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Flash versus Natural Light: Product Images for Sweet Bridal Garters

Keen to extend my portfolio of product shots, my talented friend Jacqui Whitmore kindly agreed to let me loose on her handmade bridal garters. She makes each one individually, and often bespoke to the customer's requirements. Such a special addition to the 'big day', they are so so pretty and make the perfect finishing touch to a bride's outfit.

I wanted to go for a romantic look to the products, by giving the subtle impression a dress or petticoat was being lifted to reveal the garter.

Initially I experimented with a single flash covered in a softbox to give a soft, diffused light. Silver reflectors at the side helped to fill in the shadow.

Whilst this lighting method works well for the cream and white garters, by separating them from the pale background and giving them better definition, I didn't feel the images felt 'romantic'.

Using flash
Using natural light

Using flash / Using natural light

My second attempts were with the natural daylight available (it was an overcast day). I positioned my mannequin next to the window and used a couple of silver reflectors positioned very close to the side and below to reduce any harsh shadows.

Using flash
Using natural light

Using flash / Using natural light

I much prefer this look, it feels more natural, more gentle. The downside to the daylight was that, as it was mid afternoon in the depths of winter, the light faded and changed colour fairly rapidly while I was shooting - so there was a marked difference between the first and last shot! A bit of colour correction in PS helped to reduce that but it was fiddly to do afterwards.

Sweet Bridal Gartert - coral and white lace
Sweet Bridal Garters - pale blue lace
Sweet Bridal Garters - cream lace

Some of the finished images using natural light and reflectors

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