Putting together your own professional quality photography product shoot does not need to be costly or complicated. You can make beautiful images of your wood bowls quite easily using what you have on hand already, including your smartphone.
Here are links (Amazon) to all the items explained in great detail in my article, Product Photography Setup Under $100 – Shoot Wood Bowls. Be sure to read through this article, if you haven’t already for great ideas when setting up your photo shoot.
Product Photography Setup Under $100 List
- poster board
- clamping shop lights
- LED light bulbs
- frosted shower curtain diffuser
- smartphone spring clamp holder
- swivel mount bracket
- light stand (for camera mount)
- seamless background paper roll
- seamless paper backdrop support system kit
- light stands for lights
- light stand arm extends for added flexibility
- gaffers tape
Additional Options mentioned in the article include some of the equipment I currently use and incorporate in my wood bowl shoots.
I use the Nikon Speedlights to illuminate my setup. These Speedlights work best with Nikon DSLR cameras and offer several options for managing and controlling the amount, quality and direction of light. They are also triggered wirelessly through the camera’s onboard built-in flash. While these are great quality strobe lights for all sorts of photography, the basic LED lights mentioned above also do a good jobs lighting the scene.
Stronger, more controllable LED photography lights are available as well. These are continuous lights meaning they are on all the time you shoot. This can be a great feature for also doing video work. These LED photography lights can be dimmed and the white balance color can be adjusted as well.
Simple poster board can be used for small to medium-sized objects. When the wood bowls start to get a bit larger, a seamless background paper roll works best.
Paper can be cut off of the seamless background paper roll and taped to the wall with gaffers tape. But, a much easier way to use the seamless paper roll is to attach it to a roll backdrop support system. This seamless backdrop support system can be positioned to stadle a table or other work surfaces. Set up is quick and easy and when complete, you simply roll up the paper to be used again later.
While these diffusers aren’t as cheap as a frosted shower curtain, they are very convenient and not overly expensive. If you’ve ever wondered how to make a decent shot in bright sunlight, this is the ticket. Making a portrait when the subject is being blinded can be a hassle. Holding one of these convenient diffuser panels between the sun and the smiling face is a great problem solver. These diffusers come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Camera Stability and Support
Years ago I made the investment in a very good Manfrotto Tripod. With the amount of photography I do, this unit has been fantastic for my needs.
There is also a much more affordable tripod I occasionally use to lighten my travel load. While it isn’t quite as stable as my Manfrotto, it is a very good tripod for most everything. The Newwer brand tripod, I’ve found is very well made, affordable, and a good option if you’re looking for a solid camera foundation beyond the smartphone stability setup recommended above.
Tape and Non-Slip
The best tape to use, by far, is gaffers tape. Gaffers tape is designed to hold strong and not leave residue afterward. A roll lasts a long time and is well worth the investment.
A small piece of non-slip pad works well for holding objects in place and prevents them from sliding on the shooting surface. Also, a small piece of rolled up Kneadable Eraser will hold the edge of an object or bowl and prevent it from moving.
If you have a digital camera, try using it first. And, like I said, don’t be afraid to use your smartphone camera to capture great images.
If you’d like to purchase a high-quality DSLR camera, I like the Nikon models. The Nikon 7500 is a great camera loaded with features to make fantastic images in all conditions. Canon also has good cameras and the Canon EOS Rebel T7i is a feature loaded model. Either of these cameras is a great way to go if you want to get serious about photography.
On the other hand, if you’re not interested in the larger DSLR camera models, but you do want to shoot with something other than a smartphone, take a look at the Nikon Coolpix B500 or B700, Canon PowerShot G16 or G7 X, or the Sony RX100 or RX10 cameras.