Still life photography is a genre of photography that depicts inanimate objects.

It’s also referred to as arrangement. For example, you might shoot an arrangement of flowers or a bowl of fruit.

The history of still life photography dates back to the early 1800s when it was used as an educational tool for artists.

In fact, many famous painters were trained using still life paintings!

Nowadays we see this art form used by professional photographers and amateurs alike–it’s easy enough for anyone with a camera phone or DSLR camera to create amazing shots!

Equipment Needed for Still Life Photography

The equipment needed for still life photography is minimal.

To get started, you’ll need:

A camera that can shoot in manual mode and has interchangeable lenses.

If you don’t have this yet, it’s time to upgrade!

A tripod (or some other way of keeping your camera steady).

Lighting equipment–either natural light or studio lights will work fine; we’ll cover both options later on in this guide.

Backgrounds and props–these are what make up your scene, so choose wisely!

Choosing the Right Props

Choosing the right props is the key to creating a successful still life photo. There are several important factors to consider when selecting your props:


Size and shape


Setting Up Your Still Life Scene

Now that you’ve chosen your subject, it’s time to set up your still life scene.

The first thing you should do is organize your props.

Arrange them in a way that makes sense–don’t just throw them on the table haphazardly!

Think about how they relate to one another, and try to create some sort of flow through the arrangement.

This can be done by placing similar items near each other or creating contrast between different types of objects (for example, putting an apple next to a pear).

Next comes focal point placement: where should we look when viewing this photo?

You want something interesting and eye-catching so people don’t just glance at it once before moving on with their day–you want them staring at it in wonderment!

Lighting Techniques for Still Life Photography

If you’re a still life photographer, lighting is important.

It’s the backbone of your images and can make or break them.

Here are some of the most common lighting techniques used by photographers:

Natural Lighting – This type of light comes from the sun, which means it’s free!

You could use natural light for any kind of shoot but it works especially well for still life photography because there aren’t many moving parts that would require artificial lighting (but more on this later).

Artificial Lighting – This type of light requires electricity and comes in two varieties:

soft or hard. Soft lights are larger than hard ones, so they create softer shadows and illuminate more evenly across an object’s surface.

Hard lights have smaller bulbs with longer focal lengths;

they cast harder shadows onto objects’ surfaces but also give off more contrast between highlights and shadows —

which can be useful if your subject has interesting textures like woodgrain or fur!

Composition Tips for Still Life Photography

The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a compositional technique that divides the frame into 9 equal parts.

By placing your subject along one of these lines or at their intersections, you create more interest in your image and help guide the viewer’s eye around it.


Framing is another way to draw attention to what you want viewers to notice first in your still life photography composition.

It can be done by using natural elements such as windows or doorways, or manmade ones like walls and fences.

Framing also works well when there are objects on either side of something else–like flowers placed between two bottles on an old shelf–

and helps separate them visually from their surroundings so they stand out even more than they would otherwise do if they were just placed randomly across an empty space (which would make them blend into each other).

Tips for Capturing the Perfect Shot

Check your camera settings.


Before you start shooting, make sure that the settings on your camera are correct for the type of shot you’re trying to capture.

For example, if you’re shooting indoors or at night and there’s not enough light available for a good exposure (or if there are too many bright spots in the frame), try adjusting the aperture or shutter speed until it looks right on screen.

Take multiple shots from different angles and perspectives so that when one doesn’t work out as planned, there are others available as backup options in case something goes wrong during processing later down the line.

Experiment with different angles:

sometimes what looks great from one angle isn’t always so pretty when viewed from another perspective!

Post-Processing Your Photos

After you’ve taken your photos, it’s time to post-process them.

This is the part where you can really make your photos shine.

Adjusting Brightness and Contrast:

You’ll want to adjust the brightness of each image so that it doesn’t look too dark or too bright.

You can do this by using Levels (in Photoshop) or Curves (in Lightroom).

The goal is to get all of your images looking similar in terms of brightness level so that they match up better when combined into one photo later on in the process.

Cropping and Resizing:

Once you’ve adjusted the brightness levels on all of your images, take a look at how much space each one takes up in relation to its neighbors–

if one picture seems larger than others, crop it down until they’re all roughly equal size;

otherwise they won’t line up correctly when combined into one image later on!

Also make sure not only that each photo fits within its own frame but also within its respective section within our collage;

this will help keep things balanced visually throughout our final product.”

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Still Life Photography

Using Too Much Contras

The first mistake that you can make in still life photography is using too much contrast.

If you want to create an image that looks realistic, then it’s important to keep the lighting consistent throughout your shot.

If there are large differences between light and dark areas of your frame, this could be seen as a mistake by viewers who don’t know better (or even those who do).

For example:

if you’re shooting a bowl of fruit on a table and there are bright lights overhead or windows behind them, then those areas will look brighter than anything else in the scene–even though they should probably be just as lit up as everything else!

You’ll end up with an unnatural-looking photo where some parts seem overexposed while others appear underexposed;

this kind of thing can ruin an otherwise perfect still life photo shoot because viewers won’t know what parts belong together unless they’re familiar with how these types of shots should look like beforehand!

Still Life Photography – Wrap Up

You now know everything you need to get started with still life photography.

Take your time and practice with different lighting setups, props and backgrounds until you find something that works for you.

Use the tips in this guide as a starting point for creating your own style of still life photography.