Mastering Your Product Photography Lighting Setup

If you want to start your own studio photography, you need to pay attention to lighting. The correct product photography lighting setup can make your online store images look professional and trustworthy.

At Ningqu, we manage thousands of orders for both small and established online businesses. As professionals in the sourcing industry, we interact with product images regularly. So, we know how lighting can massively improve the quality of product photography and the brand image of a business.

Read on to know how you can create your product photography lighting properly.

Why is lighting important in photography?

Lighting is important in taking product photos because having enough light will make your images pop out. Well-designed lighting can even turn shots from a phone camera amazing. So, it’s essential to pay attention to light as much as you pay attention to your camera and lens choice.

Highlights the Details

If you don’t have enough lighting, your photos can turn grainy, and you’ll lose some details. But with proper lighting, the important elements of your product can pop out, and you’ll attract customers. I have got that BAD experience. You should not compromise on that.

Improves Shot Quality

Even if you forget to use a white background in your shot, your product can still pop out with proper lighting. The lighting dims the environment and brings focus to your subject.

Expresses Mood

You can control and reflect light to express the mood you want. To get more creative with colorful lights, you can pair light with a slow shutter speed in your camera settings.

Easier Marketing

Professional product photography means easier marketing. You will draw people to your images, so you don’t need to make more effort to grab their attention.

What lighting equipment do you need?

Here is the equipment you’ll need for your photography lighting setup.

Continuous Lighting Kits

Continuous lights are lights that constantly light up your shooting area. The advantage of this type is you can visualize how your images will turn out even before taking the shot.

Strobe Lighting Kits

Strobe lights won’t light up until you trigger them. This is often used in portrait photography. The main advantage of a strobe light is that it uses less electricity.

Light Tent

This tent diffuses light softly throughout its whole interior. Often, it comes with its own set of lights, so all you have to do is place your product inside and shoot.

How to set up lighting for your product photography?

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to optimize product photography lighting setups.

Step 1: Use even lighting

Some photographers struggle to avoid light reflections in their products. And this usually happens because they’re using just one light source. One light SOURCE can affect the photos potentially. I always recommend having multiple sources.

Step 2: Utilize Overhead Lighting

Overhead lighting has a lot of benefits when used with other lights. And on its own, it can even provide unique value.

Step 3: Implement a Light Modifier

In eCommerce photography, it’s crucial to control your light. Light modifiers are efficient tools to make your product photos have steady and soft lighting throughout.

Step 4: Add Off-camera-lights

A single light is rarely enough to take a product photo. I use at least two lights. Setting up the positions, in that case, is CRUCIAL.

Step 5: Reduce shadows

When light falls into your product, shadows will be present. And although sometimes it’s fun to play around and be creative with them, shadows can overwhelm a product’s presence in the shot.

Step 6: Use Front and Back Lighting

Having both front and backlighting will improve your image quality. From my experience! Using one LIGHT can distort your images. You should be considering everything in this case.

Studio vs Natural Light

There are two types of light in product photography: Studio or artificial light and natural light.

Artificial Lighting


  • You can shoot any time you want. Cons:
  • It can be expensive.

Natural Lighting


  • There’s no learning required. Cons:
  • You can’t shoot anytime you want.

FAQs about Product Photography Lighting Set Up

What’s the best lighting setup for my apparel product photography?

In apparel photography, it’s best to use continuous lights. You can see how your product interacts with your lighting setup even without taking an image with continuous lighting.

Is LED lighting good for product photography?

Yes, LED lighting is suitable for product photography. They’re practical, cheap, and easy to control. LED lights also have continuous lighting, which is the recommended setup for product photography.

Can you use ring lights for product photography?

Yes, you can use ring lights for product photography. Just make sure that your lights are enough to brighten up the area. Adjust the distance between the lights and your product and experiment with what creates the best image.

What’s Next

Don’t be intimidated to learn how to do a proper product photography lighting setup. With the right mindset and a clear goal, you can have your dream online store portfolio in no time. Feel free to come back to this article if you forget something. And we still have more product photography articles that can guide you thoroughly on your eCommerce product photography journey.

We can help you find reputable suppliers for your soon-to-be successful business. Contact us today!

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