Shoot Products Like A Pro

by Phil Sills


Posted on 2020-07-15 (948 VIEWS)


Nobody ever really considers themselves an expert, and that’s especially true in photography. We’re all continually learning, and we tend to measure our expertise against those whose work we aspire to, rather than those we’ve already overtaken.

So after 30 years as a professional product photographer, I was still looking up the mountain, instead of how far I’d already climbed. But after some sober reflection I recently realised that, when it comes to shooting drinks and tech products, I’m actually up there with the best. And for a guy who’s naturally fairly humble, that’s a bit of a shock!

Still, with great power comes great responsibility, so a couple of years ago I started to plan out a course that would encapsulate what’s taken me 30 years to learn and impart it to others, so they can get to this standard much faster.

The result is Shoot Products Like A Pro with Phil Sills, and I’m really chuffed with it.

How I Started Out

My love of shooting products started when I first discovered the photography studio at college. My portrait and fashion shots were pretty bad, so it was a huge relief to find my creative muse in the form of the inanimate objects. I quickly became addicted to exploring the best ways to light something as simple as the humble potato! That obsession led me into the world of commercial product photography, and the rest is history.

This journey started 30 years ago - back when mobile phones had only just been invented and were the size of bricks. I still remember my old Motorola - I could barely carry the thing!

So I've been shooting products for a long time, and I've been fortunate enough to have made a great career out of it.

My Journey

My professional journey started with still life, then I got into shooting cars. While my first child was being born I spent three months in Belgium shooting for Lexus. It was a great gig, but you can imagine how well it went down with my wife…

Eventually CGI took over in the car industry, but rather than pursue computer graphics, I decided to stick with photography.

I refocused on two challenging areas of the product marketplace - Drinks and Technology.

I landed a contract with Bowers and Wilkins, the UK high end audio manufacturer, shooting speakers and tech for them. Since then I've worked with dozens of audio and tech brands to create their product shots, both in the studio and on location.

Drinks photography was a great move that really helped me concentrate my skills and promotional activity, working for advertising agencies and directly with clients. I recently I shot a TV commercial for Emirates Airlines with a drink-styled narrative. I was really happy with the outcome, and so were they.

The Course – Why did I do it?

I decided a couple of years ago that I’d like to teach what I know, and to keep developing and growing myself.

So I started to write out how I’d explain to someone what I knew about shooting products. It was difficult at first, as my processes and techniques have developed organically over the decades and I’d never really tried to systemise my approach. But eventually I had 12 clear training modules that cover at all the processes, approaches and techniques that I use every day on a shoot.

It was clear that I couldn’t create this course using portfolio images alone, so I planned a set of original setups and shoots that would allow me to cover everything, got a video producer in to film it all, and Shoot Products Like A Pro was born.

The result is an online video course made up of short, punchy content-rich modules that give amateur and pro photographers the opportunity to discover what’s taken me an entire career to learn. The course will rapidly improve your product photography, whatever your current standard.

And it doesn't stop there - you also get access to a special Facebook group that’s only open to course members. Here we can continue our learning and progress together. Members can post work, ask questions and get feedback from myself and their peers. The Forum is about making sure that the course content can be applied to everyday product photography situations.

Check out the Course

If you have an interest in product photography, go to shootproductslikeapro.com and take a look at the course - I’m sure you’ll find great value in it.

Special Lens Lab Offer!

There are some fantastic discounted offers that will run throughout summer 2020, and you can get the first two modules totally free of charge. What’s more, as a Lens Lab subscriber you can get an extra 10% off by using the code LENSLAB10%.

Wishing you all the very best in your own photographic journey - I hope to meet you on the forum soon.

Phil Sills


 
 


INDEX TO ARTICLES

Shoot Products Like A Pro >
2020-07-15 By Phil Sills

Finding the right photo book for your pictures >
2019-10-31 By Flavio Longato

Cambridge by camera >
2019-02-08 By Peter Levenspiel

Hooray for the V&A >
2018-10-30 By Peter Levenspiel

Nitecore All Weather Adventure Backpack review >
2018-07-06 By James MacDonald

100 years of camera history >
2018-06-25 By Leonardo Stone

Form & Function by Chloe Rosser >
2018-06-08 By Peter Levenspiel

Check this amazing footage from the Wiral Lite >
2018-05-31 By Leonardo Stone

Interview: Clare Hewitt, Portrait of Britain Winner >
2018-04-23 By Peter Levenspiel

