The question of reflections in Product Photography

In discussions with my clients about the look of the product images I create for them, the question about reflections often pops up.

Product reflection is the mirror image of the product reflected underneath it.

When photographing any product on a white background, I usually shoot it in such a way to produce a clear natural reflection.  This reflection goes right up to the edge of the image, like it is shown in the example below.

Some clients find this reflection perhaps too strong.  If the product is solid in colour like this tea box example shown, the reflection can appear distracting.  In Photoshop, this reflection can be easily made faint to combat this problem.

Most discreet reflection look and perhaps the most popular one with my clients is the faint reflection that disappears before it reaches the edge of an image.

If a client prefers no reflection, then this can be removed easily.  It results in a product looking like it is ‘floating’ up in the space as shown in example below.  This look is preferred when product selections need to be ‘inserted’ into a different background and the graphic designers will perhaps be adding a reflection to match this new background.  Some online catalogues may also show all product this way so extra images need to follow suit.

Reflections can also be used to create unique photographs.

When using uneven, coloured or patterned background, this is then seen in the reflection and it can create some very interesting images.  Below are a few examples where I have used reflection as part of the overall look of the image.