Creative lighting at your fingertips!

At Asset Factory, we understand the importance of brand and being able to tell your story through content. Utilising a variety of lighting techniques is one of the best ways to do this. You may think this is the exclusive domain of traditional photography, but it is all possible at the touch of a button within our Live Machine. We took on the challenge of exploring these options and the results are amazing, even if we do say so ourselves!

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Look 1: White Background E-commerce

Taylor Boutique patterned pants worn by female model
Taylor Boutique patterned pants worn by female model for photoshoot
Model walking in all black outfit
Taylor Boutique patterned pants worn by female model at Asset Factory
Studio photography of female model in black outfit
Taylor Boutique patterned pants worn by female model close up crop shot
Studio photography on-model female at Asset Factory Auckland

Crisp, white background e-commerce imagery is vital for any brand with an online presence. But, this content is often referred to as “flat” or “boring”. It doesn’t have to be! Changing up your lighting with these simple tricks will give your e-commerce content life.

Choose one main light source, your “key” light. This will help to avoid multiple shadows and cross lighting which can look unnatural. The other side light will then act as your “fill” light. Pulling the fill light down will darken that one side, creating more contrast and darkening the shadows. This contrast is what helps emphasise texture and garment details. It also helps to give depth to your image, crushing any worries about producing “flat” images!

This is the perfect option for a soft and neutral look, an accurate representation of the product and ensuring customer loyalty and trust. 

Look 2: Colour Blocking

Model wearing blue outfit on brown background

Adding a colour to the background that matches your garments creates a look that is easy on the eye. It flows together and is enjoyable for your consumer to look at. Different background colours and textures will react to your light settings differently, so it is also an easy way to change up your look.

With your key light turned up and the fill light lowered, harsher contrasts and directional shadows are created. Lowering the back lights then pulls the model even further away from the background. This is what we refer to as a “halo-like” effect. It creates separation between the backdrop and the model, illuminating the model and creating a clear focal point for your consumers.

Look 3: Shadows

Elevate your e-commerce content even further with harsh shadows and props. By lowering all the lights other than your key light, and playing around with bounce boards to create reflections, you can easily create these long shadow effects. Placing temporary walls and plinths behind the model will force the shadow to stand upwards and directly behind.

Note: These temporary walls are super easy to make! Pop into your local hardware store and pick up a piece of MDF, a stand and some screws. Paint the wall white and you’re good to go. 

The areas of the model and garment that you want to highlight should be positioned facing the light. It tends to look best if the light is hitting your model’s face and chest, creating fall off on one side of their body.

Look 4: External Lights

Take it up another notch with manual settings! The machine can be switched from “simple” exposure settings, to manual, which means you can get personal with the different depths, directions and shadowing. 

These images were created by lowering the Live machine’s lights and placing an external light on one side of the model. The less opposing light coming from the Live machine, the harsher your external light will appear. To exaggerate the shadows we opted for a lighter coloured floor. The dark background then contrasts against this to add mood and depth. 

Fall out will land on one side of your model, creating a split light effect on their face and body. Similar to the above images, it’s important to place the pieces you want to emphasise into the light. The areas facing the external light will appear lit, and the areas away from the light will be dark and moody.

Simple things like moving the angle of the external light, adding light from the Live machine in and changing manual exposures can change this look drastically. It’s all up to you!