White Background Product Photography using Natural & Artificial Light | Cecilia Cruz Sandoval | Skillshare
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White Background Product Photography using Natural & Artificial Light

teacher avatar Cecilia Cruz Sandoval, Photographer / Content Creator

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

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.

      Introduction to Product Photography

      1:37

    • 2.

      Getting started with natural light

      6:14

    • 3.

      Lighting setup using the sun

      2:31

    • 4.

      Tips and tricks using natural light

      4:52

    • 5.

      The images

      3:26

    • 6.

      Editing process

      5:34

    • 7.

      Getting started with studio lights

      4:05

    • 8.

      2 Lighting setup using one studio light

      2:52

    • 9.

      3 The images studio

      2:05

    • 10.

      4 Editing process

      3:01

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About This Class

Start your journey in Product Photography by learning how to create perfect photos of products using natural or artificial light and white background. This is the kind of lighting setup that is easy and useful for selling products using social media, e-commerce platforms, and websites. Use your smartphone or a DSLR to start shooting. When you finish this class, you will be able to create your own photos on white background, with even lighting and beautiful texture and detail in your images. Also, the editing process is quite direct, you will see how quick the whole process is. 

In this Product Photography class you will find information about lighting setup for natural and artificial light:

1. Getting started: an overview of the process and material you will need.

2. Lighting setup: explanation of how the magic happens with this lighting arrangement and why is a must-have setup to have in your photo skills.

3. Tips and tricks: more detail you need to know about the entire process.

4. Editing process: I will show you how to edit your photos so you can use them right away.

The class also includes a PDF cheatsheet for reference on the setup for you to have on hand.

I hope you enjoy this class and post your own projects to the gallery.

See you soon,

Cecilia.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Cecilia Cruz Sandoval

Photographer / Content Creator

Teacher

Hola!! Hello!!

I love Photography and sharing all I know about it. For the past 15 years I've been managing my studio and teaching about photography online and at Universities and Colleges here in Puebla, Mexico where I live. Everyone needs to know how to create an image, whether you have a professional camera or a smartphone. As long as you are interested in creating images to transmit something is what matters. The power of photography is universal and I want to share with you how to become a better photographer or improve the skills you already have.

