Product photography – how to prepare for a shoot

Like it or not, if you’re selling products online, you’re going to need images and videos. Lots of them. And they’ll need to be updated pretty regularly too. But don’t despair, with the right photographer and a bit of preparation, product photography doesn’t have to be a chore.

Do I really need professional images?

We have some decent cameras on our phones these days, and they’re great for the odd social media shot or a quick Live on Facebook. Or even creating a TikTok. I’ve created many photos on my phone and managed OK. But, take a look at the bigger retailers or your well-established competition, and you’ll see professional images all over their websites and social media photography. And guess what? They’re showing the customer really clearly what they’ll be buying.

but i don’t know where to start

That’s OK, let me guide you through how I prepare for client photo shoots in this blog about photography and hopefully you’ll pick up some hints and tips to make the process easier for you.

Prepare a brief

Having a clear picture in your mind of why you’re taking the photos and what your goals are will help you and a photographer understand more about your products and the look you’re trying to achieve. You can read more about how to form a brief in my blog.

The photographer

How do you know whether one photographer will be better than another? And what should you be looking for? Shortlist three that you think you’d like to work with, send them your pre-prepared brief and ask them to send you a quote. Good photographers will send you examples of their work automatically. Personally, I don’t tend to go for the cheapest or most expensive, it’s a balance between whether their work suits the product and whether they get what we’re trying to achieve.

Image styles for your product photography

This is where you can start to get a little creative (I love this bit!) What look is it you’re trying to create? Perhaps you already have an idea, perhaps you don’t. I always start with a new board in Pinterest. Here you can collate loads of images then spend some time whittling them down to those that have the look you want to go for. And Pinterest is extra great as you can share the board with your photographer too and take some time to collaborate on it.

Props and models

So you’ve sorted what you’re doing, who’s going to take your shots and the style you’re looking for, what’s next? Do you need any props? If it’s a seasonal product photography shoot then think about colours and items for backdrops. Maybe it’s lifestyle or food photography so think about items that will complement your products. If it’s clothing then what will you want your models to wear? And that’s a point…who’s going to model for you? Having all these things prepared well in advance of your shoot will make it run more smoothly.

On the day

Hurray, the day is here! If you’re attending the shoot, get anything you need to take with you ready in advance. If your photographer is worth their salt, they’ll have provided you with a list of shots that they’re aiming to take on the day so make sure you’ve got a copy of that to hand too.

and you’re image ready

Product photography

So with the shoot complete, you’ll soon be receiving images to choose from your photographer. And able to use them in your digital marketing.

And if you’re still unsure and would like someone to help with your product photography or marketing in general, then do get in touch with me. I’d love to help.

Gill x

How visible is your marketing?

Is your target audience seeing your marketing?

Take my quiz to find out: