Besides getting expensive all-around lighting setups in a big studio space, it is also possible to have lighting for product photography at home. In this article, we will explain the key to home product photography and tell you what equipment to use and what lighting techniques to apply for a simple one-light product lighting setup to get high quality product photos.
What is the key to lighting for product photography at home?
The key is to show the true product colors. Color accuracy is critical in any form of product photography. Many buyers make purchases depending on the colors displayed in your product picture. Customers will be dissatisfied if the colors of the things they receive do not match.
Every screen has a unique color calibration. The colors you see on your phone, TV, or laptop may all be different. We do, however, have a fundamental rule to follow. Make sure you're utilizing genuine white continuous lights and flashes. They are frequently referred to as "photographic-specific tint lights". True white light won't produce any color cast. There won't be blue, green, or warm orange tints in the product images.
What equipment to use for home product photography lighting?
Firstly, you should understand that if you whip out your phone and try to take a product photo, it's going to look bad. There will be light coming in from many different light sources, your windows, and all the different lights in your room. In this situation, you have no control over the light. When we light stuff with intention we can control all aspects of the light, we control the direction it's coming from, its intensity, and whether it's diffused or harsh. By being in control of the light we can shape it and produce the image we want.
And there are two main ways of controlling the lighting for product photography at home. That is, how we position it and how we diffuse it. Therefore, you may need the following lighting equipment if you are a novice product photographer and want to take photos with one light.
- An LED constant light for photography. This is one of the best lights for home product photography. It offers continuous illumination to ensure the “what you see is what you get” effect. It is simple to operate, adjustable in color temperature and brightness and produces less heat to make you feel comfortable even in a small home studio.
- Light stand: It holds the light source and enables you to control the distance from the product and adjust the angle for various effects.
- Diffusers: They are used to soften lighting for product photography at home. According to the area of your home photography studio, you can choose from big light domes, five-in-one reflectors, umbrellas, to softboxes.
- Background: They come in different colors and work to make the product stand out.
How to light at home product photography with one light?
Here are four common ways that you can use for lighting for product photography at home. They are different in light quality (ie. soft or hard lighting), angles, and positions to provide various product images.
Soft 45-degree lighting: Position the light 45 degrees up and 45 degrees to the right. This is a classic in product photography. It gives you nice even lighting across the whole backdrop, nice even lighting across the product, and a pleasant shadow. It's balanced but not too balanced. There is still some depth to the product and there is a shadow on the right side of the product, and that's exactly what we want. we have depth, we have texture. This is awesome.
Soft top light: Raise the light all the way up and move it towards the center. However, this type of centered lighting makes the products look boring. It's a safe lighting setup, but safe isn't always good. If you're photographing white background shots, this could be good.
Soft side lighting: Side lighting gets you super long shadows. It shows off the textures of the product really well, and you can get really cool contrast between highlights and shadows. This happens because the product is blocking a lot of the light and it gives its right side this cool look.
Hard side lighting: Take the same lighting for product photography at home as the above setup but make it harsh. How do we do that? You can simply remove the diffusion. No diffusion gives us this awesome harsh light just like the morning sun. We've got more pronounced shadows, better texture, different reflections, and a whole new look to this image. The contrast between highlights and shadows is even more dramatic here.