7 Ways To Photograph Small Products or Jewelry | Photofonz Media Ferdy Neubauer | Skillshare

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7 Ways To Photograph Small Products or Jewelry

teacher avatar Photofonz Media Ferdy Neubauer, Sharing the Passion of Photography

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Camera Gear Used


    • 3.

      iPhone Camera Used


    • 4.

      Window Light Photography


    • 5.

      LED Lighting


    • 6.

      Using 1 Fluorescent Light


    • 7.

      Using a Flashpoint Shooting Table


    • 8.

      Puluz Light Box


    • 9.

      Using 2 Dollar Store LED Lights


    • 10.

      Softbox Flash & Modeling Light Photography


    • 11.

      To Post Process or Not


    • 12.

      Class Project


    • 13.

      Final Words


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About This Class

Have you ever wondered, "What's the best technique to use to photograph my small products or jewelry"?

You may be completely new in photographing small products and are looking for a way to get started that fits your budget and style. Or, you may already be an experienced photographer but are stuck in a rut and are looking to expand your knowledge.

In this class, Ferdy will take you step by step and show you 7 different ways you can photograph your jewelry or small product.

Ferdy has been a professional photographer for many years. His studio specialized in portrait & wedding photography and was quite busy.

Several years ago, his wife asked him to help her take photos of jewelry and small products she started selling. He started doing so in a simple, easy and quick way since he didn’t have too much time to spend on her photos, he was quite busy running his studio operation.

What started as a simple and quick photo session of her items, has evolved through the years. He was able to fine tune the lighting, the set-up and overall way her items were photographed. Their method has remained simple, quick, easy to learn, and consistent.

He also noticed over and over again that she was selling her items on eBay for many times more than what she paid for them. Her items sometimes would sell for 35 or 50 times more than what she paid. Sometimes even more than that.

What’s the difference between the items? Nothing, except the photos that she showed were beautiful. They were lit and composed beautifully, had interesting backgrounds and overall, had the look that you might see in the photographs displayed at high end jewelers and department stores. As the result, this gave them a much higher perceived value and her customers were willing to pay more for these items.

Also covered in this class are several lighting techniques that you can use along with light modifiers to help you fine tune your images to professional levels. It doesn't matter if you're using a DSLR, Mirrorless, iPhone or Android.

Here’s what’s covered:

Camera Gear Use
iPhone Camera Used
Window Light
LED Lighting
Using 1 Fluorescent Light
Using a Flashpoint shooting table
Puluz Light Box
Using 2 Dollar Store LED Lights
Softbox Flash & Modeling Light Photography
To Post Process or Not
Class Project
Final Words

It really doesn’t take any more time taking outstanding and professional looking photos. I even show you several lighting methods and techniques you can use. Some of them cost very little and some of them are free.

Take the class today, say NO to bad photos.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Photofonz Media Ferdy Neubauer

Sharing the Passion of Photography


Ferdinand Neubauer (Ferdy), founder of “Photofonz” Media wanted to give photo enthusiasts an opportunity to further their knowledge and passion in photography through on-line education. He shares his knowledge and experience from the many phases of photography he has been involved in, from his part time start up when he booked wedding and portrait assignments from their dining room. He built a full time home studio, then moved into a commercial studio space. He operated his studio there for twenty more years before selling his studio.

He now spends his time doing occasional assignments and education in the field of photography. He also photographs jewelry & small product photography for his wife.

He enjoys pickleball, hiking, swimming, physical fitness and walk... See full profile

