Photography Tips: Still-life and Product Photography by Evi Abeler

Whether you’re an artist, an entrepreneur or a maker of great products, you know photography is key to communicating your brand and selling your goods. A beautiful, well-styled picture can elevate your work, build trust, capture media attention, attract customers and generate revenue. But how do you create those engaging images? We are excited to be sharing some tips from professional still-life, food and interior photographer
Evi Abeler today.

1. Image Strategy
The first thing is to think about your image strategy. What does your work stand for? Who is your audience? How will you use your images? Collect a few words that describe your brand. For example: If you are planning to sell handmade one of a kind ceramics for the kitchen your brand words might be: simple, rustic, everyday... . Let these words guide your set-ups, props and photography style for all your images, whether they are for your online shop, a postcard or social media.


2. Get Inspired
Look for images that inspire you and fit your brand words. Take pages from magazines and create a visual mood board. Pinterest is a fantastic place to collect inspirations found online. Also research other makers who create similar objects or have a style that fits your work and take notes on how they are using photography. After you collected a bunch of photos step back and see what you are drawn to. Is it the close up shot, soft focus, certain backgrounds or maybe the images that show the work in action or in an environment?

3. Define Your Style
Based on your brand words and your mood board define a style for your photos. If your brand is all about clean and simple, then go with a plain background and minimal props. More grungy? How about about using the streets to showcase your work?  Once you have picked a style, stick with it. Consistency will make it easier for you and makes you look professional.

4. Keep it Simple, Keep it Fresh
You have a strategy, done your research and developed a style. Now, block some time in your calendar for photography every month to photograph your goods. And since you are at it, photograph your workspace and your process as well. Your audience loves behind the scene photos of you and your work. You can use them in blog posts, share on social media or make booklets of your work as gifts for your dream clients! You can also show off some happy customers. And every once in a while hit the video button and record a clip. You can make a short movie in no time with Vine or if you are looking for a more advanced editing tool try directr.

5. Improve your Photography Skills
If you are working with your phone camera you can use VSCOcam to add effects, create text overlays with Over or collage images with Frametastic. If you need help with your digital camera check out these great online classesphotography schools and meet-ups that you can join. As with everything, you will only get better with time and practice.

Good Luck! ...and I would love to see your work. You can send it to !


Evi Abeler takes a stylish yet unfussy approach to photographing food, products and interiors. Working in her New York City studio or on location, Evi uses natural light and simple staging to create gorgeous compositions that showcase wholesome food, beautiful objects and stunning spaces. With her lifelong passion for photography and design, Evi brings a creative eye and professional approach to every project. Her clients in advertising, publishing, hospitality and retail include Food & Wine (which named her 2013 Digital Food Award Winner), Lotta Jansdotter and Whole Foods Markets. She’s represented by Big Leo Productions. In addition to her photography, she collaborates with pastry chef Albane Sharrard on the recipe blog Whip + Click and offers photography training and workshops to makers, bloggers and designers.

This post was first published in February 2014.

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