Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thoughts on Product Photography

How to Make Product Photography More Interesting (if you are not into it)

"Fancy" is not what comes to mind when describing product photography, but product photography can become fancy, and help pay the bills, too, if done correctly, and also if done with passion. Problem is, not many are passionate about product photography. After all, who would choose spending the day stuck in a room (studio) with a bunch of products (small electronics, jewelry, toys, etc) rather than photographing fabulous models?

I seldom shoot products, but I found that when having to do so, it does help to connect the product I'm about to photograph to something I'm passionate about. If that's not possible, try to find something--it can be the product itself or the light in which it's photograph--that may make it interesting.

For example, over one year or so ago I attended the (re)Presenting AIDS event taking place in Manhattan, and covered it for A&U Magazine--America's AIDS Magazine. At the event, I picked up these AIDS ON GOING GOING ON cloth bags. Once at home, I photographed the bags hanging on my door, to submit, together with the article and other photos taken at the event. (and, yes, I did use scotch tape to get the bags to stay in place on the door, as shown in the picture below)

AIDS on going going on cloth bags on white door, photographed by Alina Oswald.
AIDS ON GOING GOING ON bags photographed by Alina Oswald originally for A&U Magazine.

For images similar to the above image, especially when shooting in a white room with white doors, either bounce the flash or put it on a stand and attach an umbrella, use a reflector for fill. In the above image there was a window facing the door, and also white walls on each side of the door.

 A few months ago I stopped by Washington Square Park to check out the Rise Up to HIV event. See the table full of bracelets below, photographed with my iPhone. (I tried to hold my iPhone as parallel to the table as possible, horizontal, so to speak). For a cleaner look, I could have clone out the white threads in post.

I also bought an ACT UP bracelet for myself.

ACT UP bracelet. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
ACT UP bracelet. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
This past spring, I had the unique opportunity to become part of a collective, later on called the Undetectable Flash Collective. To keep this short (but I may write about it at a later time), I still have to pinch myself, to remind myself that it's true. Words cannot express the honor and pride, and also...humbleness, too, of being part of something like this.

Read more about the Undetectable Collective in an article published in A&U Magazine. Also follow the collective on Tumblr, too.

Here are a few images I took of the Undetectable cards. I rotated the image, for an easier read.

The Undetectable Flash Collective cards, photo by Alina Oswald.
The Undetectable Flash Collective cards, photo by Alina Oswald.

Then, of course, there are the holiday cards, e-cards, I should say. This past year, I wanted to design an e-card that would also bring HIV/AIDS to the minds of those who do connect the dots. And while it doesn't spell it [HIV/AIDS] out, red is the color of the AIDS Ribbon. So, I decided to use red in the image, too.

Red tree deco and Happy Holidays card. Photo and Design by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Red tree deco and Happy Holidays card. Photo and Design by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

And while I'm here, and as this is my first blog post of 2015, and also the first post in a very long time, I'd like to take the opportunity and wish everybody a very Happy New Year!

Thank you for visiting!

Alina Oswald


  1. Really ,This is a wonderful post. I enjoyed the information lot. I will bookmark this page. Thanks for sharing this important information. Corporate Movie || Corporate Video Production || Ad Films Maker || Training Films

  2. Hello, thanks so much for stopping by. It was a nice surprise to read your comment. Appreciate your kind words. I usually cover portraits, events and editorials. Every once in a while, I get to do product photography. It's a lot of fun.

    Thanks again!