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  • Sandy Weatherall

A Skill to Have

Not everything in commercial food photography seems super exciting. Well, unless you are me and thrilled to have amazing clients like Alysia Lok, owner and creative genius of

, bring their product to you to photograph.


One of the most important skills that is not as simple as it seems is to photograph a product on white. And often these products on white are of the packaged products and often these packages are very, very shiny.


It's a lighting challenge.


And it's a challenge to do with natural light. Natural light comes from a large source, like a window which create large reflections. The other challenge is you cannot move the window up, down or around to adjust where you see these reflections on the subject. In my opinion, if you want to shoot a lot of commercial product it's important to know how to use and control artificial lighting.


With shiny things, simply moving your light source higher and playing with the angle around your subject makes all of the difference.


Also note, as with the Caramunchies packaging, it's silver. Silver reflects everything in the environment. EVERYTHING! So if your client wants to strip out the background, remember if you choose green screen or even a more neutral, such as grey, that will be reflected as a colour cast into your silver object. Also another concern when using window light. Everything from that window could be reflected. The curtains, the car outside, the cat sitting warming in the sun...you get the idea.


White reflecting into silver though, makes it look well, like silver!


If you want me to do a post that goes into detail about lighting for white and shiny - comment and let me know!


The other cool thing about artificial light, is you can be super creative with hard shadows as we played with for Alysia's seasonal shots. A single light with no softener (the other light you see is off). As you can see though, I continued to reflect white back into the shot with some white foam core so the shiny silver still looks more silver. With this control you can play with all kinds of shadows and angles and bold colours.


Don't forget to play. It's where we learn!



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