As a product photographer in Sydney, or for that matter anywhere else, I understand that my clients don’t just need experience, creativity, attention to detail, and an understanding of their products and business requirements. They sometimes need something else as well: consistency. This was the primary challenge with this case study for Nature’s Sunshine Products, a manufacturer of natural, herbal, and complimentary medicines.
I have worked with this company for a number of years, but for this particular shoot they were looking to rebrand their products. Their product’s packaging had been redesigned and needed to be photographed again. However, the client also wanted to achieve a slightly different look and feel to the way they would be presented in the images used on their website, posters, point-of-sale store displays, trade show banners, and other advertising.
How to Figure Out How You Want Your Photos to Look
This though, presented a secondary challenge: specifically, and as is often the case, there’s a difference between knowing that you want a different look and deciding exactly what that look should be. So, to help facilitate the decision process, our first step was to provide the client with a number of different test shots using a variety of different creative lighting concepts. We then discussed each of these until finally zeroing in on the one the client liked best.
How to Achieve Consistency in Product Photography
Having determined the look and feel, our next step was to rollout the process across approximately a hundred of the client’s products. And this is where the primary challenge kicked in – consistency; each of the hundred or so product images had to have exactly the same look and feel.
In order to achieve that, and working from our Baulkham Hills studio (Hills District Sydney), we took meticulous notes of the setup, carefully measured and recorded distances, camera and lighting angles and settings, and every other variable so that we could reproduce the exact same consistent results for each image. Not just now, during this shoot, but also in the future.
This last point is important. Companies continue to bring out products, often sporadically, over time; but a good commercial product photographer needs to be able to reproduce the same look for those future product images as for the product images taken in the past.
Of course, the images didn’t need just to be consistent, they needed to be high quality and shot against a white background so that we could, in post production, and in addition to adjusting color, contrast, and removing any residual specs of dust that may have attached to the products, mask each image onto a transparent background so that the client’s graphic designer can use it in whatever medium is required.