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How to Shoot Shampoo Bottles in Pleasant, Soft Lighting


Here’s a 7-minute lesson by photographer Dustin Dolby of workphlo on how to improve your product photography shots by giving them a silky, soft, pleasant light.

The workphlo channel is known for its easy approaches to lighting all sorts of products, from wine glasses to watches, and this time around it’s no different as a shampoo bottle gets the studio lighting treatment.

Throughout the video, Dolby works to perfect the light using a softbox and a strip box with the aim of creating a neat gradient across the bottles. This sheen lets the metallic parts of the bottle come to life, producing the “classic” beauty product shot we’re used to seeing in magazines.

By using large diffusers the light wraps around the subjects nicely, but it’s how he creates the background which is the most valuable tip of all.

To create the colorful backdrop (which is sampled from the bottle itself), Dolby captures a silhouette of the bottles which can be used as a quick and easy mask in Photoshop.

By turning off the flashes and pointing a different Speedlight, at 1/16th power, at the bottles, he captures a silhouette which perfectly outlines the bottles. The white area is then used to mask the actual image, allowing easy application of the colored backdrop.

Check out the full video above for proper instruction on how you can achieve this with minimal effort. Remember to subscribe to the workphlo channel for more videos.