Product Photography Styling to sell more (bts my process)
Styling is in super high demand. Prices for campaigns are soaring, like the minimum is about 10K that we charge right now for product photo shoot, so whether you're planning to do photo shoots for other brands like I do or if you are taking photos of your product for your online store and so on, stick around. I have all my secret, secret, secret details for you to steal, for you to copy.
I'm Roberta West, and I manage launches for creatives just like you, and photo shoots are always one fun part of the process. I'm excited to share every detail that you need to start selling your product. Here are the styling basics.
Styling basic number one is all about backdrops. Backdrops are what we we use to create some definition, some distinction between your product and the environment.
So, backdrops for product photography are best if they're monochromatic, so just one color, and this is because there are two types of photos, and I want to make this distinction today. So, there are feature product photos, photos that are targeted to show the features of your product, pretty self-explanatory, and there's also the lifestyle photos, so those photos are a little bit more to show how the person can use your product. A simple backdrop will make your product really stand out, and that's what you really want when you're doing a feature photo shoot. When you're taking photos for more lifestyle, you can get more creative with your props and your backdrops, but if you're doing a feature shot, so taking really good details of the features, color, size, and et cetera, I recommend you keep it simple with monochromatic or white backdrops.
Order Any Color Board From Staples
Some ideas to steal, I make any color backdrop, any color I can dream of by creating a file and filling the background with the color I want, and then I send that file to Staples or any other printer and print it in a large paper. To create your backdrop is really simple. I am using Photoshop, but you can use anything you want. To start, I create just a new file on Photoshop. In this new document, I do a landscape, and here in the background content, instead of white, I just choose background color. I use my brand colors or any brand that you are photo shooting or you want to create your backdrop. I'm going to pick this and click okay. I'm going to say this is my backdrop, and create. So, here it is. I'm just going to save as a JPEG file, is already to select here. Yours may come up as a Photoshop extension, and I'm going to save on my desktop. Save.
So, now, I'm going to go to Staples, and I'm going to select a Staples sites. There is print and marketing services. I'm going to select more printing solutions and blueprints. You can do this in a lot of different ways, but blueprints are the most cost effective because of the paper, but you can do, if you want to have something more durable, they have all sorts of solutions. It's just a little bit more pricey. I'm going to pick color blueprints, say ... Add your files, so I'm going to upload a file, backdrop. Open, and okay. So, now, I have my file here. I can [inaudible 00:04:53] here at the media. You can pick the size of the paper you want, the printout, 18 by 24, 24 by 36, or even 36 by 48, which is really cool. I'm going to pick this small one over here. There's also like a fit content to paper that I forgot. When you do that, your entire paper, your image is just going to fill. Since you are not doing anything with details, that's pretty good.
Okay. New job name, backdrop. You go through and you add to your cart. The price is pretty reasonable. It's 2.9. That gives me like a large printout of the color, the exact color I want, and if you print it in engineering paper, it's like $7, and you don't need to worry about like getting it damaged or anything else. You can replace it easily, so that's my idea to steal. I also think you can use marble or a simple project board. Anything that has a soothing and simple color serves like as a backdrop, very, very well.
Styling basics number two, your props.
Picking the right props is kind of the same system as the backdrops. The simpler, the better because when you're trying to feature some specific aspects of your product, you don't want a lot of props distracting from the main item you want to sell, right? You want to make sure that people see exactly what you're selling, what is the color, what is the size, and so on. So, props really help you give the idea of dimension, the idea of color, the idea of size, and in some cases, also help the customer kind of visualize how your intentions to use, right?
For props, I recommend that you use things that are uber relatable to the product, so nothing kind of just for the sake of putting a prop right there. For example, if you're selling ink, let's say calligraphy ink, don't just put like flowers over there. Try to bring props that really go with your product and give a better understanding of the size and so on. So, I would put, for example, a calligraphy pen in there. Everybody kind of knows how big a calligraphy pen is, and it's going to give the idea of how to use it and also the size, the color of your product.
Styling basics number three, lighting.
The good thing about product photography is that you can use any source of lighting, and things continue to look pretty good because you're really featuring the item, so as long as you have good lighting, you can get away with like pretty much any source. Obviously, my favorite is still natural lighting, and it's the cheapest, the easiest way. What I do is to place my backdrop near any big window I have in my house. The light, the natural light just shines through, and I can play a little bit with the positioning and play with shadows or like direct sunlight or indirect sunlight when I move my items around and capture the light in different times of the day.
Other basic lighting that I have around the house are the round lights and also soft boxes that shine that gives a little bit ambient lighting to my photos. Pro tip number one, if you don't have good natural lighting, don't turn on the lights on the top like on your ceiling lights. Prefer some lights that come from the sides, and that will give you a more natural look for your photos. Pro tip number two, mix cold and warm sources of lighting to give a even more natural look if you're using artificial lighting.
Styling basics number four is all about photography.
It's very important to know what you're doing and to have the right equipment, so if you cannot partner with a photographer, which I highly recommend, photography is a full conversation that I'm going to share in another video, but for now, I'm sharing the best videos I've found on YouTube for you to take a look and try it on your own.
A little bit idea to steal, I take photos sometimes with my iPhone, and they still look pretty good, so with the technology nowadays that we have on our phones, I don't think it's really necessary that you have a super equipment and everything plugged in, but depending on the size of the photos you're going to use, obviously, having a pro come in is a great idea. So, go find a good photographer to network and partner with, or watch the videos I have down below. Since we're talking so much about product photography, I want to know what brands you really love their photography, what brands you really love their product styling. Put on the comments, and we're going to get this conversation starting, okay?
Styling basics number five is all about placement.
Here's like the short version of it. You want to try to feature as many details as you can, so go ahead and take many angles, shoot from different sides. Flip it around. Do whatever you have to do to get a good number of features showcased in your photos. For instance, if I'm working with a product that has several uses or it has a different shape, whatever the features are, I want to make sure that I take at least two or three different photos of different angles, positioning, lighting sometimes, to give a little bit of option and to give a full picture to my clients and customers that are on the other side of the screen.
The way you place your items is also influenced by your branding. How crazy is that, right? Think about it. If you have a very natural organic branding, you'll probably want a soft placement of your items. One of my pro tips for soft natural placement is to just drop the product and wherever it falls, you kind of just arrange a little bit and tweak.
Styling tip number six is all about the shot list.
This is the secret sauce nobody's going to tell you about. It doesn't matter how many years of experience. In order to make a beautiful campaign and take all the shots you really need to show on your website or on your social media, on your Pinterest, and so on, you must create a very robust shot list. I start by collecting photos or inspiration from brands that I follow, and that's why in the comments, we're talking about the brands we follow because it's pretty important to the process. Then, I gather the ones that really make it relevant to the product that I'm shooting.
For instance, I open a Pinterest board, a secret one most of the times, and I place all the items that go with that product over there, and I start getting ideas for how I want to place, what kind of props I want to get, the color scheme. At a minimum, you want to list all the features of your product. Everything that is special that the clients are saying they love, that they are buying it for, you want to list everything you know about your product and making sure you create a correlation between the feature and what you're planning to style.
Back to our example of calligraphy ink, for example, one of the features is that it doesn't smudge. let's say. I don't know anything about calligraphy ink per se, but I just want to say it doesn't smudge. Make sure you have that on your shot list. Maybe I'm going to put a few drops, and I'm going to try to write through it or maybe I'm gonna put my finger through like a writing just to show it doesn't smudge. Also, list every place that you are going to use the photos for. If you have the dimensions that are appropriate for that medium, even better. For instance, Instagram has a different kind of layout in size of photos that they prefer, that is preferred on that platform. YouTube, for example, has a very narrow banner. Facebook uses a different kind of sizing, and I'm saying this because most people think that you can just crop the photo differently, but truly, you want to create styling that reflects that positioning.
Organizing all this information is the key to a successful photo shoot. So, I'm making it super easy for you. I have a free styling guide with all my checklist and everything I learned, and that's for you to set up your photo shoot in no time, and don't forget anything important. In the description below, I have a link to my styling photo shoot guide, and it's yours for free. Now, if you're still looking for more ideas how to make money with your creative business and launch a life and a business you love, make sure you subscribe, hit the bell because every Sunday, we have new episodes for you.
Hope you liked the proven strategies I shared today. I would love to hear from you on Linkedin and Instagram. The links are right below, and I can't wait for our next video on Sunday. Make sure you tune in.