Product photography can be such a fun genre of photography to explore, even if you don’t want to do it for a living. Perhaps you just want great pictures of your own products to sell in your Etsy store or maybe you just want to show off your new toys in an effective way to your Instagram followers. Whatever the ultimate use, it’s still product photography and if you want to do it well, then you’ll want to watch this video.
Coming from Lucy Martin, this product photography walkthrough goes through what she considers to be the essentials of what you might need but also explains why you might need them. Everybody’s needs are different and Lucy goes through several different options that are useful for the budget-minded photographer as well as how you can expand it in the future to produce the best product shots possible.
One of the myths Lucy busts fairly early on in the video is that you absolutely have to have expensive gear and a bunch of strobes to photograph products. Obviously, they can help, but depending on the room or other environment in which you’re shooting the products, you might not. And even if you do need to add lights, you might be able to get away with just an inexpensive continuous light.
Sure, you might need to go with a tripod if you’re using continuous light, especially if you need a lot of depth of field, but a tripod is an invaluable item for product photography anyway, so having to go with longer exposures isn’t that big of a deal – just make sure to use the self-timer or a remote trigger to prevent knocking or vibrating it when you hit the shutter. And as tripods go, you want one with a centre column that can go horizontal if you want to shoot those top-down flat lay images. Personally, I’m a fan of the Manfrotto Befree GT XPRO, but there are plenty of other options out there.
Lucy also talks about the mindset of product photography and the general approach you need to take. Product photography isn’t just about creating cool images.
You don’t want to be thinking about ‘what’s the coolest photo I can take?’ You want to be thinking about what is the best photo to sell this product?
It’s a great introduction to the world of product photography for the uninitiated and contains a lot of great advice for those just starting out with it to get them producing good shots as quickly as possible while avoiding many of the headaches you might encounter if you were just blindly giving it a go without doing some research first.