In Conversation with Product Photographer – Brooke Walter

Product photography is a branch of commercial photography which is about accurately but attractively representing a product. The principal application of product photography is in product catalogues and brochures, with a proportion of product images also being used in advertising. It can be used by individual brands, e-commerce sites, websites for commercial use etc. This is a distinctive and interesting branch of photography which is still less explored. We at WeekendTrivia decided to do a series on Product Photographers and in general trying to understand it a bit more.

Today we have Brooke Walter. She specializes in product photography especially in makeup, skincare and beauty. She has been featured in various prestigious Calenders and magazines and she has also worked with many well-known brands in the beauty industry. To know more read our conversation with Brooke.

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P.S. All the pictures and videos are owned by ©Brooke Walter and reproduction in any form, without prior permission, is prohibited

Q. Would you kindly introduce yourself to our reader? Along with the genre of your photography and on which project are you working currently?

Hi there! My name is Brooke Walter and I specialize in product photography, especially in the world of skincare/ beauty. I started my Instagram page, almost 2 years ago as an outlet for my passions of writing/ photography/ beauty all rolled into one!

The beautiful Brooke Walter

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

One of my proudest moments in photography was when Southern Living shared one of my landscape shots, as well as a few of my photos being featured in local Calendars in South Carolina. (Landscape photography has always been a passion as well.) Most recently, I’ve also been honoured to work with some of my favorite beauty brands like Truly Beauty, Briogeo, and Kosas Cosmetics.

Q.  What attracts you to your genre? Whose work has influenced you most?

I find my genre to be such an interesting space, as it is a crucial component to marketing a brand and product. Crisp photography that clearly shows the label and uniqueness of a product is so important to selling, especially in industries saturated with competition Skincare especially is a booming industry, so photography is incredibly important in making a product stand out.

Q. Is it important to have any professional training to be a photographer? Did you have any at the time you set off your journey?

 I think there is certainly training involved in learning the basic camera settings and how they interact: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. Luckily, my boyfriend is a professional photographer and he has taught me so much in my ability to use light and aperture to focus on products. I also think there is a certain “eye” that people can have completely separate from training, and creativity is super important in making a shot distinctive and different from the competition.

Q. When you go in one of your photo-shoots which one is your favorite lens and why do you prefer it?

 For my everyday shots, I use a NIKON 5400 with both a Macro lens and also a more traditional 18-200mm that is quite versatile for everything I do outside of extreme close-ups.

Q. How important is the light in product photography? How do you find your perfect sets of lights?

So important!! One of my struggles, in the beginning, was a lack of natural lighting in my house. I’ve learned a few “tricks” in using my blinds in my room to create nice natural shadows in some of my shots. One of my biggest recommendations for any product photographer first starting out is to find a ring light or lightbox that you like. My lightbox gives me the ability to have controlled lighting and white backgrounds which is a staple of my photography style!

Q. Do you find it difficult than other kind of photography? If yes then why?

I find that it has its challenges in getting creative with angles and lighting, however there is a huge benefit to not having to worry about a moving or living subject!

Q. A “Good Camera can make a Picture perfect” do you believe this myth?

I don’t! I think a good camera is important to get a crisp starting image, but no camera will make a bad angle of an image better. Also, post-processing is super important. I wouldn’t be anywhere without Photoshop.

Q. What is that you have adhered and learned through photography over the years?

I’ve learned so much from my boyfriend who actually does photography full time for a living. He’s taught me some crucial editing techniques such a “blemish removal” for any unwanted parts of a photo, not just literal blemishes. I’ve grown so much from my earlier posts as well, which all seem too dark to me now. I try to keep my photos bright and with crisp white background for clear images.

Q. When doing product photography what is you first priority?

The expectation of your client or the creative ideas that you have? I always prioritize the client first but also allow myself creative freedom. I like to keep their aesthetic in mind, I never want to shoot something that they can’t envision using in their own marketing. I like to find brands that mesh with my bright aesthetic, but also like the challenge of working with brands that might be going for a different look!

Q. Which post-processing software you use for your pictures?

Adobe Photoshop! It has all the flexibility AND MORE of a platform, and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of learning what it can do.

Q. Which type of backdrop or light do you suggest for the beginners? And where to find them?

I have a professional Lightbox which is crucial for what I do. There are many options for ring lights and lightboxes on Amazon!

Q. Name the last photography book/journal that you read.  

I get most of my inspiration from Instagram/ Pinterest and magazines.

Q. Nowadays almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures. What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other amateur photographer?

I love that improvements in phone cameras have made photography a more accessible medium, but there is so much a camera can’t capture: long exposure shots, anything crisp in low light, and strong quality of close-ups. I think having a professional camera and learning how to control the settings sets apart amateurs from professionals.

Q. Any quick message for our blog? Thanks for your time!

Thanks so much for your interest in my content! I hope you will give my page, a follow and welcome any questions about product photography and working with brands.

Thank you, Brooke, for being so kind and taking time to talk with us! We loved your inputs and insights. We look forward to your excellent work even more and wish you all the very best for all future projects

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