Last week we took a day out of photographing other peoples products to spend a bit of time on ourselves. Our aim being to create a series of photos that could be put out across our social media to highlight our creativity and raise brand awareness.
With our 2020 pumpkin we wanted to created an engaging image that captured the essence of Halloween, but not in a cheap, corny way. Instead of using spooky images we wanted to encapsulate the mode of Autumn and the transition to cold, dark nights.
Using a range of lighting techniques we threw shadows on different surfaces to create some interesting textures. We then used a long exposure to bring out and detail the flame within the pumpkin. In post production we accentuated the effects of light beams, to create the eerie shards of moonlight that drift across the shot. For more information on artworking and retouching have a read of our last blog post.
By cropping the image we were also able to create a new Twitter header; regularly changing your profile image is an effective way of keeping your page fresh. For a comprehensive guide to the correct size for different images click here.
The shots below help to illustrate how much time and effort goes into professional photography; from carefully chosen props through to using a selection of lights to create the exact look you are after.
A range of lights are used to create a intriguing final image.
Why are images for social media and web use so important?
People are increasingly busy and information moves at a faster rate than ever before. The old saying “A picture speaks a thousand words” is more prevalent now than it has ever been. People tend to skim read and browse news feeds, but a striking image can make people stop and engage them. A recent study which tallied a month of posts on the MIT Facebook page and then ranked them from most engagement to least engagment showed that 70% of the top 20 posts had images. The same study shows engagement is 37% higher for posts with images.
So you need some imagery?
There are a few options: You can take it yourself which will obviously be the cheapest option, but will be time consuming and although they might pass as stand alone images when they are put up against professional imagery they may well stick out like a sore thumb. So your next option is using bought stock images, this can be an effective alternative, but you will struggle to get personal images that are exactly right for you. If you are selling a product then imagery that features your product is going to be much more impressive than a generic stock image.
We have been helping one of our clients with personal imagery for their Facebook page. We tried to keep the photos simple, striking and focus on their branding. We’ve tried to capture different times of year and scenarios that people will be able to relate to. Here are some examples:
Are you struggling with ideas and quality photography for your online presence? We can help any business’ out there who are lacking in creative ideas and imagery for their Social Media or web pages. Please give us a call on 0113 272 0277.
Great photography takes a lot of work and whilst we strive to get everything just right in the frame a lot of this happens in post production. Making an image fulfill its true potential takes careful behind the scenes work. A lot of people don’t realise the possibilities and variations they can get from just one image. We want to try and explain what artworking and retouching are, why they’re important and how they can make your precious imagery go the extra mile.
What is Artworking?
Artworking is the process of making a photo look as good as it possibly can. Although we go to great lengths to prepare shots before they are taken, there are always aspects of any image that will need cleaning up or correcting. Room set and furniture photography is where artworking is most prevalent. Small marks on the walls or floors are removed, along with folds or awkward creases in furniture. Anything that unintentionally draws the viewers eye to one point is resolved. Maybe a product has a slight scuff or crack in it which can be rectified in Photoshop. Then the lighting is tweaked to the optimum level to give a it crisp and clear image. White background shots can be clipped to give a perfect white which shows of the product to its maximum potential. It also enables us to ensure the product can drop into a catolouge or web with no tone. We include a certain amount of artworking as part of the price of a days photography to make sure that we give our clients the best possible final product.
How is retouching different to artworking?
Retouching although similar to artworking is a slightly different process. It involves manipulation rather than perfection. Common examples would be changing the colour of a product, or the adding or removing of a person or object. One process that our clients make use of a lot is changing the fabric colour on large pieces of furniture sure as beds or sofas. If a product comes in twelve different colour it makes much more sense financially and logistically to change one image rather than ship in lots of large cumbersome products. Sometimes you might want a shot with and without a model in it, shifting the emphasis from the use of the product to the product itself. You could even show a product in lots of different locations to help a potential buyer relate to the surroundings. One of our clients are producers of industrial drill bits and as we can’t create a quarry in our studio we instead manipulate the surrounding to give the desired effect.
At 2020, we have colour-calibrated monitors for careful colour matching. This is especially important when we are undertaking work for clients whose product photography has to match the product closely, such as tile photography, carpet photography, furniture photography, industrial or household paint photography and many others. By getting your colours right, we will help keep your customers happy and avoid costly returns.
Here we have an example of a multiple colour change.
The colours can be matched to any swatch and give just one shot endless possibilities.
Here we see a slightly more complex example.
The model has been removed and the colour changed. This gives a second option to the shot and doubles its possibilities.
Notice how to no detail is lost with the colour change, shadows and reflections remain unaffected.
If you would like to discuss our photography or post preduction service please call us on 0113 272 0277