A Guide to Successful Still Life Photography: Ideas, Tips, and Theory

still life photography

Have you ever heard about still life photography? It’s one of photography that was born from the ancient discipline of visual arts. Many artists use the field of still life painting to test and present their technical skills. But what exactly is it, and what makes it interesting? Keep reading to know more!

About Still Life Photography

So, what is still life photography? Theoretically, it’s professional photography that features an inanimate object or subject. Moreover, many people still consider it a unique photography genre. What makes it interesting is a capture of ordinary objects that most people wouldn’t usually pay attention to.

It means it captures a natural object that’s highly ordinary and finds a way to make the photo much more enjoyable. Then, you can find a way to learn to enhance the image by finding its uniqueness. In addition, photographers usually experiment with different arrangements, compositions, and lighting.

Still life is also commonly found in art class, where many students draw an apple or a bowl of fruits. Thus, many artists and photographers use this still life photography or
painting to develop their skills.

Types of Still Life Photography

Before jumping on the tutorial, you need to know several kinds of its subcategories. The following are some of them that you must know:

1. Tabletop Photography

First is the most common type of still life, which is tabletop photography. It is an effortless way to capture a still life where you can shoot an object small enough to place at the top of the table. Moreover, choose anything you want, as long as it is inanimate.

2. Food Photography

Next is food photography, which mainly aims to capture food attractively. Furthermore, it involves the setting scene by arranging the food and tableware around the subjects. It is beneficial for your portfolio in the advertising industry.

3. Found Object Photography

It is similar to the previous two, but the main concept is to capture a found object art. Use your imagination, and feel free to play with the object. You can modify it or place it in an unusual context. For instance, try to combine food and other objects to create more stunning photos.

4. Product Photography

Another type is product photography which is still related to capturing inanimate objects. But this type has two categories, and the primary purpose is to make the viewer focus on
the products. In other words, it shows off the objects clearly without any distractions.

And the other shots have the main goal more artistically driven. It allows the photographer to use their creativity.

Still Life Photography Tips

Before doing the photo shoot right away, it’s important to note several tips and guides as follows:

A. Discover an Interesting Subject

The first thing that you need to do is find a fascinating subject. It can be simply found near you. The key is to find a subject that can grab the viewer’s attention.

B. Build the Composition

Since you’ve found the subject, it’s vital to create a composition that is pleasing to the eye. It means you should arrange the subject to make it visually appealing. Moreover, try
to avoid placing the subject at the center of the frame.

C. Utilize the Tripod

There’s nothing wrong with utilizing other gear, such as a tripod. It allows you to take sharp and clear images. But it is also imperative if you take loose shots in low-light conditions.

D. Try to Use the Shallow Depth of Field

The use of shallow depth of field will make the subject stand out. So, set the camera with a low aperture to ensure the focus on the subject while blurring the background. As a result, this can bring a pleasing effect to draw the viewers’ eyes to the subject.

E. Enhance the Result with Editing

After capturing the still life photo, spend some time retouching and editing the image. In addition, ensure to crop out any disturbing elements by adjusting the contrast, exposure, and color. It’ll take some time, but if you have no time to edit it, consider using an image retouching service.

Create a Stunning Still Life Photography Like a Professional!

With these interesting still life photography ideas and tips, we hope you can improve your photography techniques. As a beginner creative artist, creating a bowl of fruit still life image is simply a stepping stone. Whatever your expertise level, you must keep improving your photography skills.

However, your photography skills have to be combined with editing skills to spice up the photo. If your schedule is fully packed, let the expert do the job. Dropicts offers photo
editing services that are ready to level up your shot. Don’t hesitate to reach the expert and discover what magic they can do to your image!


  • What are the best still life photography camera lenses?
    If you prefer to boost creativity using perspective, it’s better to use close-up or macro lenses. In comparison, choosing telephoto lenses can be a great option if you want to properly fill the frame with the subject.
  • What kind of background is suitable for a still-life photo?
    To ensure a focused point of view without any distractions, it’s better to use a clean background. You can use a plain white route, white cardboard, tablecloth, and other clean natural color backgrounds.
    However, if you need a little touch-up to have a better clean background and more focused object, you should do it. Feel free to edit it or use photo retouching services.
  • Do you need lighting when capturing still life images?
    Yes, lighting is essential equipment in still life photography. If the light condition is low, consider using light reflectors, speed lights, strobes, and softboxes.
  • Which focal length is the best for still life photography?
    If you prefer lenses that are affordable, lightweight, and easy to use lenses, then our recommendation is a focal length between 35mm and 55mm. Besides, the option is 28mm for wide-angle lenses.

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