Make your own cyanotype photogram >
2018-04-12 By Peter Levenspiel

Video review: Starter ND filter kit >
2018-03-12 By Peter Levenspiel

Getting started: DIY product photography >
2018-02-04 By Peter Levenspiel

Photographers heaven? >
2018-02-03 By Leonardo Stone

The Zkin Kampe, a bag for life? >
2018-02-02 By Liz Taylor

Into the Woods: Trees in photography at the V&A >
2018-01-30 By Peter Levenspiel

Running, gunning and shooting from the hip! >
2017-10-31 By James Macdonald

Getting the most out of your Interfit reflector >
2017-10-17 By Paul Stillman

Video review: Lens Rims form easyCover >
2017-09-27 By Peter Levenspiel

Destination: Lens Lab visits Lewes >
2017-08-23 By Peter Levenspiel

Peak Design slide strap - This one’s from the hip! >
2017-07-18 By James Macdonald

What to shoot in Madrid >
2017-06-06 By Peter Levenspiel

The basics of manual camera controls explained >
2017-03-30 By Peter Levenspiel

Wobble free Wimberley Head Mark II >
2017-03-22 By Paul Stillman

The joy of wildlife photography >
2017-03-21 By Paul Stillman

Grow your garden photography skills >
2017-02-22 By Peter Levenspiel

Portsmouth: A photo friendly getaway destination >
2017-02-19 By Peter Levenspiel

Slow down time with ND filters >
2017-02-16 By James McDonald

The 600mm Sigma with pulling power >
2017-02-05 By Paul Stillman

The beast that does it all - well almost! >
2017-02-01 By James McDonald

Photographing birds of prey >
2017-01-14 By Peter Levenspiel

What the F? >
2017-01-04 By Peter Levenspiel

The best light in Europe! >
2016-11-01 By Peter Levenspiel

PART 1: Smartphone's V DSLR's >
2016-11-01 By Peter Levenspiel

Review: Nikon Nikkor Micro AF 105mm f2.8 lens >
2016-10-09 By Paul Stillman

2016 Woodland Trust tree of the year shortlist >
2016-09-24 By Liz Taylor

Surprisingly, kids can be pretty good at photography... with a little guidance! >
2016-09-09 By Peter Levenspiel

Want to improve your garden photography? >
2016-09-07 By Paul Stillman

Plane boring... What's your thing? >
2016-08-10 By Peter Levenspiel

Learn from the masters! >
2016-08-08 By Peter Levenspiel

Plan for success... Wedding photography >
2016-07-15 By Peter Levenspiel

What does Brexit mean if you're a photographer? >
2016-06-25 By Peter Levenspiel

Woodland bird photography at its very best! >
2016-06-18 By Paul Stillman

Top 3 equine photography tips from a pro… >
2016-06-17 By Peter Levenspiel

Wide angle lenses: The estate agents magic trick >
2016-06-10 By Peter Levenspiel

Head for the woods... macro season is here! >
2016-06-03 By Peter Levenspiel

The eeirie work of Christian Richter >
2016-05-20 By Peter Levenspiel

Doggy doggy on the wall... >
2016-04-04 By Peter Levenspiel

6 merits of renting photographic gear over buying >
2016-04-01 By Matt Golowczynski

Photographic exhibition at the V&A: Paul Strand >
2016-03-25 By Liz Taylor

Create a family best-seller >
2016-03-23 By Peter Levenspiel

Droning on about it... >
2016-02-09 By Peter Levenspiel

Top 10 Things to consider before stepping into photography >
By Racho Stano



Photo competition

Welcome to our inaugural (free-to-enter) Photo Competition open to photographers of all ages with no entry fees. Enter 3 of your best photographs on the theme of CYCLING CULTURE.

FIND OUT MORE

Sensor Cleaning

Clash of the Cameras

Here at Lens Lab, we offer a quick, professional sensor-cleaning service providing the safest and most effective way to remove dust from the entire mirror box area and restore clarity to your images.

SENSOR CLEANING

10% Off Insurance

photoGuard Insurance Logo

Lens Lab have teamed up with photoGuard to offer customers a 10% discount on photography insurance. Don’t leave it to chance; protect your photography equipment today. T's & C's apply.

FIND OUT MORE