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 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. As a result, attractive representation gains attention towards products and increases sales.

That’s why still life photography is becoming very demanding and famous. Still life photography. In fact, it is the best way for beginner-level Still life photographers 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 primary use of equipment, one requires to take a wonderful still life photo. Therefore, we are providing a complete pack of guidelines for getting started.

Still Life Photography

What is Still Life Photography?

Still life photography is the photography of commonplace objects which are organized and designed to attract the eyes.

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

Still life photos are more like paints. It is a photo of some still objects. Some specified objects are the only thing 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 you’re looking for. It gives still life photographers full 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 beautiful images using some basic photography equipment, and you can take the photos in the 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 is 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 to meet 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 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 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 worldwide 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 in photography libraries.

Even if you can sell your pictures on Envato’s stock photography, PhotoDune marketing an excellent portfolio website to showcase your own works is the center of still life photographers marketing strategies. It’ll help you to advertise yourself then your presence in the market will be more robust.

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 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 evident and focus on providing a good idea about the product without any kind of distraction in the image.

Besides, the eCommerce marketplace is crowded. Moreover, Finding eCommerce product photography clients is not a more challenging 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 attract the consumers’ attention.

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 mind.

In this category, the small objects 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. For example, a photographer must follow some tricks while starting photography on a still picture-based project.

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

01: Understanding Light Effects on Different Objects

Understanding light effects on different objects are significant. For example, suppose if you light your things from the side angles, it provides comparatively more interesting photos than the usual photo we take lighting the object head-on.

Besides lighting from different angles bringing out different textures and colors, it also creates a brighter focal point on one side of an image that gives a unique touch to your work.

02: Thinking and Planning

Thinking and planning for a great shot is half of your work. As still life photography provides many objects to work on, it is very easy to lose focus.

For that reason, you should think about the object you’re going to use on your photoshoot, think of the background you’re going to use for that particular object, lighting, camera these are the most common things that you must keep in your planning.

03: Pick an Object

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

04: Using Tripods and Lighting

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

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.

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’ results to understand.

07: Choosing Objects Together Visually

Choosing objects for photo shooting always tries to visually pick things that go together. 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.

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.

09: Experiment with Depth

Experiment with depth of field. You can focus on a tiny 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.

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 a very common or traditional way to do things such as fruit in a bowl or 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 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 exciting. Classical objects with scratches and worn out are better. This type looks attractive for its cracked and flaking surfaces, rusty texture.

Its damaged look amazes the eyes and leads us to think about 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 shoots dark-colored senses and then only lights specific areas. These shots are the best ones 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 are positioned precisely where you want them to be in a single plane.

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, drawing all the attention. So you have to make sure that the background increases the beauty of your image without causing any distraction.

The best way to avoid background distraction is by choosing a plain colored background. However, 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 solve your problem faster.

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

Inappropriate Lighting

Sometimes, everything is just perfect in an image except the lighting that is the most embarrassing moment. Although lighting is a crucial part of still life photography, improper lighting can mislead the theme object also affect the 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 outside of the home or by the side of an open window. Make sure the light highlights the subtle shadows and visible details.

You need to look for the light falling from the side, which makes it look more attractive. Here, you may consider taking a color correction service for a professional solution..

Miss Use of Lens

Still life photography is all about highlighting a simple every inanimate object attractively. You get your viewer’s attention by utilizing the shallow depth of field.

In terms of objects that hold many details, such as fruits, leaves, and 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, 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 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 an excellent way to discover something new.

Wrong Framing

usual photo shooting

Keeping some distracting objects in the frame or missing 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 viewer’s attention.

Cropping and resizing using photoshop can solve a problem like this. You can take our superb photoshop image editing services if you have interests.

Conclusion on Still Life Photography

To always remember that if a shot requires more time, 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 initially, but things get more complicated at a professional level.

Always bringing new ideas, observing others works along with this you also have to know 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 lovely, but one thing that is also true is that sometimes the most beautiful compositions are the simplest ones.

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