mirrors the style and presentation of the food.
5. Lighting the shot
Whenever possible, natural daylight is usually the best option for photographing food. Otherwise, you will need to work with a commercial studio that has the expertise to create a close representation of daylight.
A good commercial photographer will also know how to create a mood using light and how to ensure there are no unwanted shadows or reflections on the final image.
Fast food is a perfect example of the difference using a food technician and a professional photography team can make to your regular food photography. This video made by the kings of fast food McDonalds shows exactly how they get what you see on the menu display looking so different from what you end up eating in the box.
If you’d like to find out more about the food photography services we provide at 2020, call us today on 0113 272 0277 or email us. You might also like to look at our Food Photography pages.
Last month we came across this fantastic article called “Photography affects online sales” by Tim Bilsborough. It was exciting for us because it put what we already believed into facts and figures.
At 2020 we’ve always believed that good product shots really do work, and help to sell products, but now we have proof in the form of an impartial survey. The statistics speak for themselves, reinforcing that trying to cut corners on images and photography is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make.
In this digital age where people are constantly in contact with increasingly effective photography, businesses need to go that extra distance to get a photo that really stands out. A good example to compare effective and poor photography is on eBay. If you take a look at this genuine screenshot from eBay you will notice a vast difference in just these four images. Which would you buy?
The example of a USB is even more effective as they should all perform the same task to a similar standard and are largely featureless. So apart from their capacity and price, the image is the only element people have to choose between them.A second great example comes from this Wine blog, with something as simple as a bottle there are still lots of different elements that can make or break a great shot. They put it perfectly: “It’s important to have awesome looking bottle shots. You’ll make a good first impression, boost customer confidence, and support marketing efforts outside ecommerce, such as print collateral, advertising, and signage.”
In general the public are taking increasingly better photos in their spare time and are much more savvy to a poor quality image. These photos are also being constanly uploaded and published on social networking sites, with over 55% of people putting their images up on Facebook. Consequently, low quality commercial photography is no longer acceptable.
The same goes for design and publishing software, people now more than ever are opinionated on poor design. With the rise of platforms like Pinterest people are exposed to hundreds of high quality photos and designs everyday, they will no longer settle for less. Don’t let your imagery let you down and if you’d like any advice please give us a call on 0113 272 0277.