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Tips & Tricks

DIY: How to Create an Awesome Product Shot With One Light and Foil

By Hanssie on August 9th 2014


Who doesn’t love a simple photography hack? It usually saves lots of money, is easy to do and only requires your equipment, and some various household items to pull off. This little DIY tutorial to get a great looking product shot caught my eye because it’s so simple and looks great. I only need what I have in my gear bag (camera, lens, and one light) and tin foil.


The video by Andrey Mikhaylov is only 2 minutes long and well worth your time to learn this quick trick next time you need an awesome product shot. I also think this would be a fun idea to take to a wedding and get some bling-y rings shots or detail shots during bridal prep. A fun pair of wedding shoes or the bride’s jewelry would look great against this backdrop as well.

What other fun DIY photography hacks do you have up your sleeve?

[Via ISO1200/Andrey Mikhaylov on Vimeo]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Graham Curran

    Really great tip. I’ll definitely try this out.

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  2. Peter Hartland

    Used 2 lights using foil but found this tutorial useful as controlling exposure using one light on the background easier to control highlights.

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  3. Samantha Hayn

    totally going to test out the foil backdrop idea! Thanks

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  4. Phil Bautista

    Nice DIY. For a more portable solution, I just use a reflector. It’s got several background options, travels easily and is usually with me. The initial cost is more than the foil and tape but it’s more versatile and easily reusable. I know I can also tape the foil to something firm like cardboard or styrofoam but those options still won’t travel as easily as my reflector. The biggest drawback of the reflector is the size so it can’t be set up too far back and can only be used as a backdrop for small items.

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  5. Rafael Steffen

    Great way to get an amazing shot without having to have a full studio on hand.

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  6. Stan Rogers

    If you have a second light, adding a (family-sized) cereal box and a bit of wax paper to the mix could take this to a whole different level. (You don’t really need the box for the cereal; it comes in a perfectly good bag inside of the box.) The wax paper would be the front diffuser for a strip light, the box is the body of said light (and mostly functions to keep the light from spilling all over the place), and a further chunk of wax paper would be a further diffuser between the “strip light” and the subject in order to create a pleasing gradient in the reflection. Yes, I know that it will cost several more cents for the “studio gear”, and that might be quite a burden on some of us, but that’s the sort of sacrifice you need to make for your art.

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    • James Matthews

      Great idea! I’m looking forward to your upcoming SLRLounge article on ‘Cereal box product shots’ :)

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  7. claude laramée

    Good ! Simple and affordable ! Thanks for sharing !

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  8. Behailu Gebremicael


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    Now thats awesome

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  10. Paul Blacklock

    Thanks guys for that cool tip

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  11. James Matthews

    Simple and effective :)

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