Related Skills

Photography More Photography
Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome. Today we're gonna be looking at seven different ways that you can photograph you small product. And for that we chose jewelry and I chose a bracelet. And the reason I chose this particular bracelet is because of the challenges that it does offer there some reflection we have to deal with by just photographing the silver and gold tones in general. Now, you can look over all the different episodes in this class, and you can choose one or two that you may want to use the photograph, your item. But what I really recommend that you do is watch all the episodes because there's so much you can learn. You can get several good ideas from watching everything. And that's going to help you and your photography. And it really doesn't matter whether you're photographing a piece of jewelry. You can use these techniques for any kind of small product that you're photographing. The techniques that we're gonna be looking at or window light, LED lighting, pollution, lightbox using one fluorescent light, a softbox using Flash, and also just using the softbox is modeling light. We're gonna be using a flashpoint shooting table and we're even going to be using two dollar store lights? Yes, by using these techniques, you can substantially increase your knowledge in photographic lighting, whether you're photographing small products or jewelry, but also in photography in general. So hop on board and let's get started. 2. Camera Gear Used: I'm using my Nikon D 7,200. Great camera. Very, very happy with it. I'm going to use this until it quits. May get another one or maybe update to the newest version of wherever it is at nikon has to offer. Now, the nice thing about when you're using Flash is notice that I have my camera mounted onto a camera bracket. And then also mounted is a flash unit. This is the Nikon SP 80 DX flash unit. It's an older version and you can use any flash Dow fire with your camera. And the reason I have this flash unit on is not so it exposes the item I'm photographing, but it's going to be used to fire my external flashes. So when I fired, as Washington happens, see it fires my external flashes because each one of these flash units that I use as a sensor on back. So when it senses the light that's flashing, it'll fire itself. And that fires my softbox light and also my two kicker lights. Because this is set, this has no effect on exposure. I have this set as low as I can to one, one-twenty eighth power on manual. So this is very, very weak, no effect on exposure. And I'm shooting at ISO 100. It just happens that the f-stop is around F 13. And I'm shooting at about, well, anything that is going to sink with your flash. So think I have it about one, one-twenty-fifth of a second. One of the great advantages that you have when shooting with flash is that because the flash fires so quickly, It's going to stop the action. So if you're handholding something and you moving slightly, it has no effect on on camera movement because it's the flash that is making the exposure and if stopping the action. So that's another cool thing about it. I do want to mention my camera bracket on here also, I prefer using a camera bracket because it's less wear and tear on my camera body. And this is seven years old now. And it's still in great shape. So most of the time I'm holding the bracket here and I'm not really touching the camera all that much. With the exception of when I bracket, I'll just use the, the control here to change my aperture. And it works out really great if you want to maintain your camera keeping in great shape without wear and tear on your camera body. Now the lens that I'm using this is Nikon's 28, 205 millimeter lens. Now you can spend several thousand dollars on a really, really sharp lens made by Nikon. I think they have one. I believe it's 105 millimeter and there's a new one out now, that may cause several or maybe a couple of thousand dollars. I forget how much exactly. But you could spend that if you want to. But I've been using this lens for years. This is, I think, one of the first Nikon 35-millimeter lenses that I bought and I still have it. And then it gets used very, very hard several times a week if still works great. And the reason, another good reason I like it is because it's macro. Because many times we might photograph a name on back of a piece of jewelry. And I have to get real close. And also because I'm photographing a certain distance and I don't want to be bothered with keep moving things. I want to get in the camera room, photo switch, photograph the items on photographing, and then throw the switch back off. And that's the end of it. I don't want to spend all day doing a simple product shot. So that's another good reason why I love using this lens. It's a zoom lens also, so I don't have to vary, my distance, varied and lights, I just zoom in to where I want to be. Many times, I'll zoom all the way into 28 millimeter. But most of the time I'm zoomed all the way at 105 millimeter. So this is to me, this is a great combination. Like I said, I don't need to spend several thousand. Now, if you're doing catalogue photography, you need every little advantage that you can get in sharpness and color accuracy, then I can see it. But for doing online sales, the image quality is way more than adequate using this camera and also this lens here. So this is a great combination when shooting with flash. And you can get great image quality. Even, even if you're going to be using older equipment is your lighting and your lens that are very, very important. One thing I want to point out is that since I am using an older Nikon D 7,200 for my small product photography, I have my custom white balance set manually. And I set the custom white balance by using a bright white background. This way I get consistent color no matter what I'm photographing. So that works out really well. Now that's in the case of my D 7,200. Now some of the newer cameras have better technology when it comes to white balance. As an example, I've used a Nikon Z 50 and I tried using the auto white balance and doing some small product photography. And it worked out really well. The colors were really very accurate. So that's something to consider. If you're gonna be using an older camera, then you may have to. Of course it never does hurt to set your custom white balance manually. But the newer technology does have much better auto white balance. 3. iPhone Camera Used: The images that you saw are taken using either a Nikon DSLR or my phone. And in this case I use the iPhone 11 Pro Max. But you can use any phone, any brand really. If you choose something that's recent within the last couple, five years or so, I think you're gonna be able to get beautiful photographs coming right out of your phone. And that's what I did. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. I do have several different apps that I can use on my phone. If you want to go into more of a custom type of photography, I can adjust my white balance as I'm shooting. I can also de-focus the background. But what I did here in this particular class, everything was taken using just the phone, without any other apps or without any. I didn't use the portrait mode as an example. I just used a regular camera mode. However, I did do a little bit of post-production. Sometimes I like to, of course, you can crop in a camera, but usually I end up crop into the images so you can use your phone to do that. But sometimes I like to just tweak or I may have to get rid of a little bit. Sometimes you may pick up touch box on your item or on the background. So I'll use software to do that. Adobe Photoshop by just using your phone. In general, I showed you how you can simply get great looking photographs from your phone. 