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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Arrow Product photography, what do I need?

    I am looking into taking photos of clothing items (shoes, jackets, shirts, etc...). I have a photographer with a good camera, but she has never done any product photos. I know we need some sort of lightning and I think we need two standing lights, but I am still not clear.

    I was wondering if any of you had experience with this? What sort of lights did you use? Where did you buy them? Any tips welcome!

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    I have very limited experience but clothing products actually being worn by people always look better in my opinion, wherever possible. Also photos taken in good daylight (ie the morning time) always seem to have better colours.

  3. #3
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    I agree, and this is our plan for the future, but for now with the limited budget we decided to go with no people. Also at first we are going to do mostly shoes and from looking at the other sites, almost everyone doesn't use models for shoes. Thanks for the tip though!
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict MrBaseball34's Avatar
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    MrBaseball34
    Hook'Em Horns!

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict MrBaseball34's Avatar
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    Here's another link that you could checkout.
    How to Build a Complete Photo Studio for Less Than $100
    http://www.worth1000.com/tutorial.asp?sid=161040
    MrBaseball34
    Hook'Em Horns!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict BlazeMiskulin's Avatar
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    There are a number of ways to do product photography. Since you're doing smaller items (clothing) you may want to look at getting a light tent. This is basically a box or tube made out of a cloth or plastic which diffuses the light that passes through it. You place the product inside the tent, shine the lights at the outside of it, and you get a nice, smooth lighting.

    You'll still want to have at least 2 light sources, one brighter than the other, in order to get good shading to keep the product from looking flat. Depending on the clothing you're selling, an inexpensive dress-maker's dummy might be a good investment. It shows off the clothing in a "being worn" shape without having to pay a model.

    The other thing you might consider is looking at the local university's theatre department. If your photographer is good with portraits, it's quite likely that there are acting students who would model TFP (Time For Print). You get free models, and they get free photos to use for resumes/portfolios. You can also look on modeling sites such as One Model Place for models willing to do TFP or TFCD (Time for CD--digital pics). Just make sure you spell out clearly who gets what, what rights are and are not transfered with regards to the images, etc. TFP is a very common practice in the photography world, and done properly, everybody comes out ahead.

    If you're shooting models (or products) in a studio setting, it's good to have 3 sources: Key, fill, & back. Key is the primary light source. It establishes the direction of the light. It should come from slightly above and in front the model/item and be (generally) 20-60 to the side. Fill light is a "cooler" or more diffuse light, 90 from the key. This smooths out harsh shadows while still leaving a 3-dimensional look. Back light may be used to highlight the "edges" of the model/product in order to better define it. Back light should be soft and low-level (unless you're going for a specific effect).

    If you're going for a more "wild" or "different" look (I have no clue what your product looks like or how you're marketing it), you may talk to the University theatre department and see if there are any lighting students who are willing to work TFP.

    (Why yes... I am a photographer and former lighting designer. How could you tell?)
    M Blaze Miskulin
    President
    Geek Niche Web Hosting

  7. #7
    busy Steelsun's Avatar
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    Blaze has good advice.

    My quick response is "Plenty of light, from multiple & diffuse sources (watch and place shadows carefully)"
    Brian Poirier
    SunStockPhoto: Stock Photos, Fine Art Photos, Event Photography

  8. #8
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    Question

    with limited experience i can say less than a simple search in G!

  9. #9
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    or try other search queryes here in sitepoint or others seo sites

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Thanks everyone
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot OrangeCreative's Avatar
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    Blaze nailed it pretty much! I was also going to suggest light tents and using on-line model agencies that do TFP.

    On a different line, a camera is not everything. As somebody said, the 4 inches behind the viewfinder will make the right picture. In case you don't know the photographers work, make sure you get the right person for the job especially if paid models are in play.


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