Preparing for Your Product Shoot

I spend a lot of my time shooting people and I truly enjoy it.  For those of you who have hired me to shoot an event, you know this to be true (check out my blog post on event photography).  But the geek in me loves a good architectural or product shoot.  These jobs are about two of my favorite things (no, not food and wine…although they’re often about those too); branding and detail.  I’m able to approach a job with a business mind.  Who is my client’s target market?  What will this image say to that target market?  When I’m on the job, I can often spend ten times the length of a head shot setting up a single product shot.  People don’t like to wait.  As a matter of fact, they normally don’t photograph as well when they have to wait.  But product will wait for you forever.  I look at lines and subtlety of light.  Does everything line up perfectly?  Can I light the scene to remove that shadow?  These small details can make a big difference in your image.  While I always do my best to deliver the best possible image, there are some things you can do to help your architecture photographer or commercial photographer in order to make your images perfect.


  1. Create a shot list and share that shot list with your own team and your commercial photographer.  Your team will help you ensure these items will remain current for the time frame you plan to use the images.  Your photographer will help you understand how much time you’ll need to create these images.
  2. Think of the product or rooms you’d like to shoot and how they will attract your ideal client.  Are you a real estate agent selling a room you define as bright and spacious?  Make sure you’re shooting the bright and spacious areas of the house.  Are you a restaurant owner looking to attract a young, trendy crowd?  Make sure the food and cocktails you provide to your food photographer are unique and cutting edge.
  3. Consider a stylist.  As a commercial photographer, I’m looking at several ways to make your image look great.  But a stylist will lend a different eye to your commercial shoot.  They will add details in a way that will tie everything together.  If you do not have a creative team in house, ask your commercial photographer for recommended stylists.
  4. Think of the time of day you are shooting.  If you’re hoping to use natural light, be sure to plan your shoot during the day.
  5. Make your product looks its best!  The best Real Estate agents go to great lengths to ensure the homes they shoot are clean and staged beautifully.  If you are a restauranteur, be sure the cleaning crew knows there is a professional photographer shooting the space.  Everything should look perfect!
  6. Be sure the product you are shooting reflects what you truly offer.  I’ve been in situations where the creative team will change a room or scene to make it look gorgeous.  But when the images are delivered, they’re basically useless since the image does not reflect the actual product that is offered.
About the Author:
Photography by Nikki Cole is a full service corporate and commercial photography studio. We provide professional head shots and portraiture in studio or on location, architecture and product imaging as well as special event coverage.

Leave a Comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *