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      Photography instruction  Join our information section, where we keep adding more and more tips for a variety of photographic techniques, including;
How to sell products faster and for a higher price with great photos.
Pet Photography, Travel
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details make a stronger connection to the buyer.   A lens extension was used.

Virtually all tangible products require a good picture in order to sell
online or through the mail.
The idea is to display a product's best features to their best advantage. 
However, y
ou must create a genuine representation or customers
may be very disappointed.  
An enormous amount of money and time goes into photographing merchandise.
Follow this series of pages to learn how it's done.    Scroll down.
Roll the mouse over the photos for tips.

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How to photograph merchandise so it sells faster for more money.

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          Before photographing a product, you should spend time thinking about how you want to present it.  What kind of emotional response do you want to get from
 a prospective buyer?  Beyond that, you need to consider the following:

          Item's size, texture, and surface material.  Reflective surfaces must be carefully lit.  Do you need to capture small details?  Will any other items be in the photo, such as related products or props ?  What color background is appropriate?

           Materials and shapes can make a big difference in lighting choices.

Glass and ceramics

           These materials usually reflect light so you have to be careful  about glare spots.
Use indirect flash by bouncing your flash unit.    I usually bounce toward a light colored ceiling.  You don't need expensive flash units.  For many of the photos below,
I used an on-camera "speedlight" pointed slightly away from the item, or directly up.
The "speedlight" triggered a small, 60 watt-second slave flash  that was also pointed slightly away from the item, usually off to the side and upward.  The combination of 2 indirect light sources prevents harsh shadows.

would be better with a dark background, possibly silk

standard catalog shot.   what you see is what you get, no more, no less.

not enough light.  A soft textured light background would be better.


Metal is similar to glass in reflective capacity. 
 A lot depends on what color it is.
Indirect soft flash works very well.    Metal is frequently painted.  
Select lighting according to color and surface texture.
Metal can appear cold and uninviting, so it's common
to introduce warmer tones and textures.

a side light accents the shape.  High contrast emphasizes engraved numbers precision products need sharp detail and contrast
crisp metal is offset by a wood background slight glow makes it look new and exciting
antiques....details show character and age, authenticity angle of lighting is important if you want to avoid reflections lensfilm1.jpg (98880 bytes)

Most wood has wonderful texture and a range of color in the same item.
Soft indirect lighting and high contrast works well.
details are important.  The rainbow color accent adds life to the brown tones  


Paper is not always very reflective. 
 It's a "warm" material, so a modest amount of shadowing is okay.

shadowing brings in subtle emotional tones

basic product shot.  not much of a story with this utility product related items make a photo stronger.  food is an emotional product


From a lighting standpoint, fabric is much like wood
except for a much wider range of colors.

Leather is also similar to some fabrics, in terms of texture.

clothing is often best shown being warm.  It brings in a human element

A contrasting background highlights the product



Plastic can be very reflective, but not like glass.
Some kinds of plastic have nice texture, too.  
Wide variety of colors are possible.
To convey warmth, put plastic near a soft textured object or background.


in this case, a white background would have been better

lightmeter1.jpg (70562 bytes)


Combinations of materials

Sometimes a slight reflection enhances the appearance of a product.
The trick is to arrange the lights so only a small area provides the "glow".

a product with hard surfaces benefits from a soft background

making metal and plastic look inviting is a challenge.  It's about lighting.

jewelry is very emotional, but often has hard surfaces.  Balance with some softness.


       Good jewelry pictures can be worth a lot of money.   They can be important evidence for insurance and theft claims.    Because most jewelry is small it's often necessary to use macro photography techniques.     For really top notch photos of gems you should use a tilt/swivel lens or view camera and preferably slide film.



      Photography instruction  Join our information section, where we keep adding more and more tips for a variety of photographic techniques, including;
How to sell products faster and for a higher price with great photos.
Pet Photography, Travel
( taking a trip soon? ), portraits,  photo editing, and much more

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