The e-commerce market has seen a dramatic rise during the last year. The lockdown, induced by COVID-19, has changed the way people buy goods for their regular consumption. People were forced to shred off their inhibition against buying necessities without seeing the physical product. In this new normal, the role of a product photographer has become more critical than ever.
As a product photographer, your job is to attract the attention of potential customers and inspire them to buy the product. At the same time, you are also responsible for depicting an honest representation of the product. Here are some quick tips to strike a balance between the two and enhance the value of your photographs.
Keep the image background simple
As a photographer, you may be tempted to experiment with different interesting backgrounds. However, remember that the image background should never distract your audience from the main product. The largest e-commerce site Amazon only accepts product photographs with white backgrounds. Google shopping recommends white, grey, or lightly colored backgrounds for the photos.
If you are shooting for other platforms where you have the freedom to take in-context shots, try to implement the strategy of color psychology study in your photographs. This study suggests different colors and hues have some specific effects on the human psyche and behavior. Brands have been using this study to build up brand image and create compelling stories that motivate their customers to buy their products.
But even when you are using colors in your background, make sure the photo background is not overpowering the image.
Use standard lenses
A product photograph shouldn’t misrepresent the size and proportion of the product. So, while capturing a product’s photo, never use wide-angle or effect lenses. According to the experts, an eye-level photograph taken with a regular lens can best represent a product’s features. The optimal focal length of the lens for product photography is anywhere between 40mm and 58mm.
Along with the eye-level shots, you may also take other photos from different angles to provide a better idea to your audience. You should also take some macro shots to highlight different parts of the product that you feel are important for your audience to see. Use a macro lens to take these close-up shots.
Use PNG formats
It is recommended that you store and upload your product photographs in PNG format. PNG provides more clarity than JPEG. In most cases, the difference is not visible. However, product photography should retain all the details, and thus, a PNG format is more suitable for such photos. Capture the image in RAW format and after editing, save it in PNG format. PNG also lets you have a transparent background which may come in handy for some photographs.
JPEG compression can distort and blur the colors of the image. Every time you open and save the file again, some details are lost. This compression may affect the color of the photo too. You should keep this in mind, especially while shooting products where the color of the product is crucial. After you edit the image and take the final output, check it on different devices to ensure the color in the photo is not different from the original color of the products.
Product photography is often more convenient than other forms of photography as here the object is static, and you are shooting in a controlled environment. You have the complete freedom to manipulate the light and other factors to create beautiful yet objective photos.
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