How to Take Product Photos on a Budget

Believe it or not, you can shoot professional quality product photos using tools that cost you less than $10. That’s of course not counting the camera and the lens. If you always thought that product photography required great quality lighting, a professional white background, and other specialized gear, this video might be an eye-opener for you:

Photographer Luke Ayers shares a simple technique that uses supplies you can buy at your local hardware store.

Supplies for DIY Product Photos

  • a table set up next to a wall
  • a white flexible background (you need it to be curved to create a seamless/infinite background for your images)
  • a couple of clamps to hold the background into position
  • fluorescent light bulbs
  • a shoebox (preferably white)
  • a sheet of baking paper

How to Light a Product Photo

A bright fluorescent light hanging one and a half feet from your product is bound to create some strong shadows. To counter this, Ayers shares two tips.

  1. Place a shoebox (presuming it is white) on the right of the product facing the light. This works like a reflector, throwing some light back on to the product and thereby lifting the shadows.

diy reflector

  1. Cut out the top of a shoebox and tape a sheet of baking paper on top of it. Use this as a diffuser by placing it between the light and the product. The diffusing material (baking paper) makes the harsh florescent light appear softer. Shadows are reduced and the whole image looks a lot more professional. For best results, add the diffuser box and the reflector together.

diy diffuser

And there you have it: an easy and inexpensive method for getting professional looking product photos.

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