**NOTE: All photographs used in this tutorial were shot and retouched by myself
Step 1: What Are You Saying?
•What is the product?
•What are it’s obvious qualities? Color, size, texture, function, shape…
•Is it portable?
•Does it make a great gift or party favor?
•Is it a service?
Keeping all these in mind, you might be able to make a concept that would show the quality as well as the functionality of the product. The photograph above, for example, is a demonstration of how fast the car is moving. Naturally when a full advertisement is put together there would be copy and probably an inset of the car, or it could be a double spread so that the viewer can associate the concept with the product.
You can also use multiple shots to create a dyptich, (two separate images put together to make a "series"). A good way to create a successful dyptich is by taking what's called a "hero" shot, and a detail shot, which will highlight the features of the product.
Step 2: Product - the Finer Details
Using a tripod is necessary for these kinds of photos as it gives you absolute control over your camera and crop. It also gives you the advantage of photographing different products from the same angle so that if you need to put together a composite with multiple items, the process will be much easier. It will also prevent camera shake as you will not be hand holding the camera. To further prevent camera shake, I would also suggest using a cable release.
To create a clean looking background, you can create a sweep with a seamless, or even foam core and poster board. The photograph shown here was taken in a home built light box. I used a flimsy poster board to create the sweep for the background and put up foam core siding to keep the lighting as even as possible. I also ocassionally used a white reflector card in front of the darker products to get the label to stand out more.
As far as lighting goes, as I said, it must be even and bright enough to show the product in full detail. A good way to create diffused lighting is by using a diffusion panel and shining your light source through it. You can either make the side panels of your lightbox out of diffusion material and light the product through the sides, or, as I did in this photograph, place the diffusion panel on the top of your box and put your light source above the product. The white of the walls, back and foreground of the lightbox, plus whatever reflective material you may use for the front or sides will fill in the shadows.
Step 3: Play Around
Keep in mind that most clients would prefer the logo or name of the product to be visible, but from time to time they might be ok with not showing the logo as long as you can incorporate it in a description or a dyptich.