4. Window Light Photography: Here we are going to be using window light and we have an advantage here of two windows. Now, if you are going to be using just one window, that's okay too, because that'll be your main light. The window light that's coming in from our right side window here is North window light. In a northern hemisphere. This is the ideal light because you're avoiding direct sunlight. And that's what you wanted to do. Since we had the advantage here of two windows, north window light, we're gonna be using as our main light. And a window on our left here is coming in from the Northwest. And we're gonna be using that light as what I call a kicker light. You can call it a sidelight, or also known as a rim light. This is gonna be used to add a nice highlight to our bracelet. So let's start to set up. We're gonna be using our Dani room table and I'm putting down a white background. That's a soft, smooth material that came from the background from one of our light boxes that I was using. So I'm putting it down so we can face the bracelet towards our main light, which is the north window right here. Before we put the bracelet down, we're going to make sure that it's polished and it's cleaned up. And we can even take a soft brush and carefully brush away any dust spots that we may see. The next thing that I'm going to do is add a reflector. And this makes a big difference. It's going to brighten up your shadow side. So watch what happens as I bring in this reflector. The material that I'm using for my reflector is a silver mylar that I have attached onto an eight by ten easel back. Do you see the difference? A reflector make such a big difference? Sometimes he may have a problem with reflection. If you're photographing something that's very shiny, like in this case, we have shiny silver and gold and it picks up some of the green from the outside. So what I'm gonna do is add a diffuser reflector. And this is a 32 inch or 80 centimeter translucent reflector. It's also called a diffuser reflector. And I'm going to set this right in front of the window. That's going to soften some of the light that's hitting our bracelet. And also it will help take away some of the green that you see reflected in the bracelet. And here you can see the difference. So let's change our background. And I'm going to bring in a black acrylic. It's about a twelv by 12 inch background. I'll put it down right about here. I'll bring a bracelet and we're going to face it towards or Northwind, no light. Now watch what happens as we take away our diffuser that's in front of the window. And then we're left with a reflection that we're seeing on the outside. Let's come in a little closer. This is another alternative that you can take besides using just a plain background. It just offers something that's a little bit different. As you could see in the photo. Now we have the leaves from the tree reflecting in. It's kind of interesting. And we're going to add another background. And this is also an acrylic background, and it's white. So white is a nice classic color, a nice classic background that a lot of people or businesses use to show off their product. But sometimes I like to go a little bit outside the box and use something that may attract more attention to our listing, especially if it's on eBay. So let's see what we come up with using our 12 by 12 white acrylic background and the bracelet facing towards or North window light and a reflector added to brighten up the shadow side of the bracelet. And we can soften the light a little bit more so we don't get that distracting background by adding our diffuser in front of the window. Okay, so now we have a nice soft background and it looks very pleasing. And we get a nice classic look. So let's take a photo and see what we come up with. Window light. Whether you're going to be using a single window or a double window, like in our case here, you're gonna be able to get beautiful soft light. And with the help of light modifiers like a reflector or diffuser, you can gain even more control over your lighting when you're using window light. It doesn't matter whether you're using your phone, your DSLR, or mirrorless. You had the capability of creating beautiful photographs using Jess window light. Plus don't forget to use your own imagination so you can come up with your style of photography. 5. LED Lighting: In this photo shoot of a bracelet, we're going to start with a plain white background. And I usually get them at a craft store like Michael's. But lately, I've gotten some really nice ones actually at the dollar store. And they're a nice pure white color. So that's what I've been using. Their relatively I mean, they're big enough to do small products and I forget the exact size, but you can get these really anywhere, but I prefer mostly using a pure white background. Of course, sometimes, as you know, our mix it up, use all different colors. Sometimes black works out very nice when photographing jewelry. So that's gonna be our background lighting that we're going to use. We're going to use a, an LED light. This particular one is about a four by six inch size, and this is made by a company called Daphne. It's the D20. I can find these anymore, so I don't know if they've stopped making them. I believe that the 50 is still available. That's a little bit of a larger unit. But this is, it's got more power than I need for doing small products. So we're going to turn this on, and right now I have this variable so I can adjust it to all different power, but right now it's at 25%. And I can also vary my color balance on here. That's kinda nice. So this is going to be our main light. And we're also going to use, we're going to add a translucent umbrella. And when you're photographing things like jewelry using either an umbrella or sometimes they reflect her, which is also translucent. It just brings out that beautiful silver or gold tone and your jewelry. And I think that's, I mean, that makes such a big difference. You're going to see the difference actually as we do our photo shoot. And also I may add a second light. This is the same thing, Udacity. And I'm going to use this. It'll be coming in from the back and the side, kind of as a kicker light. Also just adding a little bit more dimension and maybe a little bit highlights on the edge of the piece of jewelry. And of course this is the same thing, it's variable. And I can also change my color balance on here. Kinda neat. So that's our lighting system. Of course, we're going to use a reflector as usual, and we're also going to be using a diffuser. So this is actually very similar to our umbrella. So if you don't have an umbrella or you don't have a diffuser, they're interchangeable so you can use either one. But we're going to see what happens if we use both, get even a more of a softer look. This is also translucent. This is about a 32 inch translucent reflector. It's called the umbrella, is a 33 inch translucent umbrella. So that's the gear that we're gonna be using to do our next photo shoot. So let's go ahead and get that set up. So we have our white background here all set up. And I'm going to place the bracelet on to the white background. And I want to mention that the only light that I have on is the lights that we're gonna be using. So right now it's one light and this is our LED light, four inch