Creating Compelling Model & Toy Photography | Eric Darrah | Skillshare

Creating Compelling Model & Toy Photography

Eric Darrah, Toy Photographer

Creating Compelling Model & Toy Photography

Eric Darrah, Toy Photographer

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9 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Class Project

    • 3. Your shooting space and setup

    • 4. Supplies, terms and resources

    • 5. Shooting a Studio Style Shot

    • 6. Shooting with Props and Effects

    • 7. Adding Colored Lights for Flair

    • 8. Choosing the Winning Image

    • 9. The Wrap Up

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About This Class


In this world of social networks and sharing pictures, there is a sub section of users who share their love of toys through photography. This class will help you create compelling model and toy photography. Through the lessons, I will take you through some of the basics of photographing models and toys. We'll cover the basics of photographing models and toys to create either studio shots, or something that looks like it came out of a comic or film.

We'll cover the types of setups you can use, some of the tools, lights and props you might want, and how to utilize them. The class project will have you taking shots focused on lessons 3 through 5, and combining as many as you feel comfortable using, and sharing them with the class.

This class is for anyone who loves comics, movies and toys, and has at least a basic knowledge of how to use a digital camera or phone's camera.

Meet Your Teacher

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Eric Darrah

Toy Photographer



I have been artistically inclined since I was a child. I grew up drawing like most kids, but while most grew out of it, I continued, and took every art class my school district had to offer.

During my high school years I dreamed of being a comic book artist, and even had teachers who didn't try to dissuade that dream, just encouraged me to continue honing my skills.

I was also an avid comic book reader and movie watcher, so I was soaking in everything I read or watched, trying to piece together how things were created. For most of this time, I was also an action figure collector who was assembling plastic versions of the heroes I grew up reading.

