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15 Photography Composition Techniques to Improve Your Product Photos
As the photographer, you control what your audience sees in a picture. From selecting desirable camera settings and making use of advantageous timing to choosing which camera is suitable for the job and pointing your lens at precisely the right spot, you can create any number of powerful visual images.
The most important tool in a photographer’s arsenal is good composition. It’s essential for drawing attention to the subject matter and adding interest, emotion, and meaning to a photograph. When you add composition to the photography, even for eCommerce product photos, it takes the image to a whole new level.
While product image editing services like Pixel by Hand can amend errors in your photos, it’s important to make sure that you’re doing your best to take a great shot from the start. This way, editors can focus on improving the finer details of the image.
Good photography composition is just as much an art as it is a science. In this quick guide, we’ll walk you through 15 photography composition techniques to help improve your photos. But first, let’s define what composition is in photography.
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What is Composition in Photography?
Composition guides the viewer’s eye to the desired focal point. To achieve this, you must understand and effectively use the principles of composition in your photography. By mastering these techniques, you can successfully influence viewers’ behavior and leave a lasting impression on them with each photo.
In lay man’s terms, the composition is simply the arrangement of the elements within a photograph. So, if you want an impressive photo, you must arrange each element in the image correctly to draw attention to the subject and create an impactful image.
Why is Composition So Important in Photography?
The composition of a photograph is pivotal in determining its narrative and success. Not only must it be aesthetically pleasing, but it also serve as a guide for the viewer’s journey through the image. The arrangement of elements and their distances from one another are integral in dictating who stands out more—whether that be the size, colorfulness, or luminosity of an element.
When it comes to eCommerce, the composition of product photos should be intentionally designed to make them look more attractive and visually appealing—which, in turn, encourages more sales.
For example, if you’re shooting for your clothing and apparel online store, you want shoppers to be able to see the details of each item and be able to visualize how they’d look in it. This means that you need to make sure everything is properly arranged and illuminated so that shoppers can easily identify the product’s features, such as color, fabric type, shape, size, etc.
If you’re a car dealer, then proper composition in your photos is essential for showcasing the vehicle’s features. It is vital to properly light and frame the specifics, such as rims, headlights, and paint job so that potential buyers can visualize what they are investing in.
By carefully arranging the scene, camera settings, lighting choices, and gear selections, you can compose a photograph that effectively conveys your desired message. Photo composition is an intricate process that determines the feel of your visual story. It’s imperative to make conscious decisions when creating these elements in order to achieve effective results.
What Makes a Good Composition?
When creating a photograph, the composition is critical. Each visual element needs to be carefully considered in regards to its position, dimension, color, brightness, and shape for the image to tell an effective story. When all of these factors are perfectly synchronized, it can lead to truly extraordinary photographs that capture the eye and heart of any viewer.
Crafting an exquisite photo involves striking a harmonious balance between the elements it contains. You must carefully weigh how much detail and space there is, as well as the ratio of highlights to shadows. However, there are also more abstract concepts at play.
How important is your subject in comparison with its backdrop? Moreover, you should consider what mood or atmosphere will be created by both light intensity and color tones—which may amplify other components or subdue them entirely. It’s all about making a connection between your subject and its environment. If you can find a way to express this relationship in an aesthetically pleasing manner, then you’ve achieved success.
In eCommerce, good composition means the difference between mediocre photos and those that drive clicks and sales. An online clothing store needs to arrange its product images in a way that accentuates the fabric, fit, and design of each item. Ultimately, the goal is to draw attention to the subject in order to make it stand out from the rest of the scene.
By taking a conscious approach to composition, you can create photographs that capture the attention of your customers and encourage them to purchase your products. When done right, the composition can be a powerful weapon to level up your eCommerce success.
Top 10 Latest Product Photography Trends
Here are the 10 most important product photography trends you need to keep an eye on. See what works for your business and how you can take advantage of these trends right away.
The Top 15 Photography Composition Rules and Techniques
Whether or not you’re a professional photographer, these photography compositions “rules” will always come in handy. Here are 15 of the most common techniques that can help you take better photos:
Less is more, even in photography. For an image composition that stands out, the key is to keep things simple. Rather than cramming too many elements into your frame, concentrate on one single subject. Use techniques such as narrow depth of field or eliminate any components which may direct attention away from your primary focus to draw eyes directly towards it. When viewers can promptly identify what you are trying to communicate with a photo, they will be able to appreciate and interpret its message even more effectively.
Notice how in most product listings, clothing items are presented solo against a plain background. The lack of distractions allows customers to easily see each item without being overwhelmed by too many details.
2. Filling the Frame
Elevate your composition by moving closer to the subject; you’ll be able to capture intricate details and a model’s facial expression while eliminating distracting elements in the background. This way, your viewers can take in the whole subject without anything else getting in their way.
