Look at pretty much any of my previous articles and I’ll tell you natural light is great for still life photography. And it is. It’s free, it’s beautiful and easy to work with.

But it’s not always available. One thing I have learned over the last 18 months is you need to be flexible. So how do you shoot still life with studio strobes, if that’s all you have available?

Shooting with studio strobes

You might think this studio strobe is overkill, but not really. I used a Godox AD400Pro with a 36″/90cm Octobox (with double diffusion) turned it down to 1/128 power. Triggered with the Godox X1, I placed this side onto my table to give cross light across the image. The actual globe position is slightly higher than my scene and angled slightly up, so that the light is a little indirect and feathered. Next was a 5-in-1 reflector, with a silver side facing the strobe to reflect light back. I used a Wimbley Plamp to hold the reflector (fabulous clamp).

Then it’s just a matter of setting your scene and capturing your images and editing them to your style and taste.

Still life with side light

Using the reflector means that my shadows are soft. If you’re after something a little more contrasting and punchy, you could try without the reflector.