Learn what makes effective product photography, from styling to lighting to gear, with insights from an industry professional.
- Hello, I'm Konrad Eek and I'm a product photographer. I've been in the industry for over 20 years, studied photography at the University of Oklahoma, and I didn't really think I'd end up in product photography. My starting off, I thought journalism was the direction I'd go. But, through connections I had, I found myself in Dallas at a great time in the photo business when many corporations had headquartered there because of its central location. So there was a lot of corporate report work, and then JC Penny moved their whole home office from New York City to Dallas, and that brought several thousand catalog pages a year, which meant a lot of work, and it was just a boom town.
It was a great time for me there. And I was lucky enough to start off as an assistant working with many talented photographers who were willing to share their skill set with me. And, you know, the college degree helped open the door to get into the studios, but the real knowledge base came from all those incredible photographers I got to work with over the years. It's an interesting niche. Product photography, is kind of a forgotten part of photography to a certain degree. You know, fashion gets all the glamour. That's where are the models are.
That's where the big names are. But if you look at any fashion catalog, there are always pages and pages of garments and shoes that aren't on figure. When you look at, say JC Penny, as an example, you'll see models in some of the shots, but quite a few of the shots are just the product itself, styled in a way to make it look attractive in some way or another. Sometimes product shots can be really simple. You'll actually shoot the product in its packaging.
Gosh, I've worked on the Wednesday grocery supplement, where you make photographs of produce. And I think that they've become so much a part of the landscape that people don't realize how many product shots they see every day.