Add glow to bottle products for captivating photos.

In this free guide, we will delve into the art of creating a captivating bottle product images  (in this example a Chanel perfume shot using flowers).

From determining the perfect method to achieve beautiful lighting, we will uncover the secrets behind making branded bottle products glow and creating a visually stunning experience for their potential customers.

Concept and mocking up the bottle glow photoshoot

Concept and mocking up the bottle glow photoshoot

The Concept and Mockup

When I started creating the concept for this Chanel perfume shot, I made a mockup using foam board and black card. I cut out the shape of the bottle, but it wasn’t an exact replica.

This was intentional to ensure the bottle would be viewed from a specific angle. Over time, I improved the mockup, adding more holes for better control and a solid surface to prevent the bottle from falling through.

Using an iPhone beam to determine the cutout shape

Using an iPhone beam to determine the cutout shape

Determining the Cutout Shape

To determine the optimum cutout shape for the bottle, I used a physics-based approach. By using a point light source, like an iPhone torch, and observing the shadow it cast, I defined the invisible area from the camera’s perspective.

Drawing around this shadow precisely, I created a cutout shape that allowed light to reach not only from beneath the bottle but also through the sides.

📝 Since filming this workshop, one of our members, Gordon, has created the Point Light Source Adapter Plate, a game-changer for product photographers.This adapter plate simplifies the process of achieving perfect reflector shapes for product photographers. Read more on his website 🙂

Lighting the bottle product scene

Lighting the bottle product scene

Lighting Setup for Bottle Scene

Creating an enchanting ambiance for the Chanel perfume shot requires shaping the lighting to illuminate the flowers and highlight the bottle.

By using a combination of overhead and under-lighting techniques, I was able to achieve a captivating glow that adds depth and allure to the overall presentation.

To start, I placed a point light source above the display, using a giraffe boom to position it precisely. This overhead light acts as a fill light, providing a soft, broad illumination to enhance the flowers’ natural beauty.

Additionally, I employ a Picolite with a mini soft box,  placed underneath the bottle product. This light source creates a warm, rich glow that emanates from within the bottle, adding an element of mystery to the display.

Lighting the flowers with multiple flash bursts and shots

Lighting the flowers with multiple flash bursts and shots

Lighting the Flowers

To add a touch of mystery and three-dimensionality to the flowers, a low grazing angle was used.

By shooting from a low angle and directing the light at a specific patch of flowers, beautiful shadows and contrast were created. This technique enhanced the overall visual appeal of the display, making the flowers pop without overpowering the bottle's glow.

To capture the flowers in different patches and achieve a layered effect, I used multiple flash bursts on a long exposure. By locking the camera’s shutter open for a specific duration and triggering the lights at different intervals, I illuminated the flowers individually.

By repeating this process you can choose the best flowers from each shot to make a layered composite but if you're lucky you could nail it in one shot.

Perfecting the bottle products glow and appeal

Perfecting the bottle products glow and brand desirability

Perfecting the Bottle's Glow

The key to making the bottle glow lies in balancing the lights.

Too much light can wash out the bottle, while too little can leave it dull. The overhead fill light and the Picolite must be balanced carefully. Adjusting the intensity and diffusion of the Picolite helps in achieving a soft, even glow.

Experiment with different angles and distances to find the sweet spot where the bottle appears luminous and captivating.

Highlighting the brand label on the bottle

Perfecting the bottle products glow and brand desirability

Enhancing the Brand

To beautifully illuminate the Chanel bottle label, I use a Picolite with projection attachments and movable flag blades. By positioning the light on a boom arm and using a piece of white paper to check the light coverage, I ensure the label stands out without harsh reflections

I adjust the light's angle and focus to highlight the label while maintaining a natural glow. Experimenting with angles, controlling light spill, and checking exposure settings are key to achieving a professional result that showcases the elegance of the Chanel bottle.

Practical Tips and Techniques

  • Experiment with Angles:
    Adjust the light’s angle to find the perfect balance between highlighting the label and maintaining a natural glow. Sometimes, a slight tilt can make a significant difference.

  • Control Light Spill:
    Use black cards around the setup to control light spill and focus the illumination on the bottle and label.

  • Use Multiple Lights:
    If necessary, incorporate additional lights to fill in shadows or add depth to the overall setup. Ensure these lights are well diffused to maintain a soft, even look.

  • Check Exposure:
    The label should be well-lit but not overexposed. Adjust your light intensity as needed.

  • Layering Light:
    Consider using multiple exposures to capture different lighting effects on the label. This technique allows you to combine the best elements of each shot in post-processing.

Final Thoughts & Next Steps

Creating a captivating Chanel perfume shot with flowers requires careful consideration of the cutout shape and lighting techniques.

By following the steps I’ve outlined, you can achieve a stunning visual experience that will leave a lasting impression on your customers.

Remember to experiment with different lighting angles and exposures to create unique and captivating displays. Focus particularly on achieving the perfect glow to make your perfume bottle the highlight of the display. 

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