I’m just passing the time by on my lunch, since I can’t do much while I’m stuffing my face. Not sure why I am spending so much time researching product photography, but they are interesting to watch.
First is Karl Taylor setting up a product photograph. I posted a video of his previously where he was photographing a wine bottle. In this video he has a slew of cosmetics…
This guy is an absolute master. Everything about his method is getting things right in camera with minimal editing later. I gush every time I see his studio and the gross amount of equipment and modifiers he has at his disposal. I haven’t heard him list how long it takes to get some of these product shots, but I expect that he works for hours on some of them.
He starts the video with an explanation and example of the completed shot and then moves to a time-lapse of the setup process. He loosely arranges the items and positions the main light and adjusts its power until he is comfortable with the results. Next, he starts adding in accent lights to provide contouring and interest reflections on the slick black cosmetics cases and tools.
The key to his intense detail is his step-by-step process, adding one light at a time, his attention to detail and his obvious level of experience. This is not dissimilar to what I do with portrait photography: one light at a time.
Watch this video and you will never have a full wallet again… Tens of thousands of dollars, he says, of equipment to make the shot.
Oh, here, this one will make your bank account feel better.
This next video is DIY and extremely budgeted product photography. Basically, he makes a photo tent or box out of an Ikea table. You can purchase tents like these for fairly cheap from Amazon, so I think his actions are a bit counter-intuitive, but this video does describe some useful techniques for lighting.
His “Product Shot Booth,” or a photo tent, is like a miniature studio for photographing small objects. They usually have either bounce or shoot-through-diffuser lighting for all around brightness and soft shadows as well as a curved material, his project paper, that creates a seamless backdrop. An Infinity Plane? I don’t remember the cool word for it.
The next video is from Fstoppers. This setup is a step up from the previous, but not Karl Taylor level.
They’re using a really interesting speedlight modifier that they invented, it looks incredibly effective. They’re also using the MagMod speedlight modifier, I’ve heard of this but I haven’t seen it in action yet. It seems really versatile.
Good advice on the step-by-step setup in this video, a look at some cool modifiers and different speedlight brands, and some advice about getting some quality condensation.