Still Life Object Photography Techniques For Beginners

When you are first starting out in photography, you may wish to give still life photography a go. There are various uses for still life photography, from taking an image of something you wish to sell or just taking a snap of a flower or rock on the beach.

Still Life Object Photography Techniques For Beginners

This type of photography involves objects that aren’t moving. Thus, you can manipulate and position the object the way you like it. Still life photography is a type of photography that many novices will gravitate towards.

However, there are a few essential techniques that you should master, which will help improve the quality of your images. In this article, we have collected a number of still life object photography techniques for beginners (see also: Nebula Photography Techniques For Beginners)to use and consider.

1. Pleasing Compositions

You must order the objects in your shot in an attractive arrangement. For ideas on how to effectively compose your images, you should think about employing traditional composition strategies. These include the “Rule of Thirds,” “Leading Lines,” or “Frame within a Frame.”

Use your imagination and arrange the items in different ways, to create unique and interesting looking images. Take a bite out of an apple while photographing it, for instance, to add some more intrigue.

2. Getting The Lighting Right

When shooting still life, professional photographers typically use a soft box or light box. Soft boxes can be quite beneficial. You can easily make one following online instructions, or you can simply purchase a soft box online.

These lighting devices are used to illuminate the subject evenly. A nice quality of light can also be obtained by holding your photo shoot outside.

Without any of the harsh shadows, a heavy overcast or bright sky can produce a natural soft box effect. Light plays a big role in the outcome of your images. It can create a mood or atmosphere to your image, by creating shadows.

3. Experiment With Angles

Trying various angles is a great way to enhance your still life photography. To make the final photo more interesting, move about the set and catch the subject from several viewpoints.

When you do this, your creativity will start to flow, and your photograph will take on a whole new look. The shapes of the objects will differ.

This is since the objects farther away will appear larger than those closer to you, and vice versa. You can get different photos by simply shifting your position.

As a result of this, you’ll notice that many photographers are constantly moving, regardless of whether they’re taking portraits or taking pictures of uncomplicated objects. Moving will help you to see the world from a new perspective.

4. Fill The Frame

Always keep in mind that what you’re photographing should be the only thing you can see in your LCD screen or viewfinder when taking still life photographs.

To obtain a clear and close-up photograph, you must clear the background of any obstructions or clutter. Don’t worry if you have a background or backdrop that you dislike, the problem can be fixed quickly with your lighting.

If you’re taking shots outside and have a distracting background, just place a piece of white foam board behind the object being photographed, and you’ll be good to go.

Use macro mode if you want to produce a sharp image; otherwise, you risk getting a fuzzy picture.

5. Plan The Scene

A great way to help make your images look more uniformed and thought through is by planning your image. This technique is slightly different to the compositions mentioned above.

If there is an object you would love to capture you then need to think about whether you capture that object (see also: The Art Of Capturing Still-Life Objects)by itself or add other details to the image. You need to consider the colors, and shapes that you use.

These need to complement and work well with the main object that you have chosen. Then once this is decided you can then consider the composition of the image. Hence, you will have an image that is much better throughout and executed.

6. Play Around With Different Backgrounds

You must consider the mood you want to create for your photographs before selecting the background. A cup of coffee, for instance, resembles breakfast in bed when photographed on wrinkled fabric.

The spectator is immediately placed in the coffee shop or kitchen if the coffee appears on a wooden table, indicating that you are awake and engaged.

By providing context, you create the scene where the tale takes place. Your still life photos will feel more atmospheric as a result.

7. Prepare The Object

Preparing your subject is essential before beginning a still life object photography (see also: Creative Ideas For Still Life Object Photography)shoot. There are numerous instances of photographers enhancing food or objects to get them ready for the camera.

Drops of water in a glass of iced tea or a beer bottle are an easy way to improve a still life photograph. Condensation occurs naturally in real life, thus it’s the ideal approach to give commonplace objects, like a beer bottle, life.

Paying attention to detail is just as important while preparing the scene’s objects. Since it is about improving or creating a wow effect.

For instance, you may want to polish your silverware before arranging the scene if you’re using it. This will give it a shine and stand out when lit up.

8. Bold And Contrasting Colors

The objects in your image should stand out, and color can play a vital role. A strong tool in still-life photography is the use of color. It may serve as a point of contrast or serve as a unifying theme for various items in the viewer’s eye.

By using photography tricks like using complementary colors to make objects stand out, you may direct the viewer’s attention through the scene.

Another strategy for still life photography is to use a monochromatic color scheme to direct the viewer’s attention to shape and texture.

Utilizing shiny objects that gleam against a dark background, or bold colors which pop, are all excellent still life photography ideas.

9. Black And White

While color can be really exciting and enjoyable for a lot of people, it can turn a simple image into something a lot more complex. Therefore, you may wish to strip your image down and decide to shoot a black and white image.

You must decide this from the beginning as it will help you to plan your shot much better. When you remove color from an image, this places a bigger emphasis on the textures, tones, and contrast within the image.

Black and white images will create really defined images. This can be achieved by using black and white objects or removing the color from your image after it has been shot.


Still life object photography is a great introduction for anyone who is new to photography. By following the techniques we have outlined above, you will be able to produce the best quality object images possible.

It is all about getting the lighting, colors and composition right. This is really simple to do, but it does take a bit of time to ensure you are happy with the final outcome. With a bit of practice you will become a professional at still life object photography.

We hope this article has been informative. Now you have the top still life object photography techniques that all beginners (see also: Bird Photography Techniques For Beginners) should keep in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Different Types Of Still Life Photography?

Still life photography can be divided into created or found. When you shoot an existing scene or object, you are completing found still life photography.

Contrarily, created photography refers to the process of setting up a scene or arranging objects in order to shoot a picture.

What Is The Rule Of Thirds For Still Life?

You divide the frame into nine equal parts by applying two horizontal lines and two verticals in accordance with the rule of thirds. The intersections of the vertical and horizontal lines are known as the focal points.

Consider putting significant components on these points. This will help you when you are considering the composition of your image.

What Are The Key Elements For Still Life Object Photography?

Important components of the composition of still life object photography are lighting and frame.

The object being used for still life photography can be either man-made objects like pots, vases, commercial goods, handicrafts, etc. or natural objects such as fruit, plants, vegetables, cuisine, rocks, shells, etc.

You need to ensure that the focus of your image is well light and clear in your camera. In addition to this the object should make up the entire frame of your viewfinder. The object is the main attraction of the picture, so it should be clear and look great in the shot.

Laura McNeill
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