Lighting is the most important part of photography (duh). The problem is that most start-ups never invest in lights. Why? Because they have the perception that they cost a lot of money, and unless they were just doing portraits, they are a nicety. The lighting set-up pictured above is just over $200. Very simple and produces excellent light for smaller areas (product shots, portraits, etc). I stepped it up a notch and bought a $85 lighting tent, so the results are even better.

Ok so that is a little bit of money, certainly not free. How much is the improved perception of your product worth to you? To your customers? A question well worth asking. Good photos may save your designer hours of headache dealing with crappy photos later. I bet $200 in lights is cheaper than a good designer for 5 hours.

Ever go to one of those web sites where it looks like some 17 year old took the product photos in a basement? Or they take those fake boxes and Photoshop some graphics on it to make it look “real”? Why? Improve your photos with simple and cheap lights. As your product and company matures (and bottom line) so can your equipment.

Here is the raw unPhotoshopped version of a photo I took during this session:

With some loving, you could make these awesome. Cheap, easy, simple. Sounds like a start-up idea doesn't it?