We have been pondering still life shots a bit. What does it takes to make a great still life photo?
From having taken product shots for so long, it is quick to see that we would need to change our shooting and lighting style in order to take more engaging still life photos. In product shots, we have been striving to show the product "as it really is" so the buyer knows what to expect and thus does not want to return the item. We also want potential buyers to be able to self answer all their questions by showing them all the pertinent details they need to see at the level of detail they need. Don't leave them guessing or make them ask questions, it is better to just fill in all the blanks so they can buy the item or not. We want them to happy with both their shopping experience and the items they buy.
"Shooting still life photography is very different from shooting product shots. "
We are not attempting to make the product "bigger than life" or better than it is, but you do want to show the product at it's best. You want them to be happy and not return it so we shoot the item to show the the flaws also. You want them to trust you as a seller. After all, we are also buyers so we can see it from both the seller and buyers point of view.
Still Life What makes you look and then look longer...
In a magazine ad you do not want them to buy it perhaps, as you want them to remember it, want it and seek it out. They can not buy it from the magazine for the most part so you need to hook them to either seek it out, want it or be willing to do something to learn more. So you might make the product look really amazing, surreal or "bigger than life" so to speak. You do not want false advertising but you want to set your product apart from the herd so it stands out and is remembered.
Photography What makes it memorable?
We thought it might be fun to shoot some still life images over the next few posts and see what we learn and how far we can progress. The theme is "Some Of Our Favorites". A somewhat random pick of some of our favorites that could perhaps double as gift items. You can pick what ever theme you like, or the same theme and join in. The idea is to determine the formula for a winning shot - a photograph one really likes - and with any luck --- that others like too.
The first image is a bottle of one of our favorite sulfite free USDA organic wines, Orleans Hill Syrah, that we purchased at Nature's Corner in Florence. The wine is supported "Just Like Magic" by a hardwood wine stand where it is held upright by being perfectly balanced. The shot is a well lit "product photography" style image with the label to the front so one can read it. But does this style work for a still life shot? Well that is up to the onlooker and we will learn more about what we like as we progress.
1Choose a theme for your still life photos.
2Shoot some photos.
3Study what you like and dislike and what works and does not work.