Are ring lights good for product photography? This is the question on everyone’s mind. In this article, I will explain whether or not ring lights are a good choice for product photography. Outside of answering the question – are ring lights good for product photography? – I will also provide some recommendations on the best lights to purchase for product photography. In addition, I provide recommendations for photography accessories and backdrops. Let’s get started!
- What Is a Ring Light?
- Are Ring Lights Good for Product Photography?
- What Should a Ring Light Be Used For?
- Should I Use Flash or Continuous Lighting for Product Photography?
- What Is the Best Light to Use for Product Photography?
- What makes the Godox FV150 so great?
- What Other Accessories Are Recommended for Product Photography?
- Product Photography Tips and Tricks
- Frequently Asked Questions – Are Ring Lights Good for Product Photography?
- The Final Verdict – Are Ring Lights Good for Product Photography?
What Is a Ring Light?
For those of you who may not be familiar, a ring light is a circular-shaped light that is commonly used in video content creation. The ring light became very popular with YouTubers and has since become a staple for video content creators. Whenever I create video content, I utilize a ring light! Ring lights are excellent for video because they provide a soft, flattering source of light to help the subject look their best.
Are Ring Lights Good for Product Photography?
So, are ring lights good for product photography? My resounding answer is no. Most of the articles written about this topic will tell you that you should use a ring light when creating product photos. As someone who regularly does product photography, a ring light really isn’t the best for this task. The primary reason for this is that a ring light is not bright enough for product photography. You also have less control over how the light is distributed since the light source is more spread out. So, my answer to the question “are ring lights good for product photography” is no.
What Should a Ring Light Be Used For?
Now that we’ve answered “are ring lights good for product photography?” – let’s discuss how ring lights should be used. Most ring lights are designed for use in video production, not photography. Ring lights provide soft, flattering lighting for video use, and are primarily used for filming yourself or creating interview content. When using a ring light, the subject is typically a person, not a product.
Should I Use Flash or Continuous Lighting for Product Photography?
Both flash and continuous lighting can be used with product photography! The primary issue with using a ring light for product photography is that the light is simply not bright enough. There are, however, lights that will provide enough brightness.
Flash lighting is great to use for crisp, bright photos. Continuous lighting is great to use if you seek the ‘hard light’ effect in photography. Hard lighting is when there is a really harsh shadow cast over the product that you are photographing. This is one of my favorite techniques! Unfortunately, most ring lights do not get bright enough to execute this technique effectively. Trust me, I’ve tried!
What Is the Best Light to Use for Product Photography?
Since we know the answer to “are ring lights good for product photography?”, let’s discuss an excellent alternative. My hands-down, favorite light for product photography is the Godox FV150 High Speed Sync Flash LED Light. This light has completely transformed my photography. I also love that this light provides both flash and continuous lighting, so I can also use it for video!
What makes the Godox FV150 so great?
What I love about the Godox FV150 is how bright this light can get. This light also has a dimming function, which enables the ability to adjust the light as needed. This light is extremely easy to use and has greatly improved the quality of my work. Click here to learn more about the Godox FV150.
Here are a few additional specs for the Godox FV150:
- Ability to adjust the light from 0-100% in continuous mode
- 1/8 – 1/1 of 7.0 – 10.0 flash mode power level
- 8 FX Special Effects Modes
- Built-in Godox 2.4G wireless receiver
What Other Accessories Are Recommended for Product Photography?
To enable flash functionality with the Godox FV150, a flash trigger will need to be purchased. One option is the Godox Xpro. This flash trigger has different versions available based on the type of camera you are using. This flash trigger is currently available on Amazon for about $69. Check it out here.
A reflector may be necessary depending on the products that you photograph. One reflector to consider purchasing is the Godox 47″/120cm Umbrella Octagon Softbox Reflector. Check it out here.
A tripod stand is required to use this light. Luckily I already had an extra stand lying around, but if you are in need of one, check out the Amazon Basics Aluminum Light Photography Tripod Stand.
Product Photography Tips and Tricks
Below are a few tips and tricks when it comes to creating amazing product photos!
Invest in the Right Equipment, but Don’t Go Overboard
While it is important to have the right equipment to optimize your product photography, it is important to remember not to go overboard. For example, purchasing the right light will make a difference in the quality of your work, but you don’t need to purchase every new piece of equipment that comes out in order to create quality work.
When to Use Artificial Light vs. Natural Light in Photography
The choice to use artificial light vs natural light in photography depends based on the types of photos you are creating. For a really sleek look, I’d recommend artificial light. Additionally, if you live in a place that doesn’t have a lot of natural sunlight, artificial lighting will be your best friend. Natural light is a great option if you are going for a more natural, soft look to your photos. I’d recommend natural lighting when photographing food as well.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Light for Photography
If you plan to purchase a light for product photography, it is important to consider all of the ways that you will be using this one light. I’d recommend purchasing a light that is versatile and will fit a variety of situations. This way, you are getting the most return on your investment. Here are a few factors to consider:
- Will this light provide you with a return on investment in your business?
- Is the light within your budget? If not, how long will it take you to save enough to purchase the light?
- Does the light provide flash capability, continuous lighting, or both?
- Can the light be used for photography and video?
- Will the light improve the quality of your work? If so, is this worth the investment?
Plan Out Your Photography Background
One important factor to consider when planning your shoot is the photography background. There are so many great background options these days. Some of my favorites include Club Backdrops and Replica Surfaces.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
The most important way to improve the quality of your work is to practice as much as possible! While having the right equipment can make the process easier, nothing beats practice and skill. If you can learn to create amazing photos with minimal equipment, just consider what you will be able to do when you upgrade your equipment!
Frequently Asked Questions – Are Ring Lights Good for Product Photography?
Below are a few frequently asked questions surrounding the question – “are ring lights good for product photography?”
Can You Take Professional Photos With Ring Light?
While you can take decent-quality photos with a ring light, most ring lights don’t provide nearly enough light for photography. If the only piece of equipment that you have for photography is a ring light, it is better than nothing. However, if you are looking to buy a light for photography, my first choice would not be a ring light.
How Do You Use a Ring Light to Take Pictures of Products?
I do not recommend using a ring light for product photography.
What Lighting Do Professional Photographers Use?
For product photography, I recommend the GODOC FV150. This light has been a game changer in my own product photography work!
What Type of Lighting Is Best for Product Photography?
The best type of light is a light that can get very bright – I’d recommend the GODOC FV150.
You can use this light for flash strobe lighting or continuous lighting.
Is Continuous Lighting Better Than Flash?
Both continuous and flash lighting are excellent, it really just depends on the type of photos you are creating. You can use both continuous and flash lighting in product photography.
The Final Verdict – Are Ring Lights Good for Product Photography?
If you are asking yourself – are ring lights good for product photography? – hopefully, you now know that the answer is no. If you currently own a ring light, this could be a good starting point. However, a ring light is generally not bright enough to produce a quality image.
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