As we continue building apps and working on content with new partners from around the globe, we are constantly asked to share photos and tips from behind the scenes. It goes without saying that you need a super talented photographer that understands lighting and has all the necessary equipment, but you will need a few more things to make sure you get the maximum out of your photo-shooting days.
Here is our list of things you should have in mind, when your product is due for a photo-shoot:
Plan A & Plan B – Plan the day in advance , so you have a clear idea about what you’ll begin with and where best to finalize the session. Print a cheat sheet and carry it with you at all times, this will remind you about forgotten ideas and could help emphasize important issues. Having said that, flexibility is still a MUST. Models may get tired, objects could break, backgrounds get dirty, glue needs time to harden (we even had black outs accrue) so try your best to have alternate plans & extras of everything to keep things in motion.
Background set colors – The cheapest and easiest way to achieve a solid yet crease-free background is to use large sheets of paper, preferably 250-300gr A1 or A0. Choose your background colors carefully in-order to make the parts and/or tools stand out against the background colors – having them pop out from the contrasting background makes it easier to comprehend what parts are used in the explanations. Choose age appropriate colors – either playful and cheerful colors for a younger audience, more sophisticated or dramatic for an older crowd.
Tape Tape Tape – Alternating between the set’s background colors and textures could be a simple 1-person job, when you have a few rolls of masking tape in a hand’s reach. Place stripes of adhesive paper/tape at all edges of your paper-format, spread the paper out against the wall and secure. To ensure no harm is done to the wall or table surface – place the tape on your shirt (this loosens up the glue’s grip a bit and helps with taking the set apart). In case of using a table and wall setting – Make sure the paper sheets overlap and the wall and table surfaces are fully concealed.
Story telling – Think about the subtext you want your viewer to understand when looking at the photo. Place hints in the frame that tell the full story and give more info about what just happened. For example in the pictures above: On the left, the scenario depicts a playful atmosphere, the parakeet just hatched out of the egg. On the right: the paint-kit is placed in the frame to explain how the car wheels are able to draw lines on the paper surface.
A squeaky clean setting – Photoshop is definitely one of our best friends, yet it requires proficiency and can be very time consuming. Sometimes its just faster to fix things in advance: If you Photoshoot focuses on hands – invest in a Manicure, If your shooting glass – make sure it is crystal clear, clean camera lends to make sure they are smudge free, iron your background materials & make sure your paper-back is squeaky clean.
Leave room for the photographer’s ideas – Make sure you let the photographer be creative, sometimes those extra photos that weren’t planned originally can be the best photos of the day.
Erase eye-catching elements – When using simple props and materials, make sure to erase local elements (text in certain a language, etc..). Screen out or blurr brands that are too recognized and can draw attention away from your product.
Scale – Studio photoshoots often focus on a single star product and can cause confusion about sizes and proportions, since no other object is in the frame. Using hands or well recognized props can help understand proportions and size.
Re use – Save what could be re-used and store for future use.
Show your appreciation – Thank everyone who pitched in, offer a sneak-peek of the results or send them a picture of themselves (most people looove to get pics of themselves or their kids).
You can always use more photos – for your website, blog posts, or for creating a new years greeting cards… Take some extra unique photos. Once the set and lighting is put together, the cost of the extra photos usually sums up to just a few extra minutes.
A special thanks to Dan Perez, Dor Kedmi & Reuven Ben Haim, the great photographers that we have been working with on all our partner’s apps.