Ecommerce photography needs to be a quick process with great results every time. Well, it does from my point of view. If I have many items to photograph I want the process and I want to be quick and efficient, then I believe I have found the perfect setup!
For a long time, I have always used strobes. This is mainly for the power output and being able to capture a greater depth of field. That set up incorporates softboxes, lighting a background separately, and the space to set this all up. But now, I have a setup which I could literally set up on my dining room table in a matter of minutes. The only difference is I am using continuous lighting!
I know right? Less power and a shallower depth of field, but in all honesty, the capability of today’s cameras and a good solid tripod has removed those limits. Clean ISO at ridiculous numbers and the ability to shoot at lower shutter speeds allow for shooting at a greater depth of field.
Using 3 LED panels, specifically the 450D and 350D from Pixapro, enables me to create a set roughly 3ft square anywhere! These lights come with a mains adapter but also have the ability to be run off Sony NP-F batteries, making them super portable which is awesome working away from the studio.
The setup takes minutes to put together, I used 3 mm white plastic for the base (matt or high gloss depending on the client’s needs, reflection or no reflection).
The lighting begins with adding the backlight (the 450D).
I adjust the brightness from the control knob. The key here is to make sure you don’t just blast the light as bright as it goes. I find the lower settings perfect and at this level won’t create the light bleed around the product.
Once the background light is set I always add a pair of 350Ds – one for the main light and one to either fill or create a highlight. This allows for greater control of how I want the final image to look.
Shooting white products on a white background has never been easier. I use the same approach as before, only this time because of the reflective surface of the product and the solid slab of light coming from the 350D, I can choose to use a couple of small scrims to diffuse the light if I think it needs it.
This whole process literally takes minutes to set up and start shooting!
The image below is straight out of the camera with no adjustments.
I love finding ways to improve the process and I wanted to share this workflow, as its the most efficient one I have used yet. Being able to see the light speeds up the process a huge amount. So, if you’re someone who is looking to start e-commerce photography and don’t have a lot of space, this is a perfect way to start. Or, if you do have a studio, this setup can easily be tucked away in a corner and left set up.
The gear I used:
About the Author
Barry Mountford is a portrait photographer based in Gateshead, England. For more of his work, check out his website, follow him on Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to his YouTube channel. To get in touch, you can look him up on Facebook. This article was also published here and shared with permission.