Experimentation with creative avenues in product photography can be hit or miss. Photographers may also encounter challenges such as unwanted reflections and shadows that can easily be missed or hard to correct when reviewing images on a small camera screen. When creativity is needed to give a product personality, and imperfection is not an option, tethered photography can give a larger perspective on any issues and help photographers see instantly what ideas are working and what are not.
Whether your business involves shooting e-commerce product photography or lifestyle product photography, there are several ways tethering can help you attain personality in your product images.
Create a Better Means for Problem-Solving
Tethered shooting allows you to review details about your images such as focus, composition, exposure, color, and more in high resolution on a larger display so that you can make adjustments during the shoot. It also provides a way for you to try to spot and work out any problems in your product images such as reflections, hot spots, and unwanted shadows much more easily than trying to determine and solve these issues by reviewing images on a small camera screen.
Professional lifestyle product photographer Brooke Mason feels tethered shooting has helped her troubleshoot her product photography sets tremendously. “With something so tight like working in such a small space with products, there is no room for error. And that is where tethering really comes in, because you really have to see things like, ‘Where’s that shadow? Why have I got two shadows here? Let’s correct that. No, I need that shadow to come this way … .’ So you’re also kind of looking at how this is viewed by someone else.”
Provide a Way for Clients to Offer Input on Captured Images During a Shoot
Product photographers have to stay on top of many tasks during a photo shoot, and they may sometimes need to rely on a second set of eyes to spot problems with images. Tethered shooting offers a way for other people than just the photographer to see images as they are captured so that a creative team can serve as backup for spotting an issue in an image and make any necessary adjustments to a subject or set.
For most lifestyle product photography photo shoots, a client is usually on set—or at least attending the photo shoot remotely—which they can do when you shoot tethered directly into a watched folder. The client can see your images as you capture them. Whether the client is on set and able to view your images on a large display or is viewing your images through a watched folder remotely, tethering allows a photographer to receive feedback from the client as they are shooting so they can know immediately if they are achieving the client’s vision for the product and their brand—or not.
“I’m looking at it in terms of an architectural structure of how this final image is coming together. There’s no way I can do this without tethering because there’s so many elements—I’m looking at all the technical elements,” Mason said, describing how tethered photography assists her on a shoot and how it helps bridge feedback from the client to her.
“I’m looking at the final shot, and then when I’m feeding to the client, the client needs the final approval, so I need to hear the ‘oohs and aahs.’ And when I’m hearing the ‘oohs and aahs’ behind me in the background, I know I’m on point, and then I know they’re happy because they got what they wanted from the mood board.”
Offer a Platform to Review Experimental Techniques
Many product photographers venture out and try something new to add personality to a product such as adding a particular prop, implementing a certain shooting technique, misting a product with water to create a sense of condensation, or perhaps creating fog on a set to bounce light and create a mood. Sometimes these tricks and techniques don’t go according to plan. When you shoot tethered, you are able to instantly review the results of your experiments on a larger display to see what is or isn’t working and can either troubleshoot the issue or try something new.
Add a Tethering Solution to Your Product Photography Workflow
From reviewing technical details and problem-solving images to collaborating creatively and reviewing experiments, tethered photography offers many ways to help you achieve product photos with personality. For more on how tethered photography can help you take your product photography business to the next level, download our guide, The Product Photographer’s Guide to Tethering.