Blog

9 Product Photography Lighting Tips You Need to Use to Get the Best Shots

January 2, 2020

The lighting you use can make or break a photo. So what do we do to make our photos so amazing? We use these product photography lighting tips and tricks.

Lighting is one of the most important elements of photography.

If you take pictures of products to sell to the public, you won't get as many responses if your photographs aren't well lit.

This article will give you 9 tips for product photography lighting so you can have beautiful photos.

1. Use a Plain Background

When taking pictures of your product, it's important to have a plain background so as not to distract from the subject.

Invest in a photography backdrop to make your background uniform.

Alternatively, take your photos against a plain wall. You want to make sure your product is the main object in the photo.

Depending on your product, your background will change. For instance, if you're selling baseball gloves it might be smart to photograph someone wearing your glove on a baseball field.

2. Salute the Sun

Natural lighting is a photographer's best friend.

This is why it's important to take photos when the sun is out.

If you can't take photos outside, more your products in front of a window for a photoshoot.

Soft morning light and soft evening light are generally best for photos. Natural light during the middle of the day near noon can come off as too harsh.

Open your windows and blinds and allow as much natural light in as possible. This will prevent you from having to use fluorescent light.

Natural light will make your products look more appealing.

3. Adjust Your Aperture

If you want to take good product photos you need to learn to shoot in manual mode.

If you're going to shoot in manual mode, you need to understand aperture.

The aperture, or f-stop, determines how much light is let into the camera through a whole. The lower your f-stop number, the larger the whole will be.

The f-stop also determined the depth of field in a photo. A low f-stop will give a photo a shallow depth of field.

This is good when you're focusing on a product. It will bring the object out while blurring the background slightly.

If your object is large and you want to capture the background as well, use a higher f-stop number.

4. Find Your Shutter Speed

Another element of photography you will want to consider is shutter speed.

The slower your shutter speed, the more light is let into the camera.

If you are shooting in low light conditions you will need to use a slow shutter speed.

If your object is moving, you will need to increase the shutter speed in order to freeze the motion.

5. Think ISO

ISO is the third element you need to consider in your photography.

Adjusting your ISO will determine how light your photos are. A high ISO means lighter photos while a low ISO means darker photos.

Be careful not to turn your ISO up too high or you will create digital noise that makes your photos look blurry.

A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 1600 ISO unless absolutely necessary. It is better to slow your shutter speed and lower your aperture instead of jacking up the ISO.

6. Add Your Own Light

In an ideal world, the sun would be all we need to take amazing photos.

However, the reality is that on most days the sun simply won't provide enough light.

When this happens it's important you have your own lighting systems. Invest in at least two lights so that your object can be lit from two different angles.

Use these lights to illuminate your product and avoid using flash. Flash photography makes products look cheap and tacky.

Many professional photographers avoid flash altogether and focus on adjusting the camera settings and the light available to them.

7. Reflect Light

One of the best ways to get more light in your shot is to reflect what's already there.

Mirrors brighten rooms and can give more light to your object.

Photography reflectors can also be held up to increase light and guide it where you want it to go.

8. Use Adobe To Edit

No matter how good of a photographer you are, chances are your photos will need to be retouched slightly.

Adobe Lightroom is an amazing software for editing your photos. Lightroom is intuitive so even a novice photographer can use it. It also comes in the form of an app so you can edit photos straight off your phone.

You can adjust the exposure to make your photos lighter or darker. You can also remove any abnormalities and modify the colors in the photo.

9. Get Professional Help

Not everyone can be a photo whizz.

Photography is very difficult. Even after following these tips you might not be creating the quality photos you desire.

This is when you should hire professional help to take your photos. Professionals will have all the tools they need to capture bright photos of your product. You won't have to worry about investing in an expensive camera or lighting techniques.

We can be sure your products are captured beautifully and that your brand is encapsulated by your photos.

Follow These Tips for Perfect Product Photography Lighting

Finding the right product photography lighting is a difficult task.

There are many elements at play at one time. It's easy to forget to use natural light, or adjust your f-stop, or edit your photos.

However, well-lit photos can make or break your business. Your customers want to see what you're selling and be drawn in by the photographic elements.

Check out our article on why it's so important to capture high-quality photos for your business.

Kyle Nelson

About the Author

Kyle Nelson, CEO of Results Imagery has a background in media, branding and marketing. With past start-up success and noticing an emerging need in premium eCommerce media services, he co-founded Results Imagery; allowing the industry to have a full-service studio option serving national clientele ranging from fortune 500 companies to small mom-and-pop boutiques.