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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 30 Dec 2017 (Saturday) 23:46
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getting started with product photography

Nick ­ Aufiero
Senior Member
459 posts
Gallery: 6 photos
Likes: 85
Joined May 2013
Location: Oklahoma city
Dec 30, 2017 23:46 |  #1

So, I need something to occupy my time during the cold weather and also when I can't get out to shoot

I really enjoy shooting studio stuff and finally moved into a house with a big enough garage to build a studio

I have some flashes and a few softboxes but my biggest thing I figured I needed was a plexiglass table and maybe some things to put products on
I also don't have a macro lens

I shoot sony and I have a 24/55/85mm lenses

I figured I need a macro lens, plexiglass table with the curved back and maybe some white board
maybe some new backdrops (prolly 9ft wide since I'll be using it as a normal studio for people as well)

What stuff would be a long lasting useful buy or something I can make DIY?

Links are fine as long as they are updated

and I don't plan on limiting myself to any specific product but I figured honestly anything that would fit in a garage would be fine

My site is (external link)

According to the lazy TF, My flatulence rates
54,199 posts
Likes: 1617
Joined Aug 2006
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
Dec 31, 2017 00:06 |  #2

No need for a macro unless you are photographing something smaller than a quarter. The 85mm would work well. Plexi you can get at any home improvement store in the lighting section. Backdrops all depend on what you are shooting and how close you want them to be. I have used everything from a paper backdrop to a kitchen towel. The set up for a product shot can be heavily influenced by the product. I've seen some great alcohol produce shoots using the bar as a backdrop. A car shoot looks great in the mountains/urban/beach background.

Not sure why, but call me JJ.
I used to hate math but then I realised decimals have a point.
::Flickr:: (external link)

Cream of the Crop
8,416 posts
Gallery: 211 photos
Best ofs: 11
Likes: 4034
Joined Jan 2010
Location: Chula Vista, CA
Dec 31, 2017 00:18 |  #3

You can build a shooting table out of a pair of sawhorses and a sheet of 4x4, 1/2" thick plywood. I built my sawhorse out of 2x4s (I-beam style). You can get wood and other tabletop/backdrop materials cheap. Vinyl floor tiles work well, cheap laminate flooring, used, aged lumber (think old pallets), faux brick wall panels from hardware stores, etc. You can mount a pair of 2x4s to the wall, stepped off with another piece of 2x4 for a spacer, and use them to hang backgrounds. Then you can keep the background and the table far enough away that you can easily separate the background lighting and subject lighting. This way you can also use the backgrounds for portraits. To give you an idea, here are a few shots of my set up from my old house.

This is a portrait set up


....and now the same space used for tabletop shooting, notice the background being used is a portrait background


Another advantage of not locking yourself into a flexed plexi table is the ability to work around all sided when you need to


You can still use shoot through acrylic on a homemade shooting table. Steve Stint details how to set up for that in his book "Still Life". It's a worthwhile read.

Light modifiers can be made yourself. 20"x30" black and white posterboard can be had cheap at Dollar Tree, for use as reflectors and flags. Fingers and dots can be made on the fly with small gauge steel rods from the hardware store, some black vinyl screen material and white ripstop nylon from the craft store. Rolls of vellum can be used as diffusion panels.

The question is, are you trying to introduce a new revenue stream, or is this something you want to do for personal enjoyment? I ask because shooting drop shots gets old fast. Once you master shooting product on a white background, it's a "been there, done that" thing. (external link)"Vacuous images for the Vapid consumer"
500px (external link)
flickr (external link)
1x (external link)
instagram (external link)

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getting started with product photography
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
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