Tuesday , 2 September 2014
Here is how you can use daylight to make your backgrounds look pitch-black with only foil and cardboard.

Clothing Photography Tips – Making Your Product Pop

etsy clothing photo tips

Product Photography: When bright and dark things are in the same picture a camera can’t make both look good. Here is how you can use daylight to make your backgrounds look pitch-black.

clothing photography

Set up in a place where daylight is blocked making one side of what you are photographing look very dark. I took this picture at the edge of a covered terrace. The entrance to a garage, a doorway, a window will work well too.

photo tips

Reflect light to brighten the dark side. Put one card at a time, try different angles and look at what difference it makes. The closer you put the card to what you are photographing the brighter it will get. I used two cards in this picture but sometimes using one looks better.

photo tips

The aluminum foil helps put light on the dress but the background still is a lot brighter. The camera will try to make a good picture of everything is has in front -  we want a good exposure for the dress only.

photo tips

Start taking lighter pictures until you get one that makes the dress look good…

photo tips

…  and then the background will become very light.

photo tips

To make a dark background turn the mannequin around. Now you have light on the mannequin and not much light in the background. Yin-Yang!

Dress: a loan by Rocka in Santiago, Chile.

etsy photo tips

The amount of light on the dress and the background is too uneven for the camera to handle. Take a picture that makes the dress look good and the background will become dark!

etsy photo tips

I used the aluminum cards to make the sequence dress look shiny. The thing you are photographing may not need cards at all.

etsy photo tips

The Aluminum Cards:
To make the cards I flattened a cardboard box and glued the inside to make it stay closed. I then glued layers of these flatten boxes to make them rigid. They feel like they might stop a bullet!

More information on how to make an aluminum card?

etsy jewelry photo tips

Using a $6 photography lightbox.

I am an advertising photographer living in NYC. My pictures help large companies sell more and to keep their brands looking fresh. I am also the founder of Via U! , an online studio dedicated to assisting artists selling in Etsy increase their sales too.

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10 comments

  1. Excellent article. I’ll try it today.

  2. Great!! Thank you so much for sharing! I have had problems in the past photographing my aprons and this helps alot! I have tried to use natural light as much as possible. When looking for tips all I could really find was how to use a lightbox…try putting a mannequin in that! I can’t wait to try your tips!
    Thank You!

  3. Great diagrams! Couldn’t have explained it better myself!

  4. Hi,
    Thanks again for the great info. Can’t wait to read your next one. The photos are awesome. I’m getting there. peace, elizabeth

  5. Excellent tips!! Thank you!! I think you meant sequins when referring to the dress. “Sequence” dress made me puzzle a moment!!

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