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Getting creative with product photography

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

How to get creative with your product photography when you don't have a fancy studio.

Product photograph of Rhino Kisses greeting card

Being creative isn't just about what you create on the easel or drawing board, sometimes you have to use that creative flare for work behind the scenes.

As much as I would love to have a large studio, with a dedicated area for product photography I currently don't have the space. So this means that I have to get creative, when taking photographs of my products for my online shop. In this Blog I am going to take you behind the scenes to show you my set up, and hopefully give you some handy tips to take away and try in your own small make shift photo studio.

Tip #1 - Its all about the lights baby

The first thing to work out is the lighting. Yer, you could go out and spend a fortune on expense lighting but then if you are short of space where would you store it all? I have managed to utilise the nature light that comes in through the bedroom window. Yes, this does pose a problem on days where the light is poor, or when its dark so that's why I have to be super organised. Which leads me on to tip 2

Tip #2 - Get organised

I usual wait until I have a number of new products to photograph and do them all in one go. This is mainly due to the fact that my small photo studio relies heavily on natural light, so ideally I need a bright day, not to sunny, not to over cast. This is obviously easier in the summer months due to the longer days, but just means that during the Winter my photography needs to be done ideally before 2pm. Also, because of where I set up my small studio I ideally need my partner out of the house, and out of the way. I want to be able to get everything set up, photos taken and everything cleared away as quickly as possible.

Tip #3 - Using props

I love using props in my photo shots, as I feel they just add another element and make my images less stilted. Because most of my work is in black and white I try to use props that are colourful, but also natural as my work is heavily based on the nature. Well its based on animals, but have you ever tried to get a squirrel to sit still while posing with a squirrel based greeting card!! The other game changer for me was wallpaper!! Yes wallpaper samples make an amazing back drop. I have at least 6 different samples at the moment which I swap around depending on the products I am photographing. I use bull dog clips to attached the wall paper to one of my drawing boards, grab a heavy box to give it support, add my props and hey presto my small photo studio is ready to be used.

Tip #4 - Say Cheers!!!

So lets talk about photographic equipment. I do use a light reflector, depending on how much light is coming through the window. You can pick one of these up on Amazon for around £9.99, and they fold away to the size of a small dinner plate so are great to store. I also use a Canon SLR camera, however I have taken some fantastic product photographs with just my phone. I tend to use the camera more these days as I find it easier to edit the photographs on my laptop, due to the fact that I'm getting old, and my eyes aren't what they used to be.

Tip #5 - The final flourish

Once all my photographs are taken I upload them on to my lap top to check the quality. If there are any adjustments to be made then I do these in a free photo editing software called Photopea | Online Photo Editor. I am not a massive technology nut, so things need to be quite simple and easier for me to use. This software is great and has all the basics that I need. There is probably loads that you can do on here, but I like to keep editing to a minimum so will tend to use tools like crop, levels and adjustments for exposure and


Don’t Forget small can be mighty

So just because you have a small space it doesn't mean you can't make a big impact. It's all about getting creative, and making the most of what you do have. If you would like to see more finished product photographs why not head over to my online SHOP I currently have a massive summer sale on, with lots of original artwork and products up for grabs.

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