Perfect lighting for stock photography
Whenever you look through the best sold images on a stock agency you see perfectly poised and groomed models smiling in a beautiful glow of white light. And you end up wondering how to do it yourself.
The answer to perfect white lighting is actually quite simple and you will find setups all over the internet. With two simple and inexpensive studio lights you can obtain the kind of all over diffused light you covet. All you need is a room with white walls and ceiling and a white background, or, if you don’t want to invest in that, a light wooden floor.
However, more moody and creative shoots will require a little bit more imagination. Work with the things you have to obtain the kind of light that brings soul and message to your images. It’s not only people on white that sell well.
Let’s take a look at how you can make your images pop with the same lighting system but different techniques.
The above image is simple to make, two lights with softboxes on the sides-front of the model. This setup gives good contour to your model and blows up the background to a pure, sparkling white, which is what you are after, but it gives details to the phone, even if it is white. Work with different settings on your lights and camera if you don’t have a light meter. If you do, it’s even better.
For old school Hollywood glamour there is only one light, whit a softbox, coming straight from above the model, which also shines on the background.
For the noir detective the light comes straight from behind, and no softbox is used. A fill light from the front was necessary, but keep it low so that the overall feeling remains.
Strong woman with boxing gloves is shot using the same lights as above, just that they were turned into light strips using some aluminum foil on the front of the softboxes. This will give you stronger shadows and less surrounding light.
Ballerina legs series was shot with the simplest of lights you could ever imagine. A nightstand lamp that is not even very bright. I wasn’t feeling like putting up a studio light and softbox so I just went for what was closer at the time. It is one of my bestselling images.
I hope that this little article showed you that you don’t need a big studio with zillions of professional lights and lighting systems to shoot some really cool stock photos.
Till next time, Happy shooting!