I recently did a product shoot for Duel on Jewel. I had done a product shoot before namely for my own ecommerce store shopkboutique.com.
I used a light box to hold the product and to provide an even soft lighting. Flash #1 was a Canon 600EX. Flash #2 was a Canon 430EXII.
A second setup used a second flash off the side as shown below.
Lastly, a third setup was done without the second flash at all.
I think one of the biggest challenges was dealing with the not so white background. Although my backdrop was white and my camera was white balanced, my background appeared grey in the photos. This poses a problem especially when the images are going to be put up again a very white backdrop such as seen on Amazon or Ebay.
The solution was to whiten the photos in post using Lightroom. I used the brush feature to up the exposure in the grey areas to the max causing the background to whiten. This was a tedious and time consuming process especially for the more intricate jewelry pieces, and I wouldn’t recommend using this method if you have a better choice.
So for next time, my challenge is this: light the product in such a way that it requires minimal editing work. I’ve heard the key to that is to light the product and the background separately, but I haven’t found any definitive resource on how to do so. It seems that most product photographers rely heavily on post-production. Either way, the ultimate goal is to improve not only the photography but the workflow. I grossly underestimated the amount of work required.
I’d also like to shoot products where I add a reflection to it in order to up the production value. I think it’ll be a fun challenge for next time. I’ve decided not to do product photography for the time being – at least not for other people. It requires a lot of time, and I’d be better off using that time for shooting my own products. In the future, when I do return to product photography, I’ll be certainly be charging a heftier fee. There’s a reason product photography is so expensive – it’s a lot of work and requires a lot of skill and talent. After all, for an online business or any business really, the photos often make the sale.