Articles / Tips and Ideas / Videos · Tuesday 20 April, 2021

Simple Lightbox Product Photography with a Smartphone

Good photography is an important part of sales and marketing. In this article and video, you will see the simple set-up I use for photographing of my woodturning. The same techniques can be used to photograph virtually anything, though.

Top Tips from the video:

1: Control Over Lighting: Using adjustable lights with a dimmer switch give you better control over the illumination of the photo subject.
2: Plain Background: the use of a neutral coloured, plain background ensures your product is the only thing in the image your viewer can see – it focuses the eye on what you want.
3: Shadow: Make sure you have a shadow beneath the piece to stop if from ‘floating’ around the image. A shadow will anchor the piece to image.
4: Tripod: Use a tripod with phone mount to keep the phone still whilst taking the shot. This is also helpful when photographing a run of products that require the same set-up.
5: Trust the Phone: White balance can be a problem sometimes. Trust your phone’s white balance and other settings, particularly if you are not familiar with how they function.
6: Take Multiple Shots: Take several shots of the piece by turning it round. This ensures you will have a shot of the piece from the best angle. It’s also helpful from a sales perspective to show a piece from say, 4 different angles.
7: Bottom-Heavy Image: Have a look at the photos below and you will notice that the pieces are largely in the bottom two thirds of the image. This keeps the image more natural looking to the eye.
8: In-Camera Cropping: Decide which format you want the pictures to be in – Square, rectangle etc and if your phone allows it and frame the piece as nicely as you can. Cropping afterwards in editing software can reduce the quality of the image. It is often best to upload the full resolution image and let the website (and particularly a social media platform) resize the image for you.


Here is the lightbox I use. It is 60cm x 60cm x 60cm and is ideal for the majority of photography I need.

With the moveable. dimmable light bars, it gives plenty of options for adjusting the lighting for simple product pictures.

(This is an affiliate link, and I may receive a commission on any sales made from this link.)


Here is a link to a very similar product on Amazon in the USA. It is not an affiliate link.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BYJHZJL/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_4RWSVER1A91BP9KKC8WK?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


The Pictures

And here are the pictures from the shoot in the video. They are straight out of the phone. No editing at all apart from making the resolution lower for internet use.