Product Photography: How It's Different

While there are certain ways you can pose a subject in human photography, the same does not hold true for product photography. You can not mold the product, but instead you have to use your camera and lighting to highlight its key features. In order for the client to be content with your work, you must produce a quality photo that is able to sell.

Lighting is Key

Although lighting is important for any element of photography, it is especially important for product photography. If the product appears too dark, it may not be easily viewable and fine print may be blurred, affecting the quality of the photo. On the other hand, if the product appears too light, it may look washed out.


The background of a photo can be almost as important as the subject that is being photographed. You do not want a messy background, no matter what you are trying to convey in the photo. In human photography, the background may be an interesting link to the subject that is being photographed. A messy background may portray the personality of the person in the portrait.


In normal photography, you would normally want a soft flow of the subject. When shooting products, you will want clean lines and crisp edges. Make the subject pop out from the background, instead of blending seamlessly into it. Be sure that the writing that is on the front of the product is easily viewable and the font does not have a glare.


Along with the difference in ways of photographing, the pay and benefits can also differ. Unless you have a large client base, you may not get work for some time. While some people may buy random photos from a photographer, subject photography is very specific. A person will not want to buy a picture of a bracelet unless they need it for marketing or another specific purpose.


Due to the fact that product photography is a quickly growing business, supply may be greater than demand. While there may be dozens of photographers in your area that do photography, you will need to set yourself apart from the others. You may not get practice in your specific field as often as you would like but taking pictures of everything in your sight will help to keep your skill fresh.

Color or Black and White

While people may prefer their portraits to be in color, subject photography pops when taken in sepia or black and white. The contrast between the product and background is dramatically increased, lending to the quality of the product in the photo. Choosing random colors in the picture will also add contrast to the subject being photographed.

There are several differences between conventional point and click photography and product photography. If you follow the tips listed above, you may be able to start a successful subject photography business.

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