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Teal Studios - Product Photography Blog

1.Always set the time

Omega Speed Master Watch Photography

As always, branding is key In product photography. This is especially true when it comes to watch photography. Tradition in the watch advertisement industry is to set the time exactly or close to the 10:10 position. This is to ensure the logo is perfectly framed In between the two hands of the watch. Strangely this tradition often even continues to digital watches even though there are no hands to position.

2. Mechanical Watches and Unscrewed Crowns

Luxury watches are often mechanical or automatic meaning that sometimes when we move the watch to the set, our previously stopped watch can start up again. This can create inconsistency from shot to shot. As time is always precious on a product photography shoot, we don’t want to be waiting around for the watch to run out of power again. The work around for this is to pull out the watches crown, stopping the hands from moving. From here, we can carefully move the watches crown to the original position in post production.

Rolex Watch Photography Before and After Retouching

3. Controlling Reflections

It is very common for watches to consist almost entirely of stainless steel and chrome. These reflective materials can be problematic for product photography and as such it is often necessary to introduce white reflectors into our set for the watches to reflect onto. This can be important to stop watches from appearing darker than they are in person.

Reflection Control - Rolex Watch Photography

4.Velvet softening

Photographing watches inside their luxury boxes can be full of imperfections. The nature of velvet makes it tricky to get a soft look right out of camera. In photoshop we can use a gradient along with a high pass filter in order to get a soft look in the final image.

Watch Photography - Before and After Velvet Retouching

5.Focus Stacking

Shooting very close up macro watch images like the one above is achieved through a process known as focus stacking. This is when we take several of the same image with the camera positioned on a tripod. Each shot will have slightly different parts of the watch in focus. From here we combine all of the images in photoshop and voila, all of the details we need in focus are nice and sharp.

All of these images are merged together in order to create the final image


Teal Studios are specialists in product photography of all kinds. We love luxury watch photography shoots and ensure that your watches look perfect on your site and on social media. Get in touch today to book a shoot with Manchesters top affordable product photography studios today.

Updated: May 4, 2022

1.Dust Is Unavoidable

Wilmslow Product Photographer
Before and after dust removal

Professional cameras pick up a lot more detail than we see with our eyes. This can be perfect for showing off the intricate details of your product. In some circumstances however it can and will work against you on shoot. No matter how much preparation we do for our products and how brand new the samples we use are, dust is always visible to some degree.

To make our lives easier on shoot, we always clean and wipe down our products with a microfibre cloth to prepare for this inevitability the best we can. This will help to cut down on retouching time.

Removing dust is the first step we take in our Photoshop retouching. In this stage it is crucial to keep an eye on product texture, ensuring that important details are not smoothed out too much. Photoshops spot removal or patch tool work best here. Any texture lost can often be added back in using a texture only layer on a high pass filter.

2.When Picking Props - Consider Colour and Mood

When setting up a product photography set, we have to make sure everything in our image is working for us. Each prop should add something to the image and make the final photograph look better. The process of a product photography shoot can be a constant adding and removal or props to get just the right balance of space and just the right colour scheme to compliment the main product. It is usually best to stick to a colour scheme of 3 complimentary colours as in the example above.

3.Lighting Can Be Everything

Wilmslow Product Photography
6 Light Studio Product Packaging Photography Shoot

Wilmslow Product Photography
2 Light Lifestyle Photography Shoot

When lighting a product photography set - sometimes less is more, and other times, we need as many lights as we can get. Above we have 2 different shoots - in the 2 light shot our lighting is soft and natural, giving the end result a relatable lifestyle aesthetic. This shoot was made using 2 strobes, a large soft box lighting the set from the front, and a strobe fitted with a gridded modifier bouncing off the ceiling. The success of images like this usually rely on the set being well curated and the lighting being well executed.

The shot on the right however is a product photography packaging shot. These shoots require the product to look as perfect as possible and usually require a lot more complicated lighting set up and a lot more retouching. This shot specifically was using a 6 light set up.

4.How to Deal With Creases

Before and After Removing Creases In Retouching

Before and after removing creases

When it comes to photographing bags and clothing, creases do come with the territory. A good iron or steamer is essential on shoot to help with this problem. At times however, it can be just the nature of the fabric and how it hangs that shows off unsightly creases. In this case we have to do our best to make these creases look more forgivable in the end result. In retouching we use photoshop to carefully lessen these marks whilst preserving the garments texture and keeping the product looking realistic. This is done using a high pass layer and a combination of the stamp tool and colour only layers.

5.An Essential Tool for Reflections

Before and after a simple piece of white card

The Finished Shot

A piece of white card - or even at times a single sheet of white paper, can make an enormous difference to the reflections that we see in shiny products. Above shows an image before and after adding in a piece of paper to the shots reflection. These shots are usually merged together in photoshop to create a more appealing image.

6.Some things can only been done in retouching

Before and after retouching

The nature of product photography is promotion. For this reason, sometimes assets are created before the final product is ready for the general public. In the case below, this pre production sample has the label facing the wrong way. This is just one of those things that can only be fixed in post production and it is all part of our job to deliver the best photography possible for a brand. For this shot, the label was switched within photoshop with a correct sample.


This article explains some of the professional solutions we use to make our clients products look as good as they possibly can. We are a top photography studios working in the Northwest of England and regularly shoot in Manchester, Greater Manchester, Salford and Wilmslow. We also work remotely so do check out the rest of our site and if you're interested in our work and visit our contact page to book a shoot with us today.

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