Product Photography

Red glass stones with orange highlights

Product Photography for Salem Business

We recently completed a photography project for  My BobRocks, a local Salem Oregon business specializing in keepsake glass “rocks” containing a small amount of ashes as a memorial for a loved one or pet.

memorial glass keepsakes on wood

MyBobRocks displayed on a wooden board

Our client, Kathleen, wanted images that showed the colors of all the rocks she offers. We delivered a full set of on-white images shot in our studio. We also photographed an engraved version of her product and a necklace, as well as shooting the stones with a model and on a selection of natural surfaces. Special care was taken in post processing to make the images very color accurate while still making images that would really “pop” and appeal to the end customer.


Product Photography on White

Although it’s great fun to create a fancy scene for a product shoot, there’s something to be said for simple on-white images, especially when they’re going to be used in an online store. For our client Smart Racing Products we recently photographed a simple screw that’s a new addition to their inventory.

on-white product photography

Photographed on a white background

Many photographers use light boxes or tents to shoot metallic items, but we often end up getting our favorite results shooting (as in the image above) using just a 12×12 piece of white scrapbook paper and a combination of window light and continuous lights. For this shot we turned off three of the five bulbs in our continuous light which was placed camera left, and let natural light be the fill. Once we picked which exposure we liked (we shoot a variety, even when it’s just one little screw) we took out a slight yellow reflection (from some unexpected Oregon sunshine) using the color settings in Apple Aperture. Some clients have us just email or Dropbox them the file at this point, but for Smart Racing we also upload any images to their website and Amazon store.

January Food Photography – Hero Shots

In January of this year our California commercial bakery client requested a set of on-white food images for their website. We refer to these types of images in-house as “hero shots” for the way the food image is center stage. For on-white we can either leave the natural shadows and natural white-ish background or “mask” the food item and place it on a pure white replacement background.

photo of pretzel roll

pretzel roll hero shot

There were 29 separate products that needed to be shot. The client sent them all to us via overnight UPS right after they were baked, and sent multiples of each item so we could pick the best version of each item. Since it was a cloudy and rainy week we couldn’t use natural light so we set up our set of Interfit continuous lights and went to work.

The two white-frosted muffins were a particular lighting challenge , since the frosting needed to look white yet remain separate from the background. All the items needed to look fresh and tasty.

Fall Cookies — Food Photography

This is catch-up post #2 — a shoot from last Fall.

Our California commercial bakery client hired us again shortly after we photographed the pecan buns to photograph their collection of season fall and winter cookies. Since cookies are flatter than the pecan buns this required us to think differently about our camera angles and the set design.

food photography on holiday set

Decorative set elements included colored sugar, milk, a floral spray, and snowflakes

In addition to our standard brown tabletop, we shot on white, brown burlap, and several shades of blue. The scrapbook paper we use for color backgrounds is 12″ by 12″ so it’s perfect for small items like single cookies, but still requires precise camera angles to avoid a lot of post-shoot work in Photoshop extending the background. Also, food projects stain paper (you can limit the stains with small pieces of parchment paper, but they still happen) so you need to have several pieces of the same color on hand to replace the stained pieces or you end up doing a lot of retouching.

cookie photo

Cookies on blue paper

The burlap we found at a craft store was in smaller 8×11 sheets, so we overlapped them and liked the look and texture. We have since added larger fabric pieces of burlap to our prop collection, but we still go back to the smaller sheets because of the interesting angles you get from overlapping the sheets.

photo of cookie

Football cookies with autumn leaves in the background

Our sets also included a variety of white plates in interesting shapes, some square wooden baskets (to contrast with round cookies), sparkly holiday leaves and berries, and loose sequins. For the rounder Chai cookies we used blue napkins (to coordinate with the blue paper used elsewhere) and baskets. The bakery used a variety of the final images in their email marketing, and in printed flyers as well as on their website.