Whether you are creating product images for a client or your own business, here are five simple tips for light filled photos using only natural light.
1. Find a spot near a large window and set up your station there. Recognize how the light changes throughout the day and how the particular location impacts your flatlay. For instance, if you are on the side of the building where the sun is shining directly through, you'll have more direct, warm light with apparent shadows. And if there is a large tree in front of direct lighting, you'll achieve speckled light as in the image below. Alternatively, for softer light, pull your station away from the direct light. Or shoot when the sun is providing abundant light but not directly on the side of the building to shine right through. There is truly no way to list every lighting scenario, so I recommend learning how the light works in a particular location and then photographing products there consistently for a cohesive look.
2. Another tip for better lighting is to set a white trifold board on the opposite side of the window to bounce more light onto your flatlay. These stand on their own with minimal set up and are inexpensive to pick up at most drug stores or you can purchase them online.
3. Choose a styling surface that is a fitting background for the product and brand. We offer linen and wool surfaces in a range of colors that provide a clean and minimal texture as well as velvet surfaces that provide extra dimension. The photos in this example were taken with our Dual Sided Stone x Onyx Linen Styling Surface.
4. Source objects like blocks and dishes that also fit the product & brand to layer for dimension and shape. Experiment with different sizes for a more organic and visually interesting image.
5. For the best dimensional light falling across the products, I recommend either 1 - setting your styling surface on a table that is even with the bottom of a very nearby window, or 2 - setting the surface on a floor further back from the window. This is because if you set the surface very close to a window on the floor, the light comes straight down on the products which creates almost no dimension.
I hope these tips help you create consistent light filled product images for your client or your own brand. Below is a behind the scenes summary of these tips.