Want to be a Better Product Videographer?

Some production tips for creating product videos

So, Pocket Creatives have talked about lighting for product videography projects elsewhere on our site, but lighting alone won’t yield awesome results. There are a number of other things that you can -and should – pay attention to as a product videographer to make your work stand out, and contribute towards a great end product once the shoot and post production is over, and the product is delivered. We’re going to go through a number of those things today…

The first thing you want to do as a product videographer is think about the scenery. Which environments does your product fit into? That could be a living room scene, a clean and controlled studio environment, or any number of other settings. There are basically no rules about this apart from your preference as well as brand guidelines – as the scenery will reflect on the product message – and as they grow in the industry product videographers can develop good intuition for environments that will and will not suit a product, brand or message well – it comes with experience.

A video camera with a watermelon on it.
A man is filming a video in a kitchen.

If it’s a commercial a product videographer will often want to create a typical atmosphere. An example of this would be a warm living room, perhaps with someone is reading a book in the background. However, for Instructional films or product demos that could be different. And for the purpose of this blog we’ll keep it more universal, more ‘middle of the road’. In such a situation a product videographer might choose to build a plain white studio. You could use foam panels for this – or of course, you can also go for other materials – just make sure there’s little texture on whatever you use.  Arrange one surface to be flat and horizontal, with another vertically behind it, and hey presto!

And then we go to work on the details, which as any good product videographer knows can really makes a difference to your shoot. Something that can work great for a product videographer at this point is a smoke machine. Your lights will reflect on the smoke, creating more depth – especially if you’re using a backlight -but you need to be careful with it… Using too much smoke can ruin a product videographer’s hard work up to that point by obscuring the star of the show – the product. You just need a tiny bit of mist to create a lot of depth and reflection, and when you get it right the results can be amazing!

product shot post production

In all circumstances a product videographer wants to make the product look as appealing as possible. So, depending on the product, ‘detail’ could also mean adding dust for a vintage wooden product, or for a cold beverage, some water droplets on the bottle or can. In this particular case it’s almost always essential for the product videographer to make the product look like it’s cold and ready to drink, by applying droplets of condensation.

Now here’s a pro tip from the expert product videographers at Pocket Creatives… When you need to create this effect you can actually use Listerine. You mix it with water, put it in a spray bottle, and you just spray down the bottle or can. That mixture of water and Listerine actually helps the liquid bead on the surface and stay put. When you use water alone it has a tendency to run… Your product gets really wet and doesn’t really have that enticing sexy look that you want.

Finally, once everything is set up you can take some awesome shots of your product. Add movement into your shots by tilting, panning or sliding your camera, and maybe change and play around with the angles you use too – this will add more dynamism to your product video. To accomplish this a product videographer might just take a long exposure shot, and that might end up looking cool, but when working with video introducing motion is going to help give it a little bit of character, give it a little less staleness. Introducing equipment such as a gimbal, a slider, or maybe even a monopod are three ways that a product videographer might achieve this and bring real motion to their project.

Another pro product videographer tip I’m going to mention to get better results from your shoots, is to introduce macro shots. A product videographer can get good video and really focus in on the details of the products using this technique, and you don’t need a full-on macro lens costing hundreds of pounds to do it either!

One last tip before we finish for today though – and it’s one that I can’t stress enough. TRY NEW THINGS. Don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone when you’re trying to get unique shots for product videography projects, because great things can happen when you do!