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How To: Shoot Product Photography

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

Other than photographing people, I really enjoy product photography. There is a different level of creativity needed for product photography. When shooting editorial photography or just people in general, you have to think on a big scale. Product photography requires you to think on a smaller scale to achieve a certain look and feel for a photograph. In this post, I go over how I shot the pink Dove image and some trick and techniques of product photography.

The Set-Up:

For this shoot, I set up a table with a pink background hanging from a background stand. The trick here is to have the backdrop curved towards the table and tapped down to create a seamless look.

They say in product photography that you have to understand how the light hits your product. I moved the bottle around to see how the bottle responded to the light. I placed the bottle down on the set with a slice of pomegranate. I set up one light to the left of the product at a 45-degree angle.

To get that slight highlight on the right-hand side, I used paper. Yes, that's right, white paper that I cut down smaller to bounce the light from the left. You can also use white foam core boards cut into smaller pieces to bounce light around.

To get the dark edge at the right side, I used a dark board and blocked off some of the light coming from the strobe. I had to play around with my placement of the board to get something I liked.

I metered the light and my readings for this set up was f/8.0 @ 1/125 and ISO 100.

Post-processing Tricks:

In product photography, it is best to capture most of the lighting in-camera. However, there are some techniques and tricks that are done in Photoshop. It was impossible in my lighting set up to create a bright highlight on the left side of the Dove bottle. I had to create a clipping path and convert it to a selection to add a white gradient to create the bright highlight.

For those who want to learn how to use the pen tool, here is a handy video:

The original pomegranate did not have as many seeds. I used the clone stamp tool to create a fuller pomegranate by copying and pasting parts of the seeds into other sections. I "erased" certain parts of the seeds to make it look more realistic.

Here is a video for the clone tool:


  1. Anything as a backdrop: Don't be afraid to use anything you think of a backdrop. It can be as simple as a placemat or wallpaper.

  2. Make foam core boards your friend: Foam core boards can be cut down to size easily and used to either bounce light around. You can use the black foam core boards to remove light hitting an object for more creative control.

  3. Backlighting: If there is one take away from all of this is backlighting. Move your light to hit the back of the object either directly behind or bounce it off the backdrop. Depending on the product, this can highlight the products best features. This will be a starting point for you and you can continue to add lights to highlight other areas or bounce light around using foam core boards.

  4. Macro lenses: These are a must if you are shooting smaller objects such as a ring. This will bring out much more detail and will allow you to get closer to the object.

  5. Moving the light: Don't be afraid to move the light around to see how the light affects the object. Pay particular attention to how the light is shaping the object and what features it highlights in the product.

Let me know about your latest product or food photography experiments. Comment down below.

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