Use household items to light your shot with this DIY approach to product photography

Jul 10, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Jul 10, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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If you’re still stuck at home and want to practice your photography, particularly small products, you might have been struggling if you don’t have a lot of lighting kit. Product photography often requires a bunch of different light sources to show off its different facets and surfaces. But if you don’t have a lot of gear, what can you do?

In this video, Jay P Morgan photographs a glass drinks bottle on his kitchen table using nothing but things he finds around his house (mainly the kitchen). Using parchment paper, flashlights, oven trays and even a diaper to create a pretty decent shot you can easily achieve in your own home.

Throughout the video, Jay P explains exactly how he’s building up the set and explains his decisions along the way. Why he’s using this particular thing here, how it’s affecting the light, what he’d use if he were in the studio and what he can try using as an alternative in his kitchen.

There are a lot of things around our homes that we can use as light sources or even lighting modifiers in order to help light up our subjects and their background in a way that’s visually pleasing. As well as forcing us to try to produce a decent shot without all of “the right gear” to hand, it forces us to figure out new techniques and methods that perhaps may save our bacon on the day of a real shoot in the future. Worst case, we learn what doesn’t work so we don’t waste time trying it when the time really matters.

So, go ahead, experiment a little. Just think about it logically and build the scene up a bit at a time. You might surprise yourself.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Use household items to light your shot with this DIY approach to product photography”

  1. Christian Concha Avatar
    Christian Concha

    Oreana Concha G Oreana Concha Goicochea

    1. Christian Concha Avatar
      Christian Concha

      Oreana Concha Goicochea y típ extra , si tienes una TV grande de buena resolución (no necesariamente 4k) (pero led al menos) pones un fondo, el que sea , y cuando desenfocas (bokeh) el fondo no se nota que es virtual , y le añades realismo.