11 Sept 2009

Photography Tutorials: Highly Reflective Items

Happy September, artisans! This month I’d like to focus a little more on a subject I touched on a few months back: photographing shiny or reflective surfaces. Those of you who work with metals know the challenge they present when it comes to photographing them for your website.

My very talented friend Layne of Layne Designs has kindly let me use several of her photographs to illustrate the challenges that come with photographing highly polished metals.

This is a gorgeous sterling silver rattle Layne made for her nephew when he was born. Anyone care to guess what color shirt she was wearing when she took this photo? Be careful to wear something white, pale grey, or beige lest it show up later in your photograph!

The dreaded flash...just don’t do it!

This would be a lovely image except for the portion of the rattle that “falls away” from the eye because it’s hidden in the shadow.

The rattle photographs perfectly once it’s turned around to catch the light. There’s still a tinge of pink (even after Layne changed into a white shirt!) from some other object in the room, but it’s barely noticeable because the rest of the photograph is so sharp and well-composed.

Be sure to review all your shots as you work so there are no surprises lurking when you load them up later than night - if you check as you go, you’ll be able to correct a problem like that hot pink shirt before you’ve invested hours of work.

Happy photographing!

Written by Michelle of MKC Photography


  1. Interesting post, loved seeing the difference in the pictures.
    Its amazing how using flash can make anything looking crap!

    Great photos can make things so professional and beautiful looking.

  2. They say lighting is everything. Thanks for sharing. - CT

  3. Great to see you back, and with so much helpful advice too!


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