on-location- product-photography-setup

5 Minutes For Two Flash On Location Product Photography

Hi, recently a friend of mine, who has a beehive (Yep she and her family makes honey for years) , asked me to shot some images of the products they are going to put on sale during the upcoming holiday here in Israel .As I was sure we are going to photograph more natural images, using available light in the woods, my friend decided that she wants to photograph this line of products on a simple white background. The only thing was did didn’t tell me about it and I got to her unprepared…So what are we going to do? Its time for some improvisations!

I photographed in her shop, it was a tiny room about 4m*4m full of shelves and not to much spare room for luxury setups. As the “studio” was a shop, we had to stop the shooting once in a while cause costumers had to visit and disturb us… `-)

So here is how I did it:

  • Background: I got to an office equipment store and bought 3 big 70cm*50cm white bristol paper- two of them I have to use and another oneto be a spare one in case something goes wrong/dirty.
  • Table –  Gosh, they had only a chair in the store, we had to go to their neighbours to borrow a small table.
  • Lighting – I started with just on light , the on on the right side of the image, a YN565 flash (reviewed here) shoot into a bg umbrella (110cm), but as the shop was pretty dark , there where no light reflection from the left side of the shop, so I added my YN560II (reviewed here). The yn 565EX as main light/umbrella was trigger by a radio remote trigger and set to about 1/16th of full power, while the fill light from the left had to be at very low power, cause I wanted it just to let some light to the left side of the image, making the shadows created by the main light, just a little less harsh.
  • Camera – Set to ISO about 1600 as I wanted the flash to recycle fast while the aperture was small (f/10 – f/11) to get as much DOF as possible, because I was shooting from a close distance.
  • This is it, the setup took about 5 minutes to build, including taping the “background” to the selves behind…All you have to do is start shooting and replace the honey gifts.
Here are some examples – no PS made to them, I need to brighten them a little and its good to be uploaded to their website.

I hope you enjoy this quick post, to get this DIY product photography with normal gear is very easy and fast.

If you liked this, pls share it with your friends and let them know of this useful tut.

Have any questions, you are free to comment below and will answer as fast as I can!

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6 comments

  1. Yonit

    Hi,
    once again a nice, short and informative post, I use only one flash to my setups (560).
    What flash would you recommend for second flash?
    I use my old Canon 40D and its built-in flash for triggering the 560.
    Thanks, Yonint Barr.

    • Samuel M.
      Author

      Hi Yonit ‘Im happy to see you follow DIYPhotographystuff regularly!
      I’m about to put a review for two of the most affordable manual flashes on the market, you can order each of them to be your second fill light flash unit.
      I love YN product as they deliver great money value, so you can get the YN460II or another model that is selling on eBay for 56$ its the MK930.
      They both can do optical triggering (S1, S2 modes) and are one stop less powerful than your 560.
      Bye the way, If you like your 560, you can get the newer YN560II reviewed here:

      But if you are good with the 560 as main light, for fill light the other two here will be great and more than enough.

  2. Yonit

    Hi Moshe, thanks for your reply, you are fast and helpful as always.
    Never heard of the MK930, where can I get it?
    Isn’t the YN460 good enough?

    • Samuel M.
      Author

      You are welcomed!!!
      I heard about the MK after a fellow photographer who needs the flashes for wedding photography (about 1000+ flashes per night/5 hours!!!!) was complaining the YN’s can’t keep his pace and some of them died too early during battle…`-)
      In an other discussion I said I don’t think budget flashes are up for such kind of pace, but he said that the MK haven’t failed him, but they have another problem as for wedding photography, they shut down after some time and can’t be waken up unless you go to the flash and put it on again…
      He works now with second hand SB’s (Nikon flashes)…

  3. Cristian Lod.

    Hi,
    Nice tutorial.I like it when you put it simple like that.
    I’m about to create my first online shop (at Esty), I’m selling small car and airplane models I make of wood.
    I’m using a Canon pocket camera (A730IS) and wondered if I can make those kind of setup too?
    Thanks, Cris.

    • Samuel M.
      Author

      Hi Cris,
      I’m happy to see you back here (I think you commented here before).
      I can say that youl’d get better results if you use a better camera, especially if you are about to put your images in some more resolution demanding publications (full size images on the web or printed posters and so on), BUT,
      I think that you can start feeling the product photography type and see if you need a better camera/lens sets, my guess you’ll be fine if you do it right for Esty.
      You’d have to couple it with an off camera flash and actually use the same setup I did here. Go and get a strobist flash like the YN460/YN560/MK930 and start experimenting. Those strobist flashes can trigger from you on camera flash so you don’t need anything else.
      Why won’t you put some images here after trying that?
      TNX, Moshe Samuel.

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