Studio lighting setup for product photography

This is a simple yet very useful lighting setup with only two hot shoe flashes (canon 580 ex speedlite), two homemade light modifiers and a dark glossy board.

I use one honeycomb snoot on the backdrop to get more control of the light. That flash i placed under the board. I use one homemade horizontal strip softbox as a main light. That flash is mounted on my camera.

For this session I wanted a dark exclusive look n feel that harmonizes with the delicious dark coffee tones, so I used a brown backdrop and a black glossy board to put the cups on. Even though the board is dark, it will still reflect plenty of light from the background

Low budget lighting setup

First time I used this lighting setup was on an assignment when I shot some food and drinks for a restaurant i Stockholm and needed to keep the budget down.

I have reused this lighting setup many times. These specific photos is from a session when I shot some stock images for istock. Check out that lightbox.

It’s difficult to give a good ratio between the two strobes, since I have used this lighting setup on many different colored backdrops. My advice is simply to try what’s best for your specific session.

Good luck with the shooting!

Photographer Carl Swahn

Contributing photographer Carl Swahn

A few questions answered by photographer Carl Swahn.

Where are you from?

– “I’m from Stockholm, Sweden.”

How old are you?

– “I’m 35.”

How long have you’ve been into photography?

– “I bought my first black and white darkroom in 1993, that’s when I got into it for the real. I developed pictures day and night. The next big step was when I bought my first DSLR, a Canon EOS 300D (kiss?).”

Which photographic genres do you like best?

– “I work across many different genres, fashion, advertising, product, stockimages and more, but I like to take photos of people in general.”

What is your dream assignment?

– “Since I most of all like to take photos of people I would rather think of a dream session with a person, than a dream assignment. I would really like a photo session with Charlize Theron who is not just extremely fotogenique, but also a great actress. I’ve understood that she had a tough background and has been working really hard to achieve all her well deserved success. That’s inspiring, and I like working with people that inspires me.”

Your favorite website?

– “Smashing magazine is very inspiring, even though it’s not specifically about photography.”

What other photographers do you like?

– “I like photographers that go their own way and take photos with heavy impact. Larry Clark and Terry Richardsson are such photographers and I really love what they do. Since this is a blog about lighting setups I feel that I must mention Jill Greenberg and David La Chapelle even if that might be a bit too predictable.”

Your favorite lighting setup?

– “Even though I’m very interested in lighting setups, I have no specific favorite. But I like shooting on location so I prefer lighting setups that doesn’t require much lighting equipment.”

Favorite photo accessory?

– “That must be my Elinchrom Skyport, a radio trigger for my strobes. It’s really great!”

Let’s have a look at some of your photos

Here’s my blog in Swedish: Carl Magnus Swahn

or take a look at my istock portfolio.