I love shooting products. Product Photography provides a challenge not found in portraits, in many cases, and stresses my skill set.
I just finished a project shooting four hand-woven, hand-painted scarves, and two outer garments. These were from a wonderful artisan in Fox, Arkansas, Cynthia Cox, of Cox Weavings.
Cynthia had attempted to capture high-quality photos of her work so she could enter the items in a very large contest. She realized she would need professional assistance, and brought the items to my studio.
We spent about an hour talking about her needs, and the best ways to present her art, and I took a few quick shots to make sure I knew exactly what she required.
I love to shoot tethered whenever possible. Tethering is simply attaching the camera to a laptop, and letting Adobe Lightroom receive and process the images automatically. This way, I can see each image on a large, calibrated monitor the moment it is captured. It is so much better than relying on the little LCD on the back of the camera. My Canon 5d Mark II has a great LCD screen, but no camera screen can compete with a 22″ IPS calibrated monitor. Lightroom also allows me to process the images with presets automatically, so I can set things like lens corrections, a touch of contrast, and so on, and really know that I'm getting perfect images. Of course, any real editing is done later.
I carefully arranged each product, and took multiple shots, comparing them in real-time. The various color combinations required different light and camera settings to really make them pop. My priorities for this product shoot were getting accurate and correct colors, the exacting detail of each weave, and good contrast in the lighting. I've never been one to just snap some shots, thinking “I can fix these later in Photoshop”. While Photoshop and Lightroom can fix a number of lighting or other problems, it's always important to get the best image you can, right in the camera. There are some issues you might not notice while shooting that simply can not be fixed properly in software, and it always takes much more time anyway.
The beauty of shooting tethered, and paying attention to detail while shooting, is that the images require far less post-processing when the shoot is done.
Here are the images from this shoot. I hope you enjoy them, and will consider Fairfield Bay Photography for your product images.