Packshot photography ideas take photos of a product or service to represent it online and boost conversions for eCommerce stores. When used correctly, it can make a product enticing and communicate the business’s brand identity recognizably.
Good packshots are becoming more and more critical for businesses over the years. As more people switch to online shopping, many buyers never see the product in person until it is delivered. Over two billion people purchased a product online in 2020. And with this number set to climb, it is vital to maintain competitiveness through images in an online world.
It is all well and good to take a picture of your product and put it online but set yourself apart from other businesses; there are many areas to consider. Although it is your product and what consumers are looking at. It is essential to consider how enticing and visually appealing it is to your target audience. This post will go into several ideas on how to level up your packshots, and in turn, boost your brand recognition and how your business is perceived.
1. Use the right camera
It is possible to use a smartphone camera for packshots. It is now very typical for a phone to come out with an almost professional level camera, multiple lenses, adjustable aperture, and ISO. If you’re using a smartphone for your packshot, it should be a relatively new phone. The phone camera should also have higher than 12 megapixels so the image can be expanded to a good size and not lose details. If you want to stick with a smartphone camera in the long term, investing in some phone lens attachments can improve your image quality.
To boost the sharpness of your images and increase your control over settings, it is worth looking into purchasing or renting a DSLR or SLR camera for the shoot. With these, it is best to stick to a high-quality standard lens with a focal point no less than 55 mm, as anything lower can distort the image and cause issues in the editing stages.
2. Experiment with lighting
When it comes to packshot photography ideas, there are two primary choices; natural lighting or studio lighting.
Studio lighting, or hard lighting, requires some equipment and can range from a DIY setup to a fully functional professional studio. It allows you complete control over how lights and shadows will appear in your images. If you take photos for multiple products and want them to be consistent, artificial studio lighting is an excellent way to ensure this.
Natural lighting is also worth experimenting with. Find out how taking pictures at different times in the day affects the mood and message of the images. If you find a lighting angle you like but do not have time to take all photos before the lighting changes, you can recreate it with a studio setup.
Natural lighting and taking images outside are especially beneficial to add context to products meant to uses outdoors.
Certain types of equipment can change the way the light reaches your product. For example, a softbox/lightbox can prevent the shadows on the product from being too strong. It ensures that light hits the product in an even and uniform way. In addition, it simulates softer natural lighting without potential unreliability.
If it is possible in terms of time and resources, it is good to try both types of lighting to find out which one portrays the feeling of your brand most accurately. It is not recommended to combine the two light sources in a single image, though, as this can soften the impact of the product.
3. Get your shadows rights
Shadows can add drama to your packshot, but they can also be a hindrance. When using natural lighting, especially, it can be challenging to find a way to get the composition. Set up at the perfect angle and then take a photo that does not cast a shadow. But this can completely ruin your image and change where the focal point is entire. Pay attention to where you are standing and casting shadows.
Shadows, when utilized correctly, can add depth and dimension to your image, making it more appealing to look at. If you are not able to do this naturally, then our expert team can assist.
4. Learn to use editing software
There are many editing programs on the market, ranging from being free to costing hundreds of pounds. It is worth looking into the available opportunities and finding out what suits your needs best. Taking a class, whether it’s a paid or free tutorial, will also help kickstart your editing journey, which, in turn, can generate many more ideas for your campaign. It may benefit you here if you are having trouble or do not have the time.
The most crucial point about editing for packshot photography ideas is that you do not distort how the product is shown. Editing software can be great for making sure that the image is displayed is true to life. For example, if the product is green and the camera image shows it with a blue tinge, adjusting the image colors is a great idea to ensure that it looks closer to real life. However, it can be challenging to get right, so try our color correction services if assistance is needed.
Though editing software is recommended for subtle changes, filters can pose a problem. Filters, such as those found on Instagram, can change the image’s color, which causes your brand to come off as untrustworthy. It can also make it appear that you are hiding something about the product and will therefore cheapen it or cause the buyer to question the quality.
5. Consider the best background for your brand
Though the background should reflect your brand identity, a general rule is to ensure it is consistent throughout all your products or a running theme through specific collections. Many companies opt for a simple one-color background, so the promoted product is the main focal point. When going for a blank background, it is essential to consider using shadows and even reflections. If you’re opting for a busier background, then experimenting with aperture is a must.
If you realize something is not right after taking your background images, UK Clipping Path has background editing services to help you.
6. Enhance images with aperture
Image Source: Picturecorrect
Aperture refers to how wide the lens opening is when taking a photo and how much light can pass through. Aperture is shown in terms of f/stops and is written as numbers, such as 1.4 or 11. The lower the f/stop, the larger the aperture and therefore the higher the exposure. Aperture affects depth of field and is therefore significant to use for products with busier or moving backgrounds.
A lower f/stop with a larger lens opening creates less depth of field and, therefore, a blurrier background. It can make a bokeh effect, which many brands and photographers utilize. This effect can be recreated to an extent using a pre-set portrait mode. A higher f/stop will create a crisp background that does not lose any focus. It is a point to consider when experimenting with your brand photography.
