Remember that survey at the end of last year? A lot of people asked how I do all my product photography. People asked about how I get those seamless colored backgrounds, what kind of lights I have, what kind of camera I use and more.
So here’s the scoop!
My product photography set-up is amazingly uncomplicated. Paper. Foam core. A window.
I’m not kidding.
Early in the morning the sun shines right in there – which is not so good for photography. Too much glare. That means I shoot all my photos in the afternoon – or I have to tape a piece of plain white tissue paper over the window to filter the light a bit.
That’s my big Ikea-hack ironing board I use as a table. I’ve got a piece of foam core sitting on it for a stable surface. On top of that I’ve got a backdrop of two pieces of foam core that are taped together (hinge-like) with masking tape. It’s easy to fold up and store away, and easy to set-up for a quick shoot.
My backgrounds are big sheets of paper in my favorite colors. See how this one is pinned low to the hinged foam core so that it covers part of the “floor” too? That’s how I get a seamless background.
This is what it looks like from the inside. That white board to the right bounces all kinds of sunlight back onto whatever I’m shooting and fills in the shadows nicely. I can often lean in and use my elbows as a tripod, but I also have a little tripod that I set up sometimes.
This is how I shoot almost all of my cover images.
It’s pretty much the same as the first set-up, but the foam core sheets I use for the frame are about half the height, and the background paper doesn’t wrap up the side.
With this set-up and a step stool (or sometimes a small ladder) I can shoot straight down onto whatever I’m photographing.
Look at the amount of light inside the box, compared to the light outside the box. It’s amazing what just two white surfaces can do! Sometimes I’ll box in that third side too (I just prop up another sheet of foam core) but usually it doesn’t need it.
That’s it! Dead-simple and dirt-cheap product photography.
Oh – and my camera is a Fuji FinePix S700 – nothing too fancy or expensive. I like the grip on it – I can shoot one-handed when necessary. I think it has a manual setting – but I’ve never used it. I like to just point and shoot. 🙂
Update – my Fuji finally died so I bought a new phone with a much better camera – the Google Pixel 2. I love it – especially that it wirelessly sends all photos to my laptop. Fancy!
Oh – and that sweet monster is Byron. He’s one of the Oddballs and totally fun to make. You can get his pattern here.
Do you have any more questions? Just ask in the comments here and I’ll answer them.
edited – Abby asked a question in the comments about why I use colored backgrounds instead of white. You can read my answer in the comments, but I actually have a photo of Byron against a white background that I can show here side by side with the green.