7 'How To' Tips For Shooting Still Life Photography

Here are 7 simple tips and tricks for shooting beautiful still life photography at home. All you need are a few household items and a little creativity.

| Creative


Still Life photography is something anyone can try as all you need is a few household items and the creative ability to construct a scene that's worthy of a picture. 

As you build your photo rather than photographing a scene that already exists, it helps if you have a concept to begin with and that's where our friends COOPH begin their still life tutorial. 

The tutorial actually has 7 really useful steps for you to work through and they are...


1. Plan Your Concept

Draw out your idea on paper before you begin constructing your set-up and then perfect the positioning of everything in frame before hitting the shutter button. Visualising triangles that are higher at one end and taper off can help, as we've mentioned previously, and slowly adding items rather thank plonking everything down in one go can make it easier to see if the layout is working or not. 


2. Build Simple Concepts

Still Life photography doesn't have to be complicated. You can use plain materials as your backdrops and natural light from windows so you don't have to think about where you need to position flashes. 


7 'How To' Tips For Shooting Still Life Photography: Natural still life shot



3. Play With Light

Who needs strobes when you have a desk lamp? COOPH suggest you light your subject from behind by placing a desk lamp behind your background and you can adjust the positioning of the lamp to alter the strength and shape of the light that shines through. 

They also show you how you can light your set-up form below with the desk lamp and two small bins which act as stands for a sheet of clear plastic. A piece of black card is used to direct the light. 


4. Shoot Reflections

A shiny black tile is a slick and minimalist way to create a background for small items and if you visit a DIY store, you can often pick up samples for free (but you didn't hear that from us.) 


5. Think 'Abstract'

Make the ordinary extraordinary by thinking out of the box a little. COOPH get all Frankenstein on a couple of apples, sewing a red half to a green half - weird but interesting. 


7 'How To' Tips For Shooting Still Life Photography: Abstract apple shot

©  COOPH  


6. Enhance Your Props

Spritz a beer bottle with water to give the ice-cold, thurst-quenching feel to your product shot or how about creating steam with a boiling kettle hidden in the background? 


7. Capture A Message 

Think of a message you want to convey in your photo then get creative with your ideas on how you can bring the message to life. COOPH fastened a clock to a balloon with clear fishing wire to convey the sense of 'time flies' but there are literally thousands of messages you could create from simple props and household objects. 


Want More Still Life & Product Tips?

If you've not got your fill of still life photography tips and photography projects you can try at home, have a read of these tutorials: 

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