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Entries in foamcore (2)

Thursday
Apr052012

Behind the Scenes: White Backdrops for Product Photography

Hello Thursday, April 5th! May I ask how you got here so quickly? Well this week is zooming by for me. I still have so much to accomplish before the weekend when I get to see my brother, go out and take pictures with him and his girlfriend, and have a big Easter feast. I'm really looking forward to the family time but oh, so much has to get done beforehand. Feeling slightly overwhelmed this morning but hopefully after crossing off some big things on the to-do list today, I'll feel better.

Today I want to share a Behind the Scenes post and let you in on a few of my tips for using white backdrops in product photography. This is the setup I used for my Ombré Pennant Flags DIY last week. 

Sometimes I like shooting products on textured surfaces, like this weathered bench you see above, and other times I like simple, white surfaces. Choosing your backdrop and surfaces is up to you and a lot of it has to do with your own style and the mood you are trying to capture in the pictures. You also want to take into account what compliments the product best. Your product should stand out and be the focus. Sometimes with textures, your product can get lost in all the visual detail which is something you should watch out for.

For these product shots, I placed two white foamcore boards outside and photographed my product on them. The boards are texture free so all of the focus was on the bright colors of my flags...which is exactly what I wanted to accomplish. Not only are the boards functioning as backdrops but since they are white, light is bouncing off of them, eliminating shadows and making the entire scene brighter. I 100% recommend working in natural light like I did here. Pictures always look better (in my opinion). I shot this when there was a lot of ambient light. It was in the later afternoon so the sun wasn't direct (which causes harsh shadows) but there was still a lot of available light. A few hours before sunset is always a good time to take pictures. It is known as the "golden hours."

Again I'll stress the worth-it investment of a few pieces of foamcore. I use mine all the time and it is an easy and cheap way to improve your pictures. Sometimes I just prop them up on the sides to use as light reflectors, like I did here, and other times I use them as backdrops like I did for this project. They are handy and flexible tools. Better product photography doesn't necessarily have to break the bank. A few simple changes can make a big difference.

Do you take product photos for your blog or your handmade business? What are your favorite techniques for better pictures?  

Thursday
Feb162012

Behind the Scenes: Mini Studio Setup

Happy Thursday friends! Yesterday I was shooting pictures for my February Whisker Graphics DIY (which I will share soon). It was cloudy and rainy all day and trying to find good natural light to shoot in was a challenge. I had to create a make-shift studio on the fly to capture my images. I decided to snap a few images of my setup and then share them here so that you could see how I deal with challenging light situations. As you will see, my setup is very primitive, nothing professional and I use whatever materials I can find on hand. 

I find that natural light is really the key. I always want to shoot in it. Pictures just look better (in my opinion). Like I said, it was very dark yesterday and all the ambient light was streaming in through this large window. I knew I wanted to shoot on this desk because it was near the light. In my experience light-colored surfaces photograph better too so that was another reason for picking the desk. Finally, I propped up two foamcore boards to bounce light from the window back onto the subject, my craft I was styling. Without the foamcore to reflect light, the subject would have a really bright side (the side closest to the window) and a heavily shadowed side. Sometimes you want a moody picture with that harsh contrast between light and dark but that was not my vision for this shot. The foamcore boards bounce the light and eliminate shadow.

The Key to Better Product Shots:

{1} natural light

{2} white foamcore to bounce light & eliminate shadow -

could also use a white sheet or large white posterboard, anything large & white

{3} light-colored surface - helps in bouncing the light

These are the three keys to my product photography and I implement each one in every shoot. I am still learning and with each picture I take I learn a bit more about lighting and styling and photography. I find these work the best for me. They are also cheap options. Foamcore is super inexpensive and you can use the same boards over and over again. Natural light is free! And light colored surfaces aren't too hard to find either. I have a few favorite go-tos in my home.

Do you setup mini studios for your product shots? What are some of your techniques for capturing light and making your subject look great? I would love to hear tricks of the trade that other photographers have picked up.