Many commercial photographers do product photography and it’s usually done on a white background. Websites, catalogs, newspaper ads, brochures, and billboards often use “product on white.”
The white background is popular because: it reproduces easily and consistently in any medium; does not distract from the product or cause a color cast; will not go out of fashion; is easy to omit or overlay text; it’s easy to merge multiple product photos together.
In 2014, Amazon was granted a US patent for product photography on white. This caused quite a stir. Tens of thousands of photographers have petitioned the US Patent Office to revoke the patent. But photographers can still take pictures of products on a white background. Amazon’s patented technology is somewhat specific and is also unenforceable.
If you do product photography, how do you differentiate yourself from all the other photographers doing the same thing? Easy, sell yourself as a GS1-compatible photographer.
Many product photographers do not know that there are international standards for white product photography. These standards have been around for a while and should be followed especially when shooting for larger manufacturers.
A product shot can be anything a manufacturer, ad agency, or photographer wants. But official product photos (aka product on white) should be taken, edited and delivered to meet certain standards [PDF link].
These product images are used by regulatory agencies to assign a product to its Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). GTIN includes codes like UPC (Universal Product Code), EAN (European Article Number), JAN (Japanese Article Number), QR (Quick Response Code), ISBN (International Standard Book Number), and several others. These images may also be used for advertising, media materials and other marketing materials.
These product images can also be used on your eCommerce website. LetzMarket is the best place for product photography and also if you want to develop a custom eCommerce website.
If you do product photography, familiarize yourself with these image standards and then sell your new knowledge to potential customers. Being able to shoot products to GS1 standards shows that you understand your customer’s business needs. This gives you more value to offer.
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