Using natural light is great for product photography because it’s free and it can create beautiful lighting for your product photos. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without some challenges.
If you’re like me, you’re probably taking your product photos in your home, utilizing natural light coming through a window. I’m fortunate enough to have great natural lighting through my north-facing windows that are floor to ceiling.
But you might be saying, “Consider yourself lucky! I don’t have great natural light in my home. What am I supposed to do?”
Well, first off I’d tell you don’t give up. I know lighting is a frustrating area for many makers and it can be easy to just give up. But don’t. Hopefully one of these options can help you improve the lighting for your photography and get you closer to creating great product photos that show your handmade work in the best light for your customers.
Remember, you may need to get creative with some of these options and do some work, but I know you can do this!
Observing light exercise
Have you tried out the exercise I shared previously where you observe light in your home over the course of a day? If not, I’d first recommend you do this because you may discover you actually do have adequate light to photograph your products. It may not be at the time you want, but you probably have some options! Again, you may need to get creative like move furniture around, but it’s good to know what your options are.
Open a door
Photographing your products next to a window or a glass sliding door is ideal since, you know, whether happens, but it doesn’t mean it’s your only option if you’re having a hard time finding natural light in your home.
The next best solution is propping open a door in your home or a garage door.
Often times front doors of homes have a slight roof overhang so it makes for an ideal spot since it will give you some shade to photography your products.
Yes, you may have the challenge of dealing with the weather if you decide to go with this option, but it at least gives you an alternative if your home is dark or the windows are not easily accessible to photograph products. Just be sure to be mindful of the weather and anything messing up your workspace.
The next obvious solution is photographing outdoors. If you have space outdoors where you live, that’s ideal since you don’t have to transport your setup or products too far. But if you don’t have that as an option, it means you will need to go to another location to take photos.
Using an outdoor setting to photograph your products can be a challenge because you’re not only open to the elements like wind, dirt, bugs and so on which can be problematic when photographing products, but the weather can change on you. Controlling the lighting can be an issue, but it’s not impossible if you use diffusers or find a shady spot to take photos.
Invest in artificial lighting
And if none of those options are working for you, you can try your hand at artificial lighting.
Using artificial light is great in that you can take product photos any time of day. But there’s a bit of a learning curve in lighting placement, especially if you’re trying to get a natural look.
There’s also the added cost of purchasing equipment and having the space to set up to take photos. But you can produce some great results using just 1 or 2 lights. Be sure to do your research before investing money into studio lighting.
Are you currently using natural light or artificial light to take product photos for your business? Let me know below!