This last few weeks has been full of interesting photo shoots for me, I’ve had a portrait session for a local business lady (Michelle Chalmers, who runs Sing and Sign) and two photo shoots for local businesses wanting to show off and sell their wares online. My job as a Horsham, West Sussex, photographer was to capture everything that was needed in such a way as to best sell my client’s products. There was a real challenge at times with some items, not quite wanting to be photographed, but even those, given enough time and thought we found ways of showing them off to the best of their potential in photographic form.
There’s a big difference between photographing a person’s portrait, as compared to product photography. Where a person will move, smile and twist and turn on command (most of the time) they can change outfits to change how they look, from smart to casual photos. All this with just the one person, to produce the same results with an inanimate object… well that’s much more of a challenge, how do you communicate sophistication, humour, a nautical theme, or any other theme with an object which doesn’t inherently show off those qualities. Well it’s not unlike photographing a person, just a lot more hands on, you dress the set (not the item on sale) so that the set works with and tones the product being photographed to be in line with the look and feel of the shoot. You can add props and other items into the scene, again without crowding out the product, and the product has to be turned, moved and placed in a variety of different positions to photograph and show it off at it’s best.
I’m not quite sure which is easier yet, portrait photography with people and all their phobias of being photographed or wearing the wrong clothes; or product photography where your subject doesn’t respond to your instructions or simply falls over, or breaks (a worst case scenario!) just when you’re about to get a great photo of it.