I have a Nikon d3300 that I newly purchased for taking pictures of products. I'm not professional and neither do my pictures look. I tried every way from changing the settings , trying all the rooms in my house to buying a new photography light box. Nothing seems to work. I need my pictures to look professional and catchy.

Here's one of my pictures.

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    how is your current setup? – fubo Nov 8 '16 at 11:27
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    Question tags has been edited to include 'Product photography'. Take a good look at questions and answers under that tag. You seem to be eager to learn, so there it is, a source of knowledge. Read it all. Here's a link for quick access: Product photography . – Esa Paulasto Nov 8 '16 at 17:25

Making a good product (or model or any other kind of) photo always includes postprocessing.

The main reason your photos look "dull" is that you let your camera decide how your photos look. It may be okay for vacation or party photos but it's never okay for professional photos. You have to process your pictures. Adjust brightness, contrast, white/black points, color tuning, sharping, and so on and many more. Below is your photo with more contrast (done using curves). It's not perfect as a product photo in a magazine of course, but not so dull any more.

enter image description here

The said above does not mean that you do not need to make a good set-up during shooting. The better your original phot the better results you can work out of it.


The biggest problem is that the light is coming nearly from the direction of the lens. In fact, it really looks like you took these pictures with the built-in flash. Don't do that.

Since this is not a moving object, you can experiment easily with lights from various angles. Set the camera on a tripod and make the exposure as long as it takes.

You need to learn about lighting, so start out with one strong light, maybe from the upper left direction. Move that around a bit to see what the effects are. Then add a weaker light from the other side and a bit lower. Again experiment with different relative placements. Then add some overall diffuse light or light from a different direction that comes from a wide area.

The next step is to do some post processing. It's always good to start with the best possible raw picture, but there are still decisions to be made afterwards.

Here is your picture to start with:

It looks washed out due to elevated black level. Here is the result from just making the darkest area black:

Where to go from here depends on what you want to show. You could, for example, make all the shiny parts stand out. This is one treatment that actually uses the light coming from near the lens to advantage:

Or make the highlights stand out less with non-linear brightening but the picture overall "snappier" by clipping some of the dark areas:

The point is that there are a lot of things you can do. You have to decide what the desired effect is, then use lighting and post-processing to achieve that.


The same question I was asking some time ago :)

  1. You have poor and too direct (harsh) light. Buy some speedlight and softbox, or move your thing to room where you have a lot o natural light and make the light "equal" on whole image of thing.

  2. Place your camera exactly where is should be, in this case exactly in center of your thing.

  3. Don't move your camera while taking picture - tripod is a must in product photography.

  4. Make some good postproduction. Set proper white balance, constrast, etc.

There is a lot of small variables, and the more you will care about most of them, the better your pictures will be.

By the way, this is what I did with your picture in minute (with Darktable software). Post production is a must today, and here http://pastebin.com/mWYFCPaW is my config for this picture.

Be patient, be aware, and prepare for a very long journey :)

enter image description here


Hum. I hope this does not sound rude.

Do you really think that the camera makes the photos to be dull?

I tried every way from changing the settings

Do you know what the settings are for? Well, does not matter at this point. For now just stick with the "A" option (Aperture priority)

Trying all the rooms in my house

This potentially work. But why don't you post some examples of each room and help us help you see the diferences?

to buying a new photography light box.

Again, this potentially work... Where is the example of that light setup... What is that light setup about? Some external flashes? A light tent? The only image you linked is using the built in flash, which almost never work.

I need my pictures to look professional and catchy.

Hum. For a photo to be porefessional needs to be so.


The good news is that you do have the notion that lighting is the most basic flaw of your photo.

Turn off the built in flash. Every other option will look better than that.

Put the cake next to a window, with natural daylight light. Direct sunlight? Not in direct sunlight? That needs to be experimented. Probably start with indirect sunlight.


Make a simple google search of cake photography https://www.google.com/search?q=cake+photography and see the results.

Move yourself, put the cake next to a window and let that window show, use a wood table use the white backdrop you have, move down, move closer, move further away...

Making adjustments later

You can always adjust contrast and saturation later. Normally this two things makes a photo more "catchy", but the previous steps makes a photo more "pro".

pictures to look professional

Wellcome to the world of photography. This goal could be achived practicing and seeing, seeing and practicing.

Make some changes on what are you currently doing. Any change will improve. Also will have new problems with it, but you can then ask for more specific issues and improve further.

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