Experimenting with Outdoor Product Photography

Product photography is possibly one of the most important forms of photography because, without it, we would have to change the entire way we sell items. Product photography can make or break a product before a customer has the opportunity to experience it through themselves. 

I decided that because product photography is so vital, that I needed to learn how to do it. 

Product #1 – Bath & Body Works Lotion

The first product I decided to experiment with was lotion from Bath & Body Works. I used to work for Bath & Body Works and during my time with the company, I accumulated more body care items than I care to admit. I decided to put my plethora of lotion to good use by photographing it.

I decided to use Champaign, Apple, & Honey because the colors matched the incoming autumn colors that I was beginning to see outside. I knew that I wanted to do outdoor product photography for this project because many of the scents that make up perfumes and lotions come from the outdoors. 

The first shot I created by simply placing the lotion on a table. I had the river in the background with some vegetation, so I was pleased with the composition in the basic sense. I did immediately notice that I didn’t feel like I could experience the lotion from just looking at the photo, so I decided to try two more times. 

The second set up I think is my favorite. I found some leaves that had the perfect colors to match the lotion’s packaging and placed them at the base of the bottle. I feel that adding the leaves helped the product feel more natural in the environment. I also captured some chopped wood in the background to help sell the outdoorsy, natural feel.

The third and final image I captured of the lotion was similar to the image that I shot above except that I changed a few of the elements. Just like the shot above I placed the lotion on wood and surrounded it with leaves. This time though, I found some berries that I thought would help sell the scent of the product. Although the product name doesn’t mention berries I felt that It would be a nice touch since berries are used in many fragrances and the shade of the berries matched the lotion packaging perfectly.

Product #2 – Limited Edition HydroFlask

For my second product, I decided to use my handy dandy Hydroflask. I knew that I was going to be taking outdoor product photography photos, so I thought that my Hydroflask would be a great addition since many people use Hydroflasks for hiking and other outdoorsy activities.

I’m not going to lie, capturing a decent photo of my Hydroflask was more challenging than I anticipated. I was at a beautiful little waterfall but every time I set my Hydroflask where I wanted it the water would carry it away! I was finally able to wedge my bottle between two rocks to keep it from floating away. 

Because the waterfall as so beautiful I tried to capture it in different ways while highlighting my Hydroflask. I used a slower shutter speed and a tripod to make the water look soft. I took several different photos doing this technique. Sometimes I zoomed out, others I zoomed in. 

I also tried capturing the water where I got crisp bubbles.

I am not sure which style is my favorite for the Hydroflask, but either way, I think having the bottle surrounded by water was extremely vital. I like how in many of the photos you can see water running off the bottle from the many times the Hydroflask tried to escape. I think having the water on the Hydroflask helped give it a purpose and lived-in feel that is important when people are considering purchasing a product.

Learn More about Outdoor Product Photography

Product Photography Tips for Outdoor Shoots

14 Product Photography Tips to Make You Look Like a Pro