Product photography is an area where commercial photographers focus on. There is a huge market in product photography. From brands, advertising agencies, small businesses and even food, product photography requires vast knowledge in studio lighting and post processing. Clients approach product photographers because they need someone to sell their products for them through pictures.
So where exactly do you start if you want to get into product photography?
The main goal of shooting a product is to convey a message and entice the audience to purchase it as soon as they see it. The best place to start with product photography using studio lights is the all white background.
The All White Product Shot
Most clients who require photos of their products require an all white shot to be used for their catalogues and product lists. This is the simplest way to showcase items without any visual distractions.
Use white craft paper, which you can roll down for a continuous background. Clamp it to anything that can support the paper above the table and simply roll the paper down to the table to create a nice smooth ramp for the product to be placed on. Others use light cardboards that are bendable, and clamp the top and bottom down. These continuous backgrounds save you time in editing.
Place your two strobes at the angle where it covers both sides of the product, filling the image and preventing it from any heavy shadows. You can also use a reflector big enough to fill any necessary areas.
Shooting products require you to cover and capture the smallest of details. Of course this all depends on your client’s requirements. But in order for you to show most of the product details, bring your aperture put your aperture to f/7 to f/11. Everything in product photography depends on what type of shot you need, so you don’t have to rely on this one setting.
Shooting the Product
Place the product at the center of the backdrop, do some test shots and make the necessary adjustments in your lighting power. Be aware of harsh shadows and try to fill them in with your fill light or reflector. Keep testing different setups that best suit your needs, and don’t be afraid to try something new with your lights. Always remember that even the simplest setups can produce photos that look like they’re worth a thousand bucks.
A light box or light tent is a box that is made of a translucent material on all sides. This serves as a diffuser to the light source.
To setup light boxes, place it on a table to make it easier for you to fix and adjust the product while shooting. Place your lights on each side of the box to effectively illuminate the product. Next, place your desired backdrop inside the box and make sure that there aren’t any wrinkles or dust.
Fiddle with your light and make adjustments as needed. Take note that moving the product inside box affects the shadows produced as well. It would be recommended to put a small marker on where you would like the item to be shot, especially when you’re shoot more than one product, to come out with the same result on all the items.
ARTICLE BY TABITHA FERNAN