Still Life Photography – The Ultimate Guide to Get Started

Still life photography is one of the oldest of any photographic practices. It is a fundamental skill that every photographer must acquire.

All kinds of static objects are the main subject of still-life photography. It can be absolutely anything that we encounter in our day-to-day life, such as a fruit basket on a table only the vision and creativity of shutterbugs matter.

With the advancement of technology small business websites, galleries, magazines, catalogs need more product photos to display to the consumers. Attractive representation gains attention towards products and increases sales.

That’s why still life photography is becoming very demanding and popular as well. Still life photography. In fact, it is the best way for a beginner-level photographer to start with. Everything around him is the subject of this photography, his creative vision, and artistic goals will definitely find a way to shine through still life photography.

However, there are some photographic techniques and basic use of equipment, one requires to take a wonderful still life photo. We are providing a complete pack of guidelines for getting started.

Still Life Photography

What Actually Still Life Photography Is?

Still life photos are more like paints, it is a photo of some still objects which are organized and designed to attract the eyes.

It actually does not require so much equipment, rather it requires very less equipment and someone doesn’t have to be a master of photography for taking still life images. So one can definitely start still life photography as a beginner.

The subject matters of still life photography are the inanimate commonplace objects.

As some specified objects are the only thing that is required to take the image so one can have all the time in the world to perfect his vision.

So you have to set up the objects however and whichever way you want all that matters is that one masterpiece that you’re looking for. It gives photographers the entire control of technological tools to practice until they get what they want.

How to Get Started With Still Life Photography?

For professional still-life photography, some expensive equipment is required. But one can still manage to take wonderful images using some basic equipment of photography and you can take the images in a corner of your living room. For keeping your cost low you can use crafting DIY accessories and solutions and obviously there will be your own creativeness that will make the image unique.

A list of required equipment stated here, which are mostly needed for starting that type of photography and…

Otherwise, a recommendation also shows the different types of equipment that will make your photography even more standardized.

  Required equipment for getting started in still life photography:

Still life photography equipment
  1. A digital camera or any type of camera. You can also use your cell phone camera if that meets the required resolution quality of a standard camera.
  2. Reflector boards, you can create your reflector by using tin foil and cardboard. Small silver and white reflectors are used to bounce backlight into the scene.
  3. Different types of colorful material to make a beautiful background for your photo.

Some recommended equipment for professional still life photography:

  1. One Tripod stands for the camera. You may need another tripod stand for holding your flashgun.
  2. A telephoto lens, a Matco lens, a fast normal lens. A close-up lens can be used instead of a macro lens.
  3. Softbox for flashgun. You can use Stand-mount softboxes also for some specific shots you may need a mini softbox. I will recommend you Lastolite Ezybox Speedlite 22×22 cm, it’s a comparatively cheaper softbox and a good one to use.
  4. Flashgun with a wireless trigger to enable flash off-camera.

Still Life Photography Career Opportunities

The internet is the biggest source of still life photography ideas and opportunities. As the internet is spread all around the world online shopping, online-based small businesses are spreading rapidly along with that demand for this type of photography is also increasing.

So emphasizing still life photography can be a great idea. Once you have got the photo you are looking for you just need to share it on photography libraries. Even if you can sell your photos on Envato’s stock photography, PhotoDune marketing a nice portfolio website as a showcase of your own works is the center of photographers marketing strategies. it’ll help you to advertise yourself then your presence in the market will be more strong.

Clients are always looking for creative workers who come up with something new and serve them with specific services. Such types of portfolio websites are Behance, Dribbble, Pixpa. Pixpa is widely used by creative pros around the world

You can create Client galleries, eCommerce, and blogging tools that enable you to access your profile comfortably to establish a strong presence.

Types of Still Life photography

Still, life photography has a variety of subject matters. Almost all the things we have around us can be an object of still life photography starting from natural elements to human-made products everything falls into its range. Such subject matters can be divided into some subcategories. Only a few of them are mentioned here.