by six inch LED. I have it set to 75% power and we're going to start, I'm actually going to do this step-by-step so you can see exactly what each step of the way does. And once you understand this, you could change it if you want to. You can add your own touch, your own backgrounds and that type of thing. So let's start with the basics ingredients. One light, no reflector. And this is not a good way to photograph this, especially for a piece of silver and gold jewelry. But we're going to take it one step, so one light, no reflector, and you could see it's not the most attractive way. But watch what happens if we add in our reflector. One of my favourite light modifiers would be the reflector. And as I pointed out earlier, I'm using my mylar on an eight-and-a-half by 11 or eight by ten easily back frame. But watch what the reflector does though, I just brightens up the shadow area. And of course, by moving it around, you could suited to your own taste. You can bring it in closer, further back. You do want to watch though because you're going to have shadows back here. So you'll want to make it so overall you're getting the best image. So this is it now one light and a reflector. While the reflector does make a big difference and it adds a lot to it. But we can improve upon it even more by softening and light up. So we get some more of those beautiful gold and silver tones in here. And we're going to add an umbrella. Believe it's about a 33 inch translucent umbrella. We're going to shoot right through. We're going to bring the LED light is going to shoot right through onto the bracelet. So let's set that up. So now we had the umbrella added and you can notice these soft light. It just has more of a pleasing tone on the silver and gold. And of course we can adjust our reflector. And although we have a nice tone, notice we have a pretty major shadow on that one side, which we're going to work with. So I think that this is much nicer. And now that we've added the umbrella, soften up our light source even more. Okay, Now we're going to add our next ingredient and that is a kicker light that's coming in from the back and a little bit off to the side. And this is going to reduce our shadow that we're getting here. And it's also going to add a little bit more dimension to the bracelet. So watch what happens as I turn on the kicker light. Now this I have said a little bit weaker. At 30% power. It's got the same color balance as our main light does. So now you could see without the kicker light and then worth the kicker light. And then we're going to bring in our reflector. We have to be careful so we don't block the kicker light too much. But we don't want to cast anymore shadows. So we want to make sure that the kicker light is high enough so it goes over the reflector here. Okay. So I think that's kind of a help, but there's still something missing. We're still getting a little bit of a shadow here That's kinda unpleasant. I know no photography is light and shadows. So many times I'm okay with shadows because it gives you photograph more dimension. What if we have no shadows? We would have very little shape of the object that we're photographing. But we don't want to make it look so unattractive so we can reduce our shadows and control them with second lighting and with also our reflector. So we're going to add one more ingredient that's going to soften the light even more. It's going to give our gold and silver bracelet and nice gold and silver tone. Very pleasing. Plus it's going to soften up our shadows. So this is really, really cool. So our final touch is adding a diffuser. This is a lever, 32 inch translucent, reflect or they call it, but it's also, it just diffuses, softens the light even more. Now watch what happens. It's going to solve in the light coming in, especially from the kicker light. So I'm going to just move the reflectors. They have a better idea so you can see what we're doing. Now, let's add our diffuser or translucent reflector. And if we can actually analysts so we can actually soften our main light even more if we come down this way and look at the difference right there. This just as a really nice soft touch. And it also brings out, it gives a nice tone to our silver and gold. Isn't that nice? And of course you can adjust this to your liking. Okay, now the best thing to do when you're going to be using this type of reflector, translucent reflector is to have somebody hold it for you so you can angle it exactly how you want it. If not, I have this on a bracket, which I then mount onto a light stand. If you're working by yourself, you may need something like this. So I'll give you an idea how that works, but better to have somebody with you. It will save a lot of time. But if not, does your other alternative. So by adding all these ingredients together, you can come up with your own style of photography when you photograph in small products. So right now we use a white background, but let's see what happens if we add a different color background to it. So now that I've added a black material, this is kinda like a felt, a black felt material. You could use something even more elaborate like a velvet or satin. And you can just sort of crease it up a little bit so you get some shape to it, but the sky is the limit. So whatever you wanna do to give it your touch and one advantage of using a black background when you photograph in gold or silver jewelry is the contrast. It's just a, it just makes it stand out so much more. So you can actually break it up. You don't have to use white all the time. Unless wherever it is that you're posting this onto the one, a light background. Of course, then you have to do that. But if you're, if you have control over your background colors that you use, the sky's the limit. So let's set this up same way we're using our umbrella light and we have a kicker light and we had to bring in this diffuser. This makes such a big difference, doesn't it? And what's missing? All I reflect her of course makes such a big difference. Let's bring that in. Going to diffuse it again, really nice. So there it is. Now we have another way that we can add more variety even though it's the same picture, of course you could change your mom just doing this so you have an idea by you can do a side angle also if you want to. In fact, let's do that. Let's show the side part of the bracelet because that's kinda nice too. So by putting all these ingredients together, you come up with and you add that special touch that you're looking for in your product photography. That's going to give you the edge over your competition. Maybe your images are a little bit nicer. Shows your jewelry so much nicer. And it makes it look way more attractive. So people want to own that piece. What you don't want to do is throw your product that you're selling when the bed and photograph it with your phone using the flash that's on the phone. That's the worst type of photography. It really has no perceived value. So take the best photograph that you can because now you know how and you'll be able to have a better business. If that is your goal. 6. Using 1 Fluorescent Light: On this photo shoot, we're gonna be using a single light source. What we have here, I've got this contraption years ago online. And what it is is a fluorescent bulb as mountain into a light socket. And that's also mounted onto a ten inch reflector. So but you don't have to use a fluorescent light. You can substitute an LED light. Probably even an incandescent light should work. But for this, we're going to use our fluorescent light, one single