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Best camera angles for product photography

Ask any product product photographer which angles are best used to capture products and you'll likely be met with varying answers. This is because photography is subjective and not only that, there are endless angles in which you can shoot from, none of which are "correct", or "incorrect" as such.

Whilst one angle might work for you, the same may not work for someone else, so, I'll preface this post with what I always say when it comes to photography - go with your eye, and simply use the angle rules as a guide, or starting point.

When considering your angle, take into account the product or item you're shooting - does it have something specific that you need to show clearly such as a label? or, is the detail to one side only, or do the top and sides need to be seen?

Here are some product photography angles that I regularly use for my images:

01. Flat lay - (top down, aerial/birds eye view)

If your products allow, I would recommend including a flat lay image when looking to showcase products for your website or online store because it offers an opportunity to clearly see what the product is about, and can also be a fun shot to include. Remember to have your camera settings right for flat lays because you'll want everything in the image to be in sharp focus (use a higher aperture/f/stop).

Add visual interest to your flat lays with foliage which is set at a higher level than the rest of your scene so that it falls out of focus. (To do this, simply stand a vase or pot to one side of your set-up and add some foliage or dried flowers to the vase). Gypsophelia always looks gorgeous creeping into the scene - both fresh or dried work.

Note: flat lay images won't work for all products so bear that in mind for your shoot.

02. Straight on (eye-level)

The camera is in-line with the product and works really well for products with labels such as beauty products and candles. Customers can clearly see the product and in most cases read what it says.

03. 45 degrees

Imagine you're viewing a product placed on a table from standing - that's a great angle to use as it appears natural to us as a viewpoint and one which we are used to.

This angle is loosely bundled under 45 degrees, but can be out by several degrees either side because we are all different heights. If you happen to be really tall your angle may be too high for your product so common sense will hopefully prevail here.

The standing point of view is one of my favourite angles and most used. It’s perfect for lifestyle imagery where you want to see more of the subject from slightly above and to the side at the same time to include more of the surrounding environment, or scene into the image.

Shooting from slightly further back and incorporate some negative space around the hero subject. This gives a sense of balance to your image and is particularly fitting for Instagram use.

Tip: when shooting at this angle (handheld) for lifestyle imagery use the camera's live view screen as opposed to the viewfinder - this will help you achieve that "sweeping" effect across the scene whilst the camera can quickly be lowered or raised if need be.

Note: I would always recommended using a tripod for your main product images to eliminate the risk of camera shake, particularly if using a heavier lens.

Have fun with angles, and remember, always go with your eye.


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