Using What Is Available To You

Recently in college we were studying product photography, and on this particular day jewelry. I was immediately interested as i wanted to know how to create good stock photos and make a little more money! I presumed we would be using fancy lighting setups and light boxes and tables. I was a little surprised when our tutor told us to use what we had available. To use only available lighting, and the backdrops what we had available to us in our class room.

I just wanted to show you all the results so that you can see what can be created using what you have. If you have a full kitted out studio, then that's a bonus, but i was actually really surprised by what can be created using what you have around you.

I was shooting with a Nikon D50 and lens 55 - 200, so i was limited, but its the only lens i have!! I didn't have my tripod, so most of the shots were taken with the camera leaning on a table and the timer button to avoid camera shake and blur of the image.

Here are a few of the shots.

This was taken in a bizarre way! We laid a chair on the table sideways, hung the necklace from the leg of the chair. Behind it was another chair on the ground the right way up, and it was covered in black cloth!! Very professional, i know.. but the image got accepted on here!!

This is just beads we laid out on the table, again my camera is situated on the table, and i used the timer mode.

These have to be my favourite ones... the jewelry box was laid on pieces of plain white paper from the art room next door to our class room .. (borrowed, not stolen..!) Again we put a chair on top of the table behind the jewelry box, and laid another sheet of paper against it as the backdrop. The reflection was by accident, the table was slightly shiny, and so it gave this nice effect!! We also changed the backdrop to black, that image in my portfolio!

Hope you learned something from this.

Good luck!!


Photo credits: Rebeccaosborn.

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September 24, 2009


I like these ideas. They are great. Cheers :0)

December 21, 2008


Hey Rebecca, I have a table outside my basement shop door and I use it a lot! I get reflections off it, too. Great shots.

December 15, 2008


hello like these ... I hope that good XD

December 04, 2008


Very resourceful Rebecca, good luck with you!!!!

December 02, 2008


hello Miss Confidential :-)

your portfolio has some real good photographs. i have marked you as my fav. :-)

November 05, 2008


lovely , Rebecca. and a good idea. I've just moved out of my basement apartment where I used to shoot product shots for stock at the back parking lot, while another tenant repairs his cars.
tricky yes, having to wait till no one comes around, then hurrying outside with the props.
Now I am on the first floor with all three windows facing east. And the sun shines at 45 degree through my windows . The perfect window lighting.
So, like you, I am using a lot of my own "natural resources".
I love studio lighting, but natural window light has something different.
Which is why the olden days masters prefer skylight .
Keep up the good work. Enjoy your blog. Cheers from Canada.

November 04, 2008


I like your pictures. Great portfolio... Further so

November 03, 2008


Wow! This is how I started. I've been doing this for years (and still do, sometimes). When you shoot against a white background you have got to light it separately otherwise it will come out grey, as it has in several of these examples (there is no escaping it because light intensity falls in proportion to the square of the distance, for those who are scientifically inclined). You could use mirrors to redirect light behind the object if you are sticking to available materials.
Interesting to know how they teach. I hope you will keep us informed. - Paul

November 03, 2008


Very nice shots. Congrats Rebecca.

November 03, 2008


beautiful pictures and interesting articule :)
best regards

November 02, 2008


with alittle creative juice you achieve what you wanted and that's great!

I am just about the same as you, having to find the every little things around us for a stock opportunity :D

November 01, 2008


Very resourceful Rebecca, good luck with your new shots!

November 01, 2008


Great shots Rebecca, good luck with them.

November 01, 2008


It's always a great achievement to have perfect photos with what you have available at the moment! The shots are really great. Yesterday I saw the last two photos in your portfolio and I liked the reflection! Well, now I understand it was by accident :) Well done!

November 01, 2008


Interesting blog :)

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