light. And in addition that we're gonna be using our tabletop reflector. And we also have our it's a bracelet hold there because we're going to be placing the light source up higher, aiming at downwards. So first of all, you can only use this if you're photographing something that you can position so it's facing towards the light. So to do that, we can either later bracelet down or we could put it on a bracelet holder like we're doing here. So that's it. And also we're going to be doing a couple of shots. One just as it is here, without any kind of diffuser over the light. And then we're going to also add our diffuser. This is our diffuser reflector that we're going to put between the light and the object that we're photographing. So we get more of a soft look. So this is very simple to do. One light source in addition to our reflector and our diffuser. We're going to take our first image using just our fluorescent light with our tabletop reflector. And of course we have our bracelet onto a bracelet holder. This is the photo that was taken using just our fluorescent light in our ten inch reflector along with our tabletop reflector. Now watch what happens if we add our diffuser reflector in front of our fluorescent light source, it gives it a little bit of a better look. And notice that I put a bracelet holder onto a white table board, which is okay, but I think I can make it a little bit better if I make the whole background black. And I just changed the section of the background that was white onto the same tone black as a bracelet holder is. This is the image that we get from it. I think this is kinda nice using just one light source. And if you want to go further in post-production, you can change your background or you can add a little bit of a spotlight image on the background just to break it up into make it a little bit more exciting. So these images were taken using just our phone. 7. Using a Flashpoint Shooting Table: Well, this photoshoot, we're going to use what's called a flashpoint shooting table. And this is really nice. It's like a plexiglass sheet that's translucent so you can see through it. And it attaches onto a myths like a little table that folds up flat. So this is really easy to store. And it measures nine or 24 by 51 " and it's 19 " from the base here to the floor. Now you can set this on a floor by prefer sending it on a table because it's easier to work with. I'll have to scoot way down and I can just bring my lights all the way around that so it's not a problem. But that's just my preference. But anyway, before we shoot using this table, I only found one place that sells these and that's at aroma. You can go look on their website and they sell them there at their store. But Adorama also have an eBay store, I guess you would call it, where they sell it either on their retail store or on their eBay store. Now I got this several years ago and I noticed that it was less if I were to wanders through eBay. So that's what I did. So I also noticed that sometimes the price has changed. So take a look and see which is best for you. So if I could save you a couple of bucks, I'll be glad to do that. So check that out. Okay, So we're going to use the same type of lighting as in a previous session that we did. Using an LED light with an umbrella attached to it, which is gonna give us more of a soft light. So we had that honor ready. Next, we're going to bring in our reflector. And you know how I feel about reflectors. One of my favourite light modifiers. You can see it there already. So when you add your kicker light, you want to make sure that it's high enough. So it's not going to cause any shadows from the reflector onto your product that you photograph and take it up a little bit more. And I do have my main light set to 80% power. And a kicker light is a 30%, so it's quite a bit weaker. And of course you're going to adjust it to your taste. Now one thing about this table that is really, really neat is you're able to either backlight or you can bring in light in from the bottom, like we're gonna be using. I have a little another LED light and this is called, I think this is also made by near c N1 26. And I have a little diffuser that came with it, like a frosted diffuser that goes over the light, which gives it a little bit more softening. And this is also adjustable. So that's nice. Now watch what happens if I put this down underneath. And you can vary the power to suit your taste. You can also add gels onto it if you want to bring like a blue background tone from behind and you can do that. Red, pink, orange, any color. Now, I can adjust this so I can get rid of the shadows altogether. If I bring it up pretty high. Or if I want to have maybe just a little bit of shadow, so it has more of a natural look. I get bring it down just a little bit, but let's bring it up. Keep it right about here for now. So now you can see we have our main light with a reflector in here, and we have a kicker light coming in from the back. So what's missing here? So I'm going to soften the light up a little bit more by adding our translucent reflector, which is going to just soften the light even a little bit more. Even though we have an umbrella, we can solve for it, especially by the kicker light. We're going to bring it in and watch what happens. Let me just set this on the lifespan here. It's probably a good idea if you can have somebody help you to hold the Reflector. Makes it a little bit easier and you can position it exactly where you want to. Okay, so now we have everything set to go. Let's take a few photos and you can see a difference. Let me just make sure that our background right, is centered. Now sometimes you can actually adjust or vary your background light. You can put less on the background, more on the bottom. So it's going to give you a kind of a graduated darkening in the background. Or you can make it bright, make it darker upfront. Totally up to you. You can do it to suit your taste. Let's try it right about there. And we'll take a few photos and we'll see what we have. 8. Puluz Light Box: In this photo shoot, we're gonna be using our pollutes lightbox, and this is a medium-size. This is the 16 inch or 40 cm. They also have a larger size for doing larger products. And they also have a smaller size. But this is the size that works best for us. And outer Bono light boxes and light tan psi use. This is my favorite. This is made by pollutes. There's similar light boxes on the market and probably the same thing with a different name. But I liked this one the best, like I said. And one of the main reasons is the size. And also if you look on the top here, there's two strips of light bars. And also they give you a, it's like a translucent cloth that you can Velcro. It comes with it. It's all part of it. So you just velcro this cloth over those two light strips and you get even a softer light as actually very similar to our translucent reflector that we use on most of our other photo shoots. So this gives a, even a nice soft light. One thing that's worth pointing out is, did you ever purchased something and then you realize it, it's got to be more work has to be done to it. You have to modify it or customize it to the way that you want to use it. Well, let's write it here. As great as it is. I just made a few modifications is very simple. Number one, I have their background that they include. It's a white, black and I believe it's like an orangeish one. Mike came with three. I'm not sure if they still do. But the background, this particular one is kind of transparent and thin. So you can actually see what's underneath there. It may show through. So I just put a light poster board under here and it sweeps all the way up on top. So this way I get a smooth white background. So that's one of the things that you wanted to do. And I also put a piece of velcro on top of here. So when you flat this over, it stays. So other than that, it's perfect. Almost perfect. I'm using this light box. I'll try to photograph through the openings here. So let's try opening this up. Velcro this back. Because you can actually just want to point out, if you do a photograph like this, you're not getting the benefit of the light, the front light coming in because of the reflection, a reflect this surface here that actually bounces back onto your item. So you might want to get some of that or sometimes I do. So I tried to shoot through here when I can and sometimes you may need a little bit more room. And then of course you could take this down. And so this way you, you're getting a little bit of a reflection here. That's going to bounce back to the front of the item that you're photographing. So let's go ahead and photograph or bracelet here. And we have it set up now with the box and the bag. We're gonna do at least one photo that way, and then we'll photograph it the traditional way. Now we did all the other ones so you have an idea to compare it to. So when you see all the different ways you can photograph that you see at her results and then you can choose the best way that's going to work for you. So let's go ahead and photograph that. Now one thing that's also really nice about this is this is valuable. I just had this very, very low here because we're doing the video here. But if retired off, it's off. And usually when I'm using this, I'll put it close to four who are on full. So we have a lot of light here, and it's very simple to hand hold your camera or your phone. So let's go ahead. Let's keep it set very, very high. And we're gonna go ahead and photograph or bracelet once again. So let's set in our bracelet here. You'll notice a beautiful soft light coming in all around. And we also have minimal shadows too. So this is another way of getting rid of your shadows. So let's go ahead and take some photos and then you'll notice that type of photographs that we can take using just one light box. This is very simple to do. You can use this anywhere and it's consistent. Soft lighting, virtually shadow free. And you can make all different adjustments. And as far as the power goes, as I mentioned, Take it all the way up or down just a little if you want to. But I usually photograph it, close the fall or add four. And it's very simple to hand hold your camera as you're taking the photo. So let's take a look. 9. Using 2 Dollar Store LED Lights: Our next photo session, I think you're going to really liked this. In fact, this could knock your socks off. We're going to start with two lights. And if you're on a really tight budget, it doesn't get much cheaper than this unless you buy at a yard sale. But we're gonna be using LED lights that you see here. Now we've got these both at the dollar store, and each one has an LED light bulb in here. So we have two lights. This is going to be our main light over here. And notice that we're gonna be using diffusers. Now this particular one over the main light is also $1 store frame. And inside, once an eight by ten frame, I have an eight-and-a-half by 11 that I cut down to an eight by ten. And this is called translucent velum. What it is is a diffuse, it's like a frosted paper. You can get these, I believe I got this at one of those craft shops. And it's very, very similar to our reflector or translucent reflector that we use. And you can, each frame has one diffuser in here, and of course you can add to it with the exception of this frame. Well, this is also, it's like an acrylic frame. But on this one, I just wanted to see how it would look if we added a piece of paper. So I had 89 by 11 inch paper cut down to eight by ten so it fits in the frame. So this also gives a very nice soft light. So right now, in each frame we have a diffused paper That's going to solve and our lineup. And if we want to add to it many times, I will. In fact, let's add one more. This one has a translucent velum, so we're going to add one. You could take a frame apart or you could just set it here. Save a little bit of time if we just set it there. And for this we can either use paper. Yeah, let's use the same type of paper. This is just regular printing paper that we got. And we can soften it up a little more by adding one more layer onto it. Okay, so now we have very, very soft light coming in from our main line here. And this line, we're going to be using what's called a kicker light, as I explained in other videos. And the kicker light is going to give a little bit more highlight and maybe separation. Kinda add a little bit more dimension. Watch what happens. Okay? Alright, so right now we have two lights. What's missing? Other favourite light modifier, reflector. So we're going to bring on a reflector in. And anything with continuous light source, you don't have to worry about flash because it's hard to see what you're getting. But with a continuous light source such as this or even window light, you can see exactly what you're getting. You can move, you reflect around. You could change your all different lightings, your kicker light, you could change it may align the angle, the intensity. So let me just take a look. Okay, so we're going to have a concern with our background. So I'm just going to move this up a little. I'm going to bring this back just a little. And of course here we can just adjust these. This is so easy because they just been very, very simply. You can just keep them up high if you want to or if you wanted to bring them down even lower. You can do that. And you can feather, which is called Nikola feathering is where you add the light a little bit off so you feathering it just a little bit or you can shoot directly onto it. I'm quite that much. But you definitely want to stay in that you're shooting through our diffuse material here. Okay, Let's take a look so we just have to be concerned with their background. So flu shoot high enough. We should cover this area here. Now, this type of lighting, we may end up with a little bit of shadow area on the bottom of the bracelet. So it may not be the best way to go. If shadows are a big concern for you. But the image quality can be really good. In fact, I want to mention here, before I forget, I've used this type of lighting on photographing equipment. And it's very, very dramatic. In fact, sometimes I'll use it without the diffusers and I get a very, very contrasty and dramatic look to it. So try it either way, tried on jewelry or other small products. You may like it. In fact, this is very, very simple to use. So let's go ahead. Let me take a look here. And by moving the lights and a reflector all around, we can see where we're getting, making it that much easier too. Set everything up the way you want to or the way you want the image to turn out. And remember your reflector, you can angle that certain way to get a certain type of effect that you may be after. And of course, you can also annual and adjust your lighting, your LED lights. You can raise it and lower it. So that's what makes it so exciting, seeing what you're getting. Then step up and press the shutter and poof, magic happens. Okay, So this is a pretty good setup that I'm happy with. And today I want to try something a little bit different that I haven't really done this other