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How to create a simple lighting setup for product photography

When it comes to product photography, one of the most effective ways to display an item is on a white background. It’s free of distractions, puts the focus on the item being shown off, and makes for a setup that has been proven to work time and time again.

There are dozens of ways to go about creating a white background setup, but some are simpler and more effective than others. To showcase one of the better methods, photographer Curtis Judd has created and shared a tutorial video.

In the six-minute video, Judd explains how to create a simple setup and breaks down the individual components that makes it effective, whether it’s being used for still images or video.

One of the key takeaways from the video is that soft light is your friend when it comes to capturing the details of a product. As Judd explains, passing your light source through some sort of diffuser — be it a scrim, umbrella, or softbox — creates a more aesthetically pleasing light that doesn’t cast as many shadows as a more direct source of light would.

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The result is a clean, smooth look that will better help to show off the various elements of the product being photographed. Additionally, a clean look provided by this setup will make it easier to add or remove elements in post-production, an element often overlooked when capturing product visuals.

Your setup could vary depending on the space and resources on hand, but the basics of this video should help get you headed in the right direction. Whether you’re looking to beef up your product photography portfolio or want a better setup for video reviews destined for YouTube, it’s a wonderful guide.