My passion in Photography is in portraiture, I mainly work doing women's portraits in my studio, doing editorial and boudoir photography. The second love of image creatio... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Introduction to Product Photography : Hello, I'm Cecilia Cruz. I'm a professional photographer and here in my studio, I create images for my clients on portrait and product photography. I love creating compositions that communicate something. I know you also believe that everyone should have some photographic knowledge to use in their everyday life and in their business. In this class, I'm going to show you how to start in product photography. We're going to use a very simple set up that you are going to use every time to create beautiful images using a white background. This is the setup that I've been using for many years. If you are selling your products over any social media platform or e-commerce, you know how useful it's to have your pictures over a white background. You can do a lot of things with it and also the image doesn't have to be boring. I'm also going to show you how to edit your photographs so you can use them right away in a very simple way. You can use your camera phone or a DSLR, anything you have available. This class is for a beginner. If you are just starting in photography, or if you just want to improve your photography skills, this class is for you. If you want to know all my tips and tricks on how to create a perfect white background product photography, grab your camera and let's get started. 2. Getting started with natural light: Welcome back to my studio. This class, I'm going to show you how to create a photograph using a wide background. But this time, I'm going to show you how to do it using only natural light. Why natural light? Well, just one main reason. It's a very good source of light and it's free, so it is not to like about that. I'm going to show you how to start in product photography this time using only a white background to create a photograph of anything you want. It can be a product, it can be just an object that you like, anything. The issue here is that this setup is very useful and is very useful because, well, you never know when you are going to need an image to post on social media or on an e-commerce platform. You can manipulate this image. You can crop it, you can remove the background, if you like. It's a very versatile setup to have in your repertoire of things to do with photography. When we were using natural light, it is important to take into consideration the hour of the day. I did this setup, all the examples that you're going to see, when the light is very bright. For example, I'm here in Mexico and it's very sunny most of the day. Mid day especially, it's very, very sunny. Just keep in mind that you have to choose the hour of the day when the sun is right open to the sky so you have all the light coming right at your table or your product where you are setting up all the equipment and the product, so you have these very beautiful light wrapping around your object. There are some things that you are going to need to create this setup, which are very simple and inexpensive. I use cardboard, white cardboard, any kind you have available. Or maybe you just have a white table and a white wall. You can use that. Also that you have the natural light available, where you are going to set up all your things. For example, I did it on a chair, exactly the one that I'm sitting right now. I place my cardboard on top. There's something that you have to take into consideration. I think it was mistake from my side, but everything turned out okay. The problem was that when I did this setup, it was very, very windy and I have to do the same set of like two times because the wind kept blowing my cardboard. But anyway, just keep that in mind. If you want someone to be helping you to keep all your things in place, well, you can do that. But apart from that, just place your cardboard on your surface like an L shape, and that's like the major pieces that you need. You can use white paper, any kind of white paper, like large sheets. I used bond paper to create a curvature around my product. I'm going to show you here in a diagram why I did it. This is because I just want to have the seamless idea of visually to have the light bouncing around my product. You are also going to use some binder clips. I used the clips to hold the paper in place with the cardboard. You can use tape, anything you have available. I mean, it's not set in stone while you want or have available. I mean, just keep in mind the idea of how to place your paper. If you don't have this paper available at the time that you're going to do to your photos and you only have the cardboard, you can skip the part of the paper and only use your cardboard. The only thing is that maybe the horizon is going to show in your pictures. But if you have some editing skills in Photoshop, you can remove the line of the horizon if it's visible. But otherwise, you just use the white paper to create this seamless background where you have no lines on the horizon and everything looks very smooth. I took photos of the products, well, of the objects with my camera and also with my cell phone. You can do use either one that you have on hand, so whatever you feel comfortable working with. 3. Lighting setup using the sun: What is the process or the magic behind using this setup? What makes the setup very useful is that when you have your source of light right above the object, what the light does is that when the light falls over the object, it wraps around the object with the light, it bounces around, so it creates this even texture around it. The highlights and the shadows, everything looks much more interesting because you can see all the details of the object. Especially when you are selling your products online, it is important to show all the details. When you have your main source of light above the product, the light creates this feeling of enveloping the object with light so you can see every detail. Another advantage of this lighting setup is that you have shadows that are very defined. I really like that aesthetic in my product photography. This setup is something that you should practice in any kind of situation that you have available. Not every day the light is very bright, but you can adjust your exposure according to the amount of sunlight that you have that day. Also, don't forget to take photographs of your product from different sides. I shoot the product using my camera, DSLR, and also my smartphone. There is no limit to what you can do with your images. If you want to be closer or step a bit away from your product, just try to be creative in how you are going to approach this product photography session. 