When editing your photos, cropping can help create the illusion of a close-up shot. However, this might reduce the resolution quality of your image. Additionally, if it is necessary to remove body parts, such as an outstretched arm from the frame, be sure not to crop at any joints. This will cause an unnatural cut-off and end up ruining your photo.
In product listings, it’s important to show the item as close up as possible. This will give customers a better idea of how it looks and how they may expect it to fit. In addition, make sure that any branding or labels are visible in your photos so that customers can see what they’re buying.
3. Horizontal or Vertical?
Deciding whether a photograph should be in a horizontal or vertical orientation is one of the key elements when capturing an image. Although it may be more convenient to hold the camera horizontally, you must consider your subject matter first and foremost. If your photo has primarily tall objects, then shooting in vertically will enhance their features – while placing focus on wide subjects would require a horizontal frame for maximum impact.
For eCommerce products, the orientation of the shot should depend on the type of item you are shooting. For example, landscape images work best for items such as jewelry or accessories that can be laid flat, while a close-up portrait would suit better for clothing and footwear.
4. Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is arguably the most popular compositional technique used in photography. It suggests that a frame should be broken into nine equal parts with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines, then have the subject placed along these imaginary lines or at their intersection points. This will create an eye-pleasing effect while creating tension and energy in your image.
The rule of thirds can also be used to gain more control over the focus of your photo. Placing a subject near one of the intersections will cause viewers to concentrate more on that area, while having it aligned along one of the lines creates a balanced feel.
For product photography, this rule is especially useful for emphasizing specific details such as patterns or textures on a garment. Place these elements near the intersections and viewers will take notice more quickly and be drawn to them.
Sub-framing is an artful technique that photographers use to direct the viewer’s eye toward their primary subject or create additional interest in a scene. This is achieved by creatively using frames, creating visual pathways and layers, and leading the observer through your image.
In eCommerce product photography, framing can effectively draw attention to the main element and enhance its features. Examples might include placing a handbag on a chair with arms raised to frame it or shooting through arches or windows to create a background for clothing. This can be especially effective when shooting lifestyle images, as it adds context and intrigue to the sold item.
For attention-grabbing and impactful imagery, incorporate vivid colors into your photography composition. Select one strong color or several which will bring out the elements within the photograph to strengthen its statement. Alternatively, opt for softer pastel shades for delicate and lulling visuals that draw a viewer in.
In eCommerce product photography, colors should be chosen to complement the style and brand of the item you’re shooting. Jewelry and accessories can benefit from bold tones while garments are usually better suited to neutral hues. This will create an eye-catching display that resonates with customers and helps them to envision how they might use the product.
Contrast is an indispensable tool when it comes to creating beautiful, monochromatic images. Whether you’re seeking a more dynamic composition or simply wanting your subject to stand out – contrast can help by surrounding the object with lighter colors and filling up the frame. Not only will this reveal details and textures in sepia and black-and-white photographs, but it also bring definition that was otherwise missing from these timeless pieces of art.
For eCommerce product photography, contrast can be used to draw attention to the item itself. For example, placing a white blouse on a dark background or using bright lighting to emphasize its intricate details will help viewers focus their eyes directly on the subject. This is especially useful when shooting smaller items, such as jewelry or accessories, which may otherwise get lost in a larger image.
8. Leading Lines and Shapes
Our eyes are instinctively drawn to lines and shapes in artwork. Utilizing leading lines gives you the opportunity to manipulate how your viewer perceives your image. Lines have a natural way of guiding the eye, making them an ideal tool for drawing attention to focal points that you wish viewers to notice most.
Leading lines and shapes are particularly helpful when shooting product photography for eCommerce. As the eyes tend to follow curves and other repeating patterns, making use of them in your composition will help draw viewers directly to the items being sold. For example, a dress might look more elegant, draped over a curved chair arm, or have its features highlighted by strategically placed lines.
9. Symmetrical Balance
Symmetry is a timeless principle of composition that has withstood the test of time. Our eyes are drawn to it – visual balance within an image creates a powerful and captivating aesthetic appeal. Utilizing symmetry in your photography will add impactful dimension, helping you create stunning photographs that stand out from the crowd.
In eCommerce product photography, symmetry can be used to draw attention directly to the subject of focus. Placing items side by side or identically posing them will help create a sense of balance and order in your image. This is especially useful when shooting larger products as it helps viewers visually divide the item into more manageable sections.
10. Asymmetrical Balance
While symmetry is aesthetically pleasing, it can be quite refreshing to look at an image that breaks the mold. When done correctly, a photograph with an informal balance has this captivating and enigmatic quality about it that encourages further exploration. It may take some practice to master but well worth the effort when you see your creativity come alive in these photographs.
