DIY Product Photography: Style & Shoot Creative Stills | Rachel Gulotta & Daniel Inskeep | Skillshare

DIY Product Photography: Style & Shoot Creative Stills

Rachel Gulotta & Daniel Inskeep, Photographers at Mango Street Lab

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8 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Leading with Creativity

    • 3. Planning Your Shoot

    • 4. Location and Lighting

    • 5. Styling Your Shot

    • 6. Shooting: Concept One

    • 7. Shooting: Concept Two

    • 8. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Make your Instagram, Etsy, or portfolio pop with this fun and accessible class from the stars behind popular YouTube photography channel Mango Street!

Join Rachel Gulotta and Daniel Inskeep, aka Mango Street, for an inspiring look behind-the-scenes of the product photos that stop your scroll on Instagram. From concept to creation, you’ll learn exactly how to showcase the items that mean the most to you—from your favorite shoes to your very own artwork—using tools you already have on hand. 

Focusing on resourcefulness over perfection has earned Rachel and Daniel a community of over one million subscribers on YouTube. Now, they're sharing their process in detail to help you transform any idea into a shareable image. 

Key lessons cover:

  • Researching and sketching to create a show-stopping concept
  • Choosing the right location and lighting wherever you are
  • Styling your shot intuitively (anything can become a prop!)
  • Shooting your product for Instagram in two distinct styles

Plus, every step is packed with helpful tips and unexpected hacks developed over Mango Street’s journey from scrappy spec shoots in their apartment to winning clients like The Gap, Gatorade, and Craftsman.

Perfect for any aspiring or practicing photographer who’s stuck at home with a bunch of ideas but no model, special equipment, or set, this class will give you the tools and confidence to get started right away. Grab your DSLR or iPhone and unlock a whole new world of creation!


This class is welcoming to students of all levels, though is particularly focused on beginner and intermediate photographers. While Rachel and Daniel use a DSLR, you can use any camera you choose, including your phone! Learn more about Mango Street’s gear and favorite Adobe Lightroom presets in the Projects & Resources tab. 


