December is approaching really fast, so it is about the time to upload all your Christmas stock photos. If you don´t have the time to go out and shoot christmas photos with models, tabletop photography may be a great option worth to try. You can take still life photos literally anywhere, on your kitchen table or like in my case, on a coffee table in the living room. The investment is basically zero, as you don´t have to travel anywhere and for props, you can use whatever christmas decoration you find at home. And best of all, you can involve your little ones too and spend some quality time together! I think its a combination every parent-photographer will appreciate 😉
One thing to think ahead thou is the color palette, so you can choose background and props that will create pleasing result when put together. If you decide to involve your kids, prepare everything beforehand and make it fun for them. Give them activities they can do while you take your photos. Drawing a picture, cutting it out with the scissors is just one example, you can think of any other craft activity appropriate for their age.
And this was my set up. Unfortunately, the only photo I have is this one from my mobile. It’s not the best quality, but I hope you can see how I placed my background and props
For the background, I used three sheets of plain white paper. Each piece was 41×61 cm. Two of them are placed on the top of the table and one in a vertical position behind the table. I supported the vertical paper with a chair. If you don´t have a paper at home, never mind. Try to find anything that will work with your color palette. It can be a surface of the table itself, wrapping paper, bed sheet, wooden tray, a piece of wallpaper, etc.
I was looking for items in white and silver color – small silver christmas balls, silver reindeer, small decorative box, scissors, semi-transparent white paper, silver crayon, pearl chain, white book with leather case, a piece of silver paper and candles.
Canon 5D Mark III + EF 50mm f/1.8 lens STM + Yongnuo YN-685 speedlight. If you don´t have exact same gear, it´s ok. Almost every camera nowadays have a manual mode where you can play around with the settings and achieve the same or very similar result.
My camera was set to :
1/160 sec at f 3,5, ISO 250 and flash was on medium power. Make sure to bounce your flash from a white surface like a wall or ceiling to soften the light. This way you will avoid harsh shadows and you achieve pleasing results.
I hope you find this post inspirational and I’d love to know what your tips are for tabletop photography? Let me know in the comments below!