Posted by Becky Buttons on 11/10/2020 to How-To
Buttons are small, highly reflective, and (usually) highly saturated coloful objects, which makes them exceedingly difficult to photograph well. Almost as difficult as photographing cars! Luckily buttons are way smaller than cars and so we can hack together studio conditions on a nothing budget, photograph buttons with a cell phone, and have the results look totally pro!
The thing to keep in mind when photographing buttons is that they reflect EVERYTHING. Even if you're flagging off the relections by holding up black paper, chances are good that your FINGERS are going to show up in the reflection. ARGH! So what do you do?
Traditional advice for photographing highly reflective items is to put them inside a white diffusion tent. Well, those work great... if your items are white, or metal, or happen to look great reflecting big giant white blocks back at you. But it doesn't work so well if your items are both highly reflective AND dark or colorful, as buttons so often are. In that siutation, you still need a tent. But it can't be the standard white diffusion tent! No! You want to flag out reflections with a BLACK tent! Now, this situation is so specific that you really cannot go out and buy a black still life photography tent. You have to make your own.
"But, Miss Buttons", you may be thinking to yourself. "How do you get light on your product inside of a black tent?" You do it, my dear friends, by using small lights, and small white cards or reflectors, INSIDE your tent. I know, mindblowing!