When it comes to photographing your products, styling plays a very important role. How you choose to style can enhance your product, but it can also distract.
Having professional photos of your products is SO important – and I’m not just saying that because I’m supposed to. If you’ve spent loads of time and effort creating an amazing piece of work, why undersell it with a bad product shot? Good product photography makes you stand out, it helps your online shop look more professional, and the images are more likely to be snapped up by blogs and magazines, which means more coverage for you – high five! To get you started, here are my top tips for styling your product photos.
It’s really important think about your style in general and incorporate this into your product photography. If you already have your branding in place, what does it say about your work? What colours have you chosen? All of these factors can be incorporated into the props and backgrounds you use for your product shots, and will help you to carry your branding across all the platforms you use to promote your work. Before you get started, make a note of the words you’d use to describe your brand and think about ways you can portray this in your images.
You also need to consider who it is your want your products to appeal to. Are you selling a luxury product or something more budget friendly? Is it aimed at a certain age range, or a group of people with a particular interest? Identifying your target audience is really important, and this will help you to create images that will appeal to those people - and result in more sales!
CREATE A MOOD BOARD
Once you’ve thought about the above two points you can create a mood board (Pinterest is super handy for this!) and start pulling together reference imagery. This will help you to decide on backgrounds, props, and layouts for your images. I have a selection of Pinterest boards to get your started, take a look.
Choosing the right props for your photographs can be tricky, but consider including items that help tell a story about your product. For example, you could include some of the tools you used to create the item, or choose items that emphasis the key elements you want to attract your target audience. To create a cohesive look across your images keep the props neutral, or in your brand colours. Remember to be aware of scale too - in general you’re better off choosing small props so that they don’t distract from your product. Always have more props to hand than you’ll think you’ll need, you can always choose to leave something out!
The background you choose to use is just as important as the props. You could keep it really simple with coloured paper, or try experimenting with different textured surfaces like fabric, wood, or wallpaper samples. As long as it doesn’t distract the eye from your product, it can really help to create the feel for the shot and echo what your product is all about. Avoid clashing colours, crazy patterns or locations that simply don’t suit your product.
One of the main things people struggle with when it comes to styling product shots is creating a composition that is balanced. Try placing your product in the centre of the shot (the Rule of Thirds says that the eye is naturally drawn to the area that is about two-thirds up from the bottom of the photograph) and allow some space around the item so that it doesn’t look crowded. You can then start to bring in your props - try placing them in the background and foreground of your shot (or if you’re shooting a flat lay, try putting the prop in different places to see where it looks best). Use your props as leading lines to direct the eye to the product.
By taking the time to hone the overall look of your product photographs, you can create a consistent look for your online shop and marketing materials. This is a form of branding in itself and will make your shop recognizable to your customers across all platforms.
If you’re not confident when it comes to styling, keep it simple! Experiment with different things and see what works, and what doesn’t. You also shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. In my opinion, the styling of your product photoshoot should be a collaboration between yourself and your photographer. It’s always great to have a fresh set of eyes to look at your work – they might just suggest something you hadn’t thought of before!
If you have any questions get in touch.