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TallTayl

Product Photography. Let's play .

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photography. nuff said. ugh.

 

Composing a repeatable photo for an online catalog is probably the most important and most difficult job when selling online.

 

Personally, the stark white background seems so not normal. it feels cold. I could spend time totally deleting the white background so it looks even more disembodied, but I'm not in love with that.

Photo details: Nikon D5300

35 mm lens

focal length 52m

F/2.5

ISO160

tweaked only for highlights to lift it a little.

1-DSC_0032 (3).JPG

 

Once upon a time you had to be on a vivid white background to be featured. Not sure that is true any more.  People seem to yearn for a feeling of warmth. I'm leaning toward the barn board back ground with a short depth of field to blur it.

Same settings

lemon verbena.JPG

 

 

Now that I kind of "get" my camera's manual features this isn't quite so bad. Getting each and every future photo shot the same will be a new challenge.

 

 

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You need to record the depth of field you shot the photo at, if you want the foreground and background to have that look.

if you want the background to be blurred out you head to settings  5.6, 4, 2.8. Go the opposite way the image will be more in focus from front to back. 
So having the constant f stop will give you the look and the same distant between the foreground soap and background soap as in original shot. Lighting creating a constant is important. Obviously if you shoot with daylight different times of day will change the look.

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You can shoot on white successfully without the feeling of floating by using light and shadow to define the space. If you shoot on delineated surfaces rather than a curved sweep it gives a subtle sense of place but it will be on white.

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@NightLight I did record those, if you look at the setting listed above the lemon photo.

 

stark white I’m referring to is the overexposed whiteness so many online marketplaces required in order to be featured.  Photos on any sort of texture other than bright white nothingness would not be considered for feature lists and look out of place on the stark white web store pages. They still feel cold. I want to “need” to feel the item when I see it. I want a photo to make me mentally feel it in a warm place.
 

I want to be able to picture that item in my house. Picture it (mentally feel it) in my hands. Probably not describing things right, but anyway... 

 

I’m not alone in the empty feeling many online so many product photos leave me with. If a pic does not make me want to grab my credit card then they’re not getting my money. Same with displays at shows and retailers. 
 

trends seem to be slowly getting to subtle staging. 
 

let’s share pics here and see what we can all develop.  I’m in the process of taking random pics to add to the discussion. We can do good/bad/downright ugly here as a kind of fun (though maybe brutal) exercise. 

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My bad. Yes if you want the background foreground look you want you r f stop lower, as you are. Sharper image overall go higher.

There are mixed feelings about what sells well.  White does have a high conversion rate. A blend of the product with image on white with image in scene would be a happy place.

I just read somewhere photos on white have a better time with Google AI as the AI can read the image better, bumping you in search.

Social media does better with scene and styled photos. Do both and A/B test.

You can do interesting photography on white using lighting and composition. Soap can be stacked and angled and really presented in a unique and interesting way. Flat lays, geo stack.

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I hate a stark white background and do prefer something with more warmth or life.  I actually prefer not to blur the background either, but that's just me.  I've attached a background I picked up that I think goes with my "theme".  I picked up a few props and tossed them in as well.  I'm not quite sure what I'll do for single product images, but I think it will be something similar.  For those, I may blur the background a bit, but I'll need to play.  

 

P.S. - It looks like my pic is a bit compressed, hence the resolution/focus "issues".  

 

_1000562.jpg

Edited by Paintguru
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How bout this... 

let’s start with the plain old white pic above. I’ll take more pics based on suggestions here. We can watch how the whole thing evolves.

 

I will note in each shot what was used. 


 

Starter Photo details: Nikon D5300

35 mm lens

focal length 52m

F/2.5

ISO160

tweaked only for highlights to lift it a little.
 

2494935F-A801-47E4-8DEE-BAC93F822539.jpeg

 

when I get back to the shop I will try to set up the next pics using the suggestions from nightlight, moonshine and paint guru above.  It may take a little time to collect the props. Be a little forgiving about what I find for this exercise 🤗

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As for etsy and personal web sites, I like to shoot multiple photos so people can scroll through a little mini album.  All of that takes time (and a basic starting point) to complete. Which becomes the money shot is, well, very personal.

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Great thread, @TallTayl. You somehow managed to read my mind. I've been on Amazon looking at light boxes and thinking about all things product photography, and here you are, with your thread. :) 

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To be fair, what is best for soap may not be best for candles.  Also, I think for individual product shots, I (personally) wouldn't put additional products in the background.  To me, the blurred soap in the background of TTs shot distracts me from the soap that is in focus.  Plus, you cropped it through the soap, which throws me off a bit too.  Perhaps two bars in the shot, both in focus....one with a label and one without?  Just spit-balling here.   

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20 minutes ago, Paintguru said:

To be fair, what is best for soap may not be best for candles.  Also, I think for individual product shots, I (personally) wouldn't put additional products in the background.  To me, the blurred soap in the background of TTs shot distracts me from the soap that is in focus.  Plus, you cropped it through the soap, which throws me off a bit too.  Perhaps two bars in the shot, both in focus....one with a label and one without?  Just spit-balling here.   

Very true. One product at a time. 
 

if we start with “something” we can get “somewhere”.

 

if you think it would work better with candles, let’s go.

 

my experiences with multiple things in the frame, such as extra products:  People are easily confused.  When I had multiple things in a picture I was reviewed harshly because people thought they got ALL the things in the product picture. 
 

Open thoughts about your photo above, I think it’s great for a banner or category picture, but not for a “specific” listing.  It is unclear what exactly I am buying when so many things are grouped together. Do I get the apples and milk can too? 

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1 hour ago, TallTayl said:

Very true. One product at a time. 
 

if we start with “something” we can get “somewhere”.

 

if you think it would work better with candles, let’s go.

 

my experiences with multiple things in the frame, such as extra products:  People are easily confused.  When I had multiple things in a picture I was reviewed harshly because people thought they got ALL the things in the product picture. 
 

Open thoughts about your photo above, I think it’s great for a banner or category picture, but not for a “specific” listing.  It is unclear what exactly I am buying when so many things are grouped together. Do I get the apples and milk can too? 

 

Exactly...mine is for a banner picture, but IMO, it is good for someone to incorporate all their products into a banner type shot and then carry that theme through to the individual photos.  Even if it is just the color space used for the background.  

 

And great point about people thinking they're getting all the items in a product's shot, not just a single item.  I don't think people will get too confused by completely different props in a picture (apples/milk can), but I can see someone getting confused with two bars of soap or two candles in the same shot.  I guess it comes down to how do we give our items life and personality and make people want to buy them?   Does it all just come down to lighting like NL alluded to?  What draws someone to the thumbnail of a product vs. another thumbnail?  I feel like that is the first job of these product images.  

 

 

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