“Hey, could I please get some photos taken of my products?” This is often all that I am asked. I reply, ABSOLUTELY, but first I have some questions.
Did you know that there are different types and styles of product photography? They each serve their own purpose and some might be just right for your brand, while other types might not be for you.
Today I am hoping to educate you on a few of the main styles of product photography, as well as their purpose so that you can feel confident knowing what you want when you enquire with a product photographer.
4 Main Types of Product Photography
- White / e-commerce photography
- High-end studio photography
- Curated / Styled studio photography
- Lifestyle Photography
White / E-commerce Photography
WHAT IS WHITE / E-COMMERCE PHOTOGRAPHY?
Very simple, yet effective photography of your products on a white background. Your product is the absolute hero of the photo.
This style of photography is perfect for uploading images of your products to your website or to e-commerce sites.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY?
This style of product photography really showcases your product in all its glory. Having a high-resolution product image means you can use it on your website, social media and product listings.
If you get it etched on to a transparent background, it also means you have an unlimited number of options of ways to use the photo. You can import it into Canva for social media graphics, you can use it to add interesting elements to your website, you can create GIFs and Instagram stickers with it. There is so much potential.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING AN E-COMMERCE PHOTOGRAPHER
You want someone who is set up to be able to take quality photos for you.
Do they have a white backdrop? Do they own studio lighting? Are they going to touch up your image in lightroom and photoshop? Do they know how to photograph reflective products? Do you need the image etched onto a transparent background as well? Can they show you their portfolio of e-commerce photos?
Make sure you ask the right questions to ensure that you are getting the exact quality that you are after. Shooting on white sounds like it should be the easiest type, but there is so much work that goest into it you would be surprised.
High End Studio Photography
WHAT IS HIGH-END STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY?
This is the creme-de-la-creme of product photography (in my humble opinion)
It is luxe, minimally styled professional photos of your products.
These are often shot on bright or textured backdrops that are designed to make your products pop.
The scenes are well-lit and often include some shadow play to take the photo to the next level.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HIGH-END STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY?
When shot, styled and captured correctly, high-end studio photography can make your brand look NEXT LEVEL. Professional photos scream professional brand to your customers. If your images are legit, then you must be too.
Brands with high-end photography stand out in a cluttered social media landscape. Images are designed to be scroll-stopping and evoke a tonne of emotions.
You can use these types of images EVERYWHERE. In Facebook ads, Instagram posts, stories, youtube covers, email blasts – the list is endless.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A HIGH-END STUDIO PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHER
You want someone who knows what they are doing, but you also want someone who is going to take the time to get to know your brand. You don’t want your images to look like everyone else’s. They need to be true to YOU and your brand/products.
A good photographer will take time to understand your branding, colours, what your brand stands for, what is your brand voice (are you fun, quirky, sleek, minimal, environmental etc etc) these will help to determine the look and feel of the images captured.
Make sure your photographer asks you these questions (like I do – wink wink)
Next, you want to make sure your photographer has high-end equipment such as a legit camera (SLR) and good lighting. Do they have backgrounds and props that will match the tone of the images you want to be captured?
Are they going to touch up your image in lightroom and photoshop And always ask, if they can show you their portfolio of high-end studio photos?
Curated / Styled Product Photograhpy
WHAT IS CURATED / STYLED STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY?
It is quite similar to high-end studio photography, however, this type of product photography has more of a lifestyle element to it.
The goal is for the viewer of the image to get a look and feel for the product and imagine how they might use it in their own life.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF STYLED STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY?
With online shopping, customers can’t pick up and feel your products. So this style of photography aims to help customers to visualize what your products are like.
Images could be styled in a bathroom or kitchen setting instead of on a backdrop in a studio. If your products are kids clothes, perhaps styled in a nursery or on a soft white linen flat lay?
Again, you can use these types of images EVERYWHERE. In Facebook ads, Instagram posts, stories, youtube covers, email blasts – the list is endless.
Often these images can be cropped and rotated to get multiple images out of just the one photo.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A STYLED STUDIO PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHER
This style of product photography is very creative and there is often a lot of planning that goes into it.
You want to make sure your photographer is organized and plans out each concept before the shoot away. Ensure that you discuss props and backgrounds as well as potential locations (kitchens, bathrooms etc).
This style of imagery also needs to be well-lit. Again, the product is the hero of the images, so a good photographer will ensure that it captured to perfection.
You never want to over-do it with props, because then the props become a huge distraction from the product and the image can be confusing.
Definitely check out your photographer’s portfolio to see if they have a keen eye for this type of photography if that is what you are after.
WHAT IS LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY?
Your products, out in the wild and in use. This type of photography is usually shot on location and with models. It is the perfect way to add a human element to your brand as well as showcase exactly how your products are meant to be used.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY?
This style of photography incorporates a human element which is so important. Why? Because it helps customers to relate to your brand. If you use models that are in your target demographic it instantly will appeal to them because we naturally are drawn to people that we are similar too.
It also showcases HOW to use your products as well as allows customers to see the amazing textures, features and benefits of your products.
As well as this, it helps your customers to visualize exactly how THEY would use your products because they get to see them in use.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A LIFESTYLE PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHER
Shooting on location and with models can be tricky because there are often more limitations to this type of shoot than if a photographer is in their cozy studio with no one else around them.
A good photographer will be organized, able to communicate clearly with models and ensure that they get all the shots in the allocated time frame.
You want a photographer that understands light, is organized and has a shot list with details about what products to photograph and if there are any product combinations that need to be photographed. They’ll also get lots of different angles, close-ups and detail shots of your products.
Even though you are working with models and on location, it is important to remember that the models are not the hero of the images, it is still the products. And they need to always be showcased correctly so that they don’t become another prop in your photographs.
Always ask to see a photographers portfolio and ask them what their experience is with models.
Pro Tip: If you are on a budget and can’t afford a models fee, it’s always good to ask your photographer if they are willing to model for you. Not everyone will do it, but I have seen a few (myself included) who are willing to step up to the plate!
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“We have worked with Megzie multiple times in the past and could not recommend her enough! She's a very kind person and truly cares about the collaboration. She also has an amazing eye for photography and produces high quality content. We've always been extremely happy when working with her.”MASK CoProduct Styling + Photography
“Any small business looking for a product stylist, photographer or illustrator, take a look at Megzie. She comes highly recommended. I have been working with Megan before her biz was created and I am so very excited to continue to work with her and watch her passion and business grow. Megan has produced high quality images and content for me and my brand. She is easy to work with, takes the time to truly understand my vision and align with my brand. I proudly use a range of images that were specifically captured for my website as per my brief. Megan thinks outside the ox and delivers within the allocated time frame. All the while allowing me to feel confidence with the final product she will deliver.”Milky GoodnessProduct Styling + Photography
“Thankyou Megzie for creating a wonderful sketch of me on my 30th with my little family. I am yet to give this as a surprise present for Father’s Day and see my husbands reaction but I just know he will love it just as much as I do. Xx”Lauren JohnsonCustom Illustration