Skip to main content

Don Julio - Hero Shot

For starters, a hero shot is one in which the product is showcased in all its splendor. Careful attention is placed on making the product look its very best. For this shot of Don Julio I knew I wanted to give the bottle some majesty by photographing it from a low angle. That low angle makes the bottle look tall, towering over the viewer and creating a position of dominance. Can't you hear the choir of angels singing in the background?

I also knew that I wanted a rich, moody image with lots of darks. I am partial to darker images, which is surprising to most people because the majority of the work I do are images on white backgrounds. But that's another story. I also tried a lifestyle type shot with glasses and lime slices but I wasn't feeling it and ended up scrapping it. Again, that's another story.

When photographing glass, the trick is to avoid lighting the glass. Throwing light at reflective surfaces is an exercise in frustration because the light gets bounced all over the place and, for beginners, in very unpredictable ways. Light bends and clear glass will bend it the most. In the behind the scene shot at right you will see that all my lights are pointed at everything but the product, relying on reflected light only.

Light alone doesn't make an object a hero, it takes a little bit of polishing afterwards. It is this 'polish' that elevates your product from something to be dismissed to something to take notice of.

While not all businesses need every product to be a hero shot, the consideration is to at least strive for every shot to have that professional polish. After all, every image is a reflection of your business and therefore will be judged accordingly by your clients and potential clients.

One thing I have noticed over the past couple of years is there is a slow shift away from mediocre images taken by inhouse staff put into the role of 'photographer' simply because they owned a 'fancy' camera. The desire to save a few pennies, or perhaps the naive assumption that they can 'do it themselves', has caught up to many of the wiser marketers who have noticed that good images do indeed contribute significantly to their bottom line.

Another growing trend to be aware of goes beyond the simple product image. These are the 'brand' images. Quality photographs that exemplify your brand, connect with your target audience and instill an emotional response has gained a good footing in well planned marketing campaigns. What started as a trend within social media and with Instagram in particular, has taken hold as a viable method of gain and retaining new clients as well as fostering a better relationship with existing clients.

So take a lesson from the hero shot and make sure your images have that extra little polish. It goes a long way to selling your brand.

Comments

Most Popular Posts

Large DIY Diffusion Scrim

One of the most commonly used tools in my photographic arsenal is the all purpose diffusion screen. I use it to soften light, create gradients and light fields or as a background. One of my current favorites is a metal framed 4' x 4' foot scrim with thick white artificial silk made by Matthews. I didn't think I would use it so much, being so large, but having borrowed it from a friend I really came to love it. The downside for me is the price. At just over $100 I couldn't really justify the cost, considering I want at least two of them. Time for a DIY alternative.

DIY Softbox Storage Hanger

If you own a softbox, or two, you understand how bulky and unwieldy they can be. Imagine owning several in different sizes. Storage becomes an issue. One solution is to break them down and store them flat, but that becomes a pain after the first few times struggling to put one of these things together. It is more convenient to just grab one "off the shelf" and go to work.

Allocating shelf space seems like such a waste of valuable storage space. In my case I have two square softboxes, three striplights and soon two more rectangular ones. That's a lot of real estate. Time to come up with a storage solution that doesn't require floor space or shelf space.

The solution I came up with is a compromise of an idea I originally had of hanging them from the ceiling on pulleys so they would be out of the way until needed. I still like that idea, but for now I will be suspending them from a wire rack shelf system in my studio. Here is what the system looks like.


Focal length and field of view

As a photographer creating an image for your viewers there are many ways to present that image. Lighting and color, composition, perspective, these are all choices you have to make. One of the inescapable tools used for manipulating your scene is your camera's lens.

With any lens there are considerations to keep in mind; focal length, angle of view and perspective are three that immediately come to mind and I'll cover some aspects that need to be understood in order to make an informed lens choice for a given scene. One suggested exercise is to take all your lenses, find a suitable subject and make a series of images with all the lenses in your collection. If you have a zoom lens, take several images at varying focal lengths so you have something for comparison.

5 qualities images need for online shopping

As online shopping grows, competition for new business gets harder. Customer loyalty is a thing of the past. People will shop for value and convenience above all else. Part of that convenience is good photography.

One of the problems with online retail is the loss of tactile interaction with the products you're looking to purchase. There is no picking up, weighing, testing and trying on a product to get a sense of quality, of fit or just to get that emotional feedback.

Online shoppers have to rely on the images retailers supply on their web sites to help them make their buying decisions. Frustratingly, many of these images fail to provide the needed information so customers can make an informed buying decision. The results is a loss of revenue to the seller, and what's worse is the seller may not even realize their images may be a major reason for the loss.
Sean Barger, CEO of Equilibrium, says there’s been a number of studies showing that people are more likely to buy a produ…