When it comes to making high-quality shots with affordable gear, Dustin Dolby is full of ideas. This time, he guides you through a workflow of shooting classic high-key shots of cosmetic products and getting almost everything done in-camera.
He made these photos for Spela’s catalog. When you shoot a great number of photos, you want to make them as good as they can get in-camera, so you don’t spend an eternity in post. Dustin shares his setup and tricks for achieving the perfect look of these subjects, so you can minimize the time you spend editing.
Dustin’s setup involves some inexpensive items:
- Light stands
- Black Plexiglas/White Plexiglas
- Yongnuo Speedlight
- Yongnuo Transmitter
- Tripod + Ballhead
- Opteka 85mm f/1.8 lens
- Black foam board
- White foam board
For the backlight, the speedlight shoots into the octabox with a diffusion panel in front. A stripbox with a speedlight on the right is the main light, and white foam board on the left adds some fill. He uses two pieces of black foam board to add some solid shadows to the product and make it stand out from the background.
Considering that he’s photographing lip gloss, there are photos of the closed bottles, and then there’s each bottle paired with an applicator. One thing you can do is shoot the same applicator with different lip glosses, and then digitally change color. I’ve seen this a lot in catalogs, and personally – I like Dustin’s solution better. He photographed each lip gloss with its matching applicator. It doesn’t only look more organic and natural, but also saves you some time in post-processing.
Dustin demonstrates the effect of removing the reflector, the black boards and turning off the back light. But for this type of look, leaving all three in their places works best.
As for the post-processing, the whole idea is to make it minimal. With this setup, almost everything is done during the shoot itself. You need to paste the white parts on the entire image and maybe add some gradient to the reflection, and that’s pretty much it. Here are some of the final images:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and got some inspiration for your future projects. If you’d like to see more of Dustin’s tutorials and get ideas for professional-looking images on the cheap, check out his YouTube channel.
[How to Photograph Cosmetic Products | Pack Shots | worphlo]