There are many things to pay attention to if you want to take flawless product photos. One of them is certainly the surface you use for placing the products. While it can be important how it looks, the table you use also affects the light. In this video, Dustin Dolby of workphlo shows you just how much of a difference it can make when you use tables of different sizes.
The table is something many of us overlook when taking product photos, yet it can make a big impact or even make it more challenging for us to get the shots the way we want them. The size of the table determines how close to the bottle you can put your light source. Consequently, it affects the light, especially the highlights on the bottle. If the table is too big, you can’t bring the softbox close enough to the bottle. You can lift the light up and tilt it a bit, but that will significantly change the highlights and the end result.
This is why Dustin suggests building a custom solution. Get a baby wall plate and mount it onto a light stand. Add a piece of white Plexiglas on top, and there you have it. This is way smaller than your regular kitchen table, but you can still make it large enough to add a wine glass, some grapes, or anything else that would create a context.
You can go even smaller if you want to shoot only a single bottle: use a circular plate mounted onto a light stand with the bottle on top of it. A glass turned upside down could work as well: just put the glass onto a table and place the bottle on top of it. This allows you to bring the softbox all the way in. You can also add some fill light on the opposite side by adding a white card.
Make sure to watch the video above for some examples from Dustin. The best thing is that you can get some professional-grade wine shots even with basic gear and DIY solutions. Check out a few more awesome tutorials via these links:
- How to photograph wine bottles with speedlights and a kit lens
- How to photograph wine and give it bold look using only one speedlight
- How to create a classic and moody photograph of a wine bottle