By Jordyn Moore
When you look at an advertisement, what’s the first thing you look at: the caption or the photo?
You only have seconds for your photo to get noticed. Whether you’re posting an advertisement for your brand or a photo for your own personal social media, that initial impression will decide if a user is interested in you or your product. Regardless, the better the photo quality, the higher chance of engagement. The most important main areas to focus on are lighting and your background setup.
Lighting can either make or break your photo. There are so many aspects regarding direction, harshness and color temperature that can create an aesthetic to accurately capture your brand.
For traditional product photography, you are going to want to light the subject in a way that looks appealing. If you are shooting for a clothing brand, soft lighting typically looks best. Soft lighting is when your subject has barely any shadows. This technique is also great when used on people if you’re going for a naturally flawless look. The soft lighting takes out any noticeable imperfections, unlike harsh lighting. To achieve soft lighting, avoid taking your photos in direct light. Stick to shaded areas or shoot with the sun behind you.
If an edgier look suits your brand better, use harsh lighting. Harsh lighting is when you have dramatic and distinct shadow cut-offs. For example, you would use harsh lighting in a gym or fitness related photoshoot because the harsh shadow lines help accentuate the body’s shape. To get the edgy look from harsh lighting, you will need a smaller light source to hit the sides of your subject. Play with your small light setup to see what shadows look best.
A well-lit subject is great, but falls short when it lacks an interesting setup. Backgrounds can make a huge difference in a photo because they will help your product stand out on your feed. The worst thing to do is to have a dirty and boring background. Instead, try pops of color, or textured brick walls, or even plants. Don’t be afraid to stage a scene that goes along with the theme of your product.
Visually, a photo can tell you so much about something within seconds. If the subject is a person, how are they dressed? Are they in a fancy outfit, does it look expensive, does it make them look like an important figure? If something looks important, whether it is or not, people will still shift their attention to it. Just by correctly lighting your project and creating a balanced and aesthetically pleasing background, your photos will gain more attention.