Products offered for sale in catalogues or on the internet must be displayed and photographed in a professional manner. Poor photography is likely to lead to fewer sales. Consequently, countless photographers across the UK are contracted to photograph thousands of items ranging from watches and clocks to tractors and bags of fertilizer. The work must be undertaken in carefully-controlled lighting and is therefore largely studio-based. Back-lighting and rim-lighting are widely used to highlight products.
General and bespoke training courses are available to help photographers take better advertising and product photographs. They cover composition and lighting techniques, the technical aspects of photography such as exposure and depth of field, and post-capture processing and handling. Digital aspects such as Photoshop techniques, colour management and profiling are also likely to be addressed. Some companies use a portable product photography studio which is easier to transport than the products to be photographed.
National vocational qualifications are offered to cover this field of work.