In Camera Effects For Product Shots

by William Lulow

Here’s another tip for shooting still life or product shots. Most good product shots are lit with a large softbox from the top or directly above the camera. Depending on what kinds of products they are, some can be lit from either side so that reflections in bottles etc., are long and limited to one basic side. The main light can be filled in either with another softbox or with a large, white reflector card. Some of these details can be added later in Photoshop, but I prefer to get it right – in the camera! There is nothing quite like a shot that’s perfected on the set and recorded in its entirety by the camera itself!


This particular shot of a perfume bottle, was lit from the top (note the highlights on the fabric) and a small, gold piece of foil was cut out, smaller than the size of the bottle and placed in such a way as to reflect the light from the softbox through the liquid in the bottle, thereby giving it its “glow.”