Jump ahead a few years, and the internet is gaining steam like a freight train, and I started shar... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello, My name's Eric in my classes, creating compelling model employee photography. I'm an artist and photographer with over 10 years of photography experience photographing toys in this world of social media and sharing pictures. There's a subsection of users who share their love of toys through photography. His clients will help you create compelling bottle. Employ photography through the lessons. I'll take you through some of the basics of discussed staging photos, screen studio shots or how to create a shot that looks like it came straight out of a comic er film. In the lessons will cover shooting space tricks and Resource is to make your work pop studio style shots, shots with props, background for the effects, color lives for flair and choosing the winning image. I hope you'll join me in class. After a brief overview of the class project 2. The Class Project: your class project is the photograph any subject you like toy or model? Using the skills you learned the lessons. Three through five. Feel free to share pictures with the class. If you're having problems with your Senate work, have questions in general, you should be able to start shooting as soon as less than three to create the studio style shot. Share your results with the class is getting feedback has always been a big help to me. If you come across obstacles, please post of the class and I will do my best to help you. After Lesson six. I would love to see a final shot using his Wendy skills from the classes you feel comfortable with as well was a camera roll I E. Five or six sauce she took of your display before choosing your winning image. 3. Your shooting space and setup: Hello. Welcome to listen. Would shooting space and file formats living in an apartment myself. I'm well aware of the limitations of shooting in a small space. So in this lesson, I'm going to discuss three options you can use when you're tight on space and are limited with your budget. As you can see, this first set up amusing is just a piece of poster paper crypto a posterboard standing up behind my table. You can also use the same trick in the kitchen against the countertop, taking it to your wall or, if you have a flat top stove, taping it to your wall next to your stove in using your stovetop as the base. If we using this set up near an open window, you can actually utilize the natural light that comes in. Just be mindful not to use that in midday or your light will be too harsh. These types of symbols background shots are commonly called glamour shots in the usually feature celebrities models or cars and trucks, it's next set up is commonly referred to is a pop up studio. Now there are various versions of this, and the one I'm currently using is over 10 years old, but in my resource file, I have included with the class. There are links to more modern versions. While these sets commonly come with lights, I suggest purchasing cool white led bulbs as normal incandescent bulbs tend to give off a yellow tent in a fire limits. This last studio set up is something to consider if you have a little more disposable income and a little more extra space as the lights tend to take up a little room. As you can see, this photo studio has two poles and the cross bar that connects tend to over 10 feet wide and up to eight feet high and generally come with at least one color back drop. You can also purchase multiple colors in varying ranges or patterns, depending on what you need. I myself have a black, blue and white backgrounds that I generally raise four or five feet behind my table when I'm shooting larger displays or larger object. Adding extra props, colored lights or other effects can help sell the effect without having to spend a lot of money on getting a huge, expensive display in the last item. I'd like to touch on in this lesson is file formats. I myself prefer the raw file format with my DSLR camera as it gives me an UN compressed, unedited file. Did I can adjust multiple options for create just the effect I want with my photo backing, compress and shrink toe whatever size I need to post online shooting. The raw image format also allows me to see the image in the larger file size, which allows me to print crisper details in physical prints, as you can see here. 4. Supplies, terms and resources: welcome to listen to supplies, turns definitions. In other resource is, As you can see, I have a selection of whites set up on my table. First is this led late panel that you can normally attached to a camera, but I havent attached to a cell phone selfie tripod, that I can maneuver and mount two poles or angle in other spots on my table. You can also use lots of other cheap flights from the dollar store, as well as thes led light strips that you can purchase from Amazon or I Kia, which cycle through lights and change color. And they also come in white bars. As so some come with white controls or why it was remotely you can cycle through like this . You can also purchase battery operated, early deal color changed lights like this one that I found at WalMart, which is actually designed for pools with a magnetic base. Last but not least, are led finger lights usually sold in a four pack and places like dollar stores or in larger quantities from Amazon like this, and they can be used this either rim lading or spotlights. I think so. Next are accessories and props. They could be anything that you get or confined that confused help set of scene, such as the store or this wall piece that were sold included with other action figures. Accessories are things you can purchase that were intended for other things, like this chair for fouls that work great for Six Inch figures, or this dollar store barrel that, after a repaint looks like a real barrel. Or these three D erases that work great for props with six inch figures. This wouldn't create there was actually a archaeological dig toy. Or this wouldn't create that I found in the home decor section of a department store. Or even something as simple is a candelabra holder that I just took the candle off. That works great for industrial pushers, like so even a boat that was, ah, home decor item that works great for figures like. So next we'll talk about accessories commonly called third party or independent. Such is this chair that was created by someone on eBay or a handmade item like the stack of money just covered on a piece of green, Really, Or if you're crafty enough yourself, you can make things like this pizza box from a piece of card stock paper or this trash bag made with a piece of garbage bag and paper wrapped up inside of it. Next, we're gonna talk about cutouts and effects. Next, we'll talk about cutouts. Kind outs generally referred to any effects that come from comic books. Either word balloons, sound effects, elemental or energy effects thinking we re cut directly from the comics. But the more general practices the scan them on the computer and print them on some kind of card stock and then cut them out. Oh, effects such as these flame effects you can buy online or these impact effects or wind effects sold on Amazon. Next our flight stands Flint stands or either commercial available options like this or homemade options. Out of wire hangers such as this. I have included links to to to tourism had a make moves in the resource guide. Commercially available stands come in many varieties, and general usedto help an object or character jump or fly. As the name implies. The trick is to hide them in your shot. Do you actually don't see them holding up the character like so you want to oppose the camera so it hides the flight stand. Next, we'll talk about Die Rama's Dia Rama pieces. Ca NBI A simple is this tree that were for fish tanks or turtle. Thanks this wall piece that was sold with another figure. Or, if you're crafty enough, you can use pieces in solution foam carved and painted to look like these rocks. Or, if you'd like, you can create an entire environment with the phone. Let's look at some photos utilizing these props. 5. Shooting a Studio Style Shot: - Hello . Welcome to less than three. As you can see, I have to studio set up one is a photo cube with a piece of black felt, and the other is a piece of blue poster paper clipped to a piece of posterboard sitting behind my table. For now, let's focus on the poster paper When shooting a studio style shot, you want to make sure that the backdrop is covered with light. Justus well is the subject to create a seamless background with no shadows. Let's take some shots and see what we get when shooting anything. You don't necessarily have to keep this subject center frame, moving around the frame, changing up the angle or the camera position because you never know what might pop up that looks better than you anticipated. When shooting miniatures, you want to keep the camera at eye level for what a real person would be looking at a re a vehicle. If you want a more dramatic effect, lower the camera angle so the subject takes up more of the frame. You can create the same effect with figures. Just change up the camera angle and be mindful of the posing and position of the figure to create the emotion that you want a little listen from the viewer. - At this point, you can begin your class project as we discussed in Listen one. There are at least three different studio style subs you can use depending on your space in time. Lesson two. We discussed some of the terms and definitions, supplies or resources and tools you might need, and in less than three we discussed the basics of shooting a studio style set up. At this point in the class, you can begin your class project. I'd like to see you take a studio style shot of any subject you want. Either modular toy, using any of the setups I've demonstrated or shown often listens one in three share in the class project section and post questions in the discussions. If you have any questions, I'll be sure to answer them 6. Shooting with Props and Effects: As you can see, I haven't L. Leavis Boyz set up with a werewolf at one end and the three Harry Potter of Children at the other. Um, easing $3 tore lights for ambiance. I have a cut out stuck to the wall, the simulated in their monologue, amusing cotton poly fill at the end of the alley to simulate fog surrounding the werewolf. As you can see here, I have run set up on a flight stand to help hold him up in a running pose. Let's get him in the shot and explain what I'm doing. As you can see, I have run farther back from Harry with another cut out with him screaming, Wait, I have the cut out stuck to the wooden creek and I have the flight stand partially hidden with Ron's leg, but then also hidden with cotton poly fill to disguise the rest of the lake in the base. Let's take some shots to see what we get. This point. You can see that a couple figures fall down, which is something that you have to be aware of and willing to accept when photographing toys or models. - Let's look at the results. As you can see, I also changed up the camera angle. As you can see here, I didn't have the camera position properly, and you can see the flight stand next Ron behind Terry. At this point in the class project, you can begin using props and effects to whatever extent you feel comfortable in a shot to convey whatever you'd like. Please share them in the class project section. 7. Adding Colored Lights for Flair: welcome to listen. Five colored lights for flair. As you can see, I ever set up in the figure of top. I have five finger lights behind the fog. I have Spider Man on a flight stand and I haven't led. Lay part in the fog below, as you can see, changing of the angle and position of the camera to try to hide the flight. Stand with Spiderman and the figure in front of him as only to show you I don't always have the flights and hidden, which is why it's always important to take multiple shots to make sure you get the effect you want. As you can see, I also have a single Boyd source from the right side of the frame, just to give a little extra fill light to make sure nothing is too blurry. As you can see, there's the flight stand. The led lights are behind the cotton to make it look like it's glowing, and then the elder led light is right in front of the figures to help display a late on them. Here are the results now, at this point in near class project, you can start using colored lights to whatever affect you want, utilizing the skills from lessons three and four. Be sure the share of them in the class project, and I'll be sure that offer any help that you might need. 8. Choosing the Winning Image: welcome to listen. Six. Choosing your winning image. As you can see, this is the camera roll from Listen. Five. Let's take a look at what you can do with a raw image before you imported into photo shop, you can see I'm changing a bunch of parameters within the image change of the type of light , the exposure, the saturation, vibrancy, lightness or fill light as well as the amount of black in an image was, finally is it in imported into photo shop. As you can see, this shot looks pretty good, but let's look at some of the other ones to see what we got. As you can see with this shot, I didn't have the camera angle of the right position so you can see the flight stands. But if I turned it just enough like this one you actually can't see in here, I changed the if I wanted to do a sequence. He got a shot of just mysterio to be the leading for the other shot. And then I focus a snake show just on Spider Man. Let's look at the winning image this point in your class project. I'd like to see you show me Ah, screenshot of your camera roll of all the shots you took in your set up 9. The Wrap Up: This concludes my first skill share class, creating compelling modeling toy photography. I hope you learn something, and I hope you enjoyed yourself in the class. We discussed three of the basic studio style setups you can use and where you can set them up. We discuss supplies, terms and definitions, and other resource is you might need. We covered shooting a basic studio style shot, shooting with props, team effects, having covered waits for flair, some of the basics of photo editing, a raw image and choosing your winning image. Never feel discouraged. Is everyone started out, but knowing very little about photography. As you can see by these photos, my level of knowledge with photography was far below what it is now took lots of practice and trial, and they were to get where I am. Please join the other students by posting a class project so we can all share in the experience and offer any tips we might have. If you'd like to learn more technical skills related to photography, I suggest any of the numerous skill share classes that are offered on the platform