Setting up an artificial lighting studio for your iPhone can either be frustrating, expensive, or both! I have tried lots of cubes and boxes, but my favorite two setups are using my Diva Ring light or my clamp lights. Since I want to share a setup with you that is super economical, this post will definitely be about clamp light photography.
Although the Diva Ring light is amazing, if you are just looking for iPhone product photography & videography lighting, clamp lighting is simple, versatile, and very affordable (around $50-60 if starting from scratch).
Clamp Light Photography Setup
To prepare your clamp lighting for your photo or video shoot, I suggest putting together three of them.
Here’s what you need:
- Parchment Paper. This will serve to diffuse or soften the light. Make sure it’s parchment paper and not wax paper.
- Binder Clips. I’ve tried all sorts of tape and glue. Binder clips are the only things that have kept the parchment paper consistently secured to the clamps.
- Clamp Lights. I suggest three. You can find them at your local hardware store or on Amazon. I’m an Amazon affiliate so any links in this post mean I get a small commission if you purchase.
- Bulbs. This is super important! Don’t grab random household bulbs you have lying around the house. It’s highly doubtful they are the right temperature to give you that bright, daylight tone you want for your photos. I have used this same set of Alzo 5500K 27 Watt bulbs for over a year now and they are still going strong.
Assembling Your Clamp Lights
If I can do it, then it’s NOT complicated, I promise. 😛
- Insert the bulbs.
- Estimate square sizes of parchment paper that will fit around the clamp lights and tear them out.
- Secure the parchment paper around the clamp lights with at least 5 or 6 binder clips.
- Cut away the excess paper if it bothers you.
- Plug in.
How To Arrange Clamp Lights To Light Your Products
- I angle two of my clamp lights at a 45 degree angle on either side of the product.
- I try to distance one light a little farther away than the other.
- If you happen to have something along the wall to clamp your lights onto, that’s great, but you probably don’t. I use anything from tape dispensers to small boxes. I have a friend who uses bricks!
- The third light I angle somewhere above. Here is where you will most likely need some kind of shelf to clip onto.
With these three lights, the brightness is more than enough for a small shooting area. One main reason I switched to this setup over soft cubes and boxes, is because I can set them up anywhere and the cleanup is minimal. In fact, in my closet office, I usually just leave them where they are because they stay fairly out of sight. With my cube, I constantly had to figure out how to fold it and get it out of the way.
Something to Consider
Boxes and cubes do provide a solid white surrounding for you already. With clamp light photography, you’ll need to come up with that yourself. My table is already white, but if it wasn’t, I would place a white craft foam board on top of it for shoots. You can see in the above GIFs that I already have one standing up against the background wall.
If you want to remove the line where the back wall and table meet, you could clip a piece of white poster board to the top of the foam board in the background with binder clips so that it curves and slopes without forming a line.
Stabilizing Your iPhone
Another side note: If you want to do video, you’ll need to stabilize your iPhone somehow. Here I have a Neewer monopod stand and a Square Jellyfish smartphone mount. The Neewer stand works great for small overhead spaces – and it’s cheap!
Want To Learn More About iPhone Product Videography?
What Do You Think About Clamp Light Photography?
Have you tried it? Will you try it? Do you already have a tried and true lighting setup for your biz photos and videos?
If you’d like to refer to this clamp light setup in the future, you can pin the following image to your Pinterest account. This image along with all of my designs are made completely with my iPhone. If you’d like to learn how to design your own Pinterest images on your phone, go here.
*Tabitha Carro is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.