When you start with photography first time, definitely, natural light is the way to go. It does not requires too much gear and it is really a great starting point in your photography learning journey.
It can be portrait, wedding or product, the possibilities are endless. In this post we are going to talk about some DIY natural light product photography.
Let's say you have a product you wish to sell on Etsy and want to take pictures of them yourself, here are some tips on how to do it in a simple way using mother nature's natural light.
You can take this product photo with your mobile phone or with your DSLR. In this blogpost the final images will be taken with a Canon D700 and with a 50mm (1.8) lens.
I am going to demonstrate my photoshoot on the following product: the Rose Gold Sparkling Serum.
Choose Manual Mode:
You should begin truly control your exposure. This is one of the largest step you can take to transition from camera button pusher to artist. When you begin to control the photo you are envisioning the outcome for the photo.
A photographer constantly acquiring more and more gear, well it is a lot of money. Yes it is still possible to make great photos with the kit lens - so hold back those horses! - but it has it's limitations of course; the kit lens usually is an 18-55mm lens with a "slow" aperture. That slow aperture limits you to well-lit environments. Now this project we are doing is a well lit area, so even a kit lens would do just fine the job.
When the time has come and you can afford an upgrade it is important to make the right choice by choosing a faster lens - with larger aperture - that gives you great value in terms of photographic output.
Use Plain White Background:
It means that product images mostly photographed with a white seamless background. It can be white printing paper or a bigger cardboard, depends on your subject. You even can build your mini studio like I did as the picture shows below.
I went to the Dollar Tree and I bought a big sheet of white paper ( $0.65) and a display cardboard which is white on one side ($1). The white side of the cardboard will bounce the light onto my subject from the window.
Now that we have our big light source - the sun behind the clouds - through the window and our white paper, we are going to need a diffuser, also to bounce the light onto our subject from the front.
Our subject will be surrounded with light this way from 3 sides (left on the picture is the window our main source light, in front of us there is the big white cardboard which will bounce the light back on our subject, and I will place a little foil card opposite with the window , to the left of the big cardboard so it will bounce back our window light onto the subject).
Let's make a DIY one from Aluminium Foil.
It is time to place our subject on the stage and see if we are happy with what we see:
Other useful tips:
If you have to work with long exposure due to lack of light you will need a tripod. Do not waste time trying to a non-blurry photo when hand holding in poor light conditions.
Other Elements Around the Subject:
As you can see I added some dried rose petals, leaves and buds around my subject to make it more appealing on some photos. It is important to take photos of the subject alone on the white background without any disturbing elements. After we have done so, we can place different items around our main subject.
f1/8 , 1/125sec , ISO-100
Play around with props, what is pleased to your eye, will be a great photo.
Make sure your subject is well lit, try different compositions and move the diffuser around the subject, so the product itself shows all the necessary details.
Hope you found these tips useful, if you did, feel free to share this post!