By Using Different Lighting Techniques You Can Create Great Product Shots!
Working with off camera light can be really scary! Trust me I know. But there is no better way to get over that fear than to jump in and start exploring with whatever lighting equipment you can! It is truly amazing the difference that a little lighting can do. There are several different kinds of artificial lighting that you can use and I will explain some of those sources as well as show you examples. Okay lets get into it!
Continuous lights are great because they are constant! So what you see is what you get! The light will stay where it is until you move it and it will light your subject as is. A cheap way to have continuous light is to use a LED light Like this one sold on Amazon! I really like using these because as I mentioned before, what you see is what you get, you don’t have to wait for a strobe or flash to go off to see how your lighting is.
Here are some examples of continuous light product photos:
This first shot was simply set up on a counter top! I added some fruit as if the blender was about to be used to make a morning smoothie! Use other objects to help style the product you want to highlight!
This shot was really simple as well! With the continuous light placed to the left of the Luna bars it created that shadow that adds to the image!
These two shots were done in two different ways! The herb shot was taken by separating the subject from its background. It gives the shot more depth. I added a few dried herb leaves to style the bottle and it came together nicely. It doesn’t take a million items to style a product, just a few leaves can do the trick! The second photo was taken from above. What you seen in the picture were all laid out on the floor with the continuous light placed to the left of the image. The product is the olive oil and the other items were added to create a story. When I see the photo it makes me think of a Sunday spaghetti dinner!
Flash on Black Background:
This type of lighting can add a different look to your shot. I find that this option doesn’t need as much dressing up but rather it makes products almost stand alone. I will show you what I mean below.
This picture has a styling element in it. The rose paints a picture of a beautifully laid out proposal just waiting to happen!
Where as this shot is just a product standing alone. They are both great techniques and you will have to use your best judgement to see which technique is best for whatever product you are shooting. Both of these shots were taken with a flash. The first with a flash to the left and the second with a flash to the right.
Other Lighting Options:
I touched on a very few lighting options but there are so many more! The first image below was originally taken with just kitchen light! But what made it look so great was what I did in editing it. Knowing different editing techniques can give the look of what they call in the industry “light painting” without the trouble of setting it all up. I lowered the exposure and then used a technique taught to me by famed photographer Steven Hatch, where you used radial filters to manually place your light! You can see more of Steven Hatch’s work here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shatch/
The second photo was taken using a soft box. A soft box is just a white box with lights shining through to give it a covered in light look!
This final sot was taken on Plexiglas with a flash coming from underneath the bottle. This technique can create some really cool looking product shots!
Learning to manipulate light is our job as photographers! It takes time so do not be discouraged! I hope you try out some of these lighting options and I would love to see how they turned out!