Product photography – behind the scenes insights!

This isn’t pretty! Unusually for a wedding blog I suppose… I was having a bit of an email chat with the lovely Wendy Bell from WBD Designer Wedding Stationery this week, and she asked if I photographed my wedding calligraphy myself, and how / where I did it.

wedding supplier tips (1)

Place name doilies with calligraphy from

I try and make sure all the photography I show on my calligraphy website and blog is up to a decent standard: for a wedding product which is all about looks, photography is really important. I’ve seen plenty of wedding supplier websites and facebook pages where the product photography lets the site down.

I don’t have any special equipment for photographing my work, so I thought I’d share a very honest view of my usual setup! Scuse the paws… they’re banished from the room when I’m photographing orders; only allowed in for samples!

wedding supplier tips (2)

A finished wedding calligraphy photograph: cropped, exposure tweaked and resized for the web

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I zoomed out a little to show you the limited spot of sunshine I was using, and my two little assistants…

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Cats are known for their curiosity, which is why I don’t let them anywhere near my real orders – this was only a sample for my website and blog!

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The moral of the story? The important thing is the lighting: find some sunshine and make the most of it. I often use a mountboard or two as backgrounds, or a white coffee table or pretty gift wrap too.

Wedding product photography DIY: 5 tips

  1. Always photograph your wedding products in sunlight, either outside or in a patch of sunshine by a big window
  2. Use a decent camera. I have a Nikon SLR – the cheapest one I could get, but it’s miles better than a compact camera
  3. Edit your images before you upload them. Even when I share quick snaps from my iPhone on my calligraphy facebook page, I lighten them a bit before I share them. Photos for my website and blog are edited in Photoshop – just to make my calligraphy look as good on screen as it does in real life
  4. Cull any poor images. Only share photos which look good. If you’ve taken 10 photos of a wedding cake and they’re all dark, fuzzy or have an ashtray in the background you didn’t see at the time – sharing the pictures online could do your business more harm than good.
  5. Accessorise your product pictures: flowers always lift an image, as do pretty backgrounds which don’t distract from the product you’re sharing.

Taken on my Mum and Dad’s patio with one of their roses!

Another wedding doily, this time photographed very close up (ear on the floor) with a peony alongside, lightened and sharpened in Photoshop

Do you have a similar setup for your wedding product photography? I’d love to hear your tips as well – clearly I don’t know it all but I think I do ok… the more tips we can share here though, the better!

Claire x

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • chris hanley
    8 years ago

    Hope you are well my friend. This article reminded me of the morning we used an old pine floor, cushions, candlesticks and a piano :))

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Ha! I was thinking the same as I wrote the post, Chris… the difference is that you have magic in your camera. Mine’s just normal 🙂

  • Wendy Bell
    8 years ago

    Brilliant! I love the two little assistants; I have a similar scenario as you can see from the attached photo (I took this last summer)…
    I think it’s great that you’ve been open about how you take your photos. Not everyone has a photography studio with lighting so you have to make use of what is available. I have a very similar set up; it’s absolute chaos! I’m constantly searching around for sunlight, which this summer is quite hard to find! Tissue paper and table cloths are also good for having a blank background. I used to use a piece of MDF that I painted white, though I have no idea where it has disappeared to…
    The madness is that the photos looks great when they’ve been edited but no one would guess the crazy positions you get yourself into in order to get the final shot!
    Love the blog post

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Awww Wendy how gorgeous is your cat!
      I think as a wedding blogger I have to take my ‘be professional’ head off sometimes, and this is where I can share behind the scenes stuff. So long as the calligraphy website looks up to scratch, which I think it does, I don’t mind sharing!
      Glad it’s not just me with the crazy positions and chaotic setup!
      C xx

  • Scarlet
    8 years ago

    I have often been caught in an awkward position on the floor…. whilst taking photographs 🙂

    • Claire
      8 years ago

      Scarlet – I believe you. 🙂

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