process: product photography

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[ A pair of bunny footprints, right next to each other in the snow. ]

Product photography inevitably winds up including ‘random cool thing I saw while I was outside with a camera’ photography, because of course it does. Bunny prints!

But then I got down to business. One of the things I gotta think about with product photography is finding a good spot from which I can take pictures like this:

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[ Two glass jars of Wicked Girls bath salts rest on ground covered with pine needles and tiny pebbles. A bit of snow is visible behind them. ]

I want for there to be something interesting in the picture other than the product in question, but not so interesting that people don’t look at the thing I want them to buy. A lot of product photography tutorials will advise you to use a plain background so nothing takes away from the product, & that works fine for a lot of people, but I like telling a bit of a story with all of my marketing, & ‘natural outside background’ is definitely a part of that story for me.

So’s ‘wups I was basically in the road to get this shot’, but I usually don’t try to FEATURE that part so much.


[ Both jars are still sitting in the same spot, but the camera angle is entirely different. A dirt road stretches along the right side of the shot and into the distance. Trees are visible at the top of the shot, and there’s patches of snow in various places. ]

You do what works, is what.

While I was there I got a nice closeup of the snow & the pebbles, too.


[ Shallow snow covers most of the ground in this photo, but tiny pebbles are visible through a lot of it; pine needles lay on the ground, too, sometimes with just a thin layer of snow atop them. ]

I found a different spot for the salve jars when I came back outside, just to mix things up a little bit. The south side of the house gets some nicely filtered sunlight, & has interesting rocks & bricks & some still-green plants for backdrops. Which gets me pictures like this:

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[ A jar of can’t hurt, might help salve sits on a tenuous bed of light brown plant stems. Clusters of tiny pale grey-green leaves fill the bottom right of the shot, and one cluster sits just in front of the jar, though without obscuring any of the label. Behind the jar are light red-brown bricks. Pale sunlight lights most of the jar, though some of it is shadowed by more of the plant stems. ]

I hadda mess with this spot a bunch, because the plant stems were cutting the light too much & also obscuring too much of the jar. When I tried to hold them out of the way with my off hand, I couldn’t hold the camera steady enough, & there was still too much shadow, some of which was from my hand.

… so I got creative.


[ A round, round-handled basket sits a foot or so to the left of the jar. A bunch of stems from the plant are threaded through the basket’s handle to hold them out of the way. ]

That is an EXCEPTIONALLY useful basket, & I love it.

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