Creative Textures Photography
Some of our most successful and creative work lies within cosmetic textures product photography. These jobs require pack shots too, but for the majority, the client will ask for ‘creative’ or ‘hero’ images, which we enjoy executing. Sometimes we have a little creative flexibility with the brief, where we are able to pitch some ideas. However, the client will usually give us a brief that requires certain colours, backgrounds, materials and props.
Over years of shooting cosmetic textures product photography, we’ve discovered that many clients like certain visual details such as texture swatches. Textures help show off what’s inside the product, giving the consumer a visual idea. This requires a certain type of stylist (you might have guessed by the title) … yep, a texture stylist! This is a very niche type of commercial styling that requires time, patience and an artistic eye!
Texture styling can help to highlight elements of a product such as; colour, consistency and patterns. For example, a body scrub swatch appears thick in consistency with a sandy-like texture, which makes it instantly recognisable to the consumer. Another example in one of the images below, we used different colour foundation swatches applied to the skin, so that consumers can judge whether their skin tone is a right fit for the product. We also often combine textures with botanical plants that colour-match the product. This simple stylistic choice adds colour harmony to the image and further helps the viewer visualise a particular ingredient or colour shade. We’ve often found that texture swatches are used best when applied onto a clear surface such as a piece of acrylic or acetate as this surface helps the product from running or ruining a background set. We also like to apply textures onto colours that provide a nice contrast, as this makes the texture stand out better making it easier to see for the viewer. In the series of images below, you can see we have captured textures in their jar pots often shot from a 45-degree angle or top-down shot, which helps to give a sense of realism to an image.
Throughout the series of images below, you can see that we have worked with a number of texture stylists who use different techniques and tools to apply textures and create different effects. For example, brush swatches can be applied with fingers or a brush, smears are often created with pallets and knives, droplets are with a pipette and water splashes with a jug or by dropping an object into liquid. Alternatively, some briefs have required us to create textures ourselves. This can often be pretty experimental and time-consuming as sometimes it can take a few attempts to reach the final outcome. Some textures can be easier to work with than others, for example, a cream is pretty forgiving, whereas a scrub or oily-based serum can be challenging to achieve the desired look with a first attempt!
Please take a look through these images, we hope there’s something that inspires you!
One of our favourite shoots incorporating texture was a big campaign that we shot last year for Neals Yard, advertising the Frankincense Intense product range ( Image 7-8). The concept was ‘Zen’, a word that originated from China and derived from Buddhism. The word means a circle of togetherness, often drawn in one single brushstroke. To capture this, we worked with a talented texture stylist called Carrie Louise. Using a rake tool, she moved the cream-based product into a circle formation and created swirl patterns.
This was a really effective way to not only reflect the zen concept but also make interesting shapes and depth to the image. The cream-coloured product contrasted beautifully against the signature Neals Yard Product. Overall, alongside the cosmetic textures photography, this technique made the product videos really relaxing to watch, which also links to the idea behind the product, which was an overnight facial mask.