5 pro tips to styling product photography

We recently shared our 5 essential tips for creating better photography for your Instagram feed. But what about styling better photos? We’re going to specifically focus on product photography here, but you could apply these 5 tips to photography in general! 

Understand the brand you’re working with

This might sound obvious, but it’s imperative that you understand the brand you’re working with and its target audience. So before you shoot, clearly communicate with your client and create a brief from this conversation. Words like ‘modern, clean and crisp’ or ‘fun, bold and playful’ are clear indicators of what they’re looking for and will influence the overall aesthetics of the images you create. 

Proportion and scale 

Be very mindful of proportion and scale in your product photography. Objects have the tendency to look larger to the camera eye. When styling, I always opt for smaller props and here’s why:

  • Smaller props don’t pull focus away from the actual product
  • You can potentially fit more product into your frame
  • Small, relatable props will give an indication of the product size IRL

For example, jade rollers generally only come in one size. So by featuring this alongside your skincare products, it gives the viewer an accurate perspective of how big the bottles/containers are in real life. 

Colour scheme

Choose your colours wisely! 

Colour is an integral element of photography as it evokes emotions and feelings within us and colour palettes can determine how we perceive a brand. For example, here at Legendary, we love using fun, bold colours because we want to represent ourselves as fun and energetic (WHICH WE ARE BTW).

By contrast, for our client Love & Natural, when shooting, we tend to stick to clean white, neutral colours and greens because they’re calming and natural. 

For our client, The Facial Room, we create an ombre colour feed. That essentially means that every month, we focus on one colour hue and then blend it into the next month. Here you can see we use pops of colour from flowers, props like books and then sometimes the colour of the actual product itself. 

Here we went from green to blue:

social media photographer- legendary social media vancouver

Consistency 

Consistency is key to preserving the brand’s identity in photographs, all while achieving enough variety so that the social media feed doesn’t come out looking boring. A few key things to remember when styling your images: 

  • Context 
  • Cohesiveness
  • Repetition

What story are you trying to tell? Ensure that every element of the image makes sense to the context of this story and works together in a cohesive way. 

If you’re photographing a lotion and the main ingredient is almonds, then almonds would make a good prop and make sense to the image. It would also give the customer an instant visual of what to expect from product ingredients! 

If you’re creating a series of images, then try repeating one small element throughout the series to make the collection more cohesive. 

Rule of thirds

In photography, the ‘rule of thirds’ is a theory that dictates the image composition. The idea is that if an image is divided evenly into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, then the subject or items of interest are best placed on those intersectional points. 

The intention of this rule is to help you take a more well-proportioned and balanced image so when styling, keep this tool in mind!

Our eyes naturally move through an image from left to right, so perhaps try styling your product and props in a diagonal line that moves this way. 

I would consider this more of a guideline and not a hard rule. However, avoiding having your subject in the centre of the image will always make for a more interesting composition so keep that in mind when photographing and styling. 

social media photographer- legendary social media vancouver

Final thoughts

Ultimately, our goal with our product photography is to tell a story and sell a lifestyle. Product photography should be aspirational and evoke an emotion that makes the customer want to own the product. This is something that Legendary Social Media can do – contact us! 

 

Erin is the owner and founder of Legendary Social Media. She's trying, and failing, to be vegan. Directionally challenged. Cripplingly addicted to coffee and chocolate. Swears she'll travel the world (again) ... someday. Mommy to Zylo.