Trying to improve product photos - any suggestions greatly appreciated!


TPF Noob!
Feb 19, 2012
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Rhode Island
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hi everyone. I am trying to improve the photos of my wedding invitations and am not having any success. I am using a Nikon D3100 with two photo lights with umbrellas.

The first photo in this listing is one of my most recent photos: NEW Abigail Wedding Invitation Ranunculus by CricketPrinting As you can see from the photo, it is dark, muted, and flat. I've been shooting in Manual mode and the settings of this particular photo are: f/9, iso-400, and 1/20 sec exposure time. I have adjusted the white balance to 'preset manual' which had a great impact on the color of the photos, but they are still far from where they need to be.

I am hoping to get my photos to look more like the images in the below link - bright, crisp and beautifully showing the texture of the card stock. NEW The Talavera Wedding Invitation Sample Set by inkylivie Any suggestions or help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Get the book "Light, Science, Magic" to understand and learn to use light for product photography.
Whoa! The Beginner's forum is the wrong place for plugging a business, but to late now. :lmao:

Scroll down a bit deeper into the forum sections
The Business District - An area to discuss the business of photography and share your professional work

Commercial/Product photography
Share your commercial & product photographs here.

I trust Bitter's judgement, and agree on the book, which is a kind of product lighting bible - Light Science and Magic, Fourth Edition: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
Your shots need MUCH more depth of field...which is difficult to achieve from close range with a non-tilting lens and a solid camera that has no movements. Try stopping the lens down more, to the smaller apertures like f/16 or f/22 even. ANd yes, the first shot looked a bit underexposed top me. IF you want more in focus, you could try a more straight-on approach to the sheets of paper, which will mitigate the shallow depth of field somewhat.

f/9 at 1/20 second is simply NOT cutting need to stop the lens down, and slow down the exposure time commensurately, OR change the angle of the camera lens to the
invitations. Or, a slight bit of both of those approaches could be combined.
Use this calculator to understand the DOF you will get.

What you can do, since you will be needing relatively small images, is get further away and that will allow you to get more of the item in focus.
Thank you everyone for the suggestions - I didn't realize there was a business section, I will head over there!

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