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Product Photography Lighting Dos and Don’ts

Techniques/ Tips

Product Photography Lighting Dos and Don’ts

Whether you’re setting up your own e-commerce shop or delving into the world of product photography in order to expand your client base, lighting should be one of your first considerations before shooting. Here are some helpful tips to “shine light” on your product photography skills.


  • Use a Color Checker – Especially when photographing clothing, furniture, and artwork, it’s extremely important to portray the color of the products as accurately as possible. The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport is one of the most popular accessories for ensuring proper color and white balance.
  • Be Consistent – If the lighting looks different from one photo to another, the variance will stand out significantly. You may need to adjust your settings slightly in order to maintain the same lighting throughout your shoot.
  • Use Reflectors – Using a DIY reflector is an inexpensive way to achieve optimal lighting for product photos. Simply take illustration board and aluminum foil, and clamp them together. The goal is to get gradient reflections on products.
  • Be Patient – If you wait for the right time, a little natural light pouring into the windows on a product can bring out its most prominent features. Natural light can also help a buyer envision using the product in their own home.


  • Misrepresent Products – It’s fun to get creative and accentuate what you’re shooting, but resist the urge during product photography. When people purchase the product, they will know if you manipulated the image and feel misled by the brand as a whole.
  • Cast Too Much of a Shadow – Especially when you’re photographing shoes or clothing, you have to actively avoid making the products look droopy. Make sure the products are in the best position for photos and in exactly the right spot to avoid this effect.
  • Use Yellow Lighting – If your photos are coming out drab, try again. Achieving just the right color temperature is essential when it comes to product photography. Set your white balance manually using  18% gray  cards.

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