5 Key Elements To Sexy Product Photography

You've got great products, you just bought a new more expensive camera. Why does your product photography look so... ew?


Cracking my knuckles as I was ready to start writing on an entirely different subject, my attention was taken from me by how the early morning light was accentuating my watch. I stared motionless for a considerable amount of time. Anyone who would have been watching me might have been concerned for my mental health. Then, blamo! The question "why" came to mind. And so begins today's blog post on; five key elements to sexy product photography.

  • 1 Contrasting Tones
  • 2 Sexy Glare
  • 3 Blur / Bokeh
  • 4 Heavy Contrast
  • 5 Intentional Focus Point

1. Alrighty, Contrasting Tones. 
Anytime you can contrast, do it. That's what I say. Adding elements of contrast to an image is like enjoying a hot tub in the winter or a lovely ice cream sundae with hot fudge. Images aren't so different from physical experience since a great photograph should cause the viewer to "feel" a certain way.
Here is an excellent portrait photograph of contrasting tones

2. Sexy Glare
Not every product photo can or will have a reflective material in it but adding one will take your product images to the next level. Glass is a great element to use but you can get a similar effect using water as well.
It's also important not to overdo the glare. If the entire watch face would have been one giant glare I would have missed the mark. I chose to cover the watch face with about 50% of glare, revealing the focus point, which we'll talk about soon.
This company does an incredible job using glare.

3. Blur / Bokeh
A great go to lens to capture strong bokeh is the 50mm. The 50mm Canon lens is what I typically use. It only costs about 100 bucks and has an aperture range of 1.8 - 22.  If you're new to photography the aperture range tells your camera how wide or small to open your shutter. Having your shutter set in the 1.8 - 2.8 range will have your shutter open nice and wide to give you that creamy bokeh :)

4. Heavy Contrast
I said earlier if you can contrast, do so. That was in reference to tones but the same goes for light. One of my favorite ways to capture dramatic lighting is to turn off all the lights and shoot near a window. Unless I'm in direct sunlight. It's best to capture dramatic lighting in the morning, evening, or on an overcast day.

5. Intentional Focus
Nearly everything should be intentional in your product photography, especially your focus point. I chose to focus on the date for no other reason other than to show that the photo was taken the same day this was written.
The focus point should be the best part of the image. All the other elements ought to work together to highlight this one aspect of the image.

Let me know if you agree, disagree, or think I forgot anything.
Thanks!


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