Photographing Pottery

Photographing Pottery using window light - Floor it

As the periods of strong sunlight get longer, so do your options.  I noticed there was a bright pool of light on the floor next to my window and, using my reflector to increase highlights and fill in the shadows, I managed to make a beautiful lightbox of sunlight which had it been direct, would have been much too strong.

Without polystyrene reflector

Without polystyrene reflector

With polystyrene reflector

With polystyrene reflector

What is particularly lovely is that the square of polystyrene floor tile creates pearly highlights around the edge of the pots. It gives them a  seductive glow, a gleam that is both beautiful and very high rent.

Window light to bring out the gleam in pottery

The window light works for gentle, directional light but the polysterene reflector does two important things.  

1. It reduces the shadow caused by the window light.
2. A reflection of the polystyrene square in the glaze of the pottery lends a gentle luminosity to the pottery.

We are starting to have more sunlight now.   Make the most.


Making interesting shapes out of your products - Ceramics

You'll get people to look just a little longer if there's something interesting to look at. Work with the shapes of your products, set up a tension between what people expect to see and what you decide to show them.  Be a little bit inventive.

My favourite.  The City Skyline

As always, thanks to Topsy Jewell's pots for making this blog look so nice.

Grouping. An approach to setting up your products for a shoot

Thanks again to Topsy Jewell, her work is so photogenic, it makes it all easy 

A group of products is a set of relationships. Set up the first shot with one item looking magnificent, then add the next so that the two have a relationship. The third item has a relationship with the other two, turning towards or turning away from. Set up a set of tensions between all the products, they need to react to each other. The shot becomes dynamic and intriguing.

I used natural light, all the shots on Topsy's site are lit by window light with a reflecting board. Here's what that looks like, so you can do it yourself.

We're pleased to present our latest site

Photographing Topsy Jewell's beautiful mugs

F4.8, 1/30 second, 56mm, ISO 200

Same thing, same old thing.  Window light. Sunny day. A tripod and polysterene ceiling tile on the shadow side.  It works.   Experiment with depth of field, that will make it interesting.  Get one mug sharp, the others blurred.  Use different coloured backgrounds 

Topsy Jewell, Star Pottery, Fisher Street, Lewes, BN7 1YJ
Telephone: 07552921770

email: topsyjewell[at]

Please, please use this beautiful sunlight we have now to set your products up next to a window. Get a tripod and a nice big white reflector and see how lovely things can look