As a hobby photographer and online vendor for many years, whenever anyone asks me for photography tips, I always say natural light is best. But when you have a day job like me – leave the house at sunrise and come home after dark – natural light isn’t really an option. So I’ve been making do with my desktop lighting as soon as Daylight Saving Time ended here in California. It’s fine for sharing on social media, but not good enough for my online shop updates.
My husband photographs many vintage housewares for his resale business and depends on natural light for his product photos. It doesn’t rain much here, but sometimes the lighting is just not exactly right. This year, he had a “beginner’s photography light kit” on his Christmas wish list and I guess Santa obliged (thanks to my awesome in-laws)! We set it up over the weekend to test it out.
If anyone comes over for dinner, I promise you won’t be interrogated by us! The kit sets up and breaks down quite easily and doesn’t take up too much space.
And of course I had to try it out for my calligraphy work! :)
I picked a particular difficult one to photograph – Antique Gold star dream envelope from Paper Source, lettered in Sumi ink. The gold shimmer is tough to capture, and sometimes Sumi ink ends up reflecting the light. I usually lay the envelopes flat on a white surface when photographing with natural light, but in this case, it just looked a little too flat and harsh. I ended up propping the envelope on a stand, and with our pale blue-gray wall in the background, it was exactly what I wanted.
I will still choose natural light over artificial light, but this is the next best thing until Spring comes again.
There are many kits available on amazon that fit all budgets and item sizes. It’s great for us since we will be using it for both our business ventures.