4. Tips and tricks using natural light: What you can do to improve your photography is some just simple tricks. For example, I chose cameras that I have that are really beautiful because they have lots of texture and they are visually interesting. But you can choose any object that you want to photograph. What I did is I cleaned everything perfectly because with a good lighting, you can see all the details. Make sure that you clean all your objects because any kind of dust or scratches or anything that you don't want to be there is going to show in the picture. So clean everything, just for good measure. Also, when you are photographing an object, you can do straight in front of the object, you can photograph it, but also try other perspectives. You can shoot above it, from one side, from the right, from the left. Just adjust your angle of vision to whatever you are shooting. Photography is about that; about being creative even when the object maybe doesn't look that appealing. Just try to show other sides of the same object to create this diversity of images. When working with a digital camera, DSLR, make sure to have your correct exposure. If you are using your camera in manual mode, make sure that you have exposure correctly to the amount of light that you have available that day, otherwise use the automatic mode. You can do that, there's no harm in that. Or if you are using your cell phone, probably your cell phone is going to take a good camera considering the amount of light that you have available at the moment. There's really not much error that you can encounter in this kind of setup. Believe me, it is this kind of photography that you will have a good result even if you are not very sure about what you are doing at the moment. Even if you don't get a good picture when you first try it, just try it again. Maybe correct the position of the object. Maybe that's what you are not liking at the moment or the position that you are taking the photograph. Maybe it's something like that. Just be patient when you are taking your photographs. As you see what I did that day, it was just placing my camera, the object that I was photographing, this vintage camera, just placed it in the middle of the cardboard to take the photo. What I always keep in mind of doing is taking a landscape and vertical portrait because you never know when you are going to need either one of these combinations of photos. Maybe if you are using them on eBay, you need something horizontal. Or if you are sharing on Instagram stories you need something vertical. Just try to have a combination of horizontal and vertical photographs of your product. It's better to have more photos than you need than just two or three. 5. The images : Let me show you all the images that I have from that day that I photograph my vintage camera with samples of the ones that I took with my cell phone and with my camera. The difference is not that much. It's just that I like shooting with both cameras and see what I have in the end. Here are the examples. As you see, the editing is going to be minimal because we have a very good light source. The sun was very strong and the whites are very white and we have very nice contrast and the texture in the camera looks beautiful. The editing process is very straightforward and this is because from the start we have the exposure correctly from the camera and from the camera from our cell phone so everything looks just as it should be. We are just going to do minor adjustments to the image so we can use it right away. There are two kind of softwares or apps that I like using for editing my photos. The app from my phone, I use Samsung, it's great. I just edit using the native app from Samsung and you can use the app from any phone that you have. Or I also use Lightroom because working in photography, I pay subscription to Adobe so I have Lightroom available. But unless you use Lightroom constantly or for any other work that you do, use what you feel most comfortable working with the editing process. Both applications are going to give you mainly the same results. You can crop your image, you can adjust the curves, the exposure, the amount of whites, blacks, color, you can adjust temperature. Everything works mainly the same. It just changes the kind of software that you choose to work. Also, if you work on your computer, there are endless sources of applications that you can use to edit your images. But let me show you how I edited these disciplines. 6. Editing process: Images that we are going to be editing are the ones that I took with my smartphone. You can use any filter that you have on your app. They are actually very good, and if any of those work for you, go ahead. What I want to do with an image is to improve the white background. Since the image has just this combination of black and white, I want to make the white background pop. You can do this by improving the brightness or the exposure or a combination of both. Also, by getting the contrast up, we can improve how the blacks look, the saturation, and the difference between the highlights and the shadows. This is something that you can do in every image to have a better looking result at the end. The shadows, I'm just improving it a little, and saturation there's not much to do there. I also wanted to change the temperature of the image. You can make it warmer or colder. It depends on what's the look you are going for. Then, I just needed to crop the image a little bit just to make it balance. That's it. That's the resulting image. Now we're going to use Lightroom for this next photograph, and it's basically the same. Lightroom, what it has is more options from where you can edit your image. But I did the same. I change the exposure to improve the whites. Also, I improve the contrast in the image a little bit. Just move this slider to where you feel the image is getting to the point that you want it. Also, the highlights, as you see the texture is improved a lot, and it's something that I wanted to do with these images. Since the product of the object has a lot of black, I also increased that one. But just move the sliders and see what happens with your own image. You can change the sharpening in your image. This is something that I would recommend you do with a soft hand because you don't want to overdo it. Also, you can check the buttons for removing chromatic aberration and lens corrections. This is quite useful because some lenses have very dramatic change for the distortion, so this one is very useful. I do it all the time. Unless you are working with lines, you can also use geometry, but this time the image was quite all right. Then just do a little bit of cropping to balance the image, to make it center. I just always check if there is something else to do with the image is if I want to do something different or if I missed anything. This time, I wanted to change the temperature also. I went the other way to make it a bit warmer. It just depend how you feel it looks better. These are the final photographs of our product. I think they look great. Please, show me your images, I want to see photographs that you created using this lighting setup. I'm very curious to see all the things that you do. Also, don't forget to check out the resources that come with these class from the lighting setup, and all the things that I did. You always have a reminder on how to create this lighting setup. If you have questions or any other comments or suggestions about the class or any other things that you like to see coming to product photography, please let me know. If you are also interested in creating this setup by using artificial light, I also have another class using a strobe light, a softbox. That one is also very interesting. Thanks for watching the class to the end. Share your products and see you in the next one. 7. Getting started with studio lights: Welcome back to my studio. Today I want to show you how