Let There Be Light! How Different Techniques Can Create the Perfect Look for Your Product Photography.


As we move into 2023, it’s more important than ever to ensure your brand remains relevant and top-of-mind with your customers. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our favourite lighting techniques that are sure to give your brand a noticeable edge and help you stay ahead of the competition.

If you’re looking to switch up the lighting in your campaign or product photography, consider these five techniques. Each one offers a unique approach to lighting that can help you create stunning, attention-grabbing imagery that resonates with your audience.

Utilise Reflections 

Reflective surfaces can add an extra dimension to your product imagery. Mirrors, black glass and black perspex (high-shine acrylic) are just some examples of surfaces you can use.

While mirrors produce a noticeable and harsh reflection, black glass and black perspex create a more subtle, shadow-like reflection that adds an alluring touch to your product shots.

This year, we’ve been experimenting with black perspex and the results are stunning. Check out this captivating shot of Mecca Max, where we used black perspex to reflect the product and create a mesmerising effect.

Add Coloured Gels

Coloured lighting gels are square transparent sheets that can be placed on top of light shapers to add or infuse more colour into a shot. 

Usually available in a set of 7-8 rudimentary colours, gels can be used to create a more moody feel in the background of product shots, or to enhance a specific colour in the highlights of the product itself. 

For instance, you can use a blue gel to transform a black backdrop into a deep and vibrant blue that complements the cobalt tones in your Puma shoe. With the right lighting techniques and gels, you can make your product photography truly stand out.

Glow Up With Naked Bulb

If you’re looking to capture the true beauty of jewellery in your product photography, consider using the naked bulb technique. This approach uses a single layer of diffusion to create a soft, yet radiant glow that accentuates your products without overwhelming them.

Compared to a truly naked light, the naked bulb technique offers a more controlled and nuanced approach to lighting, enhancing the shine of your jewellery while preserving its delicate details.

In the example below, you can see how the naked bulb technique gives the final shot an ethereal luminescence. 

Create Hard Shadows

If you’re looking to add richness and high contrast to your product photography, consider using hard shadows. This technique can help you create dramatic effects that draw the viewer’s eye and emphasise the shape and texture of your products.

There are several ways to achieve this effect, including the use of a naked bulb, zoom reflector, or 20-degree grid. At our studio, we prefer using the 20-degree grid as it helps prevent light from spilling over into other parts of the shot, creating a beautiful gradient in the background.

Check out the example below to see how the 20-degree grid can help you create stunning hard shadows that add depth and dimension to your product shots. With the right lighting techniques, you can take your product photography to the next level.

Diffuse With The Dapple Effect

Looking to add a soft, natural touch to your product and campaign photography? Consider using the dapple effect. This technique involves cutting holes of various shapes and sizes into a large white foam board, then shining a light through it to create beautiful leaf-like shadows and add dimension to your product imagery.

While simple in concept, the dapple effect can be incredibly effective at enhancing the visual appeal of your product photography. Check out the example below to see how this technique can help you achieve beautiful, natural-looking shots.

Feeling inspired for your next product shoot? Contact us to learn more about how we can utilise techniques like this to help you capture stunning product photography that elevates your brand.

Get in touch with us here to discover more about how we can utilise techniques like this to achieve beautiful shots for you. 

Styled photography Beauty2 Front Back and Sides

Front, Back & Sides is a product photography studio in Sydney. We are dedicated to producing content for eCommerce & social media, our team of professionals keep up with emerging trends in product photography, video and product styling so your products and digital marketing is eye-catching and high converting.

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