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IN THE WATCH WORLD, THE SUBJECT OF WATCH PHOTOGRAPHY IS ITS OWN. I HAVE THEREFORE COMPILED AND ANSWERED THE MOST IMPORTANT AND MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR YOU.
What is special about watch photography?
We’ve all held that one watch in our hands that we’re particularly fond of. We’ve admired its beautiful design, turned it over and over, and looked at all the small but fine details. Moreover, we often have a strong connection with our everyday companion. When we think of our watch, memories come up in us. A very special evening or a beautiful vacation, for example.
Because we associate these emotions with our watch, it has a very specific personality for us. The personality of the watch, bundled in design, character and expression, we try to capture pictorially in watch photography.
What exactly is the purpose of watch photography?
As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, a successful picture presents the watch in its unique beauty. It is therefore not surprising that watch brands attach great importance to a professional presentation of the timepieces by a watch photographer when photographing their latest models and collections. The advertising value of a good photo is enormous and is a decisive factor in determining the buying behavior of customers. If a watch has a high quality, an excellent design and an expressive character, it must also convey this. A good photo decides whether this succeeds.
What is important when photographing watches?
A high-priced watch must also convey its prestige in a photo. But how do you do that? The keyword is quality. It makes no difference whether the photo is taken in the studio, outdoors or on the wrist. Quality is demonstrated by a professional approach, good equipment, and the experience and creativity of the watch photographer. The difference between an amateur photo and a professionally taken one is quickly noticeable. A good photo gets immediate attention. It catches the eye, whether on large canvases or in the online store. This is achieved through creative staging, high resolution, and easily recognizable details. In addition, the processing must be balanced. Thus, the watch should always look realistic and never alienated. Most manufacturers therefore leave this task to specialized watch photographers.
There is often a clear line running through the design of watches. Is it a retro watch? A technical chronograph? A maritime diver’s watch or a delicate ladies’ watch? If you want to photograph a watch, you should always consider which niche the watch is assigned to. The eye-catching characteristics are enhanced by a good photo and appeal to the required target group. Example: Those who love racing and find speed important should also find this reflected in the photo of a sporty racing watch with timepieces.
What is the best approach to watch photography?
Yes, a good camera is important, and so are suitable lenses. But so much more is important. I don’t want to talk so much about specific techniques.
5 simple steps to a good watch photo
1. The scene
A photo must arouse the interest of the viewer. This means that something has to happen in the photo. Consider beforehand where you want to shoot the photo. The scenery of the watch photography should always fit the character of the watch, as mentioned above. Be creative and use accessories you find in the basement or attic. Shells from your last beach vacation for the maritime diver or historical, rusty backgrounds for a masculine chronograph with retro charm. Important: the watch is the star of the picture. The image should never look too cluttered and always keep the focus on the watch.
2. Light in watch photography
In the studio, of course, you have constant lighting conditions that you can influence yourself. However, very few people have the right equipment. Outside in daylight, on the other hand, a cloudy sky is best. Why is that? Because a cloudy sky provides soft light and reduces annoying reflections on the dial. Subtle light reflections in watch photography on the edge give the watch a noble shine. Nevertheless, the same applies here: less is more.
3. The equipment
Good quality doesn’t necessarily cost a lot of money anymore. Nevertheless, you should be familiar with the settings of your camera, i.e. basics such as ISO, aperture and shutter speed. A tripod helps to avoid blurry shots. Pay attention to the focus of the right elements.
4. The perspective
The perspective in watch photography should always be based on what the main focus of the image should be. Should the picture draw attention to the case, the dial or the underbody?
5. Postproduction in watch photography
Comprehensive programs like Photoshop or Lightroom should be part of your basic equipment if you want to edit your image. Both programs work non-destructively. Therefore, the resolution does not change, which guarantees a good quality later.
What are Wristshots?
Anyone interested in watch photography will probably have come across the term Wristshot. Wristshots are the photos that show the watch on the wrist. Wristshots also prove to be particularly important when making purchasing decisions, as they give the customer a better feel for how the watch will later look on his or her own wrist. For a watch photographer, this turns out to be particularly challenging. Finally, another factor plays a major role through the model.
Macroshots, on the other hand, focus on individual details of the watch. A good macro lens is indispensable. You can’t do it without it.
A summary and further information
I have been taking pictures for as long as I can remember. I ventured into the cave of watch photography in 2018. “What’s so hard about photographing a watch”…? Fiddlesticks. What a challenge. Today a good 3 years and thousands of watch photos later I know what was meant by that. It really is the pinnacle of product photography. Dust particle here, fingerprints there, wrong reflection here, ….
In the meantime, I have worked for over 100 brands. From the big brands to the classics to microbrands. You always have to reinvent yourself. You have to like it. I like it. Very much. Most of my contacts know me personally. That’s why a lot of brands work with me over and over again. Be it in the field of watch photography or watch reviews. Also the area of search engine optimization SEO (I had my first internet agency in 1996, and since then I’m online) and SEA is more and more in demand. And marketing via Instagram and Pinterest anyway.
Meanwhile, my photo studio is so professionally equipped that I can photograph anything as a watch photographer. And I really mean everything. Even the classic clipping for stores & Co. However, this is not my focus, but the creative mood shots. Here I can really let off steam.