to create white background product photography using a very simple setup. This photography is very useful because you can create your own photographs for e-commerce purposes or maybe you just want to update your own website. This kind of photography you can do it either using natural light or artificial light. If you want to know how to do these white background photography using natural light, I advise you to go to my profile and check one of my other classes where I use exclusively natural light. I will be using a strobe light as you see behind me. But if you have any other kind of artificial light that you want to use, go ahead. When you finish this class, you will be able to create your own white background photography products. It's a setup that is very simple and is very fast. Once you know how to do it, you can do it all the time. I use it for my website or when I want to sell something on Etsy and update it that's the go-to setup for white background photography. It's a setup that I also use when I want to create a stock photography. If you want to create photographs for any of those purposes, this class is for you. There in the background is the setup that we are going to use today. As you see, it's very simple. Just one light that I have on a tripod and a sheet of paper. This one comes from a roll of paper, the bond type, the type that you use for your printer. But if you don't have something like a roll of paper, you can use two separate sheets of cardboard or any other paper that it's soft. You can just overlap those two sheets of paper to create a seamless background. Also, you are going to need well, your products, just a bit of a tape to place the paper where we want it, and your camera or your smartphone. I use both and it's great. For the purposes of this class, I'm going to use my DSLR, I use a Nikon camera. I use my file in RAW. Later, I'm going to edit also my file so you can see the final results. As you see, my strobe is half power almost and I'm going to use a small softbox that actually I haven't used a lot. When I was trying to find what kind of diffuser to use for the light, I came across this one, and this one works perfectly. I want something to diffuse the light because it helps creating soft shadows. But if you don't have a softbox and instead you have an umbrella, go ahead and use that one. Or maybe if you don't have an umbrella and just a flash, use that one. The only thing that is going to be different is that your shadows are going to be a bit sharper, stronger, but that's really not a problem. You can either fix that in post-production when you edit your photo or you just can leave the file as it is. 8. 2 Lighting setup using one studio light: I have a small collection of analog cameras. I have used all of them so I thought about using one of my cameras of model today. This one is a Mamiya, it's quite big and heavy. It's very pretty because it has a lot of texture. It looks so nice with a white background because all the details in the camera really pop up. As you can see, I placed the paper with a little bit of curvature behind so we can create this nice curve in the background to make the light just wrap around the subject, in this case the camera. This setup, what it does is once that I press the shutter, the light flashes, the light is going to wrap around the object and it's going to create an even lighting throughout all the sides. Also is going to give you this really nice texture that the camera has. The highlights that we're going to have and the shadows are going to be the same in all the places around the object. That's why we want to have the light coming from above, from over this object so we can have this nice lighting. Let's do a test and take some photographs of the camera. Let me show you what's the final result. Here is an example of one of the photographs that I took. As you see, the light wraps around the object so nicely. You can see a lot of texture in the object. The shadows are very soft. They are defined but not really extra sharp. They are defined and also they are soft. We have these beautiful lighting. We just have to do a little bit in post-production, but really not much. I want to see what product did you photograph using thIS white background setup. 9. 3 The images studio: Here are the resulting images from the day that I photographed the small collection of cameras that I have. I truly like this lighting setup because when the light hits the object, all the textures really show. Since the light bounces around all the sides, you can see all the details. Actually, you can use any object that you like. You can see that it's very simple. You can do a lot of work in one day. You can have a series of objects that you want to photograph and just keep changing it. What I would advise you is to take photographs of your object from different sides, not just only one side. Here as you see, I stood up or at eye level, took photos of the object. Just make sure that you have your right exposure, because that is going to save you a lot of time after in the editing process. My small collection of analog cameras gave me the chance to practice once again, this lighting setup. As you see, well, they are very photogenic. They look very nice under this light. I will be using these photos for not only this class, but I actually want to create some cyanotypes using these images, because when you have a white background, you can isolate just the object. I think this will be very useful for other projects, not only this one. 10. 4 Editing process: I will be using Lightroom to edit my photos. What I do it's very simple. I just want to change a little bit of the exposure. Remember just to do the changes according to your own image. As I'm considering here, what I need to change is mainly the shadows because the white is very white so I'm just going to adjust the contrast and the highlights to see how this affect in the final image. As you see here, when I open the shadows, the image changes completely. It's very minimal all the process that I'm doing for this part. Just move this slider and see what happens. Here are the whites, because I want the white background to really be as white as it can be and that does not affect the final image. Also to see all the texture and in this case, I will be changing texture and clarity. This just makes the pixels a bit sharper. Well, Lightroom has a button for chromatic aberration and lens profile correction for over the lens so you can click that one if you have or if your app has it. Also, with the axis transformation it helps when you have vertical lines. If you have it, click it. I think the final part will be changing a bit of the temperature. I want it a bit warmer and also to change the crop. These to make the image balance because I had that part to the right where I didn't have papers so cropping really helps. Just a little bit and move the crop around and see what happens. I think that's it for the final image. Just remember to do this process with the app that you have available. If you're using your smartphone or your laptop, use what you know. It doesn't have to be Lightroom precisely. Please, share your project. It's very important and also leave a review if you have a little bit of time and you want to see more classes from me. That's it for this time. I hope to see you soon in another class. Bye.