Shooting packshots for Pharmacare

We were recently approached by Pharamacare and tasked with providing packshot photography on a quick turnaround time.

Founded 25 years ago in Sydney’s Northern beaches, Pharmacare has steaadily grown, now providing a huge range of health and fitness products to customers in more than 40 countries. Their core focus is in “improving lives” and their portfolio includes household names such as Skin Doctors, Nature’s Way, Sambucol, Ease-a-Cold, Rosken, and Bioglan. This last name has been a serious provider of quality vitamins, minerals and supplements for more than two decades and has established a strong reputation for unique formulations and first to market innovations. It was their range of products we were asked to shoot on this occasion.

We’re fitness fanatics at Photography Firm, frequently running (to the shop to get biscuits), jumping (over cables in the studio) and lifting (the biscuits to our mouths), plus we know a thing or two about product photography so we jumped at the chance (see, more jumping!).

After some initial test shots on a couple of samples sent through were approved by the client, we took delivery of the range of nearly 30 products and were able to shoot everything in one morning. As ever, the key when shooting product photography is to take a little time with the lighting, arrangement, colour fidelity and cleanliness in studio to save yourself time and hassle later. By shooting smart you can remain competitively priced and keep yourself in the very best biscuits money can buy. Some of the products in this collection presented unique challenges, reflecting light (and distracting environmental details!) from countless angles due to their glossy finish and crumpled nature.

It’s a blog post all of it’s own, but the key is to set up your environment correctly and keep it consistent while shooting similar products. We created what was essentially a big light tent, using soft boxes and reflectors and even hiding as much of the camera as we could behind bounce cards, so the majority of what the packaging reflected back was essentially white. Nevertheless, some photoshopping was needed to get the images to a standard we were happy with and it’s important to realise which stages of your workflow to really concentrate on when dealing with difficult subjects – you might spend an hour going grey, trying to eliminate a shadow or reflection in the studio that can be removed in 2 minutes in the editing suite.

We love to get as close to possible in-camera but we’re not puritans about editing (you can’t be in commercial photography!) and it’s the finished article which counts.