Lighting for ArtFire Photography

One of the most important things when selling products online are the pictures that are posted. These pictures are what grab the eye of the customer initially, allow them to determine what sort of quality product they will be receiving, and ultimately help them make their decision whether or not they plan to purchase from you.

Lighting for ArtFire Photography

Most beginner photographers make the mistake of thinking that the camera is the most important part of product photography. Sure, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a several thousand dollar DSLR camera but the real killer of most product photographs and photographs in general is lighting. If the picture you are taking does not have proper lighting, the quality of the final product will be more likely to turn out poor.

For most ArtFire Sellers who don’t tend to dabble in photography outside of snapping shots of their products, knowing how to get proper lighting can be a challenge. But never fear! Here is a crash course in product photography lighting that will get your product pictures looking professional quality in no time.

Lighting for ArtFire Photography

The first step in creating lighting is determining your source of light, and luckily we have several options. The first option we have is sunlight. It may seem simple or too good to be true, but you can use the sunlight for your product photography. If you have a window that gets a reliable amount of light from day to day, that could be a great source of lighting for you. The problem that photographers tend to run into when they are entirely sunlight dependent is that the weather doesn’t always follow your business schedule. So you may want to make sure you have another option available.

Natural Sunlight Product Photography

Those other options come in the form of light bulbs and when photographing there are two major types of lightbulbs that you can use; traditional and studio. Traditional lights are your run of the mill everyday light bulbs that you would put in your lamps at home. These types of lightbulbs are great because they are inexpensive and you can purchase them at most stores. Traditional lights come in two different kinds that can be used for different things. Incandescent bulbs are the first kind that you can use, they last longer and are typically more energy efficient. Incandescent bulbs are great to use if you are looking for a warmer (yellower) lighting. On the other hand you have fluorescent bulbs; fluorescent bulbs are a bit cooler than incandescent bulbs and produce more amount of light per watt.

The other type of lightbulbs that you could potentially use in your photography session are studio lights. Studio lights come in three main types which are fluorescent, LED, and Tungsten. Like the traditional lights, each type of lightbulb can offer a different product of lighting and which one you choose really depends upon what you’re trying to do. Fluorescent lights put off a lower output than the other two options but are cheaper and more readily available. LED lights are highly energy efficient and tend to last a long time. And Tungsten lights are the brightest but generate a large amount of heat when used.

The second step in creating your lighting is determining the level of diffusion that you want in your picture. Diffusion is the softening of light from the sources and creating a less harsh atmosphere in the final product. There are many different options to creating the diffusion that you want; diffusion sheets, light tents, and soft boxes are all great options for creating the level of diffusion you want.

If you are running on a budget or don’t want to invest too much money into your equipment here are some DIY options that you can use to produce professional looking photos for your store without breaking the bank.

One tip for creating some quality lighting on a budget is the Ring Light. Ring lights are great for product photography because they provide a steady and even stream of light coming in from the camera’s point of view and help minimize shadows. As far as expenses go, ring lights can vary in price depending upon where you get yours from. You can go all out and purchase a professionally made one, starting at $89 or you can DIY your own with some wire and LED Lights.

Another thing that you can do to create better lighting for your product photographs is DIY your own light box. Light boxes can again, like the ring light, be fairly expensive but by DIYing your own lightbox, you can save a lot of money and still achieve results. To make your own lightbox, all you need is a cardboard box, fabric, tape, glue, white bristol board, and lights. Check out this article that tells you step by step how to make one!

If you would like more advice on how to better photograph your products don’t hesitate to check out our other tips for product photography right here.

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