Providing Direction For Lighting
How We Approach Our Lighting
Most of our clients allow POW to decide how to light their products to some degree. This gives us the flexibility to pick a lighting style that is suited to the product shape and type.
We light every product differently to try and enhance:
- The texture of the product.
- The shape/dimension of the product.
- The true color of the product.
- Show a clear legible label.
Challenges With Lighting
When it comes to lighting, it's not uncommon for a customer to say "you're the professionals, you decide". But complications can arise when what looks good to us might not look good to the customer. The issue could be technical, like the customer is viewing images on an uncalibrated monitor or had expectations and concepts that they weren't able to convey to our Photographers.
The challenge for most people arises because lighting is interpreted subliminally; it's not easy to recognize the differences that we as professionals see as obvious. Studies have shown that typically, a person cannot verbalize the difference between lighting scenarios, yet they will instinctually pick the better one.
Since we spend 10 - 20 min per product photo lighting and retouching, we want to limit the number of reshoots and try and get it right the first time. That is why we've provided 4 ways for you to communicate lighting direction to our Photographers.
Provide Flexible Guidance For Lighting
Ways to Provide Lighting Match Example
- Request to have us match lighting from a previous order with POW.
- Find examples of similar products that have lighting you like on other websites.
- Request to have us find a lighting example online that we think you would like.
- Let us decide & waive the right to reshoots based on lighting.
Tips For Providing Lighting Examples
If you want to provide your own match examples, be sure to find images that are similar to your products. In the example below, if your product is the eyeliner and you provide a match image with an eyeliner in a similar packaging and metallic shine, that is helpful. A "Bad" example on the right is square and transparent and doesn't relate to eyeliner or the packaging.
Lighting For Reflective Products
You Can Ask For Standard Lighting For Reflective Items
We have a standard way that we like to photograph reflective items. Though it’s not required to choose this option for your reflective items, it sure makes life easier than hunting through images to find a matching image that may or may not work. The camera angles that work best are “Straight-On” or “Slightly Above”.
POW Standard Lighting Examples
All the above are examples of how our standard lighting affects objects of differing shapes and colors. This look is characterized by a black line where the camera is in the center and 2 graduated highlights on either side to show shape and indicate the product’s reflective nature. It even looks great on semi-reflective objects like the Argan Oil.
Re-shoots Because Of Lighting Are Rare
We rarely receive requests for re-shoots due to lighting. Occasionally there are minor adjustments that can be corrected in Photoshop and these are unpaid. Examples of what we can adjust after the fact are darkening a specific area that was too bright, a specific color was not correct or maybe text was not legible.