5 lighting tips for product photography in the studio

5 lighting tips for product photography in the studio

Jun 04 , 2020

Nowadays, online shopping has become an important form of shopping in people's life. Online shopping gives you more choices then you could make comparison and choose what you want. And those pictures of good quality online would attract more customers. This article would introduce some lighting tips for studio photography.


Why we need lighting for photography


Lighting is to ensure plenty of brightness. Those who have taken pictures know that in the light-poor environment, you could shoot nothing but a piece of black.


Lighting could make the product more colourful and detail-oriented. The colourful and detail-oriented product could attract potential customers to purchase products. If the pictures of the products are dim and with unclear outline then nobody would remain a second or more.

5 lighting tips for product photography


1. Use soft light to shoot the objects with high reflective index 


Soft light is the light with diffuse reflection and unclear direction, which would not produce the obvious shadow on the subject and would create the harmonious tone for the work. Soft light is used for shooting the objects with high reflective index  like metal, glass, water surface, etc., to avoid reflective effects on the picture, but also highlight the characteristics and features of the subject.
When shooting glassware, photographer often use the soft light that comes in from the window to highlight the texture of the subject. At the same time, horizontal composition is useful for improving the perspective of the picture.

2. Use hard light to improve the sense of depth


Hard light shooting would create obvious shadow. Hard light makes the subjects’ back side and lighting side which features strong contrast. In this way, the texture and depth sense of the subject would be well-presented.
When shooting wood products, using side light would form a clear shadow and the strong contrast, which enhances the texture and presents the original colour of the subject.


3. Use lighting to present the metal texture


Metal surface is easy to reflect, and the surrounding environment of the metal object will also reflect on the metal surface. So shooting for metal objects is generally worked in a dim environment, with a full-enclosed or semi-enclosed lighting to achieve the desired effect.
When shooting metal objects, you need to highlight the texture and depth sense of the metal. In addition, a single background should be selected based on the metallic color in order to effectively highlight the subject.

4. Use backlight to present the glass's permeable texture


Backlight shooting is one of the photography methods by placing the subject between the camera and light. Backlight is difficult to control. Backlight is often used for portrait photography, landscape photography and so on. For the still life photography, backlight is used to improve the  permeability  of the glass products and styling characteristics.

5. Use shadows to create the sense of depth


Shadows are used by photographers to represent sense of depth of an object, which makes  the subject a sense of space not just a projection onto a flat surface. Similarly, side light, top light and bottom light can also cast deep and long shadows, creating a sense of depth. Therefore, photographers like to use the light of specific direction.

Light positions


Background light: highlights the background and outlines the subject.
Top light: creates a soft top light that is suitable for portrait photography.
Main light: this is the essential lighting in the studio.
Fill light: eliminates or abates the shadow that main light illuminates.


Sometimes we also use reflectors. The white reflector is used to increase the brightness, while the black reflector reduces the brightness of the subject to make the strong contrast of the photograph.

Three rules about light sources :

1. the farther the light source, the darker the subject.
2. the broaderthe light source, the softer the light.
3. the closer the light source, the softer the light.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published