Chetan is the CEO and co-founder of PixelPhant that is a group of professional eCommerce photo editors.
Shadows are a tricky photography element to play with. While they can add depth and detail to the image, they can also be a distraction. And when it is a distraction for your product photography, the best thing you can do is eliminate it.
Can we get rid of shadows in product photography easily?
Yes, of course, it is. Moreover, I am sharing with you multiple tips and tricks to help you get rid of the shadows in product photography. Also, if you are wondering, you can remove the original shadow and add natural shadow to enhance the image during post-production.
If that is something that you are looking for, learn about shadow-adding services.
But for the photographers and directors willing to eliminate shadows in product photography, here’s are the best tips and tricks for you
Tips To Getting Rid Of Shadows In Product Photography
Soft light vs Hard light
In order to avoid and get rid of shadows in product photography, it is very important that you understand the source of light. Hard lights, that is direct and close lights tend to create hard and sharp shadows. The one that we don’t want in our product images.
Soft lights, that is the lights that are indirect and diffused lights tend to create soft shadows. Because the light is distributed, it illuminates the product without creating hard shadows.
Yes, you’ll see soft shadows in the frame, but as we go ahead in this article, you’ll learn how to get rid of that as well. If you are a beginner, I’ll also recommend your read our guide on Product photography lighting where you’ll learn about lighting tips, setup, diagrams & kits.
Using flash during product photography essentially means using direct light on the product. It is uncontrolled and creates very hard shadows.
Also if you are capturing a plain surface, using flash will cause glare or reflection that will need a lot of time, effort, and resources to remove from the image.
I highly recommend investing in a good lighting setup and equipments if you looking forward to becoming a professional product photographer.
Talking about investing in lighting equipment, a lightbox is among the most useful lighting equipment that can help you get rid of shadows in product photography.
It is a box open from one side and within the box, there are strips of LED lights. Because lights are coming from all sides of the corner, shadows are completely eliminated from your product photography.
If you have products that are small in size, using a lightbox will be a great option.
Bounce back your light
Now, what if you have one light source and want to get rid of shadows in product photography? Now after learning about softbox, we know that if lights are coming from all sides, it will eliminate the shadows.
But since we have only one source of light we’ll use it against itself. When you place your light facing toward the product, use a reflector and place it on the opposite side of the light.
This reflects back the light towards the product working as another source of light, hence eliminating the shadow. Setting this up maybe hit and try, but once you find the spot, you’ll get some amazing product images without shadow.
Balance your lights
When you are capturing models or doing fashion photography for eCommerce, bouncing back your light or using a softbox might not be an option due to the size. That is why you’ll need multiple sources of light to balance the lighting and get rid of shadows in product photography.
The above studio diagram uses 4 lights set up. One facing towards the camera, the second on the background, third putting light on the model from the back and forth used as filler light on the other side of the model.
With the above tips and setup, I am sure you can get rid of shadows in product photography. You can either use lighting equipment like a lightbox or reflect the light back towards the light source or balance your lighting using multiple lights.
All these methods will surely eliminate shadows from product photography. But if you would like to completely remove it, you can use a professional product photo editing service.