How to Photograph Plastic Packaging: Product Photography Tips

How to photograph plastic packaging?
A plastic package containing products

Do your products have plastic packaging? Even so, if you want to brand your products, taking an attention-grabbing photograph of the product’s packaging is essential.

Photography is one of the most crucial and critical elements that not only brand your products but also make a good impression on the customers as they provide an eye-catching reflection.

However, here the problem is as you need to take pictures of plastic packaging, which is a shiny and reflective material, you will face difficulties while photographing them.

And if you experience this, It can be so annoying and frustrating that it discourages you from taking pictures of your packaging.

So, I’m here to let you know how to photograph plastic packaging like a professional photographer. In this article, I explain the best tips for photographing products in plastic packaging.

Alright, to know more details, go through the article and read it consciously!

How do you take photos of a plastic package without glare?

How do you take photos of a plastic package without glare?
Taking a photo of a shiny product without glare

There are several ways to take pictures of plastic without glare. However, you need to follow some tricky techniques while photographing plastic packaging to avoid the glare issue.

Techniques include using good quality light sources, arranging the camera settings with different angles, using a white background, avoiding flash or direct sunlight, using light sources from an open window, etc.

Well, to help you better understand the techniques, here I will discuss them in brief.

  1. Use some good quality light sources
Some good quality light resources
A shooting location set up several quality light sources

So, the first thing you need to ensure is that you have used some good quality light sources such as softboxes, translucent paper as a diffuser umbrella, off-camera strobes, etc.

Using these light sources will prevent reflections as well as harsh shadows of the products. Moreover, you also have to make sure that these light sources provide continuous lighting.

This continuous lighting will allow you to see the adjustments and the reflection impact on the packaging of your product.

So, along with taking pictures of the products, you can also create a 360-product video with the help of a combination of this continuous light with Arqspin.

  1. Arrange the camera settings with different angles

Another way to take pictures of your shiny plastic products without glare is by arranging your camera settings so that you can play with your camera from different angles.

That will eventually prevent the reflection of shiny objects.

For your camera settings, you should use a tripod so you can get the sharpest photograph of your product’s packaging. Besides, you should create a long exposure as you use a continuous light source for your shiny products.

Taking plastic cover product photos using a tripod
Taking long-exposure photos while holding the camera using a tripod

Not only that but also you need to set the camera to an aperture priority settings mode. So, you can get a more focused photograph of your product as much as possible.

Here, if you want a good depth of field image, you have to set the aperture of about f/8, or f/11, or f/16, yet, in case of getting a shallow depth, you need to fix it much wider or set it around f/2.8.

After that, you also need to set the ISO settings of about 100 to 400 to get the best product photograph quality.

ISO mode setting of digital camera
ISO mode setting

Once you have finished the camera settings, your camera will choose the appropriate shutter speed for the light exposure. However, it entirely depends on the power of your continuous light source.

  1. Use white background
A white background is used to isolate a polyethylene bag of asparagus stems
Asparagus stems in a polyethylene bag isolated on white background

Using a white background when taking pictures of shiny objects like plastic products helps prevent light reflection that may tint the product.

However, if you plan to use the white background while photographing the product in a straight-on mode, you can blow out the background by using another light source pointing behind the product.

  1. Avoid flash or direct sunlight.

You should also avoid flash as it causes more reflection due to delivering a high strength of light fission. Not only that but also you need to avoid taking pictures in direct sunlight.

This is because the sunlight reflects more on shiny objects, and thus you can’t photograph your plastic products without glare.

  1. Use a light source from an open window
 A photo of a plastic cup with coffee using a light source from an open window
A photo of a plastic cup with coffee using a light source from an open window

Last but not least, the tricky technique is using a light source from an open window.

It prevents the reflection of the light and also the harsh shadow of the product. An open window offers a smooth light entrance, and thus, you can easily take eye-soothing pictures of your plastic product packaging.

Must-follow tips for taking good pictures of the packaging

Product packaging photography is not as simple as you think. A good product photograph will tell the package design and, ultimately, the product’s branding. Thus, to take good pictures of the packaging, you have to be more careful and use some tips and tricks.

To take good pictures of your product packaging, I have provided you with some tips that you need to follow if you want a beautiful but focused image.

Tips include choosing natural light, emphasizing the product using white background sweep mode, giving attention to your camera lens and depth of field, and taking several images instead of taking one.

  1. Choose natural light
A photograph of  products with plastic packaging using natural light
A photo of products with plastic packaging taken under natural light

As you will photograph plastic packaging that is a shiny item, I have mentioned that while taking their pictures, you need to choose the lighting source carefully.

You can use both natural and artificial light. But, choosing the natural light if you photograph outside or in an open window inside your house will be a wise decision as you can capture more eye-catching pictures.

However, if you do so, try to avoid the place under direct sunlight. Otherwise, all your effort will go in vain due to the reflections.

Besides, if you are planning to use natural light, you should reduce the harsh shadows of your products.

You can do it by placing a fill light just behind your main light and using a flashbulb or standalone bounce card that helps to reflect the main light beneath the surface of your product to lessen the shadows.

  1. Emphasize the product using a white background sweep mode

While taking pictures of plastic products, consider first using a white background to emphasize your product.

This is important as you want to prevent the reflection that hinders you from taking pictures with more details of the products and, in some cases, blurs the photographs.

Besides, while using background, you need to ensure that it is separated from your products. In the white background, it has to be 2-stops brighter than your products at least. So, the edges of your product are visible.

  1. Give attention to your camera lens and depth of field
Set of camera lenses
Camera lenses

You should always give attention to your camera lens, depth of field, and the focal length of your camera if you want to take good pictures. Besides, here, you have to remember that you are taking photographs for product packaging; it’s not like AD photography.

So, all the details of your plastic product need to be visible to your customer to get precise information about the product.

Therefore, before you take pictures, you need to set the camera appropriately. This setting includes setting the camera lens, depth of field or DOF, and focal length.

While setting the camera lens, make sure that the lens must deliver not only sharp but also high-contrast images and thus sets its aperture.

Besides, according to the product packaging, set the focal length of your camera lens. Some objects need a longer lens to look flat, and some require a wider-angle lens as they are being photographed at different angles.

  1. Take several images instead of taking one.

As a product packaging photograph is e-commerce photography; therefore, if you want an impressive look at your product’s photograph, you should take several different images of that product instead of taking one.

Photographing should be done at different angles to shoot a variety of images. This simulation of the images will attract the customer to the product.

Best tips for shooting products in a transparent plastic package

A product photo of the product in a transparent plastic package
A transparent plastic bottle

While taking pictures of precise plastic products or transparent objects, you have to create a high key tone with a white background or reveal the highlights clearly with a dark background.

This is because this crucial tone will provide a clean and fresh product look so you can see the details of the product although it’s transparent packaging.

Here, while using a dark background, you need to separate your clear plastic product and its background.

Besides, you can also use natural backgrounds with a natural setting. But, in this case, distract the elements in the backgrounds so you can compose the image of your product accordingly.

Conclusion

So, in this article, I have tried to briefly explain how to photograph plastic packaging for branding your product by providing the necessary tips. Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading the article, and all your curiosity about the topic has been met up.

However, if you have more questions or want to know more about it, please don’t hesitate to comment in the comment section.