Old camera on a colourful background and copy on the side in blue

How to prepare for a product photoshoot

Author: Francesca - Mr Lee's Team

We are sure you have come across plenty of product and food photographs in your lives. Whether it’s in cookbooks, online adverts or brand websites, you probably see quite a few on a daily basis.

All those photos, from the artistic ones to the more basic ones, actually require a lot of time and work. Product photography isn’t as simple as placing your product in front of the camera and just shooting. Everything you see in the final shots has been placed there for a reason and it intends to make the product come to life. 

A few weeks ago we headed into the office to shoot some photos for our new porridge and congee ranges. In this post we are going to share the different steps we followed in order to get a good set of product photographs for our social media, adverts and website. 

 

Planning 

The first step when doing a photoshoot is researching and planning. Deciding the time of day, the type of lighting, the location, the setting...

We had quite a clear idea of the type of images we wanted to get out of the photoshoot. Knowing the images would mainly be used on social media and online adverts, we didn’t want anything overly complicated. Simple photos with a few props, taken in a real setting which people could relate to, and using natural lighting as this works well for edible items. 

 

Shot list 

Before actually taking any photos it’s a good idea to create a shot list. In other words, decide what kind of shots are wanted, what background will be used, what angles will be taken and what props will be included in the photos.  

In our planning stage we decided we wanted a real setting so we thought the best option would be to use the kitchen where Andy, our Executive Chef, works and creates all our new products. 

Props are great to help brighten the photograph and also give it a more natural feel. Our list included a variety of ingredients and objects which would be placed in the foreground and background in order to give depth to the images. We decided to use ingredients that related to the flavour of each product and place them around the pots. For example, we chose strawberries and raspberries for our So Very Berry Porridge and oats for our Original Porridge. We also made a list of the tins, jars and cups we would place in the background of each picture. 

When it comes to angles, it’s good to have a variety for each product; top down shots, front and side shots, portrait form...  This not only allows the customers to know exactly what the product looks like but it also gives you different options to choose from and to play around with in the editing process. 

 

Take the photos 

On the day of the shoot we had almost everything planned and we went in knowing exactly what we were doing. We set up our camera on a tripod, we got our products lined up with our props, we decided where we would be taking the shots and made sure lighting was good and we got our background set up with tins, jars and cups. 

It’s always good to have a variety of content which can be used in different ways. So, apart from taking shots with a professional camera, we also took photographs and videos with our mobiles for Instagram stories or for TikTok videos

Editing 

Once all the photos are taken it’s time to have a look through all of them and choose the ones that are going to be used. Adjusting the light, cropping, straightening and resizing, are all important elements of the edition process. This step also involved creating videos for social media. After the editing session, we ended up with a good selection of images which we could use to promote our new product ranges on several different platforms. 

As you can see, even simple product photos require quite a lot of effort. Researching, planning and writing lists will help make things go a lot smoother on the actual day of the shoot. 

Mr Lee’s Congee and Mr Lee’s Porridge are available on our website store. If you’d like some inspiration for toppings, head to our TikTok page where you’ll find some great ideas!  

Mr Lees Team