PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY PROCESS
Wagner Photo-Grafx is a full service photo studio that does product photography. What does Full Service mean? We become your trusted advisor concerning anything image related. Pushing the shutter button is only a small part of the process.
We begin with a diagnosis of your existing photography efforts to determine what you’re already doing right, and where we can be most effective. Do you need product photos to fill in an existing site or promotion? Are you starting from scratch and need guidance on current trends and options available to show your products at their best? What has your business budgeted for professional photography and how will new photos effect your marketing efforts and your bottom line?
Next we determine how your new product images should be used. We do this before production to make sure they’ll fit in the appropriate space and to get the right look. Should we place them on your website and social media or print them for packaging or direct mail? Would dramatic lighting work with your marketing or should the images be more straight product shots? Do you even want to keep the background? One trend, especially on Amazon, is to remove the background or to ‘outline’ the merchandise. This is accomplished on the computer in post production but is taken into account during photography. How should the product photos be cropped and what format will they be saved in? Different applications require different file formats. Websites usually require JPEG or PNG files while a TIFF file is usually best for print.
It is possible that a still image just won’t show everything that needs to be seen on your product. In this case we can explore video or GIF animation. Animation has become a popular and more budget friendly option for showing additional aspects of products however it does require more time and planning. A past client came to us with a work of art featuring a shiny surface difficult to capture on a still image. We were able to show off the piece with a GIF animation rotating the piece to multiple angles, back and forth. We used more direct lighting that produced some intermittent flashes of highlight. It looked great and the client was thrilled! Or would multiple views of your product combined into one image work better?
Once we know how to best use your new photos we determine a schedule and book your shoot date. We determine when the images are needed on the website or when you need your mailer to be delivered to potential clients. From this information we work backwards to determine when the images need to be finished and then when to begin production. Factors such as special backgrounds, models, special effects, props, digital work including retouching, and availability of merchandise will be taken into account. Not to mention our schedule and when we can concentrate on your project.
Once the schedule is set we get on with pre production. We locate or order the necessary materials to produce your images. Maybe we’ll need to order a special color backdrop or book a location to shoot at. If models are required they need to be selected and booked in advance from a model agency. You, as the client, will have the opportunity to select the talent of your choice from the model agency website. Maybe you’ll need a hand or foot model for a close up shot. There are even ear specialists for that perfect earring advertisement. We will guide you through the process of getting exactly what you need to achieve the best quality images.
Shoot Day can be very fun and exciting if you choose to be present. Be sure to bring your face mask! Depending on what is being captured, this process could be completed quickly or take several days. If we’re shooting a single piece of jewelry, time will be taken to find the best angle and lighting. Then multiple images will be captured and saved to be downloaded to the computer. We can shoot a full line of fashion products in the studio or multiple machinery parts at the client’s location.
After Shoot Day the digital magic begins. All of your raw product images are archived and placed into our work flow to be individually processed. They are optimized for color, contrast and sharpness and any minor flaws such as dust or reflections can be removed or retouched to look perfect. When major changes to the image such as replacing a stone in a ring or facial reconstruction in a headshot (yes, we are asked to do this on occasion) are needed, this is performed and billed on an hourly basis. Images nearing completion are emailed to you or saved on a secure web folder for your review and approval. If you feel additional changes are required we can make that happen. For still images we can then crop and save your final files in the formats required. If we are producing a GIF animation, the images will be assembled and tested for the best look.
A great image can be used in many different ways. We capture everything in high resolution which means every image we produce can be repurposed to save you money. As with any artistic endeavor, room must be made for modifications and experimentation. Time permitting we like to play with the original concept to see if we can make it even better. Sometimes while on set inspiration strikes! Our goal is your complete satisfaction.