Product Photography

Product photography

Product photography is kind of huge, it can be any kind of product headset, food items, clothes, technological tools, inanimate objects, etc. The main goal of product photography is to show off the particular product in the best way.

Product photos are generally very much clear and focus on providing a good idea about the product without any kind of distraction in the photo.

Besides, the eCommerce marketplace is crowded. Moreover, Finding eCommerce product photography clients is not a harder task.

Food Photography

Food Photography

Food photography is one of the most popular subcategories. It may have a close relationship with product photography. The main motto is to represent the food in the most attractive way to have the attention of the consumers.

Tabletop Photography

Tabletop Photography

Actually, it starts with tabletop photography. When we think of still life photography, tabletop photography is the first thing that comes to our mind.

In this category, the objects which are small enough to fit on a table are chosen for the shooting. And there is no particular restriction of picking objects; it can be absolutely anything as long as it serves the photographers’ desire.

If you have interests in this niche this article may help…

Antique Photography

Antique Photography

Inanimate ancient objects consider as the subject matter of antique photography. It’s all about representing those old-time objects more attractively.

Beginners Tips for Starting a Still Life Photography Career

A product can change the lifestyle. In that sense, a product has its own lifestyle. A photographer must follow some tricks while he is starting photography on a still picture-based project.

So, there are some common mistakes beginners go through when they start still life photography for the first time. Having basic ideas and tricks may help them to avoid those misunderstandings. So here are some of the tips that you must keep in your mind when you’re going to take your first still life photoshoot. 

Tips # 01: Understanding Light Effects on Different Objects

 Understanding light effects on different objects are very important, suppose if you light your objects from the side angles it provides comparatively more interesting photos than the usual photo that we take lighting the object head-on. Besides lighting from different angles brings out different textures and colors, it also creates a brighter focal point on one side of an image that definitely gives a unique touch to your work.

Tips # 02: Thinking and Planning

Thinking and planning for a great shot is half of your work. As still life photography provides lots of objects to work on, so it is very easy to lose focus. For that reason, you should think about the object that you’re going to use on your photoshoot, think of the background that you’re going to use for that particular object, also lighting, camera these are the most common things that you must keep in your planning.

Tips # 03: Pick an Object

Pick an object that touches you. Such types of objects will give you extra comfort to work on them and you will surely come with something extraordinary.

Tips # 04: Using Tripods and Lighting

Getting comfortable with using tripods and lighting. Lighting is the most major part of still life photography. Mastering the use of tripods will allow you to take more shots from different angles.

Tips # 05: Satisfying Situation

Sometimes a satisfying shot requires a lot of time in such a situation you must take all day over as long as you don’t get the shot you wanted.

Tips # 06: Learn from Others

Before putting your knowledge into work it is also necessary to learn from others. In that sense, you must always observe others’ works to learn.

Tips # 07: Choosing Objects Together Visually

Choosing objects for photo shooting always tries to choose things that go together visually. As an example, if you’re working on an antique or classical object you should consider keeping an old environment around that object just to make sure things are working perfectly together. Also, you can use things that match by color or relate to something.

Tips # 08: Naturalistic Looks

Naturalistic looks always make things more unique. In such a sense, if you are thinking of taking a photo under the sunlight near your window, you should not expose the object directly to the sunlight because the light will be raspy so you have to use white curtains.

Tips # 09: Experiment with Depth

Experiment with depth of field, you can focus on one small point of your frame rather than focusing on the entire frame. It will surely bring a dramatic change in your composition. One thing you need to remember. Many cameras design to focus on the human face automatically. In that case, you have to use manual focusing.

Tips # 10: Adding Motion

 Adding motion is a different type of still-life photo shooting. Generally, still life objects are just still but you can add motion into your objects, it will definitely be something interesting.

