What is the point of filling memory cards with pictures when you only need a handful of images for your client? Why do I shoot more than 2,000 images on every shoot when I will only end up using one or two? I’m walking through my entire shooting process, from beginning to end today on The Slanted Lens.
Shooting Images for a Company
I recently went up to Idaho for a family reunion and thought that would be a great location for a product shoot I was doing for SKB. I didn’t have any crew with me, but I needed to go out and do a 2-3 hour shoot. In that small space of time, I took about 2,300 pictures. This is a product shot- there is no way that SKB is going to ask for all 2,000 images, so why take so many?
Important Things to Remember
I’m starting this walk-through from my office in the last half of this shoot as I process these 2,300 or so images. The most important thing to remember before you leave the shoot, however, is to back up your images to a secondary drive. I like to use LaCie’s Rugged Mini drives to ensure that my images make it back to the office with me. I also make sure that my monitor is calibrated before I begin sorting my images.
Walking Through My Shooting Process
With that said, let’s discuss how I setup and shot these product shots for SKB. I shot these images without a tripod, so as I shot I made sure to take bursts of photos so that I didn’t lose focus in my shot. I always make sure that I do not move on from a shot without something that will work. While I tend to dwell on things too long, I always know that at the end of the day I will have some great shots to work with.
Shooting Product Photography
As I shoot products, I try to visualize what this product means to the company and to the customer. For instance, as I was shooting this case for SKB, I saw it as more than just a fly fishing case. That case represents an adventure to those that make it and those who buy it. I want to depict that in my shots.
My Preferred Lens
For shots like these I really love using a 70-100mm lens, but for this shoot I was using a 24-70mm which made things just a bit challenging. The 24-70mm makes the background a lot more focused than I personally want it to be. The 70-100mm, at f11, would cut off the focus a lot closer to the foreground and would give me a much nicer shot, but you work with what you’ve got!
Working with the Light to Find Creative Shots
When you feel like you’ve already shot a product at every possible angle, take a minute to watch what the light is doing. When you wait and see what might look good and work with your surroundings, you can find some amazing shots. These shots may come when you think the light has already turned, or when you think the shoot is long over. So don’t forget to practice some patience and see what the light is willing to give you!
In the end, a client is probably only going to want about 6-8 product shots. I will probably give them closer to 100 because I want them to be overwhelmed by the amount I have given them. By that I mean that I want the customer to think they really got their money’s worth.
So next time you are doing some product photography, be fun and creative with it! Enjoy yourself!
Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!