The appearance of your product is incredibly important. It helps you showcase your product as best as possible. Now, this might seem pretty obvious, but make sure your product is actually super clean unless you want it dirty like a pair of motocross boots or something like that. But the cleaner your product is, the better it's going to look in your photos and people are actually going to notice it too. Any dirt or dust on your product could potentially make customers think that you don't care about your product, or maybe you didn't put enough effort into taking your photos. So, it doesn't take too much effort to wipe it off with a nice microfiber cloth or something to clean it off. Just make sure there's no dust or dirt on it.
Just to note here, if you are using a digital camera or a DSLR, as opposed to a smartphone, it has a higher quality of image. Now, because of that, your image is going to look crispier. But if your product is dirty, you're going to notice it much, much more. I've definitely been caught out by this in the past. I've taken photos on a set and I shoot, and I've got back to realize that maybe it wasn't as clean as I thought it was. One thing I really recommend is once you have your scene set up and you're ready to take your photo, take a test image, zoom in, check that there's no dust, or maybe check how the lighting's working or bouncing off your product.
There might be something small that you didn't quite catch with your eye when you first looked. It's really easy to rush past these things. I've definitely been caught out doing this in the past. I'm definitely guilty of it. So I'm just trying to explain to you so you don't make the same mistakes that I did. It is a million times easier to remove dust and dirt from your product on-set when you're taking your photos, as opposed to trying to do that in Photoshop or whatever kind of editing program you're using. It's so much easier to do that the first time than in editing.
So just take extra special precautions when it comes to that. One method I always try to think of is: check it twice, shoot once. That way, you're not getting through taking your 10, 20 photos of different products and realizing that, "Oh, I didn't take note of that and now I need to do them all again." Big waste of your time. So check it a couple of times and then take your photos. Save yourself a lot of hassle. By having your product looking super clean, nice, and crispy, there's no dust, no hairs, when you put those photos on your website, you're telling your customers how much you care.
You're showing them how much you love your product and how passionate you are, and you want to show them the best you can show them. If you went to someone's website and their product photos look like they were taken in a dark room and there was dust all over them, you wouldn't think that person cared very much about their product, and you're probably not going to buy something from them. Keep that in mind. It's always really important to think like a customer when it comes to taking your photos. Depending on the lighting you're working with, or maybe the texture of your product, you might need to pay special attention to fingerprints on there as well.
If it's a hot day, you're probably going to leave sweaty fingerprints on a shiny object. So just take special note of that as well. And the darker they are, the more you're going to see it. Make sure there are no dents, there are no scratches, no marks, your labels aren't wrong. Try and make sure all of the stickers, if there are any on there, are perfectly straight. All those kinds of things really, really matter. Now, depending on the lighting that you choose to use to showcase your products and the boxes that they come in, you can actually hide these scratches a little bit, or maybe you can hide those marks a little bit using the shadows.
So maybe just play around with it. Be smart about it. If you don't have another option to just switch it out for a perfect product or a perfect box, try and hide those little imperfections. Basically, double-check your products, double-check the packaging, and then double-check everything again to make sure it's all in pristine condition and it looks as good as it can. Finally, once you have checked over your product, you've checked it again, then you check your lighting, you check the fingerprints, dust, everything, there's one more thing you need to check. And that's this one right here: the lens on the front of your camera. Whether it's a DSLR or your phone, those can have dust on them too, which really, really sucks if you get to the end of your photoshoot, and you've been so focused on your beautiful little product and making sure it looks perfect, and then you get to the editing stage and you realize that it's not clear or maybe there are marks or specks on it. Quite often, you'll actually find that the problem is right here on your camera, which is not fun. These ones are very, very complicated and tricky to edit out.
You're definitely going to notice the specks or dust on your camera a little bit more. If you do have a brighter image, maybe some plain white backgrounds, those little specks of dust are going to show up a little bit more. Just keep an eye out for it. Add it to the list of your pre-photoshoot checks.