than it's just a little while ago. Well, we're going to add our diffuser or translucent reflector. I'm gonna put that over here. And instead of just hooking this up to their lifespan, I'm gonna be able to just set it on top of the frame and a reflector. Okay. When I looked at this earlier, I thought it might be kind of neat if we can bring in a light coming in from the top. So let's go ahead and do that. The light that I'm bringing in is the near CN 126. So I'm going to bring that in and we're going to turn it on. And we're going to add a little bit of light coming in from the top. That's kind of interesting to see. We've lost one of our papers back there. I'm going to flip this back over kicker light. And they just have it sit in front of the light. Alright, so there we go. Let's save a couple of photographs that away and see what we come up with. And remember, we can adjust the light as well. So there you have it, Dollar Store lighting, the amazing things you can do with it. And I think it's a good lesson to to show people that you can. You don't need to spend thousands on lighting gear unless you want to. If you had the funds by all means. And remember, once you're in business, This is check with your account and I can't give you any advice, but this is it should be tax deductible if you're gonna be doing this for your business. So that's a benefit there as well. But you don't have to spend a lot of money. And I think it's an advantage instead of cluttering up your mind with all kinds of gear getting in the way, stuff falling down. Keep it as simple as you can. Fine tune it and make a repeatable. So it works for you over and over again without any major stress. 10. Softbox Flash & Modeling Light Photography: Now we're going to look at a flash setup that I use. And it may not be practical for most people, but this is a setup that I use. I do want to show you this and share this with you, is Flash. So I have to use my DSLR or you can use a mirrorless. I can't use my phone for this. And my main light source is a, it's actually a softbox, about 30 by 38 and softbox. And they do have a photogenic light mountain into the softbox. And that's my main light, yellow light that I have. I have to kick her lights actually. So when I came into the camera room, first thing I do is I'll turn off soft box on and then I'll throw the wall switch and poof. Now I'm set to photograph, so it's that simple. I don't have to move anything around and had a soft box on wheels. Think I had a slide that in just a little bit, put the product down, add the reflector and so on. And I'm Seth a shoot. And after I'm done, I just go back, turn off the switch. And that's it. So that's very simple. And we're going to photograph or bracelet again using our white background on the table top and using our flash setup that I just showed you. So let's go set that up. Alright, so we have our softbox light on. We have our bracelet down. Next thing I'm gonna do is reach over and turn on our light switch, which actually turns on both of our kicker lights. And remember the kicker lights are gonna give us a little bit more high light coming in from the back and the side. Just adding a little bit more shape to the product that you photograph it. Okay, next we're going to add in our reflector. And again, this is the magic touch. This is my favorite. Well, it's one of them anyway. Light modifiers because it does so much to whatever it is you photograph it, whether it's products or people. Of course, for people though you want to use a larger reflector. So we have that in and that's all well and good, but I think we can use a little bit more softness. So let's see what happens if we add in our translucent diffuser. Well, instead of using our light stand and be a little bit hard for me to hold it. I'm just going to rig something up here. So we're just going to set this on top here. And you can see the difference that diffuser makes. And we're actually soften all the lights. I'm softening the light that's coming in from our main light or softbox. And I'm also softening or kicker lights. And yes, I think we have it. We have a beautiful, nice soft lighting on a bracelet, which is gonna give us that nice gold and silver tone that we want from our bracelet. So let's take a few photos. The flash units that I'm using, they have modeling lights, which means they stay on. And although they're very, very weak, I can still get some decent light out of them. And that includes the soft box as well as my two kicker lights, which are actually alien bees. And you'll notice that I also have a honeycomb grid on those just to give it a little bit more of a spotlight effect. So it concentrates the light coming down to where you have it aimed. And so what I wanted to do was used my iPhone. Of course, they can't use it with my flash currently, it doesn't work that way. So I have to use the existing light that I had coming off of my modeling light. So I put the camera, the phone on the tripod and it worked out well because I believe the exposure, the speed of the shutter was one-sixtieth of a second. So if you're that close, you may get some camera movement. But by using a tripod, I was able to get some really sharp images using the phone. And you'll notice also I did a couple of background changes just to add a little bit more variety. 11. To Post Process or Not: If you want to make your products look they're very best. More than likely you're going to want to do some post-processing to your images. And it could be as simple as cropping or maybe getting rid of some dust spots on your item or on the background. Generally, at the very least, I'll crop my images. Why? Because many times the settings on my camera or the phone do not match the composition of the photo. And another important thing that I found when photograph and shiny objects. And this is kind of a secret. So come closer. I found that if I'm holding the camera too close to the item of photographing, sometimes I'll get a reflection of the camera and it will show on the item, it'll darken the specular highlights or it'll cause, cause dark spots on the item. And this is not very attractive and it's got to deaden your photo. I'm just going to take away some of the pizzazz are certain things that you can do and I'm going to demonstrate that to you next. And then better yet, I'm going to show you what you can do about it. This is a pen that was set onto a background which has kind of a floral pattern on it. And I was pretty close to there. So you can see the center crystal had quite a few dark spots in here. So by going a little further back and adjusting my camera angle as was necessary, I was able to pick up a little bit more brightness in the crystal in the center of the B cell by doing cropping and a little bit of enhancement. We took the image from this, cropped it in a little closer, gave it just a little bit of an edge. Also, like to share with you some of the software and apps that I use in this class for the image editing. One of my favorite software programs is AC, DC. And I've been using that since I started doing the electronic imaging. At the time I used AC, DC mostly as a viewer, but through the years it evolved to be an amazing program that does so much. You can even do some pretty serious image editing on here. And they just came out with a, with the newest version called Photo Studio Ultimate. But if you look on our website right now, they offer a free version for you. It's called AC, DC free. And according to their website, it's a fast and powerful file browser, which is ideal for viewing your