The norm of photography has yet another important subcategory i.e, product photography. Product photography is needed for a variety of purposes but the most important of it all is for advertisement. Your photography skills correlate with how well your product will sell. It is all about capturing the most ideal aesthetic of a product.
Many variables such as background presentation, camera angle, product placement, models, photo editing, etc are factors that make or break your product images. But out of them all, lighting plays a vital role to take your product photography to a whole other level. And it is exactly what we will be talking about today.
When it comes to lighting for product photography, there are some crucial types of lights that you must acknowledge. These include — key lights, fill lights, rim lights, and background lights.
Key lights are the main source of lighting used for any photoshoot. This type of lighting is crucial to bring out the dimensions and form of a product. Any professional photography will religiously use key lights as the first step of their lighting setup.
Fill lights are supplementary light sources usually used to physically reduce the contrast of an image. Such lighting also significantly reduces unwanted shadows from a product and can be considered as the second most important lighting requirement for good product photography.
Rim lights are light sources placed behind the photography subject which highlights its edges. Rim lights (also called backlights) are used for lighting techniques such as 3 point lighting, adding a better dimension to the subject. And so it plays a huge role in capturing all the details of a product during product photography.
Lastly, we have background lights. The name of this lighting is rather literal — background lights are light sources used to highlight the background of an image. It plays a major role in product photography by creating a well-lit background ambiance for the product.
We have looked at the lighting types but what of the lighting options? What kind of lights are out there that would prove useful for product photography? To answer these queries, we will be listing the best lighting options for your product photoshoot.
● Continuous lights
● Speed lights
Continuous lights ( also known as hot lights ) are the most basic lights used in a studio setting. There are three common types of continuous lights: Fluorescent, LED, and Tungsten filament bulbs, all of which provide varying degrees of warmth in the light they shed. Fluorescent light is the most common out of these for product photography.
Speed lights are lights with external flashes which work faster than the average camera flashes. For product photography, such lights are essential in balancing the light exposure of your products and adds extra lighting when other light sources are insufficient. It can also be used to trigger other flash sources and can do well in capturing fast-moving objects.
Monolights light sources usually found in studios. They are powered by capacitors and hence can work without external power sources and also come with adjustable stands and reflectors. It is a great lighting option for product photography as it can be easily set up in different positions, allowing the photographer to use different lighting techniques to enhance the look of their products.
When you think about it, the dynamics of mastering product photography do not take sweat and blood effort. So to help you further, we will be sharing some proven tips to improve your product photography skills using your lighting setup.
1. Your first rule of thumb should be making a habit of using multiple light sources. Sure natural lighting can work well in some situations but to add that extra punch of awesomeness, using artificial lights are more preferable although less budget-friendly.
2. To avoid light flares at outdoor settings in the daytime, you can use softboxes or umbrellas that can be adjusted to any desired angle. Do not be afraid of using flashes since they terminate extra exposure and also enhance the clarity of your image. Speed lights are also highly recommended.
3. If you are not using multiple light sources or are using natural lights only, make sure to experiment with your product placement or camera angle. Light and shadows may vary at different angles and positions, so if you do not have a fill light in your setup, try changing things other than the lighting.
4. Colour combinations can change your whole product photography game. If the color of your backdrop or background setting does not compliment your product’s color, your image may look darker or just unfitting. Even different lighting techniques may not be able to rescue that. So make sure to choose your colors wisely.
If you are thinking of trying out product photography but confused about the necessary lighting equipment along with the common & most essential gears, many lighting kits exist to make your life easier. So what’s better than to close the curtains other than shedding light onto some of the best lighting kits for product photography?
Hence we are listing highly recommended lighting kits right below —
● YICOE Softbox Photography Lighting Kit
● Bolt VB-11 Bare-Bulb Flash and Accessory Kit
● Profoto B10 Off-Camera Flash Duo Kit
● Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4/4 Softbox To Go Kit
● Westcott Speedlite Kit
● Novatron M150 2 Monolight Kit
Finally, we would like to say that the trick to a good product photograph is understanding how to tackle the lighting issues that a camera alone cannot take over. We hope our discussion today has been helpful for you — that is all.