Good photography is all about angles, lighting, contrast, and, well, the camera itself. Most photographers overlook the equipment, but some top-tier product photographers swear by their product photography equipment.
Of all the photography niches, the product photography is all the hype nowadays. That’s thanks to the surge in e-commerce that’s steadily phasing out traditional retail. For an online store to advertise its products effectively, it needs attractive images of their products.
Brick and mortar stores also need such images but to a lesser extent. The popularity surge of product photography is, of course, a good thing for product photographers countrywide. However, to land a well-paying client, you need to stand out from the competition, and the right equipment can help you do that.
If you have the right gear and equipment for the job, you can take stunning photographs that your clients can’t resist. In this piece, we’ll be looking at some nine must-have photography equipment for product photographers to up their photography.
Picking the right equipment for your photography can be overwhelming. That’s because there are so many to choose from. Plus, photography cameras companies aren’t helping the situation by chucking new equipment now and then.
However, you don’t need every photography equipment to amp your camera game, especially for product photography. Here’s what you should get when you’re in the market for product photography equipment.
If by now you don’t have a tripod, then you’re losing out on a lot. Most photographers may not want a tripod because it limits their freedom of movement. However, you can live without that freedom in product photography.
A tripod helps you maintain stability while taking your photos, so you can avoid taking shaky photos. Also, if you have to take multiple shots, the tripod will give your handsome much-needed rest.
You need a background that brings attention to the product. Taking photographs of your product with other stuff behind it takes focus away from the product. A white background works best for product photography unless the product is white, which you’ll need a dark background.
A single-colored background makes it way easier to remove the background later with Photoshop software. Using your wall for a background isn’t too professional, so just get a real background for a few bucks online.
Lighting is essential for good photography. The right lighting can take your photos from average to incredibly stunning. For product photography, a lightbox is perfect for lighting because it produces shadowless pictures.
A lightbox is ideal for photographers who don’t own a studio yet. That’s because it can create studio-like lighting that brings the best out of your product pics. A lightbox costs way less than actual studio lighting, and the results are just as stunning.
If you need to tweak your lighting a bit for that perfect pic, then a reflector is just what you need. Reflectors are reflective surfaces to help you manipulate the lighting. They are excellent for professional photographers who’ve mastered the art of lighting.
If you have excessive light, the reflectors can bounce off the extra light for proper lighting. It will save you the trouble of having to adjust the light balance with computer software later on.
For your product photography to be professional, you need to invest in a proper table; not your dining table. Since it’s hard to find a white table, you can cover the table with a white cloth and click away.
Some large objects may not fit into a lightbox, and you’ll only have the table to turn to. Once you position the product right in the center of the table, you can get perfect shots. Just remember to place the table away from direct light, or it will ruin everything.
We’ve already stressed how important lighting is for perfect photographs. However, when the light comes down too hard, it ruins your pictures. Umbrellas soften the lighting when it’s too strong, to prevent gaudy photographs.
Just place the product under the umbrella, and it mellows down the lighting. You can adjust the lighting a bit to get a perfect shot. So next time you’re out shopping for photography equipment, don’t forget the umbrellas.
Still, on the lighting, you could also use bounce cards to bounce off window light. These bound cards are made from foam board, which makes them easy to move around.
If you use window lighting to capture products in a more natural setting, then bounce cards are essential. With window lighting, you typically have a bright side that faces the window, and a darker side where the shadow forms. This lighting just won’t do for professional product pictures.
As such, you need these bounce cards to even out the lighting by reflecting the light to the shadow side. Not only is foam board light, but it’s also rigid and white, which is the perfect color for reflecting light.
You can use a dark foam board but not for reflecting light on the shadow side. Dark foam boards are for when you’re taking pictures of white objects. The dark foam board sharpens the edges of white products so you can distinguish it from the white background.
You’ll need tape whenever you need to secure a piece of cloth or your background. Look for a tape that matches the color of your board or background. If you can’t find one, then find a purely black or white tape, so you can easily photoshop it out.
Lastly, you need a bag to carry and protect all your equipment when you’re on the go. You can compromise on aesthetics when it comes to a camera bag. However, if you dig around, you can find a bag that’s both functional and stylish, especially if you pair it with these shoe options from KicksCrew.
Make sure the bag can carry your camera, most of your lenses, camera charger, or other essential equipment.
We can’t overstate the importance of having the right product photography equipment to advance your photography career. It’s totally advisable to spend a few dollars for quality photography equipment. All the money you spend will come back manifold when you get attention from high-value clients.
Plus, any notable photographer takes pride in the beauty of their work. For more insightful reads, be sure to have a look at our other pieces.