DIY Product Photo Studios

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Good product photography is essential for anyone selling any product, as people often say a picture speaks a thousand words.

One of the most common mistakes in catalogues and on websites is to use a poor quality Jpeg image with a grey background to promote or sell a product, this will result in poor sales in some sectors terrible sales.


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Ex-Pro have been producing lighting kits as a direct result of a need for lighting ourselves. As an electrical manufacture of photographic products we had a need for product photo's and contracting this out was in reality not cost effective and certainly had time constraints.

We found that the equipment that was available from some of the leading manufactures was in reality basic lighting and often overkill for the average website or small business, our first setup cost in excess of £1000 and today we sell a similar kit which gives the same results for under £100 with products reaping the benefits from day one.

An easy cost effective DIY soloution.


Lighting is essential and the right lighting, if you use regular lights from the home or office you will often find a grey background or yellow tinge to the shot, resulting in hours of cleaning images (if you have a lot in photoshop) if you use the right kit, right lights the shot should be all but ready for use online. It might need size adjustment or cropping depending on your shot but just about ready in a fraction of the time.


Simple and edit free !


Ex-Pro tents are designed to white out the background, they also come with 3 other colours, Red, Black and Blue if your object is white or they are often used with shiny metallic objects.

The backdrops which insert to the Ex-Pro tents are manufactured from a specific type of photographic material which does not reflect back the shot from your camera, giving and infinite look. Sure you could try doing this with a sheet of card gently curved but the right light would need to be applied and by the time you messed around it's more cost effective to buy a tent - we tried !


Ex-Pro Product Studios    

How do I know what size Tent ?

Products are positioned in the middle of the tent, therefore to work out the size of the tent you need, we always suggest taking into account the largest of your products and adding a 30cm square around it, otherwise you will be taking a photo of the side of the tent and editing this out of the picture (defeating the objective !).

How to position products

Products are often supported through the use of plexi glass supports available from a number of sources online these are useful for positioning items, but providing you can not see the support you can use anything with plexi glass ensure the angle does not create a reflection, we have even used white-tak (Blue-tak but white).

Ex-Pro Tent Types

Our tents ship in 30cm, 40cm, 60cm, 75cm, 120cm, 150cm squares, the are rounded at the corners, so we try to avoid the use of the word cube, but they are almost a cube. We also carry Studio kits which form an open top cube and fold flat with carry sections for small lighting these are available in 40cm, 50cm & 60cm packages ideal for small products or home studio use where space is of a premium.

Photographic Product Lighting

One of the most important steps missed by many people using a slice of card and popping a product on it, the most common eBay shot you will see. Sure great for that table lamp you want rid of but really can you use a table lamp to light an investment in a product line you are selling in bulk or online ? The answer is yes you can but you will not sell any where near as many.

Diffuse not a spot light !

Product lighting lights and diffuses the light to spread it evenly over the product position the lights to the side of the tent around 15-20cm away. If you have GU10 set for our box cube kit's these lights are not constant running and should be used for the shot then turned off, higher spec kit's have constant lighting and use cool running daylight bulbs which can be left on throughout the shoot. The tent effectively takes the light from the sides and spreads it without spotting. If you have a shiny product it will not appear with a white centre reflective blob in the middle, other products will appear with an even spread of light across the product lighting the white background bright white and shadowing the product giving the effect of an infinite background. Be inventive– for example, a piece of paper rolled into a cone makes an excellent stand for rings.

Choosing a Camera

It's important here to mention that any shot is only as good as the camera you are using. Camera's should always be on a tripod for stability angled at about 45 degree's consider placing your product as if you were looking in a shop window. The white light balance settings differ on camera's it's important to experiment with your camera's settings to get the best shot, make notes, take test shots get the best settings and keep these handy.

You may want to consult your camera's manual on how to disable any digital zoom features that your camera may have. Digital zoom allows you to zoom in closer in on an object, but at the expense of image quality, consider macro zoom on some shots and experiment making notes.

Photographic Quality

Photos should be no smaller than 800 x 600 pixels at 72 dpi (dots per inch), however may need adjusting for thumbnail shots on your site (referring to a product listing) but certainly the main shot which customer would zoom to on interest should be no smaller than 800 x 600 pixels

Maximum file size should not exceed two (2) megabytes. Files over this size become difficult to email and upload to the website. They also take up an excessive amount of storage space.

Please note: if you also require the images for print, you will need to save an original high-quality copy. Print requires an image resolution of 200 – 300 dpi.


Before the photo is transferred to the website it needs to be ‘adjusted’ (cropped, colour or contrast-enhanced, etc) re-sized. It is very unlikely the photos direct from the camera will be a suitable size for display on your website but they will certainly be edit ready and should need simply cropping ready to go.

More tips

Some items, especially small things, may need something in the shot to provide a sense of scale. Things like a ruler, or common coins, are good for this.

If you have any further tips or suggestions we always welcome contributions and reviews pleae contact us though out mains site.

Reviews of Ex-Pro Lighting Tents


Value for money Excellent set up, goes together easily, looks the business. However backgrounds needed to be rolled not folded. Even after much ironing, pressing with damp cloths etc. creases still appear. Some tips or how to s would have been good. As an absolute beginner, I'm not sure where to position the lights or even how to set the background. All in all a good by, good value, and very convenient for carrying and storing.

Photo cube set I love the way this all folds into a carrying case for easy storage. The lights do get hot, so users need to be aware of this, but otherwise a great product

Portable Studio Set Does exactly what it says - a portable lighting studio - compact - quick and easy to set up. Everything you need to create perfect photographs for catalogue use or for e-bay

Photo Soft Box Cube Studio Set A neat, compact set in a very useful carrying case.
I was really delighted with this when it arrived.
My camera with a large lens was too heavy for the camera stand, but most photographers have tripods suitable for their own camera.
however this stand is more than adequate for a compact camera.

Great A really neat piece of kit; the photo box is easy to set up & seems very versatile

What a good buy I purchased this set up after reading a few reviews so I had an idea what to expect but I was surprised and very pleased when this item arrived,the set up is so easy and cant disagree with any comments really,yes the lights get hot,the camera stand isnt suited to a large DSLR but it is a good buy easy to set up and fun to use and the results are very good.
I doubt you will find a better set up for the money.

Only one point I would make the backdrops are velvet cloth for some reason I thought they were paper or it just got better

Soft Box I am really pleased with this product. It is light and packs away neatly. This makes it easy to set up anywhere. One just needs a power source. My original order did not arrive unfortunately, but the manner in which my problem was dealt with more than made up for the delay. Great customer service

Fun and functional It took me a few minutes to work out what went where. Once done it is most useful for small sets/still lifes etc for internet shopping pix and better. Good price. Could have done with an instruction sheet, it would have helped. The tripod is not brilliant, but it's all there and does work.

Takes great eBay photos. Bought this as sick of using homemade one. Easy to put up, as I only have 1 hand. Quality is extremely good, but you have to watch the lights, as they get extremely hot. I will invest in the cool running bulbs in the very near future!

A Great Product This light tent is very effective at producing even lighting when photographing small objects. Light tents exist in a range of sizes including ones large enough for a person to stand up in. This one is suitable for objects of small to medium size. The unit is easily portable which allows subjects to be examined on site

light tent Excellent table top light tent - brilliant value for money and has been used and used since purchase.

Great for Bloggers If you struggle to get good photos of things like greetings cards, this gadget is perfect. You can use the coloured cloths provided, or put pretty patterned paper in the cube to create your own complementary backgrounds. The spotlights shining in give diffused light, perfect for minimising glare on anything shiny, so you get good results.

We love it I bought one of these for my wife's birthday. It works brilliantly and she has a superb photo of the bottle of champagne that we shared. The studio walls fold very nicely into the integral storage case and the lights fit neatly into the front pocket.  

Ex- Pro Photo-Light tent Brought this as a gift for my son -in-law. He loves it. light weight. easy to store and set up. For someone who is striving to create professional product pictures, it allows you to put your subjects in the best light.He has enjoyed experimenting with the color backgrounds.

Ex-Pro Photo 28" x 28" Light Tent This light tent was purchaed in order to photograph Dollshouse miniatures it was a good buy and has proved useful on a number of occasions.
Very Good value. 

Ex-Pro Lighting kits can be purchased online through the following sites :-

Copyright 2011  Express Processing, Ex-Pro is a Registered Trademark of Express Processing. All Logo's and respective trademarks acknoweledged. 

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