Product Photography

BTS Tuesday - Puma Men's Shoes

Sometimes you have to get creative when trying to be creative. That is to say, you have to look to the unlikely sometimes to find the right prop or surface or background for your image. 

Such was the case when shooting this image for Puma. 

The background for this shot is the concrete floor in the studio, and the platform for these shoes were our wardrobe racks. The colors worked and we had three available to make this sort of industrial looking runner. 

Wardrobe racks providing the platform for these shoes

Product stylist Ashley puts the finishing touch on this set up

The lighting set up for this shot ended up being a single light. Initially I felt like this would be a two light set up, with a small softbox aimed at the floor to the rear of the subject to keep the light from falling off and looking like an abyss, but that ended up being way too hard to manage. All we needed back there were a few reflecting boards to bounce light from my beauty dish back into the scene. Voila! A really nice one light shot. 

Losing My Reflection - Shooting Sunglasses for Minimal Post Processing

Carefully setting up your set can save you a lot of time and trouble in post when shooting and editing sunglasses. 

Shooting sunglasses can be tricky. You want to see a good representation of the shape and style, but most lenses on sunglasses are curved and have a tendency to reflect everything in front of them. Editing out reflections in lenses may seem pretty straight forward, but the subtle gradient of many lenses can make it tougher than you might think. This set up will give you virtually no reflections and a great looking shot of your sunglasses, right in camera. 

Behold, the boat

Note the light placement. I used a beauty dish here for ease of set transition, but two softboxes would work well. You are essentially bouncing light back onto the glasses from the front and back sweep. If you are getting milky looking frames, add a flag to keep some of the softbox rom spilling directly onto the glasses. 

This is the set up used by the company I shoot for full time. One of the benefits of working in a production studio is that you get to work with other photographers and share ideas on how to tackle certain issues. The sunglass boat is one such instance. 

The idea here is to build yourself a "boat" out of white seamless paper, with only one hole big enough to fit the lens. This way, everything around your sunglasses is white and will reflect as seamless white in your lenses. 

Carefully cut a hole in the paper to allow just the lens through. This will keep your reflections to a minimum. 

This set up will eliminate reflections for quite a few styles of sunglasses. Aviators and similar styles may reflect the lens itself, but that is far more manageable in post than most other reflections. 


Note the use of white gaffer tape to tape the seams. This prevents the small paper overlaps from reflecting in the lens

This set up has the added versatility of being able to shoot straight on and at an angle, or back shot in one set with out needing to move fill cards or fancy footwork. 

The Smoking Gun - Neon Noir Still Life Tribute

Another evening at home with nothing but ideas, this still life was shot as a tribute to the "neon noir" crime thrillers of the 1980's

Tech Details

Set: In studio, black sheet as backdrop

Lights: Canon 580exII from top left with red gel, LumoPro LP160 with blue gel from below, both gridded with Rogue speedlight grids

Other Notes: I used matches which create lots of smoke when extinguished to get the smoke effect. This image is straight out of camera, no post processing whatsoever. 

Guitar - Still Life Product Photography

Sometimes models are hard to come by and you get the itch to make something happen. I had one such evening, so I grabbed my guitar and decided to work on a little still life/product photography. Something a little more artsy than catalog. 

Tech Details

Set: In studio, black sheet for the backdrop

Lights: Canon 580exII in a small softbox camera left, gold reflector camera right, LumoPro LP160 camera right with flag covering the neck.