I learned something new…

…. Product Photography is a tough gig.

I had originally gotten into photography to channel some pent up rage and ice cream benders into something much more creative and less destructive than a bucket of Chunky Monkey.

So, when a friend/neighbor/web designer asked me to do some shots for him and a site he was working on, I thought, “Sure, why the hell not, could be fun”. Fun hanging out with him, yes… Photowise, not so much. I was told in advance that we’d be working with a graphic designer, so that leads me down a different path than if we had no designer. I wasn’t given much direction up until about 20 minutes before the shoot began, so most of this was on the fly.

My thought process is, when working with an editor or web designer or graphics person is to imagine what they want from my work. Is the style I’m going to produce going to work for them? What kind of medium is it? Web, posters, magazines, books, post cards…etc….etc…? That helps me determine what it is I need to do.

For this one, my direction was, “product, web and designer”… Got it. Shoot wide enough for the graphics guy to have room to play, shoot with a blank white or black background so they have more latitude with the photos and get enough “odd” ball shots on top of the standard shots so that they can play with the photos to make banners and what not. I have the luxury of shooting wider than normal because this will be web based… I.E. Small photos. I can shrink down the stuff I take to make good stuff for web based material.

So, shoot wide, bland background and get the entire product in the shot. Not much ‘smoke and mirrors’ type trickery here. Here’s a sample of what we came up with for this particular companies products. They make scratch-off cards for some well known companies, you might have heard of Steve Madden.

Scratch off sample for product photo.

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