How can you use lighting techniques to create interesting compositions in your product photos?

Use light and shadow to tell a story. Learning to manipulate light to tell the perfect story is the fundamental skill of a professional product. Lighting techniques for product photography consist of using the right light to make the product or products look their best. It doesn't matter if you use a fixed camera or record a video about a product, lighting the products in the right way will play a big role.

When the product lights up the right way, the buyer in all of us will come out and make us want the product. In all likelihood, unless you're doing lifestyle photography, you probably won't be working much in natural light as a product photographer. For this product to be irresistible to consumers, the photographer needs to know what elements to draw attention to and how to use effective techniques, such as lighting, retouching and composition, to truly capture the viewer. Including product photos on your website also improves search engine optimization (SEO), since each photo is accompanied by a description of the product.

However, for product photographs, square or rectangular soft boxes are the best option, especially if reflective objects are being photographed. Now that you know that shadows and light play a big role in product photography, try to figure out where the photographer placed the light to achieve a certain effect. Practically everyone interested in photography has heard of the rule, from landscape and nature photographers to food and product photographers. Over the past few weeks, PHLEARN has published a couple of new professional tutorials on product photography, from what makes it different and the tricks you can use to take great product photos to how to masterfully retouch and compose images at a professional level.

For the novice product photographer, becoming familiar with the different lights and their functions would help to understand the composition of a photograph. Learning to manipulate light to tell the perfect story is the fundamental skill of a professional product photographer. If you photograph these products in front of a light background, make sure that the bottles are full to accentuate the logo. And, for anyone interested in learning the ins and outs of creating professional product photos, be sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Product Photography tutorial.

While you want to photograph most of your products head-on, consider moving the product away from the center a bit if you're going to create a feature for the home page of your website or taking photos for social media. In addition, printing is a very effective technique when you photograph a product that comes in many flavors or colors (e.g., don't think for a moment that all the best product and advertising photographers understood it right from day one).

Daphne Mahl
Daphne Mahl

Friendly travel advocate. Hardcore tv trailblazer. Certified coffee specialist. Certified burrito practitioner. Freelance beer lover. Subtly charming music trailblazer.

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