Photographing Your Work

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Project by Gary Lundgren posted 03-08-2015 03:18 PM 2274 views 6 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I use this simple setup to take pictures of what I make. I enlarge spacing as suited for the project. Made of scraps about the shop.

Also 3 spring clamps. 3ea 8” clamp on lights. 3 LED bulbs 65W equivalent daylight. If not ‘daylight’ bulbs you get a yellowish tint in the lighting, not true color.

You can adjust the stands around to optimize the lighting. Slide boards up and down to adjust lighting. Got this idea from There are many more tips & video there.

On the middle light (close up pic) I made a board that angles at 45 deg so I can get the lamp to point straight down on top of my project. I made 45 deg cut and glued and pin nailed it together. Sometimes it is more desirable than backlighting. On that post I added a couple extra pieces of MDF to the base to give it some ballast on backside, to keep it from tipping forward.

A big trick I learned is to turn off all lighting in the shop excepting these 3 lights. Otherwise the other lighting affects the quality of lighting of your project. You want people to be able to see the detail and your craftsmanship.

-- GaryLundgrenCrafts

10 comments so far

View Garbanzolasvegas's profile


356 posts in 2511 days

#1 posted 03-08-2015 03:24 PM

Looks like you got a new career going there

-- If you don't Play, you can't win

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4592 days

#2 posted 03-08-2015 04:11 PM

Important to take good photos of your work. A good non distracting background and lighting makes a big difference.
I see so many photos thhat have all sorts of background distractions and even many that have photos that peeople orient at 90 degrees.

View Gary Lundgren's profile

Gary Lundgren

81 posts in 2776 days

#3 posted 03-08-2015 04:36 PM

You’re right. This example didn’t hide backgrounds. I usually do. Spread the white or black background, clip it up, to hide distractions.

-- GaryLundgrenCrafts

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4151 days

#4 posted 03-08-2015 05:22 PM

Nice quick setup. I’m going to do something similar for our Etsy shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3291 days

#5 posted 03-08-2015 10:23 PM

Mine is very similar to yours…

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View WillliamMSP's profile


1160 posts in 2888 days

#6 posted 03-09-2015 12:10 AM

If you have lights that you can control, as in the original post, that’s a great option. Otherwise, a really good and very easy way to light small-to-medium-sized products is with good window light off to one side. Not sunlight from a window falling directly on the item, mind you, but just close to a good-sized window.

A large light source is nice and diffuse (which keeps shadows from being too hard/defined) and light from the side tends to show off texture nicely. If the shadowed side is a little too dark for your tastes, place a white surface just off-camera on the darker side and it’ll provide some fill light. I don’t have any woodworking examples to share, but here are a few photos that I’ve taken that should give you an idea of what I mean -

Taking good photos can make such a big difference. Even on mundane ebay auctions, I almost always outperform the average by a pretty good margin, so I can only imagine how much they would help for selling handcrafted pieces.

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View NormG's profile


6574 posts in 4288 days

#7 posted 03-09-2015 04:28 AM

Wow, all great ideas to me

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4515 days

#8 posted 03-09-2015 04:41 AM

Old sports shooter quote – shoot tight, crop tighter!

Thanks for sharing your set up. It’s good to see folks that take the time to capture good shots of their work.

Here is a link to an article on building a DIY Light Tent/Box. It is many years old, but it has good info, and lots of folks shared their versions also.

I made the tent using 1/2 inch PVC pipe. Didn’t glue anything so I could take it apart or modify it as needed.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View kjwoodworking's profile


266 posts in 5171 days

#9 posted 03-09-2015 12:38 PM

I do not recommend using a purple sheet as I did for a desk years back.

I like the stands you built for holding the sheets and lights.

I think It’s a cool idea I’ll be using Gary.

-- Kirk H. --

View FHG1's profile


44 posts in 3248 days

#10 posted 03-09-2015 01:45 PM

Thanks for the tips ….. this will come in very handy. Thanks again. :)

-- AnthonyG, Brockport New York

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