"Pre-production" is a term used in photography for tasks we can do PRIOR to the shoot to ensure the best results.
In terms of photographing your bottled product, this means starting with the best 'model' possible.
Here's a couple of tips to help you pick the right bottles.
1. Watch the seams.
Barely noticeable at a glance, but certainly noticeable by the camera, please select bottles that have the seams to the sides of the bottles. In the image below, it runs right through the label, fine for the shelf, NOT GOOD ENOUGH for your product photos.
2. Bottle, capsule, and label condition.
The camera spares you nothing when capturing detail - look over your bottle choices carefully for:
- Scratches on glass from transport, leftover glue from labeller
- Nicks, scratches, rips, water or other damage to label
- Label Application: Is it on straight? Are there bubbles behind the label or waves in the paper?
- Capsules: Some are heat-shrunk on the bottle and can get warped - pick the best one and/or provide extra capsules.
Here are a few bloopers for example:
There are a number of things I'll need to know depending on your application - Is there a Graphic Designer involved? Do you want a black background? white background? on a set? on location? Is the final image a small ecommerce thumbnail image, or is it destined for a tradeshow banner? Do you want a reflection - what kind? shiny? matte? black reflection? shadow? Do we want a highlight on one side of the bottle, or both? Perhaps one of the highlights should look like a window? Is the photographer crazy about details? Yes, yes he is.
Ideally, the next step is to contact me to assess your specific needs. I often combine basic 'ecommerce' head-on product shots with a collection of more dynamic and dramatic images of the products that become really useful collateral to have for print pieces like rack cards or tradeshow signage... just one way to get 'more' out of your shoot.