Creative Ideas For Design Object Photography

We take pictures of objects for many reasons, whether that is for creative purposes to use on social media or to sell items on auction websites – among many other things. However, how do you make your photographs stand out?

Creative Ideas For Design Object Photography

One way is by getting creative. It is easy to take a picture of an item against a white wall or on the floor, but these types of photographs have been done, over and over again. Fortunately, if you are in need of inspiration, there are places you can find it.

In fact, one place is right here. We have many creative ideas for design object photography, meaning you have come to the right place. This includes tips, as well as ways to take pictures of items in a completely unique way.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look! 

Why Photograph Products In An Interesting Way?

The way we photograph everything has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. It is the exact same when it comes to design object photography too.

There is now a want for creativity, and that includes spending more time and effort photographing objects.

While the average photographer will not be doing this kind of photography for professional reasons, it does not mean that you can’t do it as a hobby, or to sell items online.

You might even find that you have a knack for it, which could lead to securing a photography job. However, you will want to think about how you can take creative and interesting photos when taking object photography.

This is what will make the photographs stand out from others. 

Basically, think outside of the box!

12 Creative Ideas For Design Object Photography

Here are 12 creative ideas when it comes to shooting design object photography:(see also: Creative Ideas For Flower Photography)(see also: Creative Ideas For Still Life Object Photography)

1. Add A Background

Just because you are taking pictures of an object in a certain area does not mean that you have to use the background which is already there. A really fun way of being creative is by changing the background entirely.

You can use fun colored or patterned cards or textures, or think about taking a picture of the object in a place completely out of context. 

You can also think about taking the product out with you and holding it up over vast scenery or cool places. 

2. Hang The Item

Hanging an object is nothing new, however, there are so many creative ways you can do it to make the photograph unique. 

Whether you want to make it obvious that the object is hanging by using the laces of a shoe, balancing the item off another object, or you have fish wire that you can remove from the photograph during the post-editing process, there are plenty of ideas to think about.

Be as creative as possible, and think of different angles and lighting that can cause the object to look more interesting than it actually is. 

3. Make A Flat-Lay

If you are really struggling with ideas, then a flat-lay image is always a great idea. You can use a small setup too. It contains a background (this can be a colored sheet of paper), the items, and either natural lighting or a fill-in light.

You can use the object you are focusing on, and add other things around it that relate to it. This is a great idea if you are taking pictures for social media.

4. Create Item Patterns

Creative Ideas For Design Object Photography

Another way to make a creative and design-led photograph look exciting is by creating your own patterns. Similar to a flat-ay, it involves placing the object onto a surface and having the object repeat itself in a pattern.

It will almost look like a background image on a desktop, or wrapping paper. While you can do this in post-editing, it is much more fun to photograph this in real life.

So it works best if you have more than one of the same item so you can place it a few spaces apart like a pattern. Make sure that the lighting is high key too!

5. Show Products In Use

Another good way of being creative when it comes to object photography is capturing it in use. While you could take a picture of a person pouring a can of soda into a glass, you can also change the concept entirely.

For example, you can photograph the soda can with ice cubs falling down like rain. Think of how the object could look when in outlandish situations.

Or you could just photograph the object in use – it still works! Just change the colors and angles to keep it fresh.

6. Think About The Angle

Speaking of the angle, have you thought about how you could photograph the object differently? Sometimes an object looks weird when the angle changes and this can be fun.

One example is a watch. You can avoid the usual image of a watch and use a different angle to emphasize the watch’s face or a particular part of the strap.

Team this up with lighting and shadows, and you are onto a winner. 

7. Use Reflective Surface

Whether you have found a puddle on the ground, or want to make your own using a bowl, using reflections is another great design concept when it comes to creative photography. 

You will have seen photos before when the water has been used to form a reflection. It always looks really great, so why not use this for your design object photography too?

However, try to come up with interesting ideas, rather than using the same kind of style. Are there cool lights you could use too?

8. Choose A Cose-Up

Creative Ideas For Design Object Photography

Along with angles, you may want to also think about where you photograph the object. Sometimes the object has certain textures and patterns, and when you photograph these close up, you lose sight of what the object is.

One good example is an orange. It has details in its skin and these can look great if the lighting allows for some shadows across the surface.

9. Keep The Background Focused

A huge temptation is to blur the background. It always looks great, especially when it comes to portraits. However, why not forgo the depth of field entirely and keep the background sharp?

Use a higher aperture value and see what kind of images you get. It allows you to bring more detail and subjects into the frame, which can create a very interesting photograph. 

This might be fun if you have certain objects you want to keep in focus. 

10. Add Personality With Other Items

If you are looking for both creativity and personality, adding in other items is a great way of doing so. Just like with the flat-lay, you can add in ‘personal’ items that match up to your focused item.

For example, if you are taking a picture of a Nintendo Switch, then have a few other items placed on a desk. These can be headphones, a notebook, or even chewing gum.

You can also add a person to the image. Experiment with different ways you can add some life and personality to the photograph. 

11. Create Texture

Creating texture is a fun idea, and can bring a ‘touch-and-feel’ element into the image. Not only that, it can make the photograph feel like it should be 3D too.

You can use different textures as backdrops, or various items like floral arrangements and faux fur. You might also want to use patterns as a way of adding texture too. 

Glitter backgrounds can be a subtle way of adding texture to an image. The ‘bokeh’ effect will cause it to look beautiful, and nobody will know that it is a glitter sheet.

You can add these different textures as other objects, a background, or settings.

Another way of adding texture is with the product itself. If it is a cosmetic item, then scrape some of it onto a block-colored background and showcase it in all its glory.

12. Add Shadows

A really good way of changing the mood of a photograph is by adding in your own shadows. You can do this by using a fill-in light with a hotshoe flash, or even an external LED light.

Hold the light at extreme angles to create long and dark shadows. This can also be done with a flat-lay image, or when you are hanging an object in the air.

It can create dramatic lines which work well when it comes to the composition of the object.

Final Thoughts

If you are interested in shooting design object photography but want to know where to start when it comes to creative ideas, then hopefully this article will have helped to get those juices flowing.

There are many different ways to photograph objects in a completely unique and different way. While you can take pictures of objects against a plain background, you may want to be extra creative to make sure your pictures stand out.

So, give some of these ideas a go and see how you get on!

Laura McNeill
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