Pearl Jewelry Photography

Pearl Jewelry Photography

Typically the proper way to shoot a product set up like this is to have 2 separate shots and composite these in Photoshop.  It’s impossible to properly exposure for the box and not blow out the white pearls. For this shoot we didn’t have time to remove the pearls as this was rush job.  We elevated the camera to a high angle using a macro lens, used an overhead diffused light source with a silk scrim. We used another light source in front – to highlight the front of the box and the top inside of the box.  Once we properly exposed the light we stack focused with about 20 shots from top to bottom.  We would like the box interior whiter, but couldn’t do it in the time we had, so this shot was usable.  Generally these types of jewelry shots require an enormous amount of time get the right lighting with the proper exposure.

Pearl Ring on White

We had enough time to properly execute this shot, which requires two separate set ups.  The first setup was to light and properly expose the ring.  We only used an overhead light source with a silk scrim for this, stack focusing with about 10 shots using a 2.8 macro lens.  For the second setup we removed the ring using three light sources for the outside and inside of the box.  We stack focused with about 10 images.  In Photoshop we put the two shots together achieving the whiter box interior.

Leather Belt on White Background

Leather Belt on White Background

Product on white background is the standard today. Minimal stack focusing is needed for this black leather belt leaving the edges slightly out of focus for an attractive image with depth. We used a transparent surface using three studio flashes – one overhead with a silk scrim, two soft boxes on either side with flags to block the light.  A white background is lit by one flash meticulously placed, together yielding the pure white background we’re after.

Product Styling

Product Styling
This diffuser product begins with a lush reflective foreground and organic items to complement the style of this product.  Shooting on a specialized surface gives the refection we were after fading into white.  This is achieved by a lot of light precisely directed.
Styled Product Photography
For a dramatic style we pulled in a textured background, a simple brick and keeping our organic theme – a few accents to give this diffuser a new face!

Read more about product styling.

Table Top Product Styling

Glass on White Background
The beauty of clear shiny glass.  Lighting glass requires a toolbox of gadgets to achieve the final product image on white.  A specialized surface gives the reflection in the foreground at the base of the glass diffuser. In order to keep any shadow from interfering with the transparency looking front to back means flooding the background with light and strategically placed strobe flashes. While striving for glass on white be careful not to lose the definition of the bottle. We used a number of light modifiers and redirected light as need to create this final image of lightness and clarity.

Product Staging

Product on White, Spice Jars
Product on a white background has become the standard for product images.  Whether to use a full shadow, or slight shadow, or no shadow is the next question.  But when you’re ready to show off your product creativity opens a fabulous door.  The above photo of spice jars keeps three of the four jars in focus, with a slight out of focus on the third jar, for a subtle statement.

The next photo is a lovely simple composition, still on white for an open, floating feeling, adding the spoon for a touch of lifestyle.  A subtle product styling idea.
Spice Jars for Product Styling
Still keeping the product styling simple we’ve added an organic feel using wood for the  presentation. These are only a few ways to style your product. Keep your own product as an alternative to stock photography for your website.
Product Styling
Finally adding a full background frames the jars using a brick for strong base statement.  The first jar has the strength and focus, allowing the other jars to become part of the background.  You get the idea of the vast possibilities when you’re ready to take bring your product front and center in your website and promotion.
Product Lifestyle Staging

White Background for Amazon Specs

Amazon Product on White, Photography
Amazon has strict requirements for its product photography. All products need to be shot on a white background.  Sounds simple until you realize “white” is a precise hex color # 255, 255, 255. While there are multiple ways to achieve this result for this product we used a specialized surface to give a beautiful transparent, “floating” feel.  The studio strobes have to be precisely placed to pull this off. Flooding the white background with light bathes the dog whistle in pure white.  Just what Amazon desires.  Also helpful to our client was a captioned photo of parts. See more product photography photos.
Dog Whistle for Amazon
Captioned Product Photo Parts for Amazon

White Background for Product Images

The explosion of Amazon as a marketplace has sent many sellers scrambling to meet the  “on white background” standard set for Amazon sellers. It can be frustrating because Amazon defines on-white as in RGB color 255, 255, 255.  The slightest off shade results in non-compliance.

There are two ways to achieve this pure white.  The best quality is to shoot the product on white and truly have it ON white, properly lit. Like this:

shoe product on white background

But what if your product is white?  If you try to shoot white on white (pure white) without professional setup equipment you’ll end up with little definition to your product.  There are techniques used by photographers one of which is using acrylic to give a suspended look to the product and flooding it with light resulting is a rich depth of white – on white.  Notice the sheen, the fibers of the nylon straps and the full out line of each product.  Like this:
White on White Product Photography

The other method of achieving a pure white background is using Photoshop to extract the product.  If you begin with a properly well-lit product and know you will finish the work in Photoshop this can result in getting more shots taken in your session time.  It’s a discussion to have with your client.  Extraction works for products with defined lines – fuzzy slippers will be more time consuming to extract.  As a photographer you need to budget your time, or you will spend more time in Photoshop than if you had properly lit the product to begin with. Bottom line: get a the best image with your camera and you can save time OR do the most in Photoshop.
T-shirts Extracted for White Background

Why hire a professional photographer?

It’s tempting to pick up your cell and begin snapping photos of your business for your website.  Ten years ago this was acceptable for websites, but the internet is now a far more polished place and website visitors have a higher expectation of quality.

As a professional in your own business you understand the knowledge and experience it takes to deliver the quality service or products you sell.  When it comes to photographing your business, staff portraits or product photography you want a professional to deliver outstanding images to promote your business.  To expect your employees to be able to deliver images that a professional can is unrealistic.  There is a huge difference between a hobbyist and a professional.

A pro photographer uses professional cameras, lighting, backdrops and knows ways to manipulate light to capture the best photo of your products, facility or personnel.  A professional photographer will get to know your business and match the look and feel of your branding.  He’ll have suggestions for the best shots and composition bringing a creative artistic eye to your project.  Taking your vision of a project and delivering eye-catching photographs.

Most photos benefit from processing – however minimal a professional photographer’s eye preparing the images ensures superior quality. Take your business project to the next level use a professional for professional results.

catalog photography

Commercial Photographer

Commercial photographers have more creativity than you think.  It’s about manipulating the elements.  This is an exciting dramatic photo using only one light.

commercial photography

Arri Fresnel 650 with a 300 watt bulb
Using a plastic diffusion sheet background called translum made by Savage paper.
Lens EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM
ISO Speed 125
White Balance Mode Color Temperature(9900K)
Av( Aperture Value ) 16.0
Tv( Shutter Speed ) 0.3

Business owners need original photos for their marketing.  So many clients have been exasperated feeling they have nothing worth photographing, particularly when their business is service oriented or their tools are not flashy and exciting.  As a commercial photographer it’s my challenge to find interesting composition in the ordinary.  This turns an ordinary table top photo into a dazzling advertisement image.