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Professional Product Photography: Meet Jen

by Sam Hirst

May 21, 2015 / Updated: January 25, 2023

I’m excited today to introduce you to the new photographer on our team, Jen Lacey. Jen delights in wildflowers sprinkling rolling foothills, beautiful light, and the smell of wet earth. Her family is so important to her, and I’m tickled to learn that she and her dad performed “My Little Buttercup” from The Three Amigos at her wedding. She believes that life is good, it’s short, and she’s going to make it sweet. She has a degree in Professional Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography, and has been in business since 2007.

Jen Lacey, Aeolidia photographer

I talked to Jen about her work, asked her why she loves working with Aeolidia clients and grabbed a fun tip for you to use for your own product photography! Meet Jen:

What unique perspective do you bring to your work?

I’m all about clean lines. I like things to be crisp and neat and visually inviting. My love for tabletop photography started in high school. I enjoyed shooting “things” more so than people (though I like people, too!). This continued through photo classes in junior college. It was at Brook’s Institute of Photography where I learned the technical aspects of photography. In Winter 2009 I did an internship with Richard Pierce in New York City where I got to work on shooting for major cosmetic companies (Clinique, Estee Lauder, Cover Girl, etc.) and worked on the Coach catalog. My eyes light up when I talk about this internship. It was just the coolest thing!

I got to be hands-on with putting the sets together along with the lighting and preliminary shooting.  I even learned tricks for styling different products such as handbags, eye creams, and even shoe laces.  One of my favorite memories happened at mealtime.  Every morning Richard would provide breakfast for his team and at lunch we would all sit down as a family to eat along with the clients, stylists, and any other person that was in the studio that day.  Every day was new and exciting, filled with creative individuals, lots of cool photography equipment, and in the end amazing imagery!  Richard is a master of product photography and I still can’t believe I got to work under him and learn a few tricks of the trade from him.

Erica Weiner's product packaging, designed by Aeolidia, styled and photographed by Jen Lacey
Erica Weiner’s product packaging, designed by Aeolidia, styled and photographed by Jen Lacey

Why do you like working with handmakers?

Because they’re creative, too. Makers generally think outside-the-box and have different ideas. They’re trying to do a new thing. I thoroughly enjoy capturing on camera lovely, unique handmade products.

What is special about photographing handmade items?

The products are unique and reflect the style of the maker. There are intricate details that are fun to capture on camera. I like the challenge of showing off the details of the product through lighting.

Tickled Teal product styling and photography by Jen Lacey for Aeolidia
Tickled Teal product styling and photography by Jen Lacey

Why should our clients consider professional product photography for their website?

Professional photos are a way to upsell yourself. It’s a way to show that what you are selling is a quality product. Through professional images clients are drawn into a website and much more likely to spend time on the site and make a purchase.

What is your top tip for business owners working on their own photos?

Lighting. Lighting. Lighting. It’s all about the light! If you’re using window light — A first step is to set up near a window and turn off excess lights. The window needs to be your one light source. If you’re using natural light (meaning outdoors) – Go for open shade. Avoid dappled lighting and harsh sun. If you must use artificial light (flash) – Bounce the light off the ceiling or the walls. Don’t point the light directly at your product, you’ll end up with harsh shadows.

professional product photography - cute baby clothes
Mockingbird brand collateral, designed by Aeolidia, styled and photographed by Jen Lacey

What is one piece of equipment even amateur photographers shouldn’t be without if they’re photographing products?

A white card to bounce light back into the shot. If all else fails a white pillow case or tshirt will do the trick. I’ve even been in situations where I bounce the light off my sister’s face! Ha! Sounds ridiculous, but it does the trick! The whole goal is to fill in the shadows and create soft lighting.

professional product photography - fine stationery
Posie’s business card, designed by Aeolidia, styled and photographed by Jen Lacey

Using someone’s face to create light in your photos – now that is a tip that I hadn’t heard yet. Thanks so much Jen!

Could your website use some professional product photography?

Professional product photography really can take a site that is good and make it great! If you need a helping hand with your product photography, let us know! Jen is standing by with her camera, ready to make some magic happen for your product photos.

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