Test Shoot for Advertising

When shooting test shots for advertising we were asked to form groups of three and experiment with a variety of products, using different techniques. We were asked to experiment with both white and black backgrounds, whilst also using one soft box and a snoot as key lighting. We were also expected to then move the lights around to create different effects and then experiment using other lighting equipment, such as taking the soft box off the light, put the umbrella on and turn the light around.

Here is the lighting setup we were given to try out for the test shoot; however we did not use the reflector as we wanted to try to add a darkness and mystery to the images.


Below is listed the equipment we had to borrow to create the lighting setup. We then went into the studio to setup the lighting and arrange the products.

  • Camera 600D
  • Tripod
  • Light meter
  • Skyport
  • Macro lens
  • BX kit
  • Soft box
  • Umbrella
  • Snoot
  • Honeycomb
  • Black card
  • Product
  • Product table

By creating the lighting setup and taking pictures in the studio it gave me more of an idea of how I will shoot my final images and what works with the lighting and what does not. By doing a test shoot it also gives me time to learn how to light certain products to create the image I am looking for.

After taking the images I made a contact sheet of all the images as this demonstrated the different lighting I tried and gave me a better idea of what images worked the best.

If you look at my previous blog post, you will also see the original contact sheets and the contact sheets after they have been marked with my opinions marked on it.

After looking through the contact sheet there are images that definitely did not work and ones that did. Below is an image that did not work in my opinion. The white background did not work with the vegetable and made it look washed out and anemic. Experimenting with a black background created a far better look. The image is also overexposed and I don’t think it was taken in a very creative way.

If I was to take the photos of the products again I would spend a lot more time planning how I can display the products in a creative way to make the images look more interesting and appealing to the audience.


One image that did work well is the one below. I love the dark background and how half of the apple is coved in shadow which brings mystery to the image and makes the apples look more inviting and delicious. The black background helps to draw your eye to the product as does the bright colour and shine on the apples.


Below are some of the other images I took that I also think turned out well and draw your eye. The black background has been used in all these images. I prefer the first image of broccoli where it is lying on its side as the stalk helps create the effect I was after.


Overall I am very pleased with the way the images have turned out and I found experimenting with lighting has helped give me the confidence to try new things. I have learnt more about lighting and this experimentation will help me when taking my final images. I will also spend more time planning the effect I want to create and spend time moving the product around to create new angles. By being increasingly creative I think I will be able to produce really appealing images of products.