red cherries on stainless steel bowl


Sometimes we all get a little “itchy” to take some photos in the winter, while we wait for a good snow storm. This is a time to be thinking about “still photography”.

“Still photography” is an art in and of itself. It requires setting things up that don’t talk back to you, and getting the perfect light. There are a lot of things that you can use for subjects of still photos. Let’s first take a look at some of the photos I have seen lately, and then I will give you the tips on how to take good still photos:

pumpkins on a table
Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina Food Photographer/Stylist on

This is considered “Food Photography” in a sense, but when I first looked at it, I thought it was a picture of “fall”.

variety of pumpkins
Photo by Tim Mossholder on

Now, here is another form of taking still photos, and compare it with the one above. Which do you like better.

They are both really good still photos, and here are some points of taking good still photos:

1- Most people who are really good at this, find some kind of wooden table to organize their product. That is not always the main rule. But, seems to work well. It’s your canvas on which to draw from. Your drawing is the assembly of your product(s).

2- You may need to experiment with your “f-stop” or aperture. You want the subject to be in focus, but, you will need to control the depth of field so that it goes blurry, right behind, and I mean exactly right behind the subjects.

3- Lighting is a real key to doing good still photos. Here is another photo, that I think is amazing. But, can you tell which way the light is coming from:

Photo by Boni Photo

This lighting on this, and almost all lighting used in still photography is just by a sidelight, sometimes best from a nearby window. This gives it dimension and it often will just accentuate the product more. Note on this above photo that they did not use a table, but, an old box, or table, just something old. This helps create the mood for this photo. Step #1- again, look for something that will add to the photo by the table or background you choose.

4- Step 4, and all these steps, are just guidelines. But, this step #4 is to keep the background dark so that the lighting stays on the subject and the background is not important.

orange flowers in brown vase beside sliced orange fruit
Photo by Eneida Nieves on

Look at this photo, and especially the background. It is much darker and does not distract from the main subject.

5- If you don’t have all that old stuff, like a unique antique looking background, or table that looks like it’s old and aging, the other trick is to use a beautiful cloth, or blanket, or drapery material and just cover the table and backdrop:

Photo by Ploesteanu Anisoara

Notice with this above photo how the photographer used a drapery material or cloth to have the background and the table all covered. Wow! This could be done on a kitchen table if you want to do it this way. But, watch your lighting again.

6- Keep your subject material all the same type of group, such as: all food, flowers and pots, books and glasses, etc.

Photo by Luigi Scarpelli

Notice how this amazing photo kept to the subject: Food! There is no flower in there, just flour.

7- Keep your photo and subjects clutter free. Take photos that don’t have a lot of parts to the subject. Simplicity is the key:

Photo by Randy Benzie

Sometimes the most loved photos are just the simple ones. When you do that, make sure the light is good on the subject, shallow depth of field, and a dark background is the key to a winning photo.

Doing still photography, and practicing on the tips above is a very satisfying way of photography. There are some real pros out there, as you can tell from the photos I used today. Yours can be one of them too.

If you would like to share some of your photos with us, then submit them in the comments below, or send them to :

Here are some more amazing “still photos” to enjoy:

close up of paper against black background
Photo by John-Mark Smith on
twig with tender magnolia flowers
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on
red cherries on stainless steel bowl
Photo by Wendy van Zyl on

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.