Photo Club March: The hero
A new Photo Club theme for March. From flowers, hearts and kisses to product photography. Letting the hero subject be the star of the show. This months theme is… Product Photography! When starting my blog post research I came to the conclusion that it would be better to focus on the hero. The subject / product in the spotlight.
The hero doesn’t have to be a branded product.
Before I go deeper into the subject I’d like to make it clear that you don’t have to do product placement. We also don’t have to go out and buy new things (or if you’re like us in lockdown order more!). As for surfaces and props you may find that you need very little props and many surfaces can already be found in your home.
Product vs Branding Photography, and why they both matter.
If you’re shooting for a client you’ll have a brief, and you’ll know where to start. If you’re doing a full branding shoot with products you’ll need to know the different shots you’ll need. This is something I personally would love to do when my photography improves. A start to finish full storyboard of a brand’s visual identity. The branding photoshoot of the behind the scenes, the actual products and the overall signature style of the brand in the form of lifestyle photos with accompanying video. That and so much more.
Branding is the full story!
It reflects a company’s personality. It’s so important for a company, and is often overlooked by smaller businesses. You need to have good overall visuals if you want to stand out. It’s a whole world to dive into if you’re interested! I know I sure have it on my goals list!
Series & Collections
You’ll come across photos of products sold in collections. These work really well when shot in lifestyle style. Here is an example of a Bloomingville collection.
Here is an example of a multiple product shot from Bloomingville. It however is a series. I don’t know which product is the hero, but I do see what’s in the collection.
This months theme.
I’d like, for the group to concentrate on the main product (or object), which for those of you who don’t yet know, is referred to as the ‘hero’. This doesn’t always mean a single item, or always a minimalist style. It often does, but repeating patterns in a composition can very strong, and work well with some items. Especially if they’re small, or in various colors. Take this photo below of the lipstick. It works. Above in the photo from the soft throws from Bloomingville, you could say the two are similar. They are in a sense that they are different patterns/colors, however, I find the lipstick to be one single product, where as the throws are different sizes, styles, and materials. The lipstick for me works using this composition. It is the hero.
A minimalistic approach.
If you place your subject in the right lighting, shoot in an appealing angle, and get the color palette right you’re going to have a photo with a strong composition that grabs the viewers attention. I love the use of shadows, lighting and the textures in the below shots.
Tips for a strong composition:
- lighting (hard light or soft)
- lines / paths
- color theory
- negative space
- layers (see image below)
- camera angle / position
The art of omission.
It’s sometimes what you leave out that helps make for a really strong composition.
This photo contains layers, however, unlike in food photography the layers aren’t just more things added to the styling.
Source: ASSEL ABILKHAMIT
The arm, and therefore the jewelry are highlighted by the use of textile between the arm and the model. I think this works really well, and would also work using materials such as paper or wood. Use your imagination!
The subject is?
Sometimes you’ll have a beautiful composition — you’ve thought of color theory, the rule of thirds, you name it you’ve nailed it! You’ve ended up with a gorgeous photograph that has the wow factor, however, this doesn’t mean your photo works for a single product.
Take this image from Virginie.
I am assuming it’s about the ‘bigger picture’, that being tableware but there is no hero. (note: this wasn’t a single product shot, just using it as an example of a really good picture of products that doesn’t have a hero!).
As for colors, and surfaces… WOW! I love this! The angle is good, the textures, lighting. This photo has a lot going for it!
Did someone say Monochrome? Houseplants?
Join the fun?!
The Unsplash Photo Club is such fun. The community is really friendly, the team is super helpful and has a good sense of humor! If you are, or want to become a member of Unsplash you can join the Photo Clubs through the Unsplash Slack channel. If you’re not familiar with Unsplash please take the time to discover what it is here. You are basically uploading your photos to a platform that allows other users to download and use them for free. It isn’t for everyone, so my advice is get informed. I personally love it!
If you have any questions, or would like to give advice to others on this month’s subject, please don’t hesitate to join in with the conversation. The slack channel for my group is photoclub-michelle. If you join, submitting photos is not mandatory. Maybe you’d just like to get a feel for things before you commit. All good, no pressure. You do you!
Below are some more examples. As for me my camera broke a week ago tomorrow and I feel so lucky to already have been able to replace it. I’ve gone from a cropped sensor to a full frame. Picked it up yesterday and am going to have a go with it today! Excited!!!!
Take care, stay safe and have a great weekend (almost here)!