Product photography setup advise


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Aug 1, 2006
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#1
Hi to all,

I am currently planning to do some product photography for my company. The products mainly are apparels. I will like to get advises on the best and economical setup for this kind of shooting. Some of the points to be noted are:

1. It is a on going shooting about 3 times a year (major) and consistly minor shootings all year round.
2. Total number of items per major shoot is about 100 items.
3. Equipments must be able to keep in small areas when not in use.

Please advise me on the complete setup including what kind of lightings, table, and others.

Also do advise on the len I should get for shoots like this nature. In the office we have a Canon 350and a 30D.

All advise appreciated. As for budget I don't know as everything will have to be raised for management approval.

Thanks a lot.
 

yqt

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#2
It may be better if you can let us know what kind of apparels ie: clothes, shoes, bags, etc. as well as the final purpose it will be used for. This will be useful as the quality/need of the images will be diff if it is to be used for off set printing, lab printing or for web.
Diff type of product will need diff type of set up and diff type of use will need diff type of gears.
 

Aug 1, 2006
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#4
Basically everything under the apparel catagory; shirt, shorts, bags, shoes,.... etc...

Purpose is for web and brochure...

Mmmm..... I dun even think i got commission.... haha.... coffee session from my own pocket will probably be the best i can offer i guess....

Thanks...
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#5
hmm... liddat no fun... ;p

for simplest... think can get everything from PQ23...

he got the background support for 1 backdrop, then u buy a digital blue or digital green or just white, or maybe get all... up to u, cos depend on clothings, some will blend with the background, so when u use a contrasting 1, u can use remove the background digitally later.

lighting wise, u should get 2 - 3 flash, also depends on the size of the apparel to determine the watt as well. no harm to get the most powerful 1, but size & also cost will be a factor. wireless flash trigger, light stand, etc...

lens will be 35mm prime or 50mm prime/macro, if space permit, 100mm macro. depending on the size of apparel also.

since shooting so many, i suggest u have a tripod also...
 

eugenep

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#6
I think Del_ctrlnoalt gave a good information on what items to look out for. I think you may need to set aside At least 1.5k of cash for the equipments.

The breakdown(a very rough guide, i roughly round up it could be cheaper)

1. 150 - 600w lights x3 = S$200-S$2k (depend on brands)
2. lightstand x 2, backlight stand x 1 = ard S$300 (depend on brands)
3. IR trigger/ RF trigger/ Cable = S$30-S$100 (depend on brands)
4. product table = S$99-S$1000

Hope it helps.
 

Aug 1, 2006
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#7
Ha....sorry for the no fun....

I thought I should get a table than a backdrop? I don't intend to shoot with models, just the product.
Yah i saw his thread.... but kinda confusing to determine which to get.

Do me a bit good if can specifically advise me which stuffs to get. Lighting is one big problem for me.... Flash? Softlight? lighting from under the table? My goodness...
Size of the apparels are pretty standard....

Regards....
 

eugenep

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#8
Ha....sorry for the no fun....

I thought I should get a table than a backdrop? I don't intend to shoot with models, just the product.
Yah i saw his thread.... but kinda confusing to determine which to get.

Do me a bit good if can specifically advise me which stuffs to get. Lighting is one big problem for me.... Flash? Softlight? lighting from under the table? My goodness...
Size of the apparels are pretty standard....

Regards....
U need the backdrop for your clothings... if you are putting them on a mannequin. On a product table if you are folding your clothings.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#9
Ha....sorry for the no fun....

I thought I should get a table than a backdrop? I don't intend to shoot with models, just the product.
Yah i saw his thread.... but kinda confusing to determine which to get.

Do me a bit good if can specifically advise me which stuffs to get. Lighting is one big problem for me.... Flash? Softlight? lighting from under the table? My goodness...
Size of the apparels are pretty standard....

Regards....
maybe its just me lah, but i find shooting clothes placed on table abit distasteful, and also, u will have a big problem with DOF later (trust me), its best to hang it on a hanger, or mannequin, then ps away the hanger & such, then the product will look better. at least a more 3D effect.

y dun u guys hire me as consultant? :bsmilie:
 

yqt

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#10
maybe its just me lah, but i find shooting clothes placed on table abit distasteful, and also, u will have a big problem with DOF later (trust me), its best to hang it on a hanger, or mannequin, then ps away the hanger & such, then the product will look better. at least a more 3D effect.

y dun u guys hire me as consultant? :bsmilie:

OT post:
Hire you as a consultant? Why don't hire me as the photographer :complain: . I got studio and all the equipment.



Need to go toilet and bomb so will post a proper reply to the TS later :sweatsm:
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#11
OT post:
Hire you as a consultant? Why don't hire me as the photographer :complain: . I got studio and all the equipment.



Need to go toilet and bomb so will post a proper reply to the TS later :sweatsm:
hehehe... cos i talk more than i shoot mah, consultant more suitable for me... hehehe...

if i am the consultant, then i can hire u as the photographer... hire catchlight as the lighting engineer... eikin as the stylist...
 

yqt

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#12
OK, let's see where we can start.

If you're not too concern about image quality, just use a cam. with flash and shoot against a white background. If you want better quality, see my reply below.

Basically everything under the apparel catagory; shirt, shorts, bags, shoes,.... etc...
Assuming that you're shooting against white background, get a roll of white background paper ( 9 feet or 6 feet ) and a simple table top ( ideally 3 to 4 feet across ). 2 to 3 lights of around 500W. This should be about the most basic set up.



