Personalised Pens & Promotional Pens – How to Photograph Plastic Versions
Photography, as a hobby is one of the most rewarding pastimes you could possibly imagine because you photograph exactly what you want when you want. That is not always the case for a professional photographer however because you have to take assignments as they come along. This is particularly true of studio-based product photography.
I have spent a great part of my life in the studio photographing pens or to be more precise printed promotional pens. These tend to be inexpensive and for catalogue production there is normally a lot to take in a day if you are going to make any money. It is crucial, therefore, that you get yourself the correct setup for your own particular requirements. Personally, I have numerous rigs to help speed up the process and I will explain in general terms the type of setup required to get off the starting blocks:
– Shooting At An Angle: This is the least demanding type of pen photography in that reflections back from the pen are not going to cause a problem. Ensure your pens are scrupulously clean, put your camera on a tripod or camera stand and use the best quality flash strobes you can afford. If you want soft even lighting use soft-boxes or umbrellas or if you need that sharp look with spectral highlights use reflectors mounted on the lamp housing.
– Shooting Perpendicular to the pen. This is the most difficult way to shoot promotional pens because you will always have the barrel of the pen reflecting back into the lens. Consequently, it is almost impossible to create moody shots with this setup. However, this is usually how personalised pens are shot for catalogue production and websites. Again, get soft or hard lighting effects by employing soft-boxes or reflectors respectively to create the desired effect. The longer you take in setting up the shots generally speaking the better are your results.
It can be extremely demanding getting the right look or lighting effect on personalised pens and no two pens behave exactly the same. Therefore, patience and perseverance is the key to success. because the more you get right in camera, the less time you will need to spend in post-production. Post-production work, however, is always unavoidable unless you want to spend days setting up each shot. That is the difference between product photography of say twenty years ago and photography of today. I believe where personalised pens are concerned it is 70% photography and 30% digital manipulation.
The Pen Warehouse is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of personalised pens, based in the South East of England. The company prints all personalised pens and pencils in-house and orders can be turned around, printed with your corporate details in twenty four hours.