Product Blog

Product Photographer Los Angeles, CA

Still life, table top, digital product photography studio

Product photography can range from shooting a bottle of shampoo on a white background to a photograph of 50 foot tall drill rig next to a lake. Anything that can be manufactured and sold is a product, and all products need product photography to be sold.

Most table top photography falls into two main categories, catalog style and “beauty style” images. Catalog shots are simple, straight forward, fairly flat lighting on a solid color background with no additional props. Catalog shots are quick, easy, and just need to clearly show the product. Beauty shots are typically used for catalog covers, website title or home pages, advertising, trade show signs and anywhere a positive image about the product is desired. Beauty shots often involve dramatic lighting, exotic backgrounds, sets or settings, and props. Beauty shots can take several hours to several days to shoot, depending on their complexity. Beauty shots often involve prop stylists, set builders, digital retouchers and other specialists.
Products can be shot individually or in groups, and the arrangement of the group of products can require a lot of patience and creativity.

Some product photographers specialize in one type of product, such as cosmetics, shoes, body works, cars, or food. There are also product photographers that offer special effects such as water splashing on products, or products being dropped into liquids.

Preparing for a small product photography photo shoot

Create a “shot list” outlining what products should be shot alone, and which ones in groups. Determine if you want catalog shots only, or if you also need beauty shots. Keep in mind that while catalog style shots can be done in minutes, beauty shots can take hours. Decide what color and style backgrounds or settings you would like to use, and outline everything in your shot list. If you have something special in mind as far as an arrangement, a rough drawing is sometimes helpful. Get all the products for the shoot together, and make sure that nothing is missing. Then bring or ship everything together with the shot list outline to the studio.

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