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  • Writer's pictureOliver Winegar

Lighting for Outdoor Product Photography

Updated: May 3, 2023

Outdoor product photography is one of my favorite ways to photograph products. Being a Salt Lake product photographer I have such a wide range of places to pick from for photographing products. Studio photography will always be important but you can create added value when showing a product in its proper environment.

A product photo of a person wearing shoes on green grass

How I make products stand out with light.

Often photographers think that because we are taking pictures outdoors we don't need to use artificial light instead we just need to use beautiful natural light. While this can often work, there are ways to make your product pop even more. Here are 3 things that I do:

Outdoor product photo of a women holding a hydro flask water bottle.

1. Natural Light

I start out with great natural light. Making sure I go out to do a photo shoot when the natural light is already good. Good natural light can take many forms. It may be golden hour, a sunny day, a stormy snowy day, etc. It all depends on the feel you need for your images.

2. Reflector

Use a reflector. A reflector is a large (normally) white cloth disk that makes it an easy way to reflect some extra light on your subject. This helps your product stand out and fill in the shadows.

3. Strobes Outside

Bring the strobes outside! Although it is a hassle to bring strobes outside this is the answer to getting the images your company needs. This is why it is important to hire a product photographer with lots of lighting experience. An experienced product photographer will know how to mix strobe light with natural light. This effect can be used to emphasize the natural light or it can be used to create a stylized image.

Examples of Different Lighting for Outdoor Products

A Toyota Tacoma truck product image in the outdoors with a sun setting on a red rock backdrop.

Available natural light from golden hour. Great for a very natural and un-posed feel.

Lifestyle outdoor product image of Smith goggles and helmet on a man. With a snowy background.

Available natural light on an overcast day.

Lifestyle product image that was taken outside in the snow of a man holding a tripod.

Available natural light mixed with artificial light from a strobe. Notice how the light still looks natural yet the subject really pops out from the background.

A photo of someone looking through a spotting scope that is on a tripod. The person is in the desert.

Bluebird sunny day available light mixed with a strobe light. This is a stylized example, using a cool warm color contrast with the light.

Whatever your needs and wants are we can accomplish them! Being a Salt Lake product photographer with the experience I can assure you that together we can create stunning imagery that will make your products and company shine. Feel free to check out my other work to see more examples. Send me a message I would love to talk and plan a time for a photoshoot.

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