Have you noticed that a lot of the top Vloggers and Influeners always seem to have the most stunningly lit content? It’s no accident, but chances are they also didn’t use an expensive camera or have an elaborate studio setup either. Their secret? They utilised one of the most simple pieces of lighting equipment: a ring light.
When it comes to ring light photography for food and products, it’s ALL in the lighting. So to help you take better shots of your dishes and fave beauty products, let’s take a look at all the ins and outs of how a ring light can boost your content game.
Let’s start at the beginning with a little lesson in light, shall we? When we refer to ‘natural light’, what we’re talking about is any available light. This could be sunlight at ‘golden hour’ (one of the BEST times to get snap happy) or it could also refer to moonlight (how romantic!). It’s whatever light source you use that you don’t need to produce yourself.
So, by process of elimination, ‘artificial light’ is light from any other source. Think the bright light of a camera flash, an LED string of Christmas lights, or even a street or car light. One of the main benefits of using artificial lighting has to do with low light photography. You generally have a bit more control over the intensity or colour with artificial lighting, particularly if you’re using lighting specifically designed for photography, like a flash.
There are pros and cons for using both kinds of lighting, but there’s one key ingredient you need to be aware of that will dictate the overall mood and tone of your photos: light temperature. You may have seen your common lightbulb labelled either ‘cool’ or ‘warm’, which refers to how hot the light element gets (measure in degrees Kelvin for all you science buffs out there!). Cool light gives off a blue colour, while warm light is more of an orange or red. So keep this in mind when it comes to lighting your food or products because it will have a dramatic effect on the kind of image you’ll get.
Originally used for dentistry and medical purposes, the humble ring light was adopted by the commercial world because of its far reaching adaptability. Because it’s made of a circle of LED lights, it casts an even glow over people and objects, making it an ideal light for food and product photography.
If you’re taking close up, macro shots of your brunch, a ring light is the perfect tool because it gets rid of the camera’s shadow on the object you’re trying to capture. So say hello to profesh snaps of avo toast and bye bye to those ugly shadows!
Now that you’re up to speed on all things light and photography, here are five tips to help boost your content game and make your feed the envy of all your friends and followers.
You’re a smart, savvy babe, so we bet you’ve already treated yourself to a ring light. But just in case, check out the GlowPro2 18” right light. It has adjustable brightness and temperature controls so you can dial up or down how much light you need (handy for when you’re on set), plus it’s super portable and even boats a detachable mirror.
Right light photography is FUN (there, we said it). Why? Because it’s a time to get super creative with how you set things up. Typically it’s best to place your camera on a tripod in the middle of the ring light so you get the most even lighting, but you can also use the ring light as a hair light above what you’re photographing. It will give off a somewhat angelic glow, but can also be a good set up for food photography.
The key ingredient for next-level snaps of your food or products is even lighting. One of the best ways to get you there is to use three-point lighting. This process involves adding layers of lighting to your main light source, so if you’re using a ring light, add in two more lights at the right angles and distance and voila – your pics turn pro!
When it comes to food photography lighting, what three-point lighting does is add beautiful depth and dimension to your images as you have better control over the contrast of light and shadow. This is particularly handy if there’s no natural light in sight and you’re looking to capture an object or product that has a number of small details.
If you’re always on the go, then investing in a smaller, more compact ring light, like the Beauty Ring Light Duo, is a must-have. It clips right onto your smartphone, is USB chargeable and has 3 levels of intensity for brightness. Perfect for when you’re out and about and it clicks over to the back camera with a flick of your wrist.
To give your pics that added drama, consider changing your location. If you always take snaps inside, go on an adventure and find an outdoors location – who knows, it might just breathe new life into your feed.
When you try different places – like cafes, shopping centres and parks – you’ll get to experiment with the different settings of your ring light and lighting setup. Why is this important? Well, it will add variety to your pics and turn you into a ring light pro in no time (1 million followers, here we come!).
You’ve got the tools, you’ve got the tips, so now it’s time to put it all into action. Next time you’re setting up to capture your meal or beauty products, keep us in the loop. Tag us on Insta @luvostore and use the hashtags #luvostore and #luvofam. And most importantly, have fun!