What is involved in a product shoot (Part 1)

Wine bottles

Product images can range from the (apparently) simple to the amazingly elaborate, and everything in between, but most people don’t realise that there is an awful lot of work involved in even the simplest product shot, for example…

Earlier this year one of our customers, a wine retailer, asked us to photograph several new ranges of wine that they were offering. Now as any commercial photographer will tell you, photographing anything with glass is a nightmare, as soon as you hit glass with a light it becomes reflection city! I can tell you that the prospect of photographing 40 bottles of red, white and rosé was making me a little nervous. I try to educate our customers about the process of product photography and just what is involved in getting that perfect shot, it’s not always quite as simple as some think.

There is always more work involved in a simple product shot than the customer realises

The 40 bottles of wine arrived the day before the shoot was scheduled. Upon opening each case we found that every bottle had already been handled, this meant that every bottle had to be cleaned. As each bottle needed to look perfect, cleaning meant more than a quick rub down with a duster. Any marks needed to be removed with spirit then each bottle had to be polished with a lint free cloth. During this process we also had to remove the rear label from each bottle; on a white background the back of the rear label is clearly visible so it had to go. Stubborn labels needed to be softened, scraped off and then the residue removed with spirit. Once the bottles were cleaned any bottles with lids needed the neckpiece straightening, the trick was to turn it clockwise otherwise the seal on the bottle breaks. Once all this was done and the bottles look as near perfection as we could get them, they were ready to be photographed. Inevitably with product photography there is always a little post production to be done, in this case a little cleaning up and some colour correction.

As you can see there is always a lot to do on a product shoot to get the best images possible, even a simple shoot such as the wine bottles. The customer was delighted with the shots and even asked us to try some of their new range of wines…now that’s a perk!

Cheers, Mark

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