Lighting Tips for Better Product Photography

In product photography it is extremely important that the subject looks as appealing as possible whether it's a box of cold medicine or a cheese burger. This is largely achieved through lighting. Here are three lighting tips for better product photography.

Diffuse the Key Light

As with any lighting set up you want most of your light to come from one source. For product photography, soft light that comes from a diffused key light tends to be more visually appealing than harsh light because the beam wraps around the product creating a minimal amount of shadows.

The best diffusion that creates the softest beams tends to be made out of thick materials like tracing paper and white plastic. The trade off for these materials is that they tend to cut a lot of the light that passes through them. So if you're going to use heavy diffusion make sure you're also using a very bright light.

Create Harsh Edge Light

A halo around the edges of your products has the effect of making it appear grand and glamourous. In order to accomplish this you need to use a light that has a harsh beam to really highlight the edge. A fresnel light without any diffusion will do the trick.

Eliminate the Hot Spots

Overexposed pieces of the products will create the impression that it was poorly lit. To overcome this you should use flags and nets to reduce the light. However, sometimes those are too large for the task and create more problems than solutions. That's why you should have a dots and fingers set with you when doing product photography. Dot and fingers are miniature versions of flags that can eliminate small problems without causing big ones.