Tips for Your First Product Photography Session

I have owned a business before, ask me about decorating weddings sometime ;), and with each experience I have learned a lot. Each opportunity has had different demands of my time, and I have been at various stages of my own life. 

Right now, I have three little kids, I work full time, and am following my dreams, oh and trying to do it all through a pandemic, I am sure you are aware.

I am hoping to grow my business and am learning which parts I am good at, and which parts of it take the most time, and which jobs are better left to someone else. In my previous business that meant help with laundering, ironing, and installations, while handling the brides and customers myself. 

This time, I knew I needed help updating my images to elevate my brand and my main marketing tools, ie. my online presence. So what did I do? I reached out to a photographer that I frequently saw tagged in images I liked, that were focused on branding and interior styling, and someone who was obviously used to working with small businesses.

I described what I was looking for help with and although we weren't the perfect fit, she directed me to another product photographer that might suit my needs. The result was so worth it, but here are my tips if this is your first time hiring a product photographer!

1. Check the photographers social media and make sure the images align with your branding, and if they don't, discuss that with them.  A good branding photographer will see your vision and should be able to translate it in a uniform way.

2. Ask lots of questions about the service, are the photos included, is there an hourly rate, how much time will the shoot take to complete?

3. Ask lots of questions about the session, what type of lighting is preferred, time of day, what you need to have ready to support the shoot, and what is the best location.

The above conversation was beautifully led by the photographer I selected. Now here is what I learned as well. 

4. Do not fuss too much gathering accessories for the shoot, you want your products to shine through! Our most used prop was greenery.

5. Do not OVER CLEAN your space! I cleaned my house top to bottom and by the end of the shoot we had used so many rooms, and had product everywhere!

6. We created a shot list, and I wanted a few branding photos of myself, we waited until most of the shot list was complete to do this part, we were both a little tired but I still wanted the shots. I think I would have liked to do this earlier in the shoot, but I will say as our first time working together, waiting until the end gave me and the photographer time to get to know each other. 

The investment I made was worth every penny and I can't wait to work with the photographer again soon!

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