1. Introduction: The feeling of taking an idea that's just on paper and turning it into a beautiful photo is truly unmatched. Hey I am Daniel. I'm Rachel. Together we are Mango Street. We create photography and film-making tutorial that don't waste your time. In Mango Street I handle a lot of the computer and technical stuff. I'm the ideas man. Today's class is about creatively shooting product photography. Product photography is basically just a genre of photography shooting any type of product whether it's for young person portfolio, whether it's for big brands, whether it's for e-commerce, social media, anything like that. We started shooting product photography back in 2013 because it was a great way to supplement our income and it was a great way to push us creatively. It's a great way to start off with photography because you don't need anyone else around. You don't need any models you can really just do it all in the comfort of your home, and take as much time as you need in order to get the shot you want. We're going to be covering everything from pre-production coming up with the idea and the concept for the shoot to execution. How to actually pull off the shoot with what kind of lighting, what kind of gear. Then we'll do a second setup that's completely different than the first to show how you can shoot the same product two completely different ways. This class is great if you're looking to expand your skill set, build your portfolio, get new clients, or even just shoot your own product. You can follow along at home with whatever products and gear you have and create your own unique concept. We'll be shooting with our trusty Canon 5D Mark IV and a 50 millimeter lens, but you could really just do it all on your phone if you'd like. Our hope is that when you leave this class you'll have the confidence to be creative even if you don't have extensive background in photography. We're so excited that you join this class. Let's get right into it. 2. Leading with Creativity: Welcome to the class. We're super stoked that you're here. Creative product photography is basically a form of commercial photography where you're focusing on an individual product for usually a brand, so they can use it for e-commerce, marketing, social media, whatever. Product photography is everywhere. When you're scrolling Instagram, you'd probably get served ads of some shoes or some headphones, something like that. All that uses product photography. A lot of product photography is flashy. It uses macro lenses to focus on the details. But we're trying to stay away from that in our lesson today, instead, we are going to take it in a more creative direction. First cell photography, we like to focus on using available light, coming up with a cool idea. The photo itself doesn't have to be perfect. It's okay if there's some imperfections. It's okay if there's some shadows. Instead, we're going to focus on the creativity behind the photo. We really developed this style when we started shooting, and we didn't have a lot of gear. We just used available light because we didn't have strobes. We just had one camera and one lens. We just had one camera and one lens. We started shooting weddings together in 2013. A lot of people just get married in the warmer months in Chicago, so we wanted something that we could do during the off season to generate some income, and that's where we stumbled upon product photography. This is when brands started paying people to post on Instagram, different product shots, and so we took that and rolled with it. We wanted to get some clients, but we didn't really have any contacts or any idea of how to actually get work. What we did is we decided to try and do some spec work, meaning, no one asked us to do it. We just did it on our own accord, and then we would send it to brands to see if, maybe, they would want to work with us. For instance, one shoot we did, we went to the grocery store and picked up some Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and we came up with some creative shoots. We then combined the photos into a fake Instagram grid, and we sent it to the brand being like, "Hey, this is what your feed could look like if you hired us." That was a good way to get in the door and actually get a response from these bigger brands that might otherwise ignore you. They declined, which is okay. We did it for a few other brands though. It only takes one to really open the gates. One of the brands that we reached out to was a mid-range food company that I was very familiar with, because I use their products, and I loved it. I noticed that their Instagram was a little lacking. We put together nine images into an Instagram grid, and then e-mailed that to the and that caught their attention, and they actually hired me to do their Instagram for probably two years. Not only was it a revenue provider, but every month, we shot images for them, we had to get more creative with similar products. It really forced us to really think creatively when shooting product photography. We learned a lot from styling and, actually, the technical aspects of taking the photos. If you're taking this class as a photographer, this is a great way to expand your skill set. It's a great way to build your portfolio, and it's a great way to attract new clients that will pay you money, which is awesome. It's also great for just shooting products that you love, like maybe a pair of shoes or your favorite shampoo. Or your favorite hat. For your own Instagram. For this course, we've decided that our product is going to be a pair of Dr. Martens boots. It's the same pair of boots that I actually got married in. It has some sentimental meaning to us, but they also have really cool branding, and it's a brand that we identify with. Rachel wears Dr. Martens all the time. We feel it's a good vibe naturally that we can figure out what their overall mood is as a brand, and then create an image that might fit in on their Instagram feed or on their website or something like that. The first step of the class is pre-production, so that includes picking out your product, picking out some props, and designing your mood board. Next, we'll talk about actually taking the photo, choosing a location, lighting, composition, perspective, styling. All that comes into play here. After having with the first photo, we'll do a completely different look using the same product and the same methodology, but coming up with a whole different vibe. We won't be going into editing, because we're going to focus all of our attention on getting the best possible photo in camera, but we will provide you with some links on other classes that show you how you can edit. So for the shoot, we're going to be using our trusty Canon 5D Mark IV and the 50-millimeter lens. This is our favorite go-to camera for photography stills. But if you don't have a DSLR like that, no worries, you can just use your phone. Now, it's time for you to decide what product do you want to shoot. It could be anything from an item of clothing, to food in your cupboard, to a tchotchke on your shelves. Keep in mind that this product should help you develop a creative concept around it. Pick your product and follow along and then make sure to post your results to the project gallery. We look forward to checking them out and see what you can create. Up next is pre-production. See you in there. I'm going to not see you in there. Now that we've got that covered, up next is pre-production. See you in there. 3. Planning Your Shoot: Now let's talk about planning to shoot. This is where we basically come up with the story that we're going to tell with the photo. So this includes the location, the lighting, the colors, the props, the overall style and if there's anything else that we want to combine into the photo to make one cohesive image. It's really important to play an upfront so that when you get to the shoot, you can focus your attention on getting the best shot possible. It's also a good way to fully flesh out the idea before you actually jump in and start shooting. I want to make sure that all the props makes sense, that the colors work well together and that everything aligns with the vision for the final photo. So there's no one right way to go about planning for a shoot. There's a few different things you can do and we're going to go over a couple of them. The first method is creating a moodboard. We just open up Photoshop, get a new document and then start pasting in images that inspire us. This could be the color palette that we want to use, then it could be the location, or the lighting, anything that helps inspire us and we'll take all these different elements and figure out how we can accomplish that come time for the shoot. The other way that you can accomplish this is by working backwards. We're going to show you in our first image, the way that we came up with the idea is by thinking of what the caption on Instagram or what the copy for a campaign might be. Since we're using Doc Martens, we wanted to incorporate a phrase that has to do with shoes. So a phrase that we found that would work for the shoot is, "Waiting for the other shoe to drop". From there, we kind of thought of what we could do to create an image that compliments that copy. The idea I have is a Rube Goldberg contraption, where a boot is precariously hanging off of a ladder and a hand is waiting to grab it. We're thinking that on top, it might be cool to put a bowling ball and have a finger ready to push the boot into the hands. We're thinking about what props we have, what colors we want. If there's any textures or anything cool, that would really compliment it. We're think about Doc Martens. The brand itself has yellow logo, has yellow stitching on the boot. It's like it's identifier. So I think it helps reinforce that branding if we can use some yellow props. Thinking about our collection of props, we do have this yellow bowling ball, which would really work well in this photo. Then we also have this old ladder that we got from Craigslist that just has this raw, old rustic look, which is just a cool edgier thing to do. We have these wooden hands, so we could do that or we could do real hands and just use one of us. So just thinking through what's going to work best for this photo. In some ways, I think the wooden ones could be cool. More of a show stopper. Yeah. It feels more like a classic Rube Goldberg thing if it's these animate objects. Yeah. One thing I like to do, even though I'm not very good at drawing at all, is to sketch everything down into a notepad so I can see how I want it to look. That serves as a moodboard in and of itself. You don't have to draw from other people, you can just put all of your ideas onto the paper. You see how the shapes work. Just like rough shapes, you can see how everything plays out and how you want to make sure that the composition is balanced. So when you're sketching it out, you can make sure that when you get your camera setup, that everything's going to be balanced in the frame and it's going to lead to a better image. For this one, I might want to sketch it out. But really when we get to the sets, we might just want to play around with the props and see what looks best. Now that we have the first concept pretty much solidified, we want to also shