Skip to main content

Shooting Products on a Black Background

Lesson 30 from: Craft Photography Fundamentals

Candice Stringham

Shooting Products on a Black Background

Lesson 30 from: Craft Photography Fundamentals

Candice Stringham

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

30. Shooting Products on a Black Background


Class Trailer

Session 1


Introduction to Craft Photography Fundamentals


What Your Visuals Say About Your Brand


How to Become a Photographic Author


How to Use Natural Light for Your Product Photography


Setting Up Your Photo: The Basic Rules


Becoming the Viewer to Take Better Photos


Shooting 3 Setups: Creating the Backstory with Images


Lesson Info

Shooting Products on a Black Background

Okay, let's move in to shooting on black. Perfect. And we just push that in there. I'm gonna put this in between, so that it won't show. We may even have to actually have it behind, so let's grab this... I may have you hold it behind. Sorry. At home, I would probably use a stool and just set it on the stool so it's right behind the tabletop, if I didn't have someone with me. But we have the amazing Kate, so we're gonna go with that. I think it's cool as it is, but it is a blood orange candle, so we thought it'd be really fun to add in... some actual oranges, even though I don't know that any of these are really blood oranges. That's okay. Hold this up here. And maybe one like in here. Basically, everything in this image is dark. We have a dark surface. We have a dark tabletop, a dark wall. What we don't have is a dark product. We have a light product here. Now I'm using the 50, so I have to be really close. If I just look at it from here, it looks like the orange is over, but when I lo...

ok at it through my camera, it looks like the orange is right behind it, which I do not want, so I'm gonna move that out. There we go. I gonna change my exposure compensation all the way back to zero, just to see... (shutter clicks) what it looks like. It actually looks really good. We don't need to adjust much here. I think because the white candle is filling so much of this space, it's picking up on that and it's giving me a decent exposure. If I wanted it to go a little bit darker, and I am gonna get a little closer here. Gonna switch these guys... 'cause I didn't like that the top of that was showing that way. I'm making sure I'm focusing right on the label. (shutter clicks) My aperture is at 2.8. (shutter clicks) Took another picture. Now I'm gonna go to minus one and just show you what that would do. (shutter clicks) There we go. Now I'm getting a true black in the background. Much more than I was before. I might add in, even though I'm shooting on black, I might add in a what reflector because I wanna highlight the other side of the candle, make sure that shape looks really good in there. (shutter clicks) Yeah. See the difference, adding that reflector? It created a shape, right? It creates a unique shape. It shows them exactly what they're getting. It just is a lot better on the label as well. I might even add in... and I will hold this myself, one just from the front to really get that label bright, because the label's super important on it. I don't wanna block my camera, but I'm just gonna hold it right in here. (shutter clicks) Gonna go a little bit brighter. (shutter clicks) See that? There we go. Yeah. Really, really nice. That's exactly what I would do, that's how I would shoot it. I'm gonna do one more just a tad brighter, just to have it. Then we're good. (shutter clicks) Okay. Thank you. That was shooting on black and on dark surfaces. Again, it's looking at the image and saying, "What do I want highlighted? "What's important to me within this image?" And then, "How do I highlight that? "Do I need to bring in the reflector? "Do I need to brighten it? "Do I need to make it a little bit darker, "so the white candle really stands out against the black? "What do I need to do to make my product really shine?" It's as simple as that. That took three minutes? I could put that anywhere. And it will stand up against someone's five light studio. You can do it! This is my Shia LaBeouf you can do it YouTube moment. If you haven't watched that, go watch it. It's super motivating. (chuckles) Alright, those are two really difficult situations that we just addressed in, I think, half an hour. We just solved your life problems today. In half an hour. What I wanna talk about now are other items that are super tricky, right? Reflective items? Super tricky. Then when I wanna show reflection and I'm not getting that shine out of something that I really, really want. I wanna point out, and I don't know if anyone has said this yet, but have you noticed that I literally have not moved my light coming from the same direction? I've never moved my table. I've never adjusted and yet does it feel boring to you guys? Are you looking at every image and thinking, "Well, this is the same?" No. It doesn't have to be complicated to be beautiful or unique. That's you. That's your styling. That's your brand. Finding that light in your house that works and then just using it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Creating Visuals For Your Brand Assignment
Slide Presentation for Lessons Part 1
Slide Presentation for Lessons Part 2
Prop List

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This class taught by Candice was amazing. She teaches in such a step-by-step, easy to understand pace. She shares so much of her own tips and tricks she uses to create beautiful images without spending a fortune or having all kinds of expensive equipment. Having the DSLR lessons included was really great for anyone who wants to do more than the camera phones are capable of. Learning the basics of how to use a DSLR is confusing for most people, but Candice broke it down in the simplest way possible. Social media is all about imagery, so if you want to put out the most beautiful eye-catching photos, then you want to learn how to use more than the camera phone. I don't have a business where I need to take photos of things I sell and I still enjoyed her class so much. As a photographer, I am going to use her ideas and insight when I photograph things for fun. There is so much to gain from this class. I would highly recommend taking her class. She is a wealth of great ideas and information and has that friendly personality of someone you'd want to sit and have coffee with.


A wonderful class to get you going with craft/product photography. Candice provides (and shows) fantastic examples and it's really fun to watch her work through a shoot, moving items, etc. to create the final image. She also covers some basic photography tips which is very helpful. Great class! I definitely recommend to others!

Melinda Malamoco

I loved this class! Candice is so personable, clear and relatable. I would want to hang out with her and be creative! I have been taking pictures for YEARS, and for my Etsy store for over two years, and I still learned a lot in her class. The lessons are set up in a way that you can follow, take what you want and don't worry about what you don't need. I will say that I got a TON of ideas for how to better display my brand, what my personal style is and how to be consistent with it. I so recommend this class for anyone who has small business or just wants to be able to take better pictures of their products. Okay, off to build a prop kit!

Student Work