Preparing for product photography

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Ensure your products are photo ready

Ensuring that your products are ‘photo ready’ is a critical step in preparing for a product photography session. When purchasing online, consumers rely solely on product images and product descriptions to make a purchasing decision. The images you present on your website, Kickstarter campaign or Amazon listing are often the first and only experience a consumer will have with your product before making a purchase. It’s critical that your product photography looks attractive, vibrant and without flaws.

Photoshop is a wonderful and invaluable tool that can fix a whole host of issues, but repairing the appearance of damaged or defective products can be time consuming for the photographer and costly for our clients. Unless otherwise indicated, products shipped to our Los Angeles studio are photographed in ‘as is’ condition.

We have a wonderful product stylist that dusts, steams and preps each product to ensure they look their best on camera, however we rely on each client to ensure the products they ship us accurately portray the quality of their company and brand.

Unbox and visually inspect your products

Nothing fills a product photographer with more dread than to receive a box of sealed retail packages, as it’s usually a sign that the products have not been inspected for flaws. Product photography may be the only experience a consumer has with your company prior to purchasing. Rather than grab random pieces of merchandise off the shelf, or ‘blind ship’ your products from a fulfillment center, it’s worth taking the additional time to locate pieces that you feel are the best representation of your brand. Most flaws and defects can be avoided with a quick examination.

A single defective product can be enough to seriously delay a project while your product photographers wait for a replacement. Worse still, a product photographer may not realize that your product is defective until the shoot is complete and they receive feedback from clients. Nearly every defect we’ve encountered over the years could have been easily avoided with a simple visual inspection before shipping.
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All product photography projects

  • Remove your products from the packaging and visually inspect each item in good light and watch for scratches, scuffs and dents.
  • If possible, we recommend sending two of each item in the event that a flaw was overlooked and if a packaging shot is needed, it allows us to photograph the packaging in pristine condition, without having to remove the product.
  • Clients may arrange to drop off their products at our Los Angeles studio or may ship them toF-Sequence Studio
    560 S. Main St., Suite #10N
    LLos Angeles, CA 90066

with no attention line and sent only via a trackable shipper. This means UPS, Fedex, etc. We recommend not shipping via USPS. At the time of this writing, USPS does not offer sufficient tracking or redelivery capabilities and may deliver after hours.

  • If packaging shots are required, we recommend at least two inches of well padded space between the packaging and the outer box to ensure that your packaging arrives at our studio in photo ready condition.
  • Due to limited storage capabilities, all products must be picked up or shipped back within seven days of project completion.
  • If return shipping is required, please include a prepaid shipping label along with your products.

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Clothing product photography

We’ve encountered the highest number of manufacturer flaws when photographing clothing.

By taking a few moments to inspect clothing items prior to shipping, the majority of these can be avoided, ensuring your clothing product photography looks crisp and flawless.

  • Check each clothing item for tears, holes, popped stitches, color bleed, dirt, stains or poor cuts.
  • Take each product from the packaging and remove any tags, labels or anything else that you don’t want in the photo and have each pressed or ironed in advance. While we do steam certain garments before shooting to help them lay flat and shake loose any wrinkles that may have formed during shipping, ironing out sharp creases is charged as a separate fee.
  • Make sure every item is new and unworn! Wearing an item even once stretches and changes the shape of the material.
  • We recommend using a hanging wardrobe box for all shirts and dresses and a garment box for slacks and socks to ensure they arrive in photo ready condition.

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Jewelry photography

Jewelry flaws are often so small that they cannot be seen by the naked eye, however high resolution photography magnifies each piece much larger than they appear in real life, making even the smallest of scratches or flaws much more apparent. For example, a dozen scratches of just a quarter of a millimeter are too small to be seen without a loupe, but are very visible when professionally lit and viewed on a computer monitor.

Retouching jewelry can quickly become very difficult and expensive, so we ask that clients take the time to have their pieces professionally cleaned, polished and inspected. In the end, it saves both time and retouching expense!

  • Fine jewelry should be cleaned and polished to ensure that scuffs and scratches are at a minimum
  • Costume jewelry should be examined with a loupe to ensure that there are no glue marks, heavy scuffing or tarnish.
  • Delicate pieces should be individually wrapped and we recommend using jewelry boxes or cases.
  • We strongly recommend purchasing shipping insurance