London-based product photographer Sean Tucker is releasing a three-part video series on photographing large objects, such as chairs and sofas, in a studio setting. Here in part one, Tucker demonstrates how to set up your lighting and camera in order to achieve a great, clean image that will be easy to cut out in post-production for online product catalogs.
To start off, Tucker shows how to set up your product before you begin shooting. This includes having a white backdrop to work with to avoid any reflecting color casts affecting the look of the product’s true color. As the lighting pieces are set up one by one, Tucker goes beyond simply showing you his lighting angles and goes into detail on why the specific light matters and what to look for in order to get it right. Although he is using pricier lighting and modifiers, Tucker also gives some tips along the way on how to light similarly using speedlights.
What I like about this tutorial is that it takes you through the entire process of a shoot, including incorrect exposures and how to fix them. Noticing when something isn’t quite right and knowing what steps need to be taken to fix them is a skill on its own. It makes the tutorial slightly longer than just showing the calculated steps to a perfect image, but understanding the entire shooting process with adjustments being made is well worth the extra time watching.
The next two videos in the series will teach how to process and retouch your product images as well as how to cut them out to a white background for catalog display. To keep up on the series, you can subscribe to Tucker’s YouTube channel or check out his blog.