As a professional product photographer, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, both in the studio and on location. While each has its own unique challenges, I have found that both options can yield excellent results if approached with the right mindset and equipment.
When working on product photography in my studio, I have the benefit of complete control over the lighting and background. This means that I can ensure that the product is presented in the best possible way, with no distracting elements in the background or harsh shadows obscuring important details. I typically use electronic flash , occasionally combined with continuous lighting to achieve the desired effect, as well as a variety of modifiers such as softboxes, umbrellas, and reflectors to shape the light and create interesting textures and shadows.
One of the challenges of shooting in a studio is that the environment can feel sterile and artificial, which can sometimes translate to the final image. To combat this, I often use props and styling to add context and interest to the shot. For example, if I am shooting a set of kitchen knives, I might include a cutting board or a few sprigs of fresh herbs to give the image a more natural and organic feel.
Another benefit of shooting product photography in a studio is that I can work quickly and efficiently, since I have all of my equipment and supplies on hand. This means that I can shoot multiple angles and variations of a product in a relatively short amount of time, which is especially useful when working with clients who have tight deadlines or limited budgets.
On the other hand, shooting on location can be a completely different experience. When working on location, I have to contend with a variety of environmental factors such as lighting, weather, and terrain. However, shooting on location can also add a level of authenticity and context to the final image that can be difficult to achieve in a studio setting. There can also be issues with delays on-site and product not being ready to shoot for various reasons; often unavoidable… but occasionally not. This generally isn’t a problem for me, but it can affect the bill if there is unexpected waiting around before the shoot can commence.
One of the most important aspects of shooting product photography on location is scouting. Before the shoot, I will often visit the location if possible and take note of important factors such as lighting conditions, background elements, and potential obstacles. This allows me to plan ahead and make sure that I have the right equipment and supplies on hand to handle any situation that might arise.
Another key consideration when shooting on location is mobility. Since I am often working in remote or challenging environments, I need to be able to move quickly and easily with my gear. This means that I need to have a lightweight and portable setup, with equipment that can be easily transported and assembled on site.
Lighting for product photography can also be a challenge. Since I can’t control the environment in the same way that I can in a studio, I need to be able to adapt to changing lighting conditions on the fly. This means that I often use a combination of natural light and portable lighting equipment such as speedlights or battery-powered flash to create the desired effect.