Asymmetry can be used to great effect in eCommerce product photography. It’s a good way of showing off the uniqueness and character of an item, allowing it to shine in its own unique way. An object placed at a slight angle or tilted against something else might just be the thing that captures customers’ imaginations. It can be a great way to show off the item in a more dynamic light, rather than having it always remain in the same position.
11. Foreground Interest, Depth and Layering
Layering your composition is an effective way to add depth and intrigue instantly. Like leading lines, when you have three dominant layers – foreground, middle ground, and background – in the frame, it allows the viewer’s eye to wander from one subject to another within the image for a more captivating visual experience.
With this approach, the subject of your photograph can be in the foreground, middle ground or background; it all comes down to where you decide to set your focus. When there are preset elements, such as in the picture above, a simple adjustment of perspective can cause a shift between sizes for both what is featured prominently and further back.
If you would like to add layering during post-processing, carefully incorporate your foreground into the image as seamlessly possible. It’s essential that the end result maintains a harmonious balance and boasts an identifiable subject for viewers to recognize.
This can be done by using tools such as Photoshop’s layer masks – blurring out the background and keeping your subject in focus.
12. Unusual Point of View
By changing the point of view you’re shooting from, you can add drama to any photograph. This technique can be especially useful in product photography as it allows you to tell a story and get creative with your compositions. Experimenting with different angles will help you capture more compelling images that are sure to draw the eye.
For example, shooting from up high, or a bird’s eye view, can be used to create an image with a sense of distance and space. It makes the product appear small, so you can give it some scale by including elements such as people, other objects, or landscapes in the frame. On the other hand, shooting from low down – or a worm’s eye view – can make the product seem larger than life. This perspective is great for showcasing texture and detail, as well as having an impactful overall composition.
So, next time you’re shooting products just remember to switch up your angle! With a bit of creativity and experimentation, you can capture more engaging images that appeal to viewers.
13. The Golden Ratio
The Golden Ratio is an aesthetically pleasing concept that has been widely discussed in the world of photography. It is based upon the mathematical ratio of 1 to 1.618, which was first studied by the ancient Greeks and is believed to be aesthetically pleasing when looked at in a photograph or artwork.
In product photography, this ratio can be used to create an aesthetically pleasing background that draws attention to your product without being distracting. The Golden Ratio grid can be used to help you compose an image that uses the ratio in its composition.
This technique is especially useful when combined with other concepts such as leading lines, layering and symmetry, as it helps create a more balanced overall look. By using this ratio, you can ensure your product stands out while still maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the photograph.
Patterns are an ubiquitous phenomenon – we can observe them on the face of a brick wall, in the weave of the fabric, and among paving stones. Once you start recognizing patterns in your environment, it will become difficult not to spot them everywhere. When photographing these patterns, be sure to fill up your entire frame with its intricate beauty for an even more captivating shot.
Using patterns in product photography can be a great way to make your images stand out. By including interesting and unique patterns, you can create stunning images that intrigue viewers. Be sure to consider the size of your product when composing the shot, as this will help you ensure the pattern is balanced with what’s in the frame.
15. Watch the Horizon
For styled product shoots, having a level horizon line is extremely important, as it ensures the image looks professional and well-composed. This can be easily achieved by using a tripod and ensuring the camera’s spirit level is lined up with the horizon line when shooting. If you are shooting without a tripod or spirit level, take care to ensure you have an even horizon line throughout your image.
When to Hire a Product Photo Editing Service?
Even the best product images can benefit from some post-production work. With the help of a professional photo retoucher, you can make your images look even more stunning and captivating. A photo editing service can also help improve any technical flaws in your image, such as underexposure or bad lighting.
Photo composition is also something that can be improved in post-production. A photo editor can help you adjust the size and placement of elements within your image to create a more visually pleasing composition without losing its resolution. This can be extremely useful for product images where a more unique and creative composition is desired but hard to achieve.
At Pixel by Hand, we offer a wide range of product photo retouching services to help you bring out the best in your images. From color correction, background removal to sharpening and resizing, our experienced retouchers can help take your product photography to the next level.
One of the ways we improve a product photo’s composition is by using the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds states that an image should be composed such that it can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced vertical and horizontal lines. This rule suggests that placing the main subject in one-third of the frame will create more visually appealing photographs.
By following this composition technique, we can help you create eye-catching images that draw viewers in and showcase your product in the best light. In addition, our photo editors can also use the rule of thirds to adjust other elements within your images, such as text or background elements, for a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing look.
Overall, product photography is all about creating stunning images that draw viewers in and showcase your product. By following these tips, you can create stunning product photos that stand out from the competition. If you need help taking your images to the next level, our skilled team at Pixel by Hand is here to help you achieve your imaging goals! Say hi to us in the chatbox below.
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