You finally land the product photoshoot you have been pitching for days and months. The day of the
shoot arrives and with the first click, you realize the camera batteries are uncharged (not just one,
but all of them) – Disaster. With these silly and totally avoidable mistakes, you not only lose precious
time, but you also run the risk of losing the client.

At Rectriangle, we are the craziest about two things – Photos and films. Thus, we are never shy to try
out new techniques in these two mediums while making a lot of mistakes along the way and learning
from them. While we execute, make mistakes, correct, and learn from them, we bring here a
comprehensive 10-point guide of the things to look out for in your first product photo shoot:

1. Do not take preparation for granted: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” said
Benjamin Franklin. It would not only reduce the anxiety and stress but also show in your final
results. Talk to the client about their brand values, and the theme of the photoshoot,1
exchange notes on references, and come up with a mood board. Whether you are doing a
client project or your own product photoshoots, a mood board would be helpful throughout
and help maintain uniformity in the overall shoot.

2. Mood board essentials: The inspiration search for a mood board involves researching similar
product references, color palette to match the brand, ideas for placement, and theme of the
photoshoot & shoot location. Be organized and create different folders for different
products. Don’t overwhelm the client by adding too many references. Add your notes on
references (like the use of certain colors or elements from inspiration shots, etc.) There are
multiple apps that could help you in creating and organizing your mood board. We use
Bublup, a very easy online free app, that not only lets you create the mood board but also
shares it very easily with the client, even if they do not have the app.

3. Make checklists: Equipment, Props and Products: These checklists would come in handy to
not only budget the shoot but also keep all items under check at the time of the shoot and
during wrap-up. Here’s a very basic checklist of equipment for your next product

a. DSLR (we usually use Canon 5 D Mk IV) with a minimum of 2 batteries
b. Lens (50 mm and above and a Macro certainly helps)
c. Flash equipped lights – minimum 3 (if your budget is low then you can work with 1 as well,
however in that case you need to wisely make use of reflectors & cutters).
d. Light stands
e. C stand (do not underestimate its importance)
f. Light modifiers (soft box, strip light, snoot, funnel with grid)
g. Enough memory Cards
h. Memory Card reader (A good quality one. Do not compromise on this as it can lose all the
shoot data)
i. Required connecting wires & extension board with wire organisation clips
j. Product/products

k. Props
l. Water sprayer and muslin cloth for cleaning the products

4. Check your equipment in advance: We have faced issues like a spot on the camera sensor,
the camera not working with a few lenses, broken flashlight & stand. Equipment is your
priority on the shoot, so if feasible check the working of all equipment a day prior and keep
batteries to charge overnight.

5. Keep your product & Props clean: Every little detail is captured on the camera and will be
visible to the viewer or increase the time and cost in post. Check your product and props for
thumbprints & spots, clothes for creases, plastic bottles for bends, and packaging for tears
or spots. Avoid them during the shoot as much as possible as they could become a pain
during edits.
Keep a water spray and clean muslin cloth handy to quickly clean the product just prior to
the shot. If the surface is too shiny like glass bottles, it is advisable to wear gloves while
cleaning the bottle to avoid leaving thumbprints on it. For clothes, hang them on a hanger. If
you are shooting with cut vegetables, you can keep them inserted in water to avoid

6. Be wary of the wires: The setup would call for wires being extended across the studio (or
your room if shooting in your house) and tripping over these is one of the most common
accidents risks you run during a product photoshoot. Always be aware of the wires being set
up in the studio, keep them as neatly placed as possible, especially if you are working with
water (for water splashes etc) during your shoot as water and electricity do not go well.
Extra Tip: Always have extra extension boards whether shooting within your studio or
client’s office.

7. Setup a time schedule: The setup & lighting sometimes take way more time than accounted
for during a photoshoot. However, if the equipment/ shoot location is rented, you would not
have the liberty to extend your shoot. Thus, a producer on the shoot location comes in
handy when it comes to sticking to the time limit set for each setup as the person behind the
camera sometimes gets carried away in the quest for perfection.

8. Take a few extras: As much as it is important to stick to the mood board, we also believe
there is no harm in bathing a little in your own creativity pool. Once you have what you set
out to do, if time permits take a few extras, mix-n-match, play have fun. Sometimes clients
like these the most as they are the result of pure joy and passion that reflects in the shots.

9. Check the focus on the product and brand identity: Blurred images are your no 1 enemy, so
always always zoom and check for the focus on the brand name and product. If possible,
keep your camera connected to a bigger screen (edit system or a laptop) to quickly scan the
picture before moving on to the next one.

10. Transferring the data: One of the most important and critical steps. At the end of the shoot,
transfer your data onto your laptop as soon as possible. Few things to keep in mind – never

transfer the data in a moving vehicle as this might corrupt the card (experienced); never cut
paste, always copy-paste; after the transfer is complete quickly scan through the copied
folder and check if all the images are transferred.