Steps to Steamlining your Product Photography Workflow

Steps to Steamlining your Product Photography Workflow

Steps to Steamlining your Product Photography Workflow
When it comes to a decent product display on your website,a great way to show people exactly what you are selling – and what they are (hopefully) buying is through good product photography. This is especially important for e-commerce as there is no physical shop or showroom that people can look around.

It is important for the success of your business that you can accurately show what you are selling, and the key to effective product photography is speed. The faster you can get your products on show, the quicker you can start selling. And the key to getting your photos up quickly is streamlining your business workflows and through planning and preparation.

Even if you are a small business, you can create good, effective product photography, and coupled with a good store design, you are able to compete up there with the big guns – such is the beauty of the internet. You don’t need expensive equipment or much expertise, just a little time, patience, some basic equipment and a good photography workflow.

1. Organizing – The first step to streamlining your photography workflow is organization. Before you even think about cameras, you need to have your products organized. Put them into sections and have them properly catalogued. This will save you time and ensure that you don’t miss anything out. Some people recommend that you attach a small tag to your product so that you can see how it has been categorised quickly. This is especially important if you have a lot of products.

2. Plan – Now that you know what you are dealing with, the next step in your product photography workflow is planning. Make a call sheet and shot list, and use it to plan the order of the products that you will be using, when, where, what you will call each file, the model that you will be using (if any) and what products you will be using together (if this applies). Your call sheet and shot list could look like this:

Date

Location

Model

Product

File Name

Shot Y/N

2nd July

Kitchen

Claire

White table

CC/TAB/WH

Y

2nd July

Kitchen

Claire

Red table

CC/TAB/RED

Y

2nd July

Kitchen

Claire

Blue table

CC/TAB/BL

Y

3rd July

Living room

Claire & Steve

Green sofa

CC/SOF/GR

 

3rd July

Living room

Claire & Steve

Yellow sofa

CC/SOF/YE

 

 

From this sheet you can then organise locations and make sure that people are in the right place at the right time, and not wind up paying models to stand around waiting for their turn, for example. This sheet is really the key to streamlining your photography workflow and ensuring that neither time nor money is wasted.

1. Preparation of your products and your studio – You will need to make sure that your products are looking their best, and this will come in the preparation of your products, as well as the area where you will be shooting. Consistency is the trick to creating good business photography so you should make this a priority.

Make sure that your products are clean, pressed (if they are clothing) and looking their best, as you can be sure that the smallest speck of dust will show up in the photos.In your shooting area, you should record the positions of lights, products and your camera to get consistency – inconsistent lighting or product placement, for example, looks very unprofessional – and who would want to buy something from an unprofessional company?

If it is your first time shooting your products, you will need to get a DSLR camera, tripod, foam board reflector, white backdrop and lights. Make sure that your studio is neat, tidy and organised for maximum efficiency and to avoid accidents.

1. Models – You should have already decided whether you are going to use models. If you are, you should ensure that you choose models that show your product off in the best possible way. Once you have decided on your models, you can plan the best way and times to use them without spending extra money having them waiting around.

2. Camera – It is worth spending a little time beforehand getting to know your camera and properly understanding how to use it. It will mean that the time spent on your shoot will be much less and better spent. Take test shots and experiment with different settings so that you get the best results during your shoot.

3. Imaging Software – Have a look around for the best image capturing programme to suit your needs. Adobe Lightroom, DSLR Remote Pro and Capture One Pro are all good examples. They can speed up your workflow as well as improve the image quality.

You should check whether your image capturing software also has advanced post-production functions, and if not, you will also need to buy this. Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture are both excellent for this.

1. Post-Production – Once that you have taken your product photos, you need to process them. The first thing to do is make sure that you have a back up of all of your images. Remember that consistency is what is important here, so keep the backgrounds and margins the same so that people focus on your product and not what's going on around it as well as highlighting your attention to detail. You need your images to have a low bandwidth and probably a white background so that they load quickly and it doesn’t get frustrating for people browsing your website.

Due to the fact that it is time consuming, a little tedious and there are a great number of experts out there, many people consider out-sourcing their post-production. This may well be an efficient option for you based on both time spent and the quality of the work.

Now that you have your beautiful images, you can add them to your website, and get selling! Remember, the key to creating great product photos and a streamlined photography workflow isn’t about saving money; it is about good planning and organization.

If you have any questions about e-commerce, buying and selling online, building effective websites and other online services, get in touch with Studioworx either via email (info@studioworx.co.uk), telephone (+44 (0)1482 659362) or the website (http://www.studioworx.co.uk).

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