Purpose is for web and brochure...
For web usage:
You do not need high resolution. Someting along the line of 600 to 1000 pixel on the long side at 75 to 100 dpi should be more than enough for a near full screen image. Check with your web designer, he/she should be able to give you a better guild.

For brochure printing:
Brochure printing is usually done by off set printing and this type of printing is very demanding on resolution. Most of the time, in order to get a reasonable image, you'll need 300 dpi at the size of the image itself. Of course this can be pushed but it will have to depend on the printed quality that you're looking for and the cam. you use. For a reasonable printed image, at least a pro-sumer cam is needed ie: D100/D200 ( sorry I'm a Nikon user so not sure of Canon cam. ).

So far, this is what you'll need for a basic studio set up.

1) 1 set of auto pole
2) 1 set of roll paper holder
3) 1 set of roll paper expender
4) 1 roll of white paper
5) table top ( can get cheap from Ikea )
6) 2 to 3 500W studio lights ( for simple usage, use 2 soft box )
7) 3 light stands
8) sync cord/IR flash transmitter
9) tripod
10) pro-sumer cam. *
11) suggested lens 50mm and 85mm micro
* your choice of cam is very important. A $800 10 mega pixel cam (comsumer) cannot match a $1.5K 8 mega pixel cam ( pro-sumer ), which in turn cannot match a $18K 6 mega pixel ( pro ).

Shooting space should, if possible, be at least 8 feet by 9 feet for table top and 12 feet by 15 feet for a full length dress. This is a tight space ( for me ) to work but some others may be able to make do with with less.
Total cost should be around $4.5K to $5K for the above. For storage when not in use, keep it in a air-con room in the office as air con is dry air.

If you want quality images found in newspaper, get a pro to do it. Don't be surprise that it may cost you less than what I've listed above.

What I've listed above is the basic set up for a proper shoot. Please remember that depending on what is the image quality that you want against your skill level, you may need to spend close to the above or less if your skills level is above average. Some products shoots can be shot sitting on a white cardboard, on a table, against a white wall and using just one light with fill card. In your case, you did mention that you have about 100 items and they cover everything under apparel, 3 times a year with some smaller scale shoots all year round, I would suggest a proper set up.

Cheers and happy shopping !!
 

yqt

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#13
hehehe... cos i talk more than i shoot mah, consultant more suitable for me... hehehe...

if i am the consultant, then i can hire u as the photographer... hire catchlight as the lighting engineer... eikin as the stylist...
yeah lor, you're the manager while we're all the worker lor ;)
 

Aug 1, 2006
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#14
Hi yqt,

Thanks for such infos...

4.5k - 5k is rather shocking.... I presume it does not includes camera and len.
I comtemplate about getting a pro to do the job but considering that much to shoot and 3 times a year in the long run it is going to be costly...

I'll PM for details....

Thanks
 

yqt

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#15
Hi yqt,

Thanks for such infos...

4.5k - 5k is rather shocking.... I presume it does not includes camera and len.
I comtemplate about getting a pro to do the job but considering that much to shoot and 3 times a year in the long run it is going to be costly...

I'll PM for details....

Thanks
Actually $4.5K to $5K is just a est. and I've factored in the cam. and the suggested lens.

If you have the skills to do the shoot, you may want to consider renting a studio. But if you think your skills may need some serious assistance, you may want to reconsider. Remember, it is the person behind the cam and not the cam itself that matters.

Cheers
 

catchlights

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#16
Hi yqt,

Thanks for such infos...

4.5k - 5k is rather shocking.... I presume it does not includes camera and len.
I comtemplate about getting a pro to do the job but considering that much to shoot and 3 times a year in the long run it is going to be costly...

I'll PM for details....

Thanks
why spend the money on buying the things? are you sure how to do it right? and do it very offen? a three days shoot may end up 10 days, not talking about the post production yet. are you factoring the wear and tear the equipments also?
why don't get a pro to do it for you, save all the troubles.

even you drink milk everyday, you also don't keep a cow at home right?
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#17
why spend the money on buying the things? are you sure how to do it right? and do it very offen? a three days shoot may end up 10 days, not talking about the post production yet. are you factoring the wear and tear the equipments also?
why don't get a pro to do it for you, save all the troubles.

even you drink milk everyday, you also don't keep a cow at home right?
i remember someone told us tis when we set up a branch.... nostalgic sia... :bsmilie:
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#18
Hi yqt,

Thanks for such infos...

4.5k - 5k is rather shocking.... I presume it does not includes camera and len.
I comtemplate about getting a pro to do the job but considering that much to shoot and 3 times a year in the long run it is going to be costly...

I'll PM for details....

Thanks
think u're better off hiring either yqt or catchlight... y dun u ask for a quotation and portfolio from them then u decide whether which is more feasible.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#20
shoot for fun, anything also can lar.
nowadays, even big companies also dismiss the photography department, hire pros is even more cost efficiency.
ya lor imagine i spent dunno how much on photography, change like 5 camera, still never do a decent catalog, hahaha... company have me tis kind jiak liao bee...

remember 3 year ago i also thinking of shooting product catalog nia, then i go happy happy buy a cam, find useless, then buy another prosumer, also cannot make it, buy another 1, then buy flash, still cannot, upgrade DSLR, then still beh zai, then buy more stuff, the more i buy, the more i feel beh zai, in the end, better concentrate go do my work... haha... :bsmilie:
 

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