7. Think about shutter speed
Shutter speed is how fast the shutter opens and closes when the image takes, affecting the lens’s amount of light. If you’re changing the shutter speed, then it should adjust the image lighting accordingly. For example, a long shutter speed in a well-lit room will cause overexposure.
The fastest shutter speed that your lighting level will allow without being too dark is good for packshot photography ideas as it creates a sharp image. It is not a set rule, though, and by looking into longer shutter speeds with different backgrounds, you may come across an effect you like that works with your product.
8. Use ISO to your advantage
Image Source: Alyn Wallace Photography
ISO is a camera setting that modifies how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light. Higher numbers cause the camera to be more sensitive to light, allowing images to be taken in lower light without increasing shutter speed. However, higher ISO can also introduce a graininess into the picture and, therefore, a drop in sharpness.
Following the general recommendations regarding lighting, aperture, and shutter speed, there will be enough light to take the image with a low ISO, and less “noise” will occur. However, some products may need to have pictures taken in low light, which may require a higher ISO. When combining this with other appropriate settings and well-utilized editing software, high-quality and clear images of your products can still be taken.
9. Invest in a tripod
This tool may seem unnecessary to many who think they can “hold the camera still,” which is fine if your site has a few images. However, as your brand grows and the product catalog increases, a tripod will become more important to maintain consistent photos. In addition, a tripod does not have to break the bank, and you can purchase a good quality tripod rather economically.
Tripods are also essential if incorporating a low shutter speed into your packshots. It must take low shutter speed images without any movement at all, or this will cause blurriness. Even if you’re using a smartphone for your images, there are still plenty of smartphone-compatible tripods to improve your packshot photography ideas.
10. Use color theory
According to a study of WebPageFX, it takes under 90 seconds for a consumer to form a judgment about a product. 85% of surveyed people saying that color is the primary reason for purchasing a product. 80% of people also said the color helps increase brand recognition. Thinking about the colors used in your packshots is extremely important.
When using colors for your backgrounds or products, you should ask yourself why. Why are you using the color you are using? And with a bit of research into color theory/color psychology, you should answer this question with reasoning about how you want the viewer to act and how you want to show your brand.
The main points to understand and utilize for this are what colors look good together and how is your target demographic is likely to react to specific colors, levels of saturation, and pairings. Track trends for similar products and see if you can find anything to build on to make your products stand out.
11. Draw attention to the product with a composition
The main point of packshot photography is to draw attention to your product. And should well translate this aim into your compositions. As a rule, the product being advertised should appear front and center. Many cameras have grids that can be overlayed when taking images to ensure the product is entirely central. It can also be checked and modified if needed in the editing process. Using aperture to create a low depth of field can help build perspective and stop your products from coming off as two-dimensional.
If you want to experiment with having the product in different parts of the image and have supporting items, use the rule of odds. When the viewer sees an even number of things, they subconsciously pair them up. If a third product is used, this cannot be done and draws more attention to the image. Three items are said to be the best amount, and the rule of odds is said to no longer be effective over nine items as this would then be treated by the brain as a group.
Composition is also an excellent way to add scale to your image and inform the viewer about the size of the product while also catching the buyer’s attention. There are so many accessible composition rules to learn and see what works best to convey your message.
12. Be open to inspiration
Inspiration for packshot photography can be anywhere. In your day-to-day life, you may see natural lighting hit an object in such a way that makes you do a double-take. You can take a photo and keep it as a reference. You may want to recreate this lighting for your product photography since it influenced you, which will likely have a similar effect on your audience.
Alternatively, you may discover inspiration from your favorite brands or even competitors. Although copying them will not allow your images to stand out, certain elements and be taken and incorporated into other ideas to create a fresh and original look.
13. Take a variety of images
Once you find your style, it may be tempting to take one image per product to use. However, the more images, the better. Take multiple photos for your main photo, and you may find subtle differences not picked up on by the naked eye.
When considering a product, consumers will also be interested in seeing the product from different angles, and if using lifestyle photography, use different scenarios. It can be a great way to show the versatility of your product if relevant.
Do not delete images when doing the shoot. A photo you may not have liked at the time could end up being extremely strong with the proper cropping and editing.
14. See if lifestyle images work for you
Though it may be enticing to go straight for the polished product on a blank background, in some cases, lifestyle photography can add more of a story to your product. Lifestyle photography incorporates people into the images and allows the viewer to live vicariously through them. It will enable the product to seem more natural and adds context.
When putting together settings for lifestyle photography, you should have in mind what the product is for, where you would use it and who your target demographic is.
15. Experiment with your image
There are undoubtedly many common ways and general rules when taking product photography. But it is not as black and white as that. Going against what is expected and having visually appealing images can be a great way to set yourself apart from the competition and become an even more recognizable brand. In this case, your sense of judgment is your best friend.
Starting with the general guidelines and then giving it your flair is an excellent way to progress. It is good to take to time to find a formula that works for your brand identity. While showcasing your products in the most appealing way possible. However, it can also use excellent product images for social media content to engage with your audience.
If you are still having difficulty creating high-quality and engaging packshots, we can help you with all aspects of editing and get your brand noticed! So get in touch with us today.