How to Plan the Perfect Product Photoshoot

How to Plan the Perfect Product Photoshoot


Ah, photoshoots. Most marketing teams have a love/hate relationship with them. Of course, you want your product to look great, but great-looking product is only half the battle. Organizing a photoshoot is a huge undertaking. You have to flawlessly coordinate everything from location to props and everything in between. Product photoshoots are a considerable expense. It is crucial that you don't waste the opportunities that a photoshoot can afford. In this article, I'll go over some helpful tips that will get you the most bang for your buck when it comes to product photoshoots.

The Reason You Need Product Photos

It's crucial to consider the long-range of your brand and how the product you're photographing will affect it. Plan for all contingencies by making the most out of your photoshoot spend. Is there another product that would make sense to photograph alongside your new product? Would any of your existing products benefit from new photography? Many manufacturers use a variety of room and environmental photography, with new product being added digitally to the image. Can you squeeze in some new environment shots to your current shoot?

Think about the reason you need these photos, don't get stuck in the nitty-gritty planning of the shoot; although the details are very important also. Always keep "The Big Picture" at top of mind, so you don't get a bunch of photos with a short shelf-life at the end of the shoot. You'll thank yourself later.

Getting It Done Vs. Doing It Well

Think about future asset needs. Can you shoot anything that you don't need now, but can see being helpful in the future? Even if it's not a sure thing, making sure you don't have to photograph something twice is a huge time and money saver.

A good example to think about: you need a simple product shot for a catalog page. You can either use your time wisely by taking a variety of shots now, OR you can photograph your product over multiple occasions whenever you realize you need a different shot of your product. One of our values here at Water Street is captured by the phrase, "Getting it Done vs. Doing it Well. We prefer the second option." Photoshoots are always an opportunity to take that statement to heart.

The Master Plan

Advance prep is key to successfully managing a photoshoot. Props? Models? Contact info for everyone? Don't let any opportunity to make the most out of this shoot slip through your fingers due to poor planning. Last-minute scrambles are no fun, and won't produce good photos. It’s helpful to look at photoshoot planning like a miniature project timeline. Only need a model for a few shots? Don't waste money by keeping him or her around for the entire shoot. Block out time for them and don't go over. Multiple locations? Plan your route and who is in charge of the equipment during transit ahead of time.

Develop A Toolkit

Efficiency is a significant component of profitability. Creating a strategy you can use multiple times maximizes efficiency by minimizing the time you spend planning each shoot. A framework that you can build off of each time you need product photography is a great tool to have. Need a place to start? We have just the thing! Our Photography Planning Checklist has proven to be a beneficial tool for ourselves and our clients. Each photoshoot is different, so you may need to tweak some things when it comes to planning your own product photoshoots. Feel free to download this tool and share amongst your colleagues. Love it? Think it can be improved upon? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you.