Sunlight is the best light for DIY product photography. Look at this cost-effective window light…
Shoot indoors near a large window. Even if your environment makes it theoretically possible, shooting outdoors introduces too many variables for consistent high quality product photography.
Your window should be large enough to fully light your product in a room that doesn’t cramp your overall DIY studio setup. You need enough room to set up your equipment safely and be able to move around comfortably.
The window light should come into your room at a 90-degree angle to your product. If the light is too direct and harsh, or uneven, try diffusing it. You can hang a sheer white curtain over the window to soften the light and distribute it evenly onto your product.
If you’re feeling truly creative and you have a small product, you can make a DIY soft lightbox. Soft lightboxes create soft, flattering light conditions and minimize shadows.
Use a white background for your product that’s large enough to fill the frame of your shot. There are many cost-effective backdrop options shared by both DIY and professional photographers, like a seamless roll of white paper (one $38 option: Savage Seamless Background Paper, 53″ wide x 12 yards, Super White). You can also use a clean white sheet, plain white walls, or large white foam board.
Prep your product and place it on or in front of your chosen backdrop and directly in front of your camera. If you don’t have great light, or if you’re shooting a dark object, use a white foam board to provide fill light.
>Do you know how to diffuse and reflect natural window light for product photography? Check out this…
“Fill light” is reflected light that helps evenly light a product, preventing shadows and illuminating detail. Cut a piece of foam core board (one $8.99 option: 24X36 1/8″ White Foam Core Backings) about the same size as your product, and stand it straight up next to your product. It should be on the opposite side of your product from the window, directly facing the window, so it reflects the most possible light.
Position your camera on a tripod directly facing your product, with legs adjusted so that it’s level with your product. The camera frame should be mostly filled by your product, with a little bit of extra space around the subject. Set a full focus aperture, follow our DIY camera settings guide, and start shooting!
After your photoshoot, it’s time for post-production. You can follow our DIY guide to editing product images, if you really want your fingerprints on every step of the process. On the other hand, Photoshop has a steep learning curve.
For budget conscious photographers and business owners, there are cheaper, faster, and higher quality options than DIY. Upload your images to Pixelz, set your specs, and get them back in 24 hours or less.
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