How we shoot great product photography for social media
In today’s digital world, social media should be one of the key aspects of your marketing strategies, no matter what industry you’re in, and great product photographs should be a vital part of your social media strategy, no matter what products you supply.
Having a serious collection of product-based assets can massively improve many aspects of the digital side of your business, including web traffic, dwell time on your socials and website, and of course the revenue you’ll generate.
The type of product photography you might use will depend on the products themselves, as well as the platform you’re posting on, and the audience you’re targeting with it. One of our key clients here at Picture Perfect Photography are Halos Doughnuts, who are manufacturers and retailers of some seriously tasty low-calorie healthy doughnuts.
We recently had them in our Barnsley photography studio to capture some product photography for social media campaigns, that would reflect the bright, character-filled branding that represents their awesome healthy snacks.
Preparation for a Product Photography shoot
We took on board the client’s brief and specific requirements to create a moodboard and loose shoot plan, which would allow for some extra creativity on Collette’s part to make sure the Halos team would get extra value from her many years of experience behind the camera.
There is so much content on social media that it can be easy for some hard-worked photography to get lost at sea, so it’s important to make product photography bright and colourful. For this reason, we went for some extra bright and colourful backdrops that would help the brand’s products to really stand out. Oranges and yellows were the colours of choice for the first part of the shoot.
We were sent dozens of doughnuts, so we would look through them to find the best possible specimens to make it in front of the camera. Only the smoothest, roundest doughnuts would make the cut!
The product photography shoot
Chocolates and Oranges
As these were for social media, the images needed to be particularly original and creative, so we’d bring in some props to make the products stand out. In the first batch of images, we used oranges, sliced in half, and we created a cool pattern of nine circles, alternating the doughnuts and the oranges. This is effective in that it is not only visually appealing, but it perfectly reflects the flavour of the doughnuts.
During early part of a product photography shoot, it’s important to take plenty of test shots and perfect the lighting. We’d take plenty of shots, tweaking the lighting. Doing this has a couple of key benefits; one is that we can streamline the process for the rest of the shoot, and the second is that we might just get large quantities of excellent, usable photographs for our client.
There is no real right or wrong to photography; it’s all about trial and error, experimenting with different lighting set-ups and angles, to see what works. There will always be gold at the end of the session.
When we shoot product photography, we’ll shoot directly into the laptop, which allows us to see the images in a much greater detail than we would if it was on the small screen on the camera. It makes discarding any unwanted images easier, which in turn makes the editing process a much smoother experience.
Our method is to start small, and then build on the scene, so we brought in some additional props including a bun stand and some ice-cream cones for shot two.
Because there were more items filling the shot, the lighting became affected, and it began to cast large, unappealing shadows. The solution here would be to pull the backdrop away from the products, so that the shadow would drop beneath the table we had the products on, but the bright yellow backdrop would remain a strong feature of the shot and make the delicious doughnuts pop on screen.
Halos Doughnuts are a regular monthly client of ours, and they trust us to create some special content for their brand, and so we have a regular prop box for their products. This helps us to keep their visuals consistent and memorable for their audience to recognise instantly. In this box, there are product packaging, water bottles, fake clouds made from cotton wool, amongst other cool props. This allows us to mix it up regularly, without losing the bright and breezy brand personality.
Switch it up
Time efficiency when capturing large volumes of photography for social media is important, so having the ability to switch out something simple, like the backdrop to completely change the tone of the product shots, is key to a professional studio like ours. For shot three, we added a bright blue backdrop, keeping the on-brand orange beneath the products.
Building on the scene further, we added more components to the shot, including pieces of chocolate and more doughnuts. We would then add additional embellishments, such as the fake clouds to give it extra personality, or a water bottle to add to the picnic, snacking vibe of the shoot.
Shoot, build and repeat
This is just a small part of a creative product photography shoot for social media purposes, and the client sent us three flavours of doughnuts, so once we had exhausted the options and ideas for one concept, we would take it all away and do it again with other flavours and concepts. On the shoot that you can see in our behind-the-scenes video, we would shoot for a full three-hour session, delivering no fewer that 55 original and creative images for our client to use across their different social media channels. From a single photography shoot, our client would have more than 50 opportunities to share their products in bright and eye-catching ways on their platforms.
Picture Perfect Photography: The total product photography and social media package
Our principal photographer Collette Evans has over twenty years of photography experience, having turned her hand to countless different photography styles in different industries. She is as comfortable shooting industrial and surgical instrument packshots for website and brochure purposes as she is capturing food and drinks for social media use.
And that’s not all; our social media brand partner Jen Hammonds at UJC is a social media influencer, who has gained thousands of followers through her own health and fitness platforms. If you want to truly get the most out of your social media strategies, then Picture Perfect Photography really are the definition of a all in one solution.
Halos are one of our regular monthly clients, which means they can take advantage of amazing extras and discounted services. If you’re a brand looking for creative ways to promote your products on social media then you should consider working with Picture Perfect Photography.
Every shoot with Picture Perfect Photography starts with a discovery session and creative planning meeting to understand your commercial objectives and vision for how you want your products to look, so get in touch using the form below, give us a call on 01226872517 or why not drop Collette a message on WhatsApp to 07458099039 and get started on your journey to having product photographs that will make your audience sit up and take note.