How to use a Softbox for Product Photography?

How to use a Softbox for Product Photography?

Many of you might struggle with lighting while doing product photography.

Well, you all would agree that lighting is a significant part of taking photos of different products. Getting the perfect sort of lighting can make the shading and color simply excellent for your items. Where artificial lighting comes in as a marvelous tool in this place.

Figuring out how to utilize a softbox for photography can work on the lighting in your photos. They are valuable when the accessible light is low—the place where more is incredible for filling in shadows when the light is brutal.

Let us move forward to learn more!

What Is A Softbox?

A softbox is an instrument for a photography studio light or flash. These are made of opaque polyester or nylon and have reflective interiors.

The front of this instrument is crafted from translucent white nylon. Some of them even have a white nylon baffle internal to in addition soften the light.

At the rear of the softbox is a gap in which the light source is placed. The moment the light is opened, at that time, the light is diffused. It is done through the reflective interior and nylon baffles.

Named diagram of the parts of a softbox
Parts of a softbox (Souce:

Light is contained inside the box and emitted via the front, masking approximately a 90-degree attitude.

It comes in various styles and sizes. The larger it is, the softer the light might be. You can also add some more. These will soften the light even greater. It might also make it more excellent directional.

Best Practices to use a Softbox.

You might be shocked to know that many photographers do not utilize and control softbox lighting. They usually use this instrument excessively far away. Though it’s not entirely wrong, you can get more from this if you follow the below steps.

  • Height

It’s very typical to see softboxes put over the subject; however, you can also get some extraordinary outcomes utilizing them lower down.

A lower position can frequently improve texture and structure, which are extremely valuable while capturing items.

  • Shape

I listed down the shapes of different softboxes below;

  1. Rectangular
  2. Square
  3. Octagonal
  4. Strips (long or thin)
  5. Hexagonal
  6. Parabolic
  7. Round

This instrument’s state will not just affect how the light folds over your subject but also on things like catchlights and reflections, so utilizing an Octabox most certainly would not be the ideal decision in case you’re shooting exceptionally reflective jugs.

In addition, a very thin strip box may not be the perfect decision while capturing shiny berries.

  • Size
different type of softboxes in Broncolor brand
Different sizes of Softboxes (Source:

Considering the size of your softbox is significant, yet it’s not the immediate size you need to consider. Maybe, it’s the size according to the subject’s perspective.

This also affects the hardness or delicateness of the light. In any case, remember how huge the light is according to your subject’s perspective. You can draw it nearer or further away to control the hardness or calmness of light.

  • Distance from your subject

The distance away from the light from your subject will impact things like the hardness or delicate quality of the light.

It will likewise affect the appearance of sparkling surfaces (like glasses). This is a result of the impact the light has on direct reflections and diffused reflections.

By changing the distance of the light from your subject, these reflections will each be influenced unexpectedly.

While diffused reflections (for example, on the skin) will change as per the opposite square law, the equivalent doesn’t make direct reflections. Here, it is simply the light source that is reflected.

Best Angle for Softbox Light

The angle at which you place your light will impact the vibe of your photograph.

When shooting, you need to keep this on your subject’s best side. This is the place where it will give the most fantastic light.

If you ever position the instrument over your subject, it will project shadows down.

At the point when you’re utilizing a flash, you should step through a progression of test photographs. Survey them to see where the shadows are falling.

Working with studio strobes with displaying lights or constant lighting makes this simpler. Often you can observe the shadows that are created.

How to Use the Softbox as a Secondary Light?

Each softbox will vary in the amount of diffusion and output. If you have a powerful light, it will give you greater flexibility while using this. Including at least one light will impact the amount and nature of the light.

When you are working outside with this instrument, you should consider the results of sunlight on your subject.

Capturing a table top using both sunlight and a softbox
A photographer using both a softbox and sunlight to capture food

You can decide to utilize this as the fundamental light or as a fill light. The sunlight will balance with your openness.

Utilize extra light sources to help fill in shadows. You can utilize more than one or whatever another light source that you have accessible.

Distance between the Softbox and the subject

It would help if you positioned the softbox far enough from your subject with the goal that it is equitably lit. By any chance, if the softbox is excessively near your subject, it may not be enlightened, alright.

I hope to see that the light isn’t dropping off at the furthest points of your subject. Setting your softbox as close as conceivable to your subject will furnish you with the gentlest light. The farther away your softbox is, the shadows will have hard edges.

Bringing the softbox in extremely near your subject will help dispose of a large portion of the shadows. Well, this is so important when the softbox is the main source of light.

Distance between subject and background

The light from the instrument may cause a shadow in the background if your subject is excessively near it. Isolating your subject from the background can assist with lightening this issue.

A white chair in the white background.
The items were kept at the right distance from the background; so that the shadows help to improve the quality of the photo

Before starting the photo shoot, I’ll check the shadow of the subject by moving both the subject and the light source farther away from the background. By trying several times, I can find the best positions for them where the shadow doesn’t affect the subject.

How will the Reflection of the Softbox in the Subject Look Like?

A profoundly reflective subject will bounce back the light once again into your camera. Since the light source is huge, it tends to be observable.

Its appearance in somebody’s eyes will be observable. You need to think about what this looks like. If you do not care for it, you should move the instrument to an alternate angle or farther away.

For still life or product photography, consider how the reflection looks. This is significantly more significant when you are capturing glass or other profoundly reflective surfaces.

 How To Choose The Best Softbox for you?

You might be thinking about which one is best for you! Well, this is one of the common questions that photographers ask. So let me answer now!

There are three things that you need to think about. They are;

  1. What you are shooting
  2. The size of your studio
  3. Your spending plan.

There is no reason to purchase this if it isn’t appropriate for the items you are shooting at present.

However, if you can bear the cost, then it is the best thought to implement. A huge one will give you additional flexibility along with versatility.

Remember about the other items that come with your softbox. Try not to neglect to focus on how filters and diffusers will help you when you work with this instrument in your studio.

 Final words

Softboxes are generally helpful for subjects where you have some authority over them and the circumstance. This is good for portraits, product photography, still life, and so on.

I hope from now onwards you will never struggle in lightening your product in photography. So now, keeping the words in your mind, start to take photos and earn more revenue.