Brochures are designed to sell and to showcase a business, whether this is a product being sold or a service being provided. A brochure’s selling power relies heavily on the first impression it makes on its target market, as this will determine whether or not people actually pick it up and read it in the first place. In order for them to do so, it is vital to have images which pop off the page and really stand out, so that potential customers are engaged and will want to find out more. To achieve great brochure photography certain specialist skills are needed, and with the expertise of professional Hertfordshire photographer Simon Lane we have formulated these tips to help.
When photographing products for a brochure, you will want to show and include as much detail as you can so that as many features as possible can be conveyed to the customer. Using lighting which brings about some degree of highlight and shadow will introduce shape to your subject and add interest to the composition of the shot. Avoid using a light source which comes from the same direction as the camera angle, as this will flatten the lighting effect and the elements of shadow and shape will be lost.
Your subject should be placed at an angle which provides the most opportunity to showcase as much detail about it as possible. The shot should ideally be able to portray the most descriptive elements of the product; great brochure photography should tell a story and convey to the reader as much information as possible about the product within the image. Try to avoid shooting at too close an angle to the subject because it may produce a false or distorted perspective. Using a longer focal length will reduce this risk. Always ensure that not only the product being photographed but any screens, background or props used in the shot are spotlessly clean.
BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
Try to shoot against a clean, uncluttered background which does not detract from the subject. Busy backgrounds are distracting and remove focus from the subject, lessening the impact and effectiveness of the shot. Depending on the nature of the product being photographed, the background may be used to place the product in context; using props or setting a scene can sometimes be part of this process. This use of context can communicate qualities such as “hand-crafted”, “luxurious”, “practical” to the customer in a subtle yet extremely effective way, in turn affecting the way in which the product is perceived by the target market.
USE A PROFESSIONAL
An understanding of these key details is essential in order to produce great brochure photography. The skills required are very different from those needed to produce, say, wedding photographs or portraiture. An in-depth knowledge of the lighting, camera angles, placement and other requirements necessary for brochure photography is needed if you are to achieve high quality shots. For this reason, it is strongly advisable to use a photographer who specialises in commercial or corporate photography as they will have a much better understanding of the requirements involved.