On ecommerce sites, the value of your products is not only based on the list of features and specifications but also the quality of your images. If you're starting out on any ecommerce platform, you will need to invest in some photography equipment to capture a photograph reflecting that choose your product in a flattering light. A new business exploring a platform like ecommerce might not have the funds to splurge on costly photography equipment which is why we have a list highlighting budget lighting options that prove you can get some compelling product shots without burning a hole through your pocket.
The cheapest lighting option is, of course, natural light but it is highly unreliable and if you're photographing products for your business, it would be better to use a more steady source of light such as the PIXAPRO LUMI II 200 flash (Godox Gemini GS200 II). The monolight strobe is suitable for both professionals and amateurs as it is easy to use, durable, and robust. The flash has a duration of up to 1/2000th of a second for sharp product images with visible detailing. Twin softbox lighting set up can give a decent professional look of your product.
If you're new to product photography you might consider getting continuous lights so you have a better idea about how your images will turn out with regards to the lighting. The PIXAPRO DAYLiTE60D is an LED studio light with a CRI (Colour-Rendering Index) rating of ≥95 to ensure there is little to no colour discrepancy in the final image. The light is also daylight balanced and it can help you adjust the brightness of your images with a dimmer dial so you can control the image quality. With a 50,000-hour life expectancy, you’ll have plenty of time to get the perfect product shot. The following set up comes with 2 x Daylite60D and 5 in 1 reflector which offers wrap-around lighting effect to the product. This kit does not limit to food but any product photography.
A light tent typically has translucent sides that diffuse light from every angle thereby eliminating any hotspots for a professional product photo. The PiXAPRO 75cm Cube Light Tent (do not come with any light) is ideal for product photography items ranging from small to medium sizes. The tent is made of Nylon fabric which reduces glare and softens shadows so you can photograph items with shiny and reflective surfaces such as glass or metals. With an easily collapsible design for convenient storage, the cube light tent comes with four durable coloured background options so you can get the desired effect.
All-in-1 LED Light tent is getting very popular which comes with built in LED inside the tent and different colour of background. Lightboxes will help you showcase your product with a nice clean look and a bright backdrop, making your product stand out and look great. 70cm version is perfect for small – medium size product. Larger version can accommodate a model & mannequin (for online clothes store) or small furniture, machinery equipment, electronic devices etc.
Softboxes are known for their diffused effect and they provide the least amount of light compared to other light modifiers. The PiXAPRO 60x90cm rectangular Softbox comes with a reflective interior and black exterior which is efficient in reducing the light intensity while creating a natural-looking light from a rectangular source. As long as your lighting equipment comes with a wide range of fitting including the most common use of Bowens S fit, Elinchrom fit, Broncolour Fit or Profoto fit, you can gently and evenly light your product without worrying about any harsh shadows or reflections that can ruin the image.
An umbrella provides a much stronger dispersion of light compared to softboxes. The PiXAPRO Black/Silver Deep Parabolic reflective bounce umbrella is a cost-effective way to diffuse lighting as the 16-facetted parabolic design focus the light on the product resulting in more control and less dispersion of light depending on the angle of the umbrella. The umbrella comes with a highly reflective silver surface and a black outer surface which ensures the optimum amount of light reaches the product reducing glares and producing crisp images.
Beauty dishes are more closely associated with portrait photography or fashion photography but they can be used for product photography when they need to be displayed on a human model such as makeup or jewellery. A beauty dish provides lighting that is harder than a softbox but softer than an umbrella which can be useful for specific types of photography. The PiXAPRO 42 cm Beauty Dish provides a diffused light source for product photography while providing a higher contrast compared to softboxes. This type of light is ideal for accentuating different details as the highly reflective silver interior spread the light evenly while concentrating it on an angled surface. The beauty dish also comes with a diffuser cap that can further soften the light and a honeycomb grid that can better direct the light on the product.
A reflector is a great way to bring some light to your shoot by making the product stand out. The PiXAPRO collapsible 60cm 5-in-1 reflector is an economic option for reducing contrast, eliminating shadows, warming skin tones, and softening light. The reflector comes with grip handles allowing you to focus the light on the product so the light can bounce off your primary light source and illuminate any dark spots. The reflector comes in five different colours and it is light and flexible making it easy to carry and use on any set.
Colour correction is an essential part of photography and even though it can be done in the editing stage, it's better to get it right the first-time using lighting gels. The PiXAPRO Colour Correction Gel Pack comes with six individual-coloured sheets which can help you adjust the tone and temperature of your lighting. These sheets can be clipped or taped to the light source which should be either studio strobes or LED panels only while leaving some breathing room for the lamp heat.
Fixing lights and lighting accessories securely in place allows you to focus on photographing the product and a light stand is ideal for different pieces of equipment making the photography process easier. The PiXAPRO 240cm Light Stand can be adjusted between 79-240 cm and comes with a standard 5/8” spigot making it easy to mount a variety of light fixtures including Speedlites, strobes, flash, LED panels, and modifiers. The lightweight stand can be easily moved for conducting product photography for different-sized items in studios. The aluminium build provides support ensuring the lights are sturdy and in place so there is no discrepancy in the photos.
For any start up business, every penny matters, so take some time to consider your needs. If you’re looking for an easy setup, then an All-in-one LED Light tent is a good choice, available in small and large versions to accommodate different size of products. For people who want a more professional look of product, then a studio flash softbox lighting kit is an ideal option.