Commercial Product Photography - Turning Passport Photos Into The Mona Lisa

Published: 16th November 2011
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Believe it or not, commercial product photography is actually a good deal more complex than simply propping a product up against a sheet, pointing a camera and pressing a button. In fact, product photography is both an art and a science, requiring ingenuity and imagination, scientific know how and cutting edge technology.

Of course, that's not to say that you can't just prop a product up against a sheet or stand it on your desk, point a camera at it and press the button. Obviously both approaches will result in you having a photograph of your product. But don't mistake a photograph of a product with product photography. They may sound the same, but they have about as much in common with each other as your most recent passport photo and the Mona Lisa. The difference between those two is likely to be that your passport photo is a reasonably accurate, albeit unflattering image of what you actually look like, with no help whatsoever. The Mona Lisa is an artistic interpretation full of imagination, creativity and interest. Which is likely to attract more attention when hung in a gallery? If both images were available as postcards, which would sell better?

If you're still thinking that your passport photo has a pretty good shot, then either you are the reincarnation of Ms Lisa herself, or your ego is so big you can't see past it to the delusions beyond! No doubt you can start to see the difference between merely taking a fairly honest but unflattering photograph of a product, and using commercial product photography experts to create an image which is likely to catch people's attention, and encourage them to buy the product, or at least to find out more.

There are many techniques used by advertising photography studios, and of course a good deal of state of the art equipment too. Naturally it helps if you have access to a huge studio, infinity cove and an abundance of lights and lighting rigs, as well as cutting edge digital cameras and powerful photo editing software. But this alone won't convert your product photograph into the Mona Lisa. After all, you can sit inside a Formula 1 racing car, with some of the world's leading racing car technology at your fingertips, but that won't necessarily mean you'll win, or even come close, or even finish at all!

Technology is one part of the equation, but it's not the most important part. That lies in the heads of commercial product photographers, who know not only how to use that technology to best effect, but also how to create an image which sells. Sometimes it can seem that a product really is just a product. But you have to make people stop, take a look at the item, instantly see themselves holding it, or using it, and wanting to find out more.

If you can get people to imagine using the product, or even just holding it, then you've achieved a huge step, because once we have that virtual kinaesthetic experience of holding or using the product, it not only becomes more real, but our ownership of it becomes more real in our minds, greatly increasing the likelihood of us being prepared to take the next step and make the ownership real.

If you're running a small or medium size business and you're looking at creating some product photographs, then don't imagine that publishing their passport photographs will get people running in your direction. Sometimes it pays to get the job done properly, and in the case of commercial product photography it's more of an investment than an expense, and much more of a certainty than a gamble.

If you'd like to find out more about how commercial product photography can help your business, talk to The Packshot People, who can offer very affordable advertising photography services for small and medium sized businesses.

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