You have your product, you’ve set the brand, now you just need some beautifully branded food or product photos to draw the attention you deserve. Need a little inspiration for your brand’s shoot? Here are 7 of my top tips for picking perfect photography props.
1. Define the Overall Mood.
First, you’ll need to set the tone. Decide on the general mood that you’d like to convey in the shoot. If you want a seamless collection of product photos, selecting a specific mood or ambiance is crucial, and it will guide all the other aspects of our design.
Some examples of mood include:
- Bold + Colorful
- Clean + Crisp
- Simple + Understated
- Playful + Fun
- Modern + Edgy
- Earthy + Organic
2. Consider the Branding Guide.
When perusing the web for ideas on photography props, you’ll probably find all kinds of inspiration. How do you narrow it down? Use your branding guide. If it can’t work with your branding guidelines, then toss it out. If you have a clean and simple brand, sometimes the best prop is no prop, and a great backdrop does the trick beautifully.
When selecting photography props, I’ll ask for a list of your brand’s specifications, including details such as:
- Color palette
- Fonts and typography
- Mission and values
- Voice and tone
3. Determine What Types of Photos You Need
What kinds of shots do you have to have? Consider where you will use the product photos and the requirements for each other those uses. Once we know what kinds of shots we’re taking, we can select appropriate photography props and backdrops.
Types of product photos include:
- Studio/white background product photos (primarily for online shopping images)
- Lifestyle product images to show context (my fave!)
- Group shots to showcase your brand’s complete collection or inventory
- Detail shots to show texture and quality
- Product packaging photos for branding and label images
- Behind the scenes or process shots to highlight your brand’s story and mission (great for social media and your website)
4. Incorporate Product Colors.
From there, we’ll narrow down our photography props based on your product colors. Even if a prop checks all the boxes above, we need to make sure that it won’t clash with the color of the actual product itself (if it will be visible in the photos). This primarily applies to food. If you have a drink, smoothie, bar, etc., we want to make the food or product look tasty by enhancing the natural colors or textures rather than making it look dull, bland, or unappealing.
5. Draw on the Flavors or Ingredients.
On that note, showcasing your product’s flavors and ingredients can make finding creative photography props even easier! Have a healthy nut and seed bar? Use whole versions of those nuts and seeds in the photos! And who doesn’t love a great sauce to make a delicious sandwich even better? Entice the viewer with bold flavors.
6. Don’t Be Afraid of Texture.
Adding props with texture will make your photos look more dimensional and realistic. Sometimes, the most unexpected texture adds the perfect touch or balance to the picture. Textured materials are some of my most powerful tools when designing the ideal product image.
7. Experiment Until You Nail It.
All that to say, sometimes you just have to play around with it. In fact, some of my best photos came from happy accidents—like my cat tipping over a drink or a piece of something that finds its way into my lens. An expert eye can help you find that little “something extra” your photos need. I’d love to lend a hand! Connect with me here to begin your next project.
Lindsay is a Los Angeles-based food, product, and commercial photographer. She specializes in Still Product & Food Photography, Lifestyle & Portrait Photography, Stop Motion, and Food Styling. Connect with her HERE for product marketing!