I’ve also been a total advocate for natural lighting. You go back and read any of my photography blog posts in the past and I’ve been so proud of being a ‘natural light photographer’ and shared many tips on how to make the most of natural light. Now when I started blogging again in January, I decided I needed a photography shake-up and on a whim, I decided to buy a ring light. My main intention with my ring light was being able to photograph more makeup looks and close-ups but actually, I’ve found myself using it for product photography too.
I’m just going to start off by answering the title question, has it been worth it? Yes! I thought about purchasing a ring light for years but wasn’t sure whether I’d actually use it much or whether it’d be too much of a faff. But honestly, it has changed my photography game and I can’t believe how useful it has been for product photography. I use it for every single shoot and I think I have really changed my photography style because of it. Today, I thought I’d share why I love it so much.
Greater flexibility with my blogging schedule
The first reason is that it has made me massively more flexible with my blogging and photography schedule. I used to do all my photography one morning a week and this was really limiting. Now, I can get my camera out whenever I fancy and photograph products even at 8pm. I do still believe you can make the most of natural lighting in winter, but with a ring light I no longer have to worry about timings and rush anything before I lose light.
Stronger and more vivid images
I’ve never really liked the aesthetic of artificial lighting, I can always tell who used softboxes and flashguns with their blog photography and generally prefer the natural light photographers. Ring lights are typically known for being used for portraiture but actually, I think they work so nicely with product photography as they still have that soft-focus look and not that harsh artificial aesthetic. Because I’m not having to rely on washed out natural light, my photographs are looking so much more vivid in colour and detail. Above is a test shot, both are unedited. The ring light photo has so much more depth and even though it is darker, it allows me greater flexibility in editing so I can brighten it without washing anything out.
Less editing required
Speaking of editing, I’ve massively cut down my editing time since having a ring light. I’m no longer having to spend ages rebalancing colour temperatures and neutralising weird shadows from sunny days, editing is now a simple process for me which takes no time at all.
Better makeup look photos
I’ve always wanted to be a beauty blogger who actually shares looks and shows products in action. After all, what good is a swatch on an arm? My serious problem with this has always been lighting and this is one of the main reasons I got my ring light to begin with. Before, my makeup look photographs were drab and didn’t show off the detail in any of the products, click here if you want a serious laugh, but my ring light picks out every detail. Photographing things like highlighters was always basically impossible, whereas now I can show off the products in their full glory!
So overall, so many yes’ to whether this ring light has been worth it. I still don’t like the artificial lighting aesthetic but I’m very careful to keep mine on very low and I think that a ring light has a very soft and flattering light anyway. If you want to know, the ring light I have is the Neewer 18″ and I’d really recommend this one.
Please let me know any photography-specific blog posts you’d like from me. I love talking about photography and feel that my style has really changed in the last couple of months so any requests would be helpful!