1. I am not sure when you browse for product images in an advertisement or an E-Commerce website, on what were the challenges they faced or the effort that someone has to put in to come up with that final image that you probably just scrolled by.
2. In my experience shiny products like the cutlery set sample image above is one of the most challenging things to photograph simply because they reflect EVERYTHING around them. Items made of silver, reflective acrylic, glass, chrome & stainless steel will have this reflective character.
3. What do we need to look into before hand in order to have a clean product image like above?
THE PRODUCT 4. First thing is the product itself. The product has to be clean from any dust dents, smudges or scratches as much as possible because a good quality camera such as what I am using can definitely pick up these imperfections. As much as possible try to wipe off any fingerprints and dusts from the product. Use a good quality micro fibre cloth. A cotton cloth will just leave more lint on the product.
5. Next we will have to identify & select what background to use. In the sample above the client wanted a dark background. So I used a reflective black acrylic to give the product a reflection effect beneath the product. Care must be taken to the acrylic surface as it will also have the same issues like the shiny product such as scratches, smudges, dirt and fingerprints. Below is another sample of the same product with a white background. Notice how the different background will give you a different shadow effect. Both samples have the same camera viewing angle.
THE CAMERA VIEWING ANGLE
6. Which angle you set the camera also plays an important role otherwise you will see your own smily face in the product. If you see any other objects surrounding it you may also have to remove them where ever possible. If you are not able to remove them there is another technique which photographers use in order to avoid other objects from showing. You will need to contact me & I will share the tips personally.
THE LIGHTING SET UP
7. In order to bring out the features & the shape & form of the product, we will need to use an accurate lighting set up. A good lighting will give you a perfectly exposed product with no hot spots & over-exposed highlights. A photographer with a good technical lighting knowledge & skills will know what to do.
THE PRODUCT COMPOSITION
8. The product arrangement also plays an important role in featuring the product's form & shape. IF you place the products side by side incorrectly, the neighbouring products' reflection can be seen on the other products' surface.
THE CAMERA SETTING & PHOTO CAPTURING TECHNIQUE
9. This is one of the most important item to look into as well. One has to know what camera settings to use for product photography such as this. I will not go into detail about it here as it is a bit technical to understand. However as a general understanding, the camera needs to be able to capture sharp image of the product. All the important details need to be captured such as the product features, the surface texture, the label, the brand logo and the product outline.
THE POST PROCESSING (EDITING & ENHANCEMENT)
10. Finally the post processing, or as many of us will know it as the editing process. Editing process will repair, correct or enhance the image to make it as perfect to the eye as possible. Things like alignment, colour correction, exposure adjustments can be done. Sometimes there will be some defects on the product which could not be cleaned off earlier can also be removed. Sometimes there are printing imperfections on the labels as well that needs to be taken care off.