The thing about retail photography is that it is very similar to commercial photography. But unlike it, retail photography
does not directly sell a product. It sells the brand and the vision behind it.
If you have ever worked as a commercial photographer, it will be easy for you
as well to start in this field. Similarly, even if you are a beginner, this
basic guide will help you firmly place your feet in this field.
Work on Your Portfolio
No matter what field of photography you are heading into, the first step is always going to be building your portfolio. An
important point to note here is that the portfolio is not only for clients but
for yourself as well. When you start gathering products or retail items for
your portfolio, you start to develop a taste of what you want and don’t want to
Showcasing That Work
Now that you have built a solid portfolio, what’s the next step? Finding clients! This is where your portfolio will be of
great help. If you approach someone without anything to show for your skills,
you are bound to lose. On the other hand, when you show them the work that you
have already done, they are more tempted to accept. In beginning, try to
approach only local shops since they are independent and more likely to accept.
Understand Your Client
The most important thing to understand after landing a client is to put some effort into knowing them. To make it
clear, you do not need to interfere in their personal lives but try to know
their brand. Try to understand the vision behind it. And if it is a product,
learn its manufacturing process or any other stage that it goes through.
Understand the Intent
Another aspect that you need to know is the intended use of the images that you will be producing. Whether they will be
used for direct marketing or just for social networks. They may also be used
for prints or even a campaign. When you have the goal in mind, you will be
better able to compose your images. For instance, you might need to leave some
white space for images intended for marketing or social networks.
Crafting the Images
This is the step that all the other steps have been leading to. You understand the product, you understand the use of the
images, but what’s the best way to shoot them? For this as well, you will need
the help of the intent of the images. You can either go for a formal or
informal tone. Sometimes the combination of both can also produce great
results. For instance, capturing the brand values in formal tones, whereas,
capturing the environment in a more casual and friendly tone. The tone and the
mood of the images will be decided by the intent of the images so pay attention
in that step.
If you are shooting a product, it is equally important to show that it creates value in people’s lives. It is pretty
simple to do, just capture some smiling faces near that product and you are
good to go. And, remember, your client will only tell you about the vision, the
creativity is going to be yours in delivering that vision.