images, AC, DC. Another favorite image editing software program is Adobe Photoshop. This has been the go-to image editor for many years amongst many professional photographers. It is really worth learning, even though it has a bit of a learning curve, but it does so much. Currently, if you go online, you can look at some of that Creative Cloud photography plans that they offer while you can get a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. And I believe they also offer some mobile apps that you can use. So check it out. Adobe Photoshop. Let's say that you want to take your photographs with you phone, but you want to work on them on your computer. And for that, I use an app that's called photo transfer app. As you can probably tell, I'm pretty passionate about apps and software that really work. And this is another great app. This allows you to transfer your images from your phone to your computer so you can do your editing or you can go vice versa. You can transfer images from your computer to your phone. Photo transfer app. While today's built in, editors on your phone allow you to do a lot of editing on your image. But there are other apps that allow you to do even more. And one such app is called Snapseed. Snapseed calls it a complete and professional photo editor, and it's developed by Google. It offers many tools and filters. And one of the tools that's very similar to the healing brush in Adobe Photoshop, is the healing tool or the Healing Brush and Snapseed. With a little bit of practice, you can do a lot with this app, Snapseed. 12. Class Project: Your class project, I'd like to have you take two different photographs of either a piece of jewelry or small product. And you can use either your phone or a DSLR or mirrorless, doesn't really matter. For your background. I want you to use something that you have around your home, whether it's a dash of floor, carpet as she anything that's not quite too fancy just yet, but something that's laying around or that you have in your home for lighting use, only the built in flash that's on your phone or your camera. So we're not gonna do anything fancy just yet. And we're going to take that photo and compare it to the next one that we're going to take for a photo number to use the same camera or phone that you use when you took your first photograph. But this time you're going to be choosing one of the lighting techniques that you learned about in the course. And if you don't have any lighting gear just yet, that's okay. You can use window light. I want you to use some light modifiers that can help you improve your photograph. You can use a reflector to brighten up the shadow side that the item that you're photographing. And this is actually the reflector is probably my favorite light modifier. This particular reflector is attached on an easel back, eight by ten easel back. And I got this material at one of those craft shops. This is a mylar that's it's not real shiny. It's kinda like a flat look because it's going to give more of a softer reflective quality. Instead, if you use something like this, this is a little bit harsh and you may have certain hotspots in your reflection. So you could, I recommend using something that's a little bit of a softer or flatter look. And if you don't have your easel back just yet, you can make one. You can make your reflector a corrugated cardboard. In fact, I made several sizes like this. This is more of a smaller one. And I have a piece of aluminum foil. I think this is the side that's the least shiniest. So it's not real shiny, gives more of a shock for quality too. This is a nice way of nicotine. Save some money by making your own reflector. Now, if you're especially photograph in gold or silver, then I recommend that you put a diffuser, something like this. This is about a 32 inch Nicole it a diffuser reflector. This is one of those reflectors that comes in a kit where you can put five different things on gold, silver, or black, white, all different shades or colors that you can use as a reflector. But in this case, it's a diffuser, which means when light shines through here, It's going to solve in the light. So I recommend that you place this between a light source and the item that you're photographing. And if you're photographing something that's quite small, you may not need a large diffuser like that one is. In that case, you can use something like this. This is called translucent velum. And if you shine light through here, it also gives you a nice soft quality of light. So you can get these again at the craft shop. I have one mountain into a frame and they buy ten frame. I cut the sheet down and then I just set this between again, the light source and the product that I'm photographing together. Nice softer light. So now that you've chosen your lighting technique that you're gonna be using. And you have your light modifiers that you're going to use. Take the photo and then compare it to the first photo where you just did a plane on camera flash, which has a very, very flat look. As you can see, it really lacks dimension. It's kind of boring, not attractive at all. And if you compare that one to the last photograph that you took when you were careful to use proper lighting techniques, using your light modifiers as needed, you were able to come up with a much beautiful image that actually has a lot more value. So when you look at it, it's gonna, it's gonna be a piece that somebody wants to own. And that's what you want. You want to make your product looked at as attractive as possible. Where if you photograph something on a rug, It's going to have equality. A very low-quality look to it and not really attractive and not many people are going to want that product. So it really doesn't take any more time coming up with a beautiful photograph than it does a quick snapshot that doesn't have any attraction at all. So this is your class assignment. If you choose to do it, and I know you will do your assignment. Do not be a slacker. Thank you very much. 13. Final Words: Episode helped you in deciding which way it is that you want to go ahead and photograph your items. There are times where you might want to use a couple of different ways. Instead of just sticking with window light where you, maybe you got used to using window light, but of course you can't use it all the time if you're photographing at night or the wrong time in a day. So it's probably best to learn at least two or three different ways to photograph your item. And I'm sure that you realized by now that really it doesn't take that much more time to get a really nice photo than it does say you're taking your item, you're laying it on the bedspread or on your carpet. And you've taken your phone or your camera and you set it there. You aim at the carpet and you take a photo. Then there's the worst kind of lighting on camera flash and background is terrible. It has no, your item has no shape. So try to avoid that if you can, because every little thing that's going to make your product look better is going to help you maybe over the competition, because you care enough to show your item in its proper way. So you can practice and just go over all different ways, practice, practice, practice. And you'll become really good at it. And don't worry so much about your camera. More important are your lenses. And lighting. Lighting is probably the most important of all. So once you get the lighting down, you're good to go. No matter what you're photographing items, people, animals. It said lighting is the way to go, so thank you very much and I wish you all the best.