Ideas and Poses for Still Life Photography

Ideas for Still Life Photography

If you start still life photography, you may encounter so many things around you that may lead you to distraction. So here are some of the best ideas that will nourish your creativeness

#01: Built a mindset of discovering new ideas. You don’t have to follow what is a very common or traditional way to do things such as fruit in a bowl, lighting an object head-on these are obvious things to do. Therefore you must try something creative. There are many great still life photography examples online where they have used objects that you might not think of. Such types of objects can be tools, moldy food, a melting popsicle, leaves, surface of water and oil, etc.

#02: Old and unique objects tend to be more attractive and interesting. Classical objects with scratches and worn out are better. The objects of this type look interesting for their cracked and flaking surfaces, rusty texture. Its damaged look actually amazes the eyes and leads us to think that what it has been through. So you must always keep your eyes open for such types of old objects around you.

#03: Sometimes low key images can be fantastic. Low key photography stands for shooting dark-colored senses and then lighting some specific areas only. These shots are the best one to have attention on your subject as all the background remains dark except the only pitch where the subject matter stands.

#04: A flat lay photoshoot is something that you must try. In flat lay, composition objects arrange on a table or a flat surface. The photoshoot takes directly from above. The flat lay composition is fun and easy to do. All the objects position in a single plane exactly where you want them to be.

Still Life Photography Common Mistake and Solution

Distracting Background

Putting the subject in front of a distracting background. Subject material should be the center of your photo which draws all the attention. So you have to make sure that the background increases the beauty of your photo without causing any distraction.

The best way to avoid background distraction is by choosing a plain colored background. If you somehow can’t manage a pain color background you can simply use white chart paper as the background. Besides, we offer background removal services that can help to solve your problem faster.

As tabletop photography is a big part of still life photography in such a situation you must make sure that table is covered with plain colored cloth or paper. Always keep it in your mind that the subject should be at the focus point and it gets all the attention of a spectator.

Inappropriate Lighting

Sometimes in an image, everything is just perfect except the lighting that is the most embarrassing moment. Lighting is a crucial part of still life photography, improper lighting can mislead the theme object also affects texture, causing unwanted reflection. Using LEDs and fluorescent tube-lights hamper the natural looks of your subject.

To overcome this problem you can use a natural light source such as the outsize of home or by the side of an open window. Make sure the light highlights the subtle shadows and visible details. Other things that you need to look for are the light falling from the side makes it look more attractive. Here, for a professional solution, you may consider taking a color correction service.

Miss Use of Lens

Still, life photography is all about highlighting a simple every inanimate object in an attractive way you get the attention of your viewer by utilizing the shallow depth of field.

In terms of objects which hold a lot of details such as fruits, leaves, flowers you must come closer to the object and set the camera on AV mode keeping the focal length as long as you can. If you want to focus on this type of detail work then you can go for a telephoto lens. On the other hand, if you wish to capture a group of objects on a table it is better to use a 50mm lens.

Following The Traditional Methods

In still life photography being experimental with your objects is necessary. Sometimes being fastidious can really pay off.

When you’re in the usual photo shooting, you can place the objects differently. As well as you can give the entire setup a unique look. Something that is unusual then you can take some photos with inconsistent angles of lighting you will definitely end up getting something interesting. It may not work for you every time but it is a good way to discover something new.

Wrong Framing

usual photo shooting

Keeping some distracting objects in the frame or miss out on some part of the important object out of the frame. So while photo shooting it must be in your mind that the subject fills the frame perfectly and draws all the attention of a viewer. 

Cropping and resizing using photoshop can solve a problem like this. If you have interests, you can take our awesome photoshop image editing services.

Conclusion on Still Life Photography

One thing to always remember that if a shot requires more time then you should always give it more. Doing the job in a hurry just to do. It will never end up well.

You have to work on every angle and use your own creative ideas. Still, life photography may seem very easy at the beginning but at a professional level, things get more complicated. Always bringing new ideas, observing others works along with this you also have to have the knowledge of marketing. It can be online marketing or representing yourself to buyers or organizations and building links and other things.

Looking for something different or exceptional is always nice but one thing that is also true that sometimes the most wonderful compositions are the simplest ones.

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