How do you turn an idea into reality? That’s the question we ask every day when we work in our studio. And the answer always changes depending on the type of shoot we do.
Before we start taking photos, we often write down our ideas on paper to figure out what we need to communicate in the image. Then, we create some sketches to help us imagine the set we need to build.
Below is a sketch of the O&M Dry Shampoo product photography we recently did:
We wanted to show that despite being a dry shampoo, the O&M bottle in the photo has all the properties of regular shampoo.
We used blue light (using blue gel) in the background because it’s cool to the eyes and it reminds people of water or the sky. We also added palm leaves to represent the organic properties of the product (O&M’s selling point!).
Finally, we used a snoot to light the product like a spotlight while keeping everything else dark. Doing so not only evoked elegance but also highlighted the shape of the bottle.
Of course, the notebook sketch isn’t foolproof. Unforeseen issues always come up that can only be solved with a lot of trial and error.
For instance, the first pictures we took showed that the black acrylic platform looked a bit flat so we solved the problem by adding water droplets. Although we didn’t think of it beforehand, we realized the beads of water made a statement that O&M dry shampoo is as good as taking a regular shower.
The spotlight from the shoot also created harsh shadows on the right side of the bottle. But we decided to keep it dark since we didn’t want small text and the barcode showing up in the photo, anyway. Plus, the stark outline also evoked the feeling that the bottle was partly in the shade under a palm tree–reinforcing the visual narrative we were going for.
The product photography we do often look deceptively simple but are cleverly crafted to hook the audience. For an image to work, every element in the frame needs to be carefully planned to evoke a certain feeling. If the viewers feel good about what they see, they might just consider buying what’s in the picture… and when that happens, we consider it a job well done.
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