We do a lot of product photography for marketplace listings like Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, and for trade shows, company websites etc. One common issue we have is that products do not always come to us looking "perfect". For example, we may have a hat that isn't perfectly round, or a box that got squished while shipping, or a product that is just hard to get to stand up to take a picture of. Here are just a few secrets we use in our studio to make things "product perfect".
I have personally used coat hangers, pieces of styrofoam, tissue paper, fishing line, tacky putty, tin foil, mirrors, . to make products stand up, look straight, or simply be able to be shot. In our world, we call this "product perfect" images. And the secret is, it's more than just photoshop! Below is an example of a hat that came to us. No matter how we tried to shape the hat, every time we put it down to shoot, the product would loose shape. Several of the hats in this product line happen to be mesh backs, so placing it on a mannequin head or a styrofoam head was not going to work. We needed something that would give it shape but not be seen in the shot. Below is what we came up with!
In the end, the shots came out exactly as we needed them, and the client was thrilled!
So, the next time you look at images in a catalog or online, try to image what "trickery" was used to make that shot perfect. It happens way more than you think!
PS - We took a picture of a few of the things we keep in our grip box to help make things perfect! We hope you get a good laugh!