The Best Lighting Techniques for Product Photography

Learn about the best lighting techniques for product photography, including continuous lights, strobe lights, three-point lighting setup, side lighting, ring lights, natural lighting, and more.

The Best Lighting Techniques for Product Photography

When it comes to product photography, the best lighting solutions are continuous lights or strobe lights. Examples of continuous lights are LED panels, fluorescent tubes, and tungsten bulbs. If you have a dedicated photo studio, a three-point lighting setup is the ideal choice. Side lighting is achieved by placing the light source next to the object you are photographing.

This will light up one side of the product and create shadows on the opposite side. To soften the shadows, add a diffuser between the light source and the product. Move the source at an angle of 90 to 130 degrees away from the camera to see how the shadows change. Different surfaces react differently to light, so you may want to try a front lighting setup as well.

Ring lights are great for evenly illuminating each part of the subject and separating it from the background. However, they are very bright and often require a diffuser. Through your photos, you should be able to answer any questions that your product descriptions don't explain. When taking product photos, it's best to move the product instead of moving the camera.

Natural lighting is usually best for product photography because it produces realistic images that drive sales. However, ring lights are not ideal because they don't spread well and their round shape can cause strange glare spots that are difficult to edit. Using a studio for product photography gives you full control over lighting settings. Different products require different lighting, so you can decide what works best for your products.

If you don't have access to a photo studio and all the equipment needed for professional photographs, you can still take pictures of products at home with a mobile phone and on a limited budget.