Studio Quality Product Photography With a $12 Set Up
Anderson Soap Company is one of the most successful Etsy sellers with LOADS of sales! This photography demo uses his liquid soap as the photography example. Look at his Etsy shop to observe the consistency in picture styles that creates a cohesive photo theme of all his products. Learn from the best – browse his shop – and you might even find some soap you’ve gotta have!
I took this picture in my kitchen. It looks like a photograph I could have done in the studio, using complicated lighting equipment. I did not. Here is a step by step guide showing you how you can to do it.
Here’s what you’ll need for this product photography set up.
1. A cardboard box you can use to cut a piece from.
2. A roll of aluminum foil, it’s easier with a wider one.
3. A piece of tracing paper of at least 20” of width and 3 feet in length. You can also use any white, no color, translucent material that you have around your home.
4. One 6” spring clamp.
This is one of those times when bigger is indeed better.
Cut a flat panel from the box that is much bigger than the thing you want to photograph. Make it as big as you can but not so much that it becomes unhandy to move around.
1. Cut a piece of foil a bit larger than the cardboard. You can use several pieces of foil to cover the board if you need to.
2. The duller side of the aluminum foil will give a softer light than the shinny side – the shiny side will reflect much more light . I used the dull side for this picture.
3. Fold around the cardboard and tape it.
4. Congratulations! You just made a reflective card.
Now you will need to redecorate your home a bit, move a table as close to a window as you can.
Is your furniture high enough? Make sure that the top of the table is higher than the window sill.
Don’t let the neighbors watch. Tape the piece of tracing paper to the window. Use a single piece to avoid seeing seams and put the paper so it goes down the window well below the top of the table.
Put a long piece of aluminum foil on the table, I used the dull side up for this picture. Place your product close to the window.
Fold down the foil to have a clean edge.
Use the card so the light coming in from the window bounces back to reach the bottle.
Play with the angle of the card to find the position that puts the most light on your product.
Once you find an angle you like move the card as close as you can to the product – without showing it in the picture.
Now you are ready to take a picture!
Take many. Try taking a few too light pictures and some too dark too. Try different camera angles as well. You can choose later the one you like best.
Next week we’ll show you how to make this photograph of handmade soap.
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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