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C&T Q&A ~ How Do I Photograph Big Things?

Today’s question is from Myriam, who writes…

Hi Jess! I follow your blog from France and I just love reading the interesting articles published. This is really useful information! I’ve seen a post about photographing small things and I’d like to ask a question about the opposite : what about photographing big things, such as aprons on a mannequin ? I hope you can answer my question and give tips and advice on the site. Thanks, Myriam

Well, this is actually a question that Jeffrey answers in more detail in the upcoming Create & Thrive Guide: Product Photography, but I thought I’d share a snippet from the Guide that might help you head in the right direction…

Photographing Big Things: Use a Wide Angle Lens or Move it Outside

Fitting a large item into the frame of your camera is a tough challenge to overcome. One way to fit it in is to use a wide angle lens or the widest setting of a zoom lens (somewhere between 10mm and 24mm). A wide angle setting can squeeze more space into your frame but creates some distortion. If you can’t fit your object into the frame of the camera, you just need to back away from it. If you cannot back far enough away, that is when you may need to move it outside or to a larger space. For example, photographers who shoot cars take advantage of enormous studios that are much larger than a standard garage.

Find some outside space you can turn into your own large studio.

Bring your large item outside on an overcast day to take advantage of soft, diffused light. Just make sure that you stage the area to look like a studio or the environment where your large item belongs.

There’s obviously a ton more to consider – like backgrounds, modelling options, editing etc… but getting the right space is the first step. That final line is a really important step – if you’re taking something outside to photograph it, don’t just use a random garden background. Find something that works with the item – something that both compliments your branding and looks natural. Unless ‘outdoors’ fits with your branding, set things up so the customer can’t even tell you’re taking the photos outdoors!

Do you have big products? How do YOU photograph them?


Want even more information on how to make your photography eye-catching to customers? Check out The Create & Thrive Guide to Product Photography, which covers basic photography processes that eliminate these common mistakes and help make your products pop thanks to composition, backgrounds, and lighting. Available now!


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.


Donna Cains

Hi Jess, Thanks for the newsletter..lots of great information. I have a glass studio and find photographing my glass products very hard as it reflects light so much. I wonder if you have any tips to get good quality close shots of my pieces without the glare.
Thanks so much


Donna – yes! If you’re on the mailing list, keep an eye out for Jeffrey’s free guide to how to make a studio-in-a-box, where he shows you how to photograph shiny things without getting glare and reflection. I’ll be sending it out when the new guide launches.

Donna Cains

Thanks Jess! I’ll look out for it.

Myriam Creacoton

Thanks for answering my question ! I use a white background but have problems with light. I’m looking forwards to reading the guide to have more info about that :-).

What say you?