Lighting Up a Product Photoshoot Using LEDs

Shooting clean product images may not be as hard as you think. With the help of what-you-see-is-what-you-get LED light panels, the process is made that much simpler for getting started.

In this video from Dusty Dolby for workphlo, he shares his entire process of how to light and photograph a bottle of cologne as well as how to edit the images in post. Sure, there are a few specialized pieces of gear he has on hand such as the large diffusor on a backdrop, plexiglass for the surface, and a flag for controlling light spill, but there’s nothing wildly expensive here. The most expensive piece to this besides the camera is probably the larger Yongnuo LED backlight for $114. And thanks to the magic of compositing, one item can be used in multiple different ways for a final image.

If you learn best by a hands-on approach like I do, LED lights are an amazing tool to have on set. Being able to see exactly how the light affects a scene directly is such a relief after trying to use strobe flashes and arbitrary power levels that require lots of trial-and-error to finally get somewhere. The zero-motion nature of product photography with a locked in composition is perfect for LED panels as well, as strobes become more essential as the subject has more movement.

Have you used LED panels for product photography before? What are some of your own recommendations?

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1 Comment

Jasmin Bataille's picture

I'm a LED guy myself. I'm mostly using the weather inexpensive 312ds panel by Fotodiox. The fact that you can change color temperature on the spot, and don't have to worry about heat, make LEDs the best option IMHO. You can have some hugely powerful ones as well. Even in cinema, they use a lot of LEDs now.