Tutorial: How to Build a Dirt Cheap DIY Lighting Setup for Product Shots
If you've got $50, you're well on your way to capturing pro-level product shots.
Getting professional looking product shots almost entirely depends on how well you light your subject. In the past we've shared a few tutorials on how to build your own DIY light boxes, which is an excellent (and cheap) way to light scenes like this, but Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter shows you another approach you can take to capture high-quality product shots. And yes, it's super easy and super budget-friendly. Check out the tutorial below:
All you really need for this lighting setup is a cheap softbox with diffusion layer (the one Pike uses in the video is less than $20), LED bulb (also, less than $20), and a bunch of plastic bins, which you can get for about $1 each. (I assume anything would work as a replacement, like books.) All Pike does is stack the plastic bins and set the softbox on top, essentially using the bins as a lighting mount.
What this does is provides a soft overhead light to place over your subject or product, which in some cases is all you need. However, if you want to modify the look, Pike suggests a number of things. You can throw a bounce card up to fill in any unwanted shadows, take some bins from one side of the setup to change the angle of your light, or place your light behind your subject to get a nice silhouette.
This approach to lighting product shots is so simple and cheap (free for those who already own the materials) that it'd be a shame not to try it!