Product Lighting | Commercial Cinematography 101

Product Lighting | Commercial Cinematography 101

Stay tuned to the end for a chance to win a prize!

Product lighting and cinematography is a necessary skill for any commercial cinematography. However, not all products and brands are the same, so you need to be able to tailor your lighting style and production design to each brand, as well as each product. Matte and reflective products have very different lighting considerations, and some brands will require a brighter, high-key look, whereas others work with a cinematic, moody vibe. Today, cinematographer and co-founder of ShareGrid, Brent Barbano, shows us several tips and examples for how to approach product cinematography, in this case with beer bottles.

In this episode, Brent teaches us how to approach product lighting and cinematography, specifically with beer bottles. These bottles are typically made out of amber colored glass, and are reflective, so careful consideration has to be used when planning the lighting and production design to complement the materials and colors. In our first example, we move the camera on a Dana Dolly while using a variety of colors and rectangular sources to enhance the shape and colors of the bottle. In the second example, we actually use the Dana Dolly to move the lights, while the camera remains stationary, for a cinematic reveal.

Brent also talks about the importance of making the product look as good as possible, by paying attention to every detail such as the colors on the label and how to complement them with lighting and production design. He also shows you how to light reflective products by manipulating the physical shape of light sources. Brent also discusses some amazing tips such as how to use glycerine to give bottles a refreshing, cool condensation look, and how to make bottles look like they’re glowing.

Through learning how to light and cinematically shoot product commercials, you’ll be able to open up more doors in commercial cinematography. You’ll learn how to craft your lighting to enhance the desired features of a product, and make these products and cinematic commercials memorable.

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  1. John Leigh on January 20, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    Im late to this party by a couple of years! But was interested to see that in these approaches you didnt shy away from harsh and broken reflections in the bottles which to me is more realistic to most environments in bars/clubs/home, compared to the often seen setup of a double diffused strip box either side both also going thru a sheet of diffusion for a gradient highlight either side

  2. ModelSport on January 20, 2023 at 9:16 pm

    Fantastic – thank you for sharing!

  3. Richard Ericson on January 20, 2023 at 9:17 pm

    1.53 how to make that text please teach me

  4. Herbert F on January 20, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    Filming some product video next week. Thank you! And wish me luck:D

  5. BILAL RASHEED on January 20, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    tnx alot @aputure

  6. Clockwork 9 on January 20, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    So solid, this channel is just killing it with great tips

  7. ericthomasjohnson on January 20, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    This is amazing!

  8. Eng TwoMinutes on January 20, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    Cool Tips! Thank you!

  9. Shawn Li on January 20, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    Would love some tips on lighting for drone videography from the pros. Huge range of exposures can be challenging

  10. Mark Arnett on January 20, 2023 at 9:29 pm

    I would like to nominate the 1971 "I’d like to buy the world a Coke" hilltop ad. It’s seem simple, but if you look each bottle of coke that is held by the singers they are backlite and look nice and cold. Coke is the master of selling an emotion tied to its product.

  11. Kevin Nickens on January 20, 2023 at 9:29 pm

    Favorite ad campaign has gotta be the old spice commercials with terry crews, they were so weird and funny and grabbed your attention

  12. Tina Quarles on January 20, 2023 at 9:30 pm

    So cool guys. You are masters at your craft. Loved this video!

  13. Mezcal Buzz on January 20, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    I imagine the trick of putting the diffused paper behind the bottle only works with colored glass? Or would you use this technique with clear bottles as well? Like liquour bottles…

  14. Secret Beach on January 20, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    this video slays!

  15. mehdi lamaafar on January 20, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    I love your videos they provide so much value to us as learners and as a potential customers. But how you light the video speakers is little off

  16. Tyfourteen on January 20, 2023 at 9:36 pm

    I think the Wazzup commercial campaign takes the cake! Especially when they came back years later and made a modern-day version where the same guys had aged.

  17. James Chandler on January 20, 2023 at 9:36 pm

    It’s videos like this that make me want to buy an aputure lol

  18. Janusz Ciechowski photography & videography on January 20, 2023 at 9:36 pm

    Amazing content thank you for sharing if I’ll have pleasure to try it I’ll share with you thank you

  19. Leonidas on January 20, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    I don’t get it. The second shot only had quasar lights. Why would you feature this video in the apeture channel? I think It’s great that you did though

  20. Follow Your Focus on January 20, 2023 at 9:38 pm

    I love Coke-Bottles!

  21. Manuel Gil on January 20, 2023 at 9:40 pm

    Los brillos de la parte frontal de la botella estan mal. Así no se ilumina una botella.

  22. Excursion Cuts on January 20, 2023 at 9:41 pm

    That was great! My absolute favorite part of film making is employing simple techniques that result in a huge, cinematic scene. The idea of taping a bottle-shapes diffusion sheet to the bottle to make it glow… Love it!

  23. Liangjun Zha on January 20, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    After watched many episodes from your channel, I think this one is one of the greatest so fat. Brent has way more better knowledge than many other hosts. I learned a lot in this episode. Thank you very much. Keep it up!

  24. Harrison Waters on January 20, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    Great video! The ‘71 Coca-Cola “Hilltop – I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” product ad was brilliant and inspirational. Coke not only nailed the campaign, but the product became more about an experience and coming together in a time that desperately needed it.

  25. Alexander Nilsson on January 20, 2023 at 9:45 pm

    that’s just.. F-n great!

  26. Pascal, Tristan & Redney on January 20, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    The Heineken commercials from a few years ago. They were epic and really set the mood. Also notice that the beer itself hardly plays a role in their advertising. They never actually drink it.

  27. J. Alan RED on January 20, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    My absolute favorite product ad was Dollar Shave Club’s one from several years ago in which the guy made a jab about how our handsome grandfathers had only one razor- and polio.

  28. Fidel Reyna on January 20, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    Super nice tricks, thank you!

  29. Next Peak Productions on January 20, 2023 at 9:51 pm

    my mind is blown. This is just like how it’s made but sooo much better. Thank you for the tips and tricks and the very in depth process explanation of how you guys light products

  30. Deangelo Scott on January 20, 2023 at 9:53 pm

    One of my favorite product campaigns is def the Old Spice campaigns with all the practical effects. You should make an update to your "how to light a one take" video using some of your newer lights/products.

  31. Hunter D on January 20, 2023 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks for using my idea! How do I get my prize

  32. Jan Keifer on January 20, 2023 at 9:56 pm

    what was the spot attachment for the brick wall?

  33. Yngve Rindahl on January 20, 2023 at 9:56 pm

    Coca cola has always been really good at making their products look cold and tasty.

  34. Bicktorious Media on January 20, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    Great video, great tips!

  35. Chris on January 20, 2023 at 9:58 pm

    Had a question ‘not completely off topic’ but will the Aputure Amaran MC 12 pack Kit have numbers written on the back of each device? I can see that being extremely useful for previs and set design planning.

  36. Craig Swanson on January 20, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    Had to stop watching and comment. When producing a video for lighting an object, don’t put stupid lower thirds all over that object.

  37. maxxender on January 20, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    Subaru’s campaigns are my favorite! Because they are all about dogs, family, love, and exploring!

  38. Ricardo P Aquino on January 20, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    My favorite product campaign was HelloFlo with The Camp Gyno video

  39. Indy Mogul on January 20, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    Great tips guys! Keep it up!

  40. Diego Pisante on January 20, 2023 at 10:02 pm


  41. Andy Bullen on January 20, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    I’ve learned so much about lighting from you Valentina! Awesome vid….

  42. OldLeatherHands&Friends on January 20, 2023 at 10:07 pm

    over 10k in lights alone to take a photo of a beer, that taste terrible. should have just bought some flashlights and a green screen and pocketed the money cause no amount of luster will make a beer not taste like shit.

  43. 108 Hugh on January 20, 2023 at 10:08 pm

    Aputure youtube tutorial is my favorite campaign because it’s so good which I can’t stop watching 🙂 Now I’ve starting to research Aputure lighting equipment on the website

  44. Chadisms on January 20, 2023 at 10:10 pm

    Love these vids but most of us youtubers don’t have the expensive 120d with all the accessories we have the smaller Aputure lights that are more portable like the AL-MX and F-7. Can you please do some more of these cinematic set ups using the more practical lights? Thx

  45. ZERO ZERO on January 20, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    download arabic in video

  46. David Luis on January 20, 2023 at 10:12 pm


  47. Aputure on January 20, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    What is your favorite product campaign and why?

  48. Just You Weight on January 20, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    The Tide to Go "talking stain" commercial from about 10 years ago always makes me laugh and is lit very simply, but well.