Packshot Photography - Product Photography at its best

(CC BY 2.0
(CC BY 2.0 | Source

Packshot photography is a style in photography which is solely aimed at product, commercial photography and advertising, from which packshot photography is a subcategory.

You have seem plenty of examples of this type of advertising, when you see an image of a product, an image of a person on a product or any image that just seems that is free standing; does not have anything in the actual photo but the subject itself, and often includes labeling, instructions, ingredients, nutritional information. This is an example of packshot photography.

This style is also sometimes used in inspirational campaigns, in non profit messages and educational services promotions, including government sponsored campaigns.

Most of it has to be done in a digital format, where other accompanying details, words logos or basically backgrounds are added. This form of advertising tries to make a viewer concentrate on the image itself, thus the lack of surroundings. They are mostly used on boxes, billboards but mainly on print mediums. Words and secondary items are usually out side of the main image although this sometimes does not appear to be the case.

The technique is simple to do. The subject is photographed with a solid colored background, mostly white due to the ease of superimposing other elements on top of it. The image is then manipulated in a digital format with one of the many photo editing software programs and words, other images etc are added or the image is digitally clipped and finalized.

The principal motive for this type of advertising is to motivate in store product recognition and brand awareness. It is also heavily used in sites such as Ebay, where a simple image of the product is desired and presented with no other details to distract the viewer. Often these images are photographed from various angles and they can be shown in 360 degrees.

The term packshot is also utilized in movie and television advertisement, but here the technique refers to the showing of the item for about 3 to 4 seconds in a normal 30 seconds advertisement.

Basically any packshot image can be placed anywhere on which something can be printed. It is also very popular to use on t-shirts, postcards, mobile advertisement, web sites.

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Packshot photography requires technical expertise, extensive knowledge regarding studio lighting, a keen eye with a focus on detail as well as an open perspective.

The item, product or subject has to be represented in its best light. Jewelry manufactures are keen on this. The right shine and sparkle has to be achieve for the product to stand out as well as the presentation at the right magnification.

This style of photography is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative of all of the genres in photography.

There are photographic companies and photographers that only do this type of photo work. Their secrets and tips are closely guarded.

Photographers doing this type of work have adapted well to the changing times and can even go to the client's location and do all of the photographing on site.

There are slight variations to these photographs, such as using very modest backgrounds, usually textured cloth.

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez

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