Starting out in any new line of business or industry is not always as easy as it seems. One of the most exciting new genres of photography is product photography. But, if you have not worked in this sector before, you may find navigating your way around the equipment you need, a little bit daunting.
One of the best ways to get started as far as equipment is concerned is by considering buying kits for product photography.
Where Can I Buy Ready-Made Kits for Product Photography?
Buying equipment for product photography online is perhaps the most popular option. However, you should not forget to check out local stores.
Thankfully, many online stores have caught onto the fact that product photography is one of the fastest-growing commercial photography sectors. In 2021, the industry is expected to be worth at least $36 billion globally. There is little wonder so many photographers are jumping on the bandwagon.
Do you need specialist equipment? Yes, you do need to invest in equipment to make it as a product photographer. When you don’t have any equipment at all, the first thing you need to do is to set yourself a budget.
The amount you spend on your equipment should be in line with the amount of money you can make from your new business.
For those with little or no experience of product photography, it is best to do your sums before you dip your toes in the water.
What You Will Need For Your Product Photography Business
To do a good job, you will need a studio. Don’t for one moment think that you are going to get away with using a phone. Photographing products is not as easy as snapping a few selfies.
This will give you some idea of what you will need:
- Good quality camera
- A variety of lenses
- Light Modifiers
- A computer
- Special software such as Adobe Lightroom
Buying kits are the way to go when you have little or no experience of the business.
If you are on a tight budget you can also check the Home beginner’s guide to photography for social media
Focus On Buying Lighting Kits
One of the biggest challenges for wannabe product photographers is learning how to work with light.
Having the right lighting setup will save you time and money when it comes to post production.
Finding the best kits for product photography is more than confusing. Although this is quickly becoming the hottest field within photography, staff in stores may not have the relevant experience to advise you.
The best thing to do is to do your own research. Some kits are suitable for when you are planning to work from home, others will require a studio setting.
What Are Light Boxes?
When you need to start small, one of the best product kits you can take a look at, is light boxes.
Essentially light boxes are small boxes that are used to take photographs of smaller items such as skincare, foods, and beverage products. They are the ideal choice for the novice product photographer who may only want to start in the business on a part-time basis.
One of the biggest challenges within product photography is achieving taking photos with even, consistent light. This is where light boxes come in.
You can use them when you want to take photos in a shadowless environment. One of the problems with light boxes is that the products can come across a little bit dull and boring. If you want to emphasize the product in a certain way, buying a dedicated lighting set up is the best way to go.
Daylight Photography Umbrella
As a product photographer, you may have to be prepared to work on your client’s premises. In that case, it is a good idea to have a daylight photography kit available.
The Julius Studio kit is a good kit for beginners and experienced photographers. It contains many of the things that you will need apart from a light box.
This is what you get in your Julius Studio Kit:
- Two 33 inch white umbrella reflectors
- Three single headed bulb sockets
- Two tripods
- A light stand
- Carry bag
- Bulb bag
- Velcro cable ties
The bulbs included in the set are not LED bulbs, but you can easily buy your own LED bulbs or colored lights.
Emart Photography Umbrella Kit
This is a kit with a bit of difference. Instead of containing colored gels that so many photographers like to use, it comes complete with a colored umbrella set that allows you to control the warmth of the light.
This is what you will find in your kit:
- Two each of white, gold, and silver umbrellas
- Two height adjustable tripods
- One adjustable mini stand
- Carry case
- Separate carry case for bulbs
It will look smart set up in your own studio or out and about if you need to go to a product photo shoot.
Working From Home Or Your Own Studio
When you are going to be working from home or your own commercial studio, you may want to consider investing in a scrim kit.
Impact PortaFrame Scrim Flag Kit
For some reason, this handy kit is overlooked when it comes to investing in kits for product photography. It is surprising as it offers excellent value for money.
This is what you get included in the kit:
- Five open-ended flag frames
- One single Black Net ½ stop
- One Double Black Net, 1 Stop
- One Black light blocker
- Carry case complete with compartments and pockets to keep your gear organized.
The light modifiers in the kit are perhaps less well known. However, many professional product photographers use them and they are excellent when you want to work with fine nuances and do close up work. They also offer the ability to work with light over larger areas.
There are really no camera kits for product photography available worth mentioning. Most product photographers work with DSLR cameras.
In many ways, the DSLR camera is the gold standard within the industry. A DSLR camera is capable of producing high quality images. Another benefit of using a DSLR camera is that it has the ability to change out lenses.
The reason so many product photographers work with DSLR cameras is that you can manually control the settings.
It is worth bearing in mind that all of the advantages of a DSLR camera come with a pretty hefty price tag. But, if you are going to enter the product photography business and make a success of it, it is essential to have good quality equipment available.
Once again, you are not going to find many lens kits. But, it is easy enough to buy your own lenses. Perhaps you already have a couple of suitable lenses.
When it comes to lenses, you need to consider the subjects that you are going to be photographing. It is unlikely that your first commercial shoot will be of a car or larger object.
Instead, you could find yourself photographing a necklace or a pair of earrings. What you need is a lens that allows you to do close-up work. Whether you work in a large commercial studio or in a corner of your home, you need to match your lens to the size of the product you are photographing.
Of course, a zoom lens will give you more flexibility. As a product photographer, you may find yourself dealing with different kinds of products. You never know what is going to come through the door!
Investing in a macro lens is another good idea. Some zoom lenses already have macro capability but it does not apply to all. The main benefit of a macro lens is that you can take close-ups of the finer details of a product. That matters a great deal when you are photographing technical objects such as watches.
Many successful product photographers have started their businesses with the kit that came with their cameras. As your business grows, you can start investing in new lenses and maybe even upgrade your camera.
You can’t really say that Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop is a kit. But, it is certainly the go-to product photography software that you should have installed on your computer.
Working on your photos in post production is very important. Although the rest of your equipment should have let you take good quality photographs, you should use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to help you make final adjustments.
This is where you can work on enhancing your photographs and making the product look even more attractive. The software also allows you to store photos. Another advantage is that you can easily email them to your client.
Most companies, large or small, need high quality product photos to sell their products. The industry is set to carry on growing and expanding. Investing in kits for product photography may not be such a bad idea when you want to break into this exciting and fast-moving sector of photography.