Before any shoot, it's important to get as much of an idea as possible about what the client hopes to receive as the end result of their session.
I often get asked for products against a white backdrop, which sounds simple enough but can be executed in a variety of different ways to accomplish a variety of different effects. So I thought it may be useful to create examples of different finishes as a reference.
1. Seamless white
This background is my most used set-up, the one I will default to when given no specific instruction beyond 'on white'. It's a classic shot and looks good with any product, keeping soft shadows from the product and on the background to create the illusion of natural light.
Sometimes including the reflection of your product can be a simple way of introducing an added dimension to an otherwise plain set-up while still keeping the focus entirely on the 'hero' item. This effect can be accomplished with our without the gradient shadows and is a popular choice for shots of glassware.
3. 100% White / Cutout
Typically used on 3rd party selling platforms such as Amazon or Ebay this set-up eliminates all detail from the backdrop. While there are plenty of apps that can accomplish a cut-out effect, doing it in-camera allows for consistent lighting and produces a higher quality shot which is particularly important when the image will need to be isolated from the background for use in print.
4. Creative White
Using liquids, or substances like sand or glitter can be a great way to add more visual interest to a shot which is incredibly useful when trying to get your brand to stand out on social media.
I love using fabric backdrops as their varied textures can offer such a breadth of different effects. They're also perfect for creating a natural-looking surface in a studio setting, though when aiming to use any creative surfaces it's important to factor in the size of the product to ensure it will fit within the backdrop.
6. Backdrop Boards
Using boards for backdrops is another brilliant option. Including a 'horizon line' is great for tabletop products and also allows for more lighting options.
7. Draped fabric
Draped fabric backdrops have been incredibly popular lately and I absolutely love using this simple technique to add a touch of realism to a studio image.
This could be a panel created to look like a real surface or could be an actual space within a room used as a background. Combined with different lighting techniques as in this shot this can be a great way of manufacturing a 'real' environment for your product.
Finally, introducing frames, blocks, risers and other kinds of props is a brilliant way to get creative with your products. These can be brought along, ordered specifically for the shoot, made from random items, or customized so make sure to ask what props are available before your shoot.
I hope this has been informative and helps when planning our next session together. It's far from an exhaustive list and I'm planning to make something of a series out of this, talking about different aspects of the photography I produce. So if there's anything you'd like to hear more about in a future post, be sure to let me know!