Learning From Your Photos: The Immediate Key to Better Photography

The other day I was doing product photos when I realized something that I did well.  I learn from every single photograph that I take.  I would take a photo, look at it, and then make changes to improve the shot.  I believe this is a key that every photographer needs to learn.  I’m going to walk you through the photos I took from the first to the last and point out what I did in each photograph to improve from the one before.  Alright, time to go Darwin on my photos!

Photo 1

Simple mistake here.  My left strobe wasn’t turned on.  Whoops!  Also, I didn’t like the having the box laying down, so I stood it up for the next one.

Learning from your photographs

Photo 2

Turns out that I didn’t like the white paper backdrop at all.  It made the box look cheap because of the reflection.  So I decided to switch to a black cloth backdrop!

Learning from your photographs

Photo 3

I think this is pretty obvious here.  I had no idea what I was doing with the lighting.  Then I remembered the inverse square law with lighting.  Essentially, my lights were too far away from the object.  So I changed that!

Learning from your photographs

Photo 4

Now that the light was closer, it created the dramatic black background, but the floor still showed, so I ended up putting the light on the ground to try and keep light from directly hitting the backdrop.  Also, this is over-exposed a bit.

Learning from your photographs

Photo 5

Finally, we are starting to see something that looks like a product photo!  But I didn’t like how bright the light was on the plastic so I have to change the angle of the light.  Also,  I started shooting from a lower perspective after this photo to give the product a bigger sense of importance.

Learning from your photographs

Photo 6

I decided to place the product more on the right third of the photo just to give it some white space for text.  The photo is slightly under-exposed because I was shooting at too high of a shutter speed for my strobes to communicate.

Learning from your photographs

Photo 7

 Okay, a little better, but the backdrop is now showing by the bottom of the box!  Can’t have that!  I slightly turned down the power on the strobe.  Decided to go back to shooting vertically for some reason.  Don’t remember why.  This changes again shortly.

Learning from your photographs

Photo 8

So we are back to shooting in landscape mode, but now with just one strobe on the right side and placing the box on the left third.  The box was at a poor angle and the strobe reflected off of it poorly and left the big old glare on the box.  Boo to that! 🙁

Learning from your photographs

Photo 9

Ooh la la!  Look at that picture!  Finally looks like I’ve got it figured out! bottom left edge of the box is under-exposed but Photoshop will fix that, right?

Learning from your photographs

Photo 10

 I decided to put a few boxes in the photo to see what it looked like.  This puzzled me why it was coming out with the glare on the left side of the middle box.  Turns out the light was reflecting off the box on the left onto the side of the middle box.  That’s just silly!

Learning from your photographs

Photo 11

I still hadn’t realized it was the left box causing the reflection on the center one, so I tried moving closer and to a different angle before I ended up moving the left box.

Learning from your photographs

Photo 12

All better! 🙂

Learning from your photographs

Photo 13

Just trying to get some detail shots to show the compatibility of the lens.  Always remember to look and see if there is something in your frame.  I clearly forgot that rule.

Learning from your photographs

Photo 14

Got it! 🙂

Learning from your photographs


Well, I hope that was helpful for you guys to see what goes through my mind when I’m taking photos.  I like to examine every photo after I take it to try and see how I can improve from shot to shot.  If you have time to review your shots while taking them, do it!  I promise it will make you a better photographer.

If you’re interested in seeing how all the photos from this shoot turned out, check them out here: http://razzi.me/albums/20570-product-photography

Also, if this tutorial/demonstration (I’m not really sure what this was, but I wanted to share it with you) was helpful, like me on Facebook.

If this wasn’t helpful, or you’ve already liked me on Facebook, here are some funny cat GIFs just because!

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