Content Creation: 9 Ways to Photograph Cookies | Tabitha Park | Skillshare

Content Creation: 9 Ways to Photograph Cookies

Tabitha Park, Chocolate Photographer

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8 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:43
    • 2. Project and Supplies

      2:34
    • 3. Planning

      3:23
    • 4. Cookie Dough Demo

      14:32
    • 5. Fresh Baked Demo

      9:37
    • 6. Lifestyle + Tripod Demo

      5:01
    • 7. Lightroom Edit

      15:38
    • 8. Final Thoughts

      1:18
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About This Class

In this class I share some insight into creating content for social media and brands. I'll lead you through a photoshoot demo where I plan and capture 9 unique images of the same batch of cookies. This is a great exercise to implement into your workflow to help you make the most of every shoot.

By taking the time to plan, organize, and execute a session like this, you'll be creating images that keep your instagram feed and portfolio looking sharp and dynamic.

Here's what I'll cover in this class:

  • Finding Inspiration
  • Planning and Sketching your images
  • Establishing a Shooting Order
  • Cookie options and prep
  • Setup and Lighting
  • Photoshoot Walkthrough
  • Editing for a Unified Look

I'm so thrilled to share all my tips and tricks with you and give you an excuse to treat yourself to a batch of cookies and a fun little challenge. Excited to have you in class!

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Tabitha. In this photography class, we're going to be shooting chocolate chip cookies. As a food blogger or recipe developer, a product or food photographer, it is so important to try and make the best use of your time and energy. If you are going through the work of making a whole recipe and then you get one picture of it and call it a day, that is really just such an expensive use of your time for just one shot. I think it's so important to try and get into your workflow, this habit of getting as many different photos out of one session as he possibly can. We're going to be exploring different angles and compositions. I'm going to share with you my planning stages, where I get inspiration and put it together, and how I'm planning for my end result. Then you're going to see me working with cookie dough and cookies, and putting together my shots, all of my demo footage and everything. I'm really excited to get going with you. For the class project, I want you to go out and shoot your own batch of cookies, whether they're store-bought or you make your cookie dough from scratch and do the whole thing like I have. This class is designed for more advanced beginners, intermediate level photographers. You're a little more comfortable working with your camera. I'll be shooting with a DSLR this class. You can work with a phone, but some of the setups are going to be a little trickier. I definitely recommend you give it a go. Do what you can with what you have. With all that being said, my name is Tabitha. I'm a lifestyle photographer, a content creator, and I teach over 25 classes here on Skillshare. I'm really excited to eat a lot of cookies. Let's get started. 2. Project and Supplies: Thanks so much for joining me for our class project. We are going to be photographing chocolate chip cookies in a few different dynamic setups. You're going to need some chocolate chip cookies. If you want to do it really quick and simple, you can just go buy cookies from the grocery store. I'm going to share a few different tricks that you can do to help make them look fresh out of the oven again, so maybe people won't notice that there's store-bought. Whatever you think. You can also buy store-bought cookie dough. The nice thing about having cookie dough is you can scoop it with a cookie scooper and get that beautiful cookie dough scoop shot, which I personally love, or you can go all the way and make your own cookie dough and cookies from scratch, which is what I have done. I love baking, and I like making cookies my own way. I think that homemade cookies taste a little better than store-bought, and I love that you are able to customize them to your liking. For instance, I like flaky seesaw all over the top of my cookies so that is what I have done to mine. But again, feel free to use any cookie that inspires you for this class. I have linked a Pinterest Board down in the project section where I pinned over 100 different cookies. I've pinned them specifically for their photographic qualities, I really liked the way that they looked in picture. If you need help with setups or lighting or you're looking for a recipe, there's tons of recipes sprinkled throughout, even vegan recipes if you're looking for something specific. I highly recommend giving that a look. I've also linked a few different chocolate chip cookie recipes that I have used, as well as the one that I am going to be photographing today if you are interested in making the same ones that I have made. I'm going to be shooting with my DSLR and I'm going to take a couple shots with my iPhone. But keep in mind that a few of the setups we're working pretty close, and so it might be a little tricky to get an effective shot with a phone, but I definitely recommend trying anyway, if that is the kind of photography that you are most interested in. Then lastly, you are going to need a setup. I'm using a couple different homemade backdrops that I have made myself. If you've never made a backdrop before or you want to make a backdrop, I have a couple of different DIY backdrop classes here on Skillshare, or you can just use a nice table top, you can use a baking sheet, whatever you have around, get creative, you don't feel like you need to have anything special or specific for this class. In the next section, I'm going to be whipping together some cookie dough and showing you how to photograph the beautiful coveted cookie dough skewed shot. 3. Planning: Really quick. Before we get into cookie dough, I know I'm excited too. I wanted to talk with you a little bit about my planning stages. Planning issue, obviously I didn't just make up all these shots as I was going. I did have a lot of time where I sat and figured out what shots am I trying to get, how can I make them look all different from each other so if they're sitting next to each other on an Instagram feed, they don't all look the same. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram really searching and trying to find photos that I found inspirational like do I like the lighting in this shot or do I like the composition, am I really into this particular cookie recipe. That all goes into the planning phase for this. I highly recommend if you're not already in the habit of searching for images on Pinterest, typing cooked chocolate chip cookies, look and see how other people have done it and try and figure out what you're drawn to and why. How can you photograph these to make them look the most delicious, show off their good qualities and also, make it your own. Obviously, don't copy any other photographers work exactly. Don't go out and use exactly the same backdrops and exactly the same setup and say that you made it up. We got to respect other artists work so try and just take elements of the shots but not copy the whole shot exactly. That is not to say if you're going to do the class project for this class, you can totally do the same setups that I've done. That's encouraged to do whatever is going to be easy and helpful for you to learn to get in this habit of planning out your shots. Obviously, it's important to not only come up with ideas for what you're wanting to get, but also putting them in an order that makes sense. Obviously, all of our cookie dough shots are going to come first because once they're baked, we can't go back. Melted shots, those need to go in the middle and then cooled photos will need to go at the end. For a stack cookie shot, it's easier to use cooled's cookies because then you don't have all this melted chocolate everywhere. But if you wanted to do a cookie peal where you break it open and you see that gooey chocolate on the inside, that when you would need to do melted. These are all things, maybe you don't think about the first time, but next time you'll remember this is something I need to consider when I'm putting these in order. What I like to do is plan out my shots on my iPad. I'll draw up a grid or I'll make six different squares and then I'll fill them in with what I'm imagining my photos are going to turn out different. I'll say this one's my cookie dough shot and I'm going to go at a 45 degree angle, which means there's going to be a little bit of blur. This one is my cookie dough shot where they're all push together and I'm doing a flat lay. I try and write out the angle of the shot and then if it's going to seem brighter or darker, because I want to make sure I'm implementing enough of those balancing elements that once I put them all together in a grid, they're going to look dynamic and unique and they're not all going to look the same. That's just a little glimpse into my planning, something that I like to do ahead of time so that when I'm shooting, I'm not, Oh yeah, I think I've got it and then call it. I can go back to my planning board and be, Oh, I almost forgot to do this photo, and then I can make sure that I'm getting everything that I want to get ahead of time. It keeps me organized and it helps me stay focused. With all that being said, now we can go and make our cookie dough in the next section. 4. Cookie Dough Demo: For our cookie dough shot, obviously we're going to need cookie dough. I just barely made a batch. There a little bit on the dark side because I used brown sugar, a special powder and dark chocolate. Mine are going to look pretty dark compared to standard chocolate chip cookies. I love experimenting with new recipes, and so, I'm really excited to see how these turn out. If your cookie dough recipe gives you a sticky cookie dough, it might not have that beautiful textured craggy look when we scoop, so, I highly recommend adding a few extra tablespoons of flour just to dry out the dough just a little bit, or you can just pop it in the fridge for about half an hour and it will be hopefully chilled enough that it will give you that nice defined texture. So I just pulled mine out of the fridge. I'm going to scoop up a bunch of cookie dough balls onto this tray. This is just a regular baking sheet lined with parchment paper. My baking sheet is pretty stained from lots of use, so, I'm not going to use it in the photo, but I will be taking this whole tray over to my shooting set-up, and I'll be shooting on the parchment. I'm just going to go ahead and start scooping cookie dough balls onto this tray. I going to pack them in really close together. You can choose to either have them be a grid and they're all touching and very square, or you can have them offset where they nestle in really tightly. I want to do this shot because as a flatly I think it's going to be the most visually stunning, and this will also be what you would do if you're prepping your cookie dough to go into the freezer. This is a great option if you don't want to eat a whole batch of cookies all alone, so, you can freeze some of the dough and then you'll just conveniently have frozen cookie dough in your freezer for when your friends come over, and you can make some cookies real quick. I also tend to only make a half batch of cookie dough, because I just don't have very much self-control and I will eat all of them, so, I try and prevent that. So I'm going to scoop up all of this onto here and I will just start doing that now. Stop right there. Let me tell you what I'm doing here. So if you are scooping out your cookie dough balls and you find that you get some with just hardly any chocolate chips on the surface, you can try and place them manually, but this often looks a little bit awkward. It doesn't really look realistic, the chocolate chips are to clean, and so, I recommend actually placing the chocolate chips directly into the cookie skewed before you scoop the dough. That way when you turn it out onto the pan, it's more likely to have those chips on the surface. Now that I've got my cookie dough balls all scooped, I'm going to tightly organize them and try not to touch them as much as possible because I don't want a lot of fingerprints on them, so, I'm just going to scoop them into formation. Now let's take them over to our backdrop set up. So for my flatly shot, I have a simple backdrop setup here. I have a painted concrete look backdrop and a marble backdrop, and they're supported with clamps and brackets. I'm shooting with a diffused window light. It is like 4:30 in the afternoon here in the northern hemisphere, in fall, and I'm going to be setting up here and then shooting straight down. I want to use side lighting, and because this is probably going to end up on Instagram, I'm going to plan on shooting tall photos of this particular cookie dough. So I'm going to get started shooting. All right. I went ahead and moved to the tracing paper over onto this board. I wanted the tracing paper to be the background to give it that baking look. I'm shooting with sidelight, so, this is going to have a more bright side and a dark side. I can come in with a reflector and bounce light into the shadow side, but I really like how dramatic this is going to look, and so, I'm just going to go ahead and start shooting directly from above. I'm noticing that most of my cookie dough balls don't have any prominent cookie dough chunks on the top. So I've saved a couple pieces here. I want to add a few little chocolate shards, not to the point where it looks contrived like I've done it, but I want it to look pretty natural and still have a really nice chocolaty texture. You can see all the little bits in there. So I'm just going to go ahead and sprinkle a couple pieces on top so they're just slightly more prominent. Then I've got some chocolate shards down here, so, I'm just going to sprinkle those. So they fall in between the cookie dough balls. It looks a little more rustic and messy. I am shooting with a 24-120 Zoom lens. I want to make sure that for this shot I'm at 50 or above because if I'm any lower, if I met shooting it like 35 millimeter, 18 millimeter with a full frame camera, it's going to cause some distortion and I really want to keep these lines straight. If you're shooting with a crop sensor, I wouldn't go lower than 35. So use a 35 millimeter, 50 millimeter or a Zoom that will go 50, 70, 85 and 20, anywhere in there. So I'm just going to go ahead and start shooting. My pictures are coming out a little darker than I want, so, I'm actually going to scoop closer to the window. This is going to intensify the ratio between the light side and the dark side and it's going to produce more contrast. I'm going to do one more thing. I'm going to do a sprinkle of salt all over this for even more contrast. The white in the salt is going to really stand out against these dark cookie dough balls. This is my favorite flaky sea salt. It's really, really pretty and photographs because the texture is so unique unlike pyramidal, it's, very cool, it's natural, crystalline this way. I like to use this salt. So I'm going to just go ahead and sprinkle this around. Now I have that beautiful speckling of salt, so, let's go ahead and see how this looks. I love how this one came together. For our next shot, I want to give everything a little bit more breathing room. We're going to spread out our cookie dough as if it's on a tray getting ready to bake. I want to get a 45-degree angle shot that will show the middle row of cookie dough in focus and then more blur in front and behind it. It's going to be a more like dimensional artistic shots. I'm going to go ahead and start spreading these out. Now I'm going to be giving everything a bit more breathing room. I'm going to practice with different angles and different lighting. I'm going start with the same sidelight, and then I'm going to practice doing some with more of a back-light look to see what's going to be the most effective. I'm going to go ahead and start shooting at a 45-degree angle, and having all this empty space is going to help the cookie dough fill up the photo without everything blocking everything else. We're going to shoot just like this, and get a few different angles, and then we're going to rotate. For this shot, I highly recommend shooting with as wide open of an aperture as you can. Getting that aperture number really low; F four, F 1.8, anything that's less than six, you probably will be good. The nice thing about having a narrow aperture is that you're going to get that really artistic blur behind and in front. That way if this line ends up in the shot, it's going to mostly be blurred and we're not going to have to edit it out. Now I'm going to try and shoot back-lit. I'm really pleased with what we got here. Next, I'm going to preheat my oven to bake these cookies, but before I do that, I want to take out my favorite two or three, ones that I think look really beautiful, and I'm going to get a hero shot of just one cookie dough ball, like close up and straight on. I'm going to clean this up and prep for that. For our hero shot, we're going keep it really simple. We are going to take our little cookie dough ball and place him front and center. I want to photograph his best angle, and I feel like this angle is really good because we've got those chunky bits of chocolate, and a little bit of sea salt. I want to play into that a little bit and make it look like some has fallen off of him. I'm just going to sprinkle a little bit of chocolate around him. I'd add to it a little bit of salt as well. This is going to help play into those flavors and really give the photo a very delicious and haphazard look. We are going to start here. If you have a Macro Lens, I highly recommend a Macro Lens for this particular shot. You're just going to get a better texture quality overall, but not everybody has a Macro Lens. In fact, I'm just going to shoot it with my zoom. I recommend zooming all the way in, and then backing up until you can focus, then that's going to give you greater depth, and it's going to give you more of a Macro look without having a Macro Lens. I'm just going to go ahead and get this shot. For this image, we want a straight on and maybe even a little bit above, since that's the most decorative part of this particular cookie dough ball. We want to just fill our viewfinder as much as we can, to really get that larger than life, beautiful cookie dough texture shot. The lighting that I've got going on here is side lighting. You'll notice this side of the cookie dough is brighter than this side of the cookie dough. This is good because it helps define shape around the object, its going to become more round when it has that varying quality of light on both sides. I'm going to keep that there. If you wanted a flatter image, you could do a reflector on this side, and that would help even out that overall, but because I think the shot is going look better with more depth, we're going to keep the lighting as it is. Awesome, and then I'm just going to swap between these, in case either of these decided to photograph better than that one. If you want to practice with a little back-light, which I totally recommend you do. I was shooting from here before, but if I just rotate, like 45 degrees, I'm going to get the darker side of this cookie dough and it's going to have a little bit more of a glow around it. The background's going to be lighter, so we're going have a different kind of contrast quality. This time, I would recommend using a reflector. It's just going to bring some light into that darker side of this cookie dough, just make sure to shoot past it, so you don't get it in the shot. Let me show you. This is before, and then, this is after. It just added a little bit more highlight into that deep shadow area there. Then once you're happy with your hero shot of your cookie dough, let's go ahead and prep the rest of our pan for baking. When you are putting your cookie dough on your cookie sheet, make sure to give everything a lot of space. If your cookie spread, you don't want them to run into each other, because then they'll have square edges and we do not want that. Don't cook them all at the same time, because then if something happens and they all get burned, then you have to start over. Whereas, if you only burn one tray, you still have a backup tray. I feel like this tray is pretty nicely spread out. One little trick to get your cookies to have more globs of chocolate on the very surface, is to just put it right on top of the cookie dough before it goes into the oven. I recommend saving some big chunks of chocolate, and then just putting them right on top of some of these cookie dough balls. Try and vary it, so it doesn't look so, if you're doing chocolate chips, you wouldn't want to do four on every single one in a grid, because all your cookies will look really placed and contrived. Try and stick them in the sides, stick them on top, vary how many you put on each one. This is going to give you a lot of different looks, textures, lots of different layouts to choose from when it comes time to lay them out and shoot for a fresh-baked shot, which is coming up next. Once these are ready, get them baked according to your recipe's instructions, and then I will see you in the next section for our fresh-baked, hot out of the oven shots. 5. Fresh Baked Demo: This is exactly the situation I was trying to avoid. This pan is too flat. Basically the cookie dough is a little bit has too much moisture and so they spread out way too much. They ran into each other. They look frankly awful. They taste really good. As you can see, we have started to eat them, but this is not the look that I'm going for it. So because I still have some extra dough left, I tried a couple things. I added a few tablespoons of flour to some and I rolled them and then put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes, and then that is how these baked up. So they're pretty dark. They've spread just a little bit and they look a little burnt. I also forgot to dot them with chocolate. So luckily there was a third batch. I added a ton more flour and was only able to form four cookies. But this is kind of the look I was hoping for this is that thick, puffy cakey look, we have these big pools of chocolate, so I'm going to try and get all my shots with these four. I've thought about starting over, but this is kind of the reality of this thing. I think that I want to show you that it's okay if things don't go how you expected, you just do the best with what you have and try and make something great, even if you ended up with the disaster of a baking experience. It's also a little bit later in the day. We've got about half an hour, so I'm going to get as many shots as we can with this and then see what happens. I'm going to bring these four over to my setup. I've got a piece of clean parchment paper that I'm going to place them on and we will do a flatly. I have my parchment paper here and the same setup as before. This time I've opened up the curtains because I've got a big cloud that's blocking the sun, and I need the extra light, but I don't need to worry about the diffusion because the clouds are doing that for me. I'm going to go ahead and grab each of these cookies and place them over here on the parchment paper. I want to kind of stagger them just a little bit, and I want to fill the frame as much as possible because I only have a few of these to work with. I'm going to smear some chocolate on this parchment so it looks a little messy and shows off kinda that gooey, chocolaty drip. I also suggest using this technique for your store-bought cookies. Use parchment paper, get out a hairdryer and remelt those chocolate chips. Use a high heat but low speed setting. That way your cookies don't fly away from the speed, but it's also like melting it pretty quickly. This will make your chocolate chips really shiny, and it'll also give you some melted chocolate to work with so that you can smear it on that parchment paper, making it look like the cookies were baked on that particular parchment paper. This method you need to work quickly though, because your chocolate chips will re-form too room temperature and it will often make the surface bloom, giving it white patches on the chocolate. So work quickly, use a blow dryer and a piece of parchment paper for that melty-chocolate look. I've got a little bit of this flaky sea salt left on the tray, so I'm just going to pepper are seeing with that just so we have this messy, yummy, look, and then I will go ahead and get my flatly from here. I'm going to get a shot that has all of the cookies in the frame and then I'm going to get closer. That cuts the cookies so that you might imagine that there's more than just four. I want to get nice and square. Make sure my lens is parallel with the table, and that I'm shooting above 50 millimeters. So right now I'm at 70. The nice thing about having this big light source is that it'll give us a lot of glare and reflection in our pools of chocolate, which is going to result in a really, really delicious-looking photo. If you want to play a little bit more into that, you can shoot at a 45-degree angle and they'll get really reflective. If you shoot from here, you get a lot more reflections in that chocolate. Then if you're shooting directly above. Next, I'm going to try a quick little grid setup. While you have these here, you may as well try a few different things in case when you get to your computer, you realize something's really crazier. You just happen to like the shot better. Next I want to incorporate a little bit of personality, some human touch. So I'm just going to bring my hand in and grab a cookie. When I pick it up, I'm going to tilt it just a little bit. The light's going to hit this pool of chocolate and could be just a little more glare, that's going to provide a spot for your eye to look at. It's just going to zoom right into that bright spot on the chocolate. I'm also going to try and separate it from the group, so it does look like that I'm pulling it away. Next, I want to take an actual bite out of this cookie. I picked this one because it's the least striking out of the four. I'm going to take a bite right out of this one. Then this is going to add to the story that I'm grabbing it and taking it away. We should have got a tripod. This would have been much easier. Awesome. Next I want to mix it up. We are going to stack these cookies up and we're gonna put this one on the very top. I'm going to use the same parchment paper, but I want to introduce this cooling rack to help give us some height. For this shot, I want to have a 45-degree angle, and I want this byte to be our main focus. We're going to put him right on this corner, and then we'll have the other ones scattered behind it, leading your eye into the frame. I'm going to move this one here. We've got that gorgeous drip right there, we'll make sure the light catches it, and then we'll put these three behind it. For this shot, I want to be high enough that I don't see what's behind this cookie because I want it to feel like we have a whole pan of cookies, not just four. So I want to make sure I'm shooting from a high enough angle. If I shoot too low, this one's going to be here. These will all the flatten and then you'll just see nothing, and so playing with that angle a little bit as you're adjusting and fine tuning your position. Perfect. I feel like this foreground is a little bit boring, so I'm actually going to take some of this salt and drop it down here just to give us a little bit of texture. Got some little shards of chocolate. Perfect. That's a little better. For this shot, I'm zoomed all the way in. That helps compress my scene. If I was zoomed out, everything would look really far away from everything else. The front one would be really, really distorted in the back one would be really tiny. So I have my lens zoomed all the way out or all the way in so that it's at it's at a 120 millimeters rather than 24 millimeters. So just make sure that you're zoomed all the way in. For the next shot, I want to stack them up with the cross-section bite cookie on the very top, and we'll get a tall shot showing the height of the cookies. I think I like the way that looks. Let's see. With our last little bit of light today, I want to try and get a stylized shot. I'm going to bring in a glass of milk and try and do a dunking with the milk drip situation going on. I'm going to grab a tripod and I'm going to gather my props and set up that scene and we will shoot it. 6. Lifestyle + Tripod Demo: For this shot, I have my scenes set up. I've just got a simple cutting board. I have a little piece of parchment paper because this cutting board is marble and it absorbs butter and it stains it. So I've got this little parchment to protect it. It's also a layer which is nice. I've sprinkled some bits of chocolate dust and salt just to fill up the scene. I've got a glass of milk. This is just almond milk that I had in the fridge. But my plan is to take this top cookie and just dunk it in the milk and pull it out, and I want to get a nice little drip. I need to be able to just fully focused on this task, so I will have this camera setup on self timer mode, I just use the little dial to switch it. I checked my settings, I have a five second delay, so I press the button five seconds later, it'll start taking pictures. It'll take nine pictures and it will have a half-a-second between each picture. Before I get started, I want to get my hand in position and make sure that I have press and focus on it. I'm going to aim for being right halfway in the middle of the glass, get my focus right. I'm going to hit the shutter button, grab my cookie, and begin dunking. Just checking. I don't think I got a solid drip which is fine. I'm just going do this again. This time I'm going to angle my cookie toward the window, so it lights it up just a little bit more. Focus and go. We're getting closer. I'm going to just increase my shutter speed, one, two, decrease my aperture, one, two, and then try this again. Basically some of those shots were blurred and I don't want them to be. Third try's a charm. I want to do one more where the cookie is really far away from the milk. I'm surprised this cookie hasn't fallen apart. I think we've got a shot in there that I like. I want to do one more photo with the tripod and then we're going to call it because we are right at sunset. This one is going to be a little tricky. What I want is to have my hands here, breaking open the cookie, showing off those gooey chocolate chips. I've set up these to be in the background so that they're like a suggestion of a scene but I'm going to be focused here. What I need to do is get my cookie and position, I want to be as close as possible, and still be in focus. I think that's going to be right there. I am still on self-timer mode, I'm just going to hit the trigger, and then prepare to break this cookie in half. I broke it way quick. We're going to try that one again with cookie number 2. We won't show our cookie to try this in the background. Maybe we got the shot. This one might work better with a slightly warmer cookie. Let's try this again. That's so hard to get in focus, we're super close. I think there's something there that we can work with. I'm going to call this a wrap and we're going to get cleaned up. I will take you to light room where I will edit my favorites and show you how they all turned out. 7. Lightroom Edit: All right, here we are in Adobe Light-room classic, this is version 8.4. It's October 16th, 2019. I have already imported all the photos that I took for my session. There was about 280 images and I have narrowed it down by adding stars to my favorite 40ish. Basically I've got a handful from each different setup, I'm going to pick my very favorite one, and then by the end, we should have nine dynamic unique images that can stand on their own but also work well in a group. Ideally, this would be like for presenting on Instagram, you're creating content, here is what an example of what your feed might look like, having all of these different photos that we took the same day and they look different, but also like cohesive if that makes sense. Here we have basically all the same setup, we've got the partial paper, the concrete backdrop, the marble backdrop, the cooling rack. My hand is in three of them, and we have dough and cookies, so there's a lot here. But really we started with, we had four cookies to work with, and here we are with all of these different photos painstakingly organized in this way using the layout app on my phone so I could get a feel for what to expect, and obviously this isn't perfect, like the grays here aren't super consistent. This background looks pretty blue and this one looks pretty pink, so there's a few things I tweak at this point, but really this is like such a great little starting point. Here we are in Light room, I'm going to toggle back to this view. We are going to add a couple of different images. Here is a photo that I have already edited. Now that I'm in the develop tab, you can see this background is white. If you right-click on the background, you can change it and you shade of gray that you want, but I think default is this darker gray. I usually edit on white because I want to make sure, you know, if I'm working with a white image that I can see what's actually white like this one against the way I can tell this background is actually pretty blue, so I would want to increase the temperature on this particular shot so that it matches true white but anyway, back to our cookie dough shot. This one obviously has been edited and this is the final image. What we're going to do is we're going to create a virtual copy. That way I can keep this one but edit a new one, and then I'm going right-click develop settings and hit reset. This is going to take my photo all the way back to a raw. You can see it's a vertical photo. You can see that it's pretty contrasted, it's muted, it's plain, we're just going to start editing. I'm going to start with my crop because I know this one's going to be for Instagram, I'm going to go ahead and hit it with a square crop. I'm going to toggle down to one by one and then we're going to get this nice and centered. One thing I could do, I could leave a little bit of breathing room here, I definitely wouldn't crop it right to this edge because that is going to draw your eye right to that edge and it's going to just like cause tension, and so give your subject either a little bit of space or crop it completely. In my original edit, I cropped it all the way down just so that it fills the screen with cookie dough. I'm not going to cut it off at the edge of each of these little dough balls because that again causes that tension, and so we are going to choose up or down, because these trailed downward, I think I'm going to stick with these higher cookie dough balls. Once you're happy with it, you can press the Crop button again and it will close that dialogue. Now we are going to adjust the exposure. My image is pretty evenly lit, but I think it's a little on the darker side, so I'm going to bring my exposure up just a little bit, and that obviously flattens out the image, so I'm going to increase my contrast as well. I'm going bring my contrast pretty high because I want this image to be really punchy. I'm going to bring my blacks down, this is going to also increase the contrast. I'm going to bring my shadows up, this is going to bring out a little more information in the shadow areas, and then at this point I can decide if I want my highlights later to go down preserving the whites in the little pieces of salt, or if I want to blast them out, making them really, really bright. In this instance, I think bringing down is better. Next, I want to increase the clarity. I don't normally increase the clarity, and there's also a new texture slider, which is not something I've played with a lot. I'm going to just plug both of those, maybe do like six on the clarity and then all the textures interesting. Maybe only like, I don't know, seven on the texture. I'm going to increase the Vibrancy, just to touch and then come down to my tone curve section. I'm going to drag my shadows down, this really, really adds a lot of depth into those black shadow areas. I'm going to bring my darts up just to hinge, and then I'm also going to take my whites from above down. I think this is pretty close to what I had before, but I'm going to go ahead and add a sharpening at this point, I bring the sharpening up about to the center and then I drag the masking with the option button held down until I get those edges selected, which is about right there, and then I let go that has an eye sharpening to it. I really want to make that contrast a little more something to bring that up just even more, bring my blackstone even more, drop my highlights a little and I think we are there. Here's where we were, here's where we are, definitely a super dramatic edit here. At this point, I'm going to hit the copy button, it's going to copy my edits and then I'm going to go over to the next photo and paste them on. I have this photo that hasn't been edited yet, so I'm going to paste it onto here. It's a little better, but it's super, super harsh. The lighting is a little different here, and so I need to make sure that I adjust this to fit this particular image. Right off the bat, it's too dark. I'm going to bring the blacks up just a bit, center out my whites bring my contrast down and increase my exposure. This photo is also a little bit cold, you can see these blue tones in here compared to the white. I'm going to increase my temperature a little warmer, and get that a little more true to life. You can also grab this little temperature I dropped up and you can select a spot that's neutral and it will adjust the whole photo according to that spot. For instance, if I if I picked a more yellow spot, it would adjust the photo of slightly cooler, and if I picked a cool shadowy spot, it would make the whole photo a lot warmer. I like where that ended up, I'm going to crop this one because this edge right here is driving me nuts. We're going to go into our crop box, this one, we're going to make it tall photo for Instagram. I'm going to scroll to the four by five, slash eight by 10. This is the standard Instagram crop. If you're editing a photo in your crop box, looks like this and it sideways and you can't figure out how to like make it tall like you want. What I like to do is just grab the corner and then drag it straight up. You can see if I drag straight up, adjust that way and if I drag out it adjusted that way so you can just by holding down the mouse button and dragging, you can adjust the direction of your crop box. Here is our four by five crop box, we are going to crop in right here on this edge a little bit more because that cookies just barely touching it. So we're going to drag that in, make it nice and even include all are important elements. Yeah, I think I like that. Seems pretty straight. Let's click the Crop box to except. I'm going to come down to this very bottom here, make sure my Enable Profile Corrections is checked. If it wasn't, you can see there's a slight distortion and that just flattens it out for us. This photo is pretty much there. I want to increase the shadows a little bit more because there's a lot of darkness here in this cookie. I'm going to bring that up just a smudge and I'm going to increase the clarity and I think that's pretty much there compared to my original edit. We're actually pretty close. The next one I want to show you is a little bit more tricky. This is the photo that I got and this cooling rack looks a little bit crooked and it's super close to this edge. When I tried to straighten it, that cooling rack got cropped and I did not like that, so what I did was I edited it how I wanted so for example if we throw a paste on here, smooth out the contrast a little bit, add some warmth. A way to avoid that, I want to straighten the photo and I want to give it a little bit more space, is actually opening it up and editing it in Adobe Photoshop. Having Photoshop is super helpful for cases like this, where this is my favorite shot of these cookies and I just got a little too close to that little cooling rack right there. Here is our photo in Adobe Photoshop. I'm going to come up to image and go to Canvas size. This is going to allow me to change the Canvas. I'm changing the width from 16 to 20 and I'm going to anchor it to this right edge so that it will grow out this way. I'm going to hit Okay and what I've created is this little inch of space on this side where I can add a background. I'm going to hit my Marquee tool and I'm going to select this white inch, so it's all elected. I'm on the background layer, I'm going to right-click in there and hit Fill. This is going to bring up my fill menu. I'm going to make sure the content say content aware. This is going to use computer algorithms to generate what it would think the background would look like right here. Sometimes it works really well and sometimes it works not well. We'll see what we get. A Here is our generated background. I going to hit Command D to deselect. We've got a little bit of weirdness happening down here. I'm going to take the spot healing brush. I'm going to adjust the size and then go ahead and color in on some of these spots, making a match just a little bit so that we don't have repeated patterns. Once I have the background looking how I want it to look, I can hit Save and it's going to since I'm editing the photo that I pulled straight from light room, it's going to update the photo here in light room. This is the original crop and it gave me a copy it with my edited background here on the site. I've brought it back into light room because this is where I prefer to crop and finalize the photos. I'm going to bring up my crop box again. I'm going to make it a one-by-one square and I am going to straighten it out. This is going to give us that nice, this is straight, this is what we want. This is diagonal because its perspective, but this is what I want. I needed this little extra bit of space here so that my photo felt balanced and I'm actually going to bring it in just a little bit and bring this top part in and then there's one more thing I want to do to this particular image. It's this weird chocolate smear right here and now that I've pointed it out, you probably can't stop looking at it. That has to go. I'm going to use the clone tool. I'm going to adjust with my scroll wheel till it's about the size that we'll cover it. We're going to click and draw covering the whole smudge and it's going to sample from a nearby spot. I'm going to move it to right there. We've got a little bit more smudginess here that I want to blow out. That's good as new, nice and clean back there. We've got a little bit of messiness from the crumbs and a little smudge right here, but I didn't want anything that was going to be super out of focus and distracting in the background. This shot is nice and clean and finished. It's stray, very happy with how this came out. I love this little melty logo here, very fun. This is the method that I go through when I'm editing photos. I will edit one and then I'll copy the edits and then paste it over to a different favorite so I can kind of see how it looks on this picture. If you edit across a whole session, sometimes they're going to individually need their own tweaks. I wanted to show you, so when I was taking this picture, I had mentioned that I wanted to turn the cookie toward the window so that it caught more of that light and here's what I meant by that. Here is a big highlight on this piece of chocolate and it makes it really nice and bright and it brings your eye right to it. This first one, the cookie seems overall pretty dark and I know I've painted this cookie. Yes, so here is my adjustment on this cookie. If I hover over it, it shows red. If I right-click ''Delete'' you can see this is how dark the cookie was without my adjustment. I added an adjustment brush to it to brighten it up. That way it looked a lot better and basically you would just do that by selecting the Adjustment Brush, changing the effect and then coloring it on. I brought my hand down, I brought the cookie up, I made the background smoother. There's a lot of little tricks that I do. This milk looked really pink. Let me show you reset brushing. It just had weird pinkish, orangey tone to it. I added a little bit of a brush to mellow it out and make it look a lot more neutral. I didn't want to take all the color away make it gray because then it wouldn't look realistic. Milk isn't gray and so it has a tinge of color but not too much, so yeah. I ended up liking this picture the best out of all my cookie tear shots. I had a few that were alright. This one you can see I have that chocolate peel coming away, but I didn't like where it lined up with that cup board, this line right here where my finger amount is up at the cup board. It just looks like it's been photo-shopped in a really weird way and so even though this one worked all right, I still just felt the Shaw had a little more realistic personality to it. My hands seem more casual. They don't seem as planned and the focus on here is absolutely perfect. That's what I think makes a more striking image. Something that looks realistic is perfectly in focus versus something that looks really, I tried too hard and it just didn't turn out. Sometimes it's surprises. Yes, so this photo, not exactly what I expected, but I'm really happy with where it ended up. Here is the library view. You can see all nine, there's 10 here. There's nine. You can see all nine of the photos that I ended up with and then their final resting place here on Instagram. This class was such a fun challenge for me to just really try and push my boundaries to see how many unique shots I could get and I really encourage you to do the same thing because it's very satisfying. It's a great use of your time and it helps you work quickly on your feet and think outside the box creating images that are beautiful and tasty and maybe someone hasn't created before. There's tons of stuff on Pinterest and it's super easy to just copy something someone else has done. But if you really push yourself, you be surprised at the things that you are able to create in your imagery and your work every day. I hope this was enjoyable. Thank you so much for watching. 8. Final Thoughts: That's everything. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope this class was insightful. I hope that you have come to the end with a lot of little things you can take away and implement into your own photography. I had a ton of fun putting this class together and I hope you had fun watching. If you enjoyed this class and you want to see more, I have a bunch of classes back at my profile, from DIY backdrops to photographing more chocolate or people, that kind of stuff. If you have any questions or need extra help, please leave any of your photography related questions in the community discussion section here in this class. That way, if other people who have similar questions, they can see it all there. If you decide to go out and photograph your own chocolates, your cookies, please share that in the project section here on Skillshare, or if you post on Instagram, tag me because I love to come see what you're working on. If you want to get an e-mail next time I post a future class, make sure you're following me here on Skillshare and you'll be automatically opted in to see those e-mails, or you can always follow along on Instagram. I usually announce my new classes there. Anyway, with all that being said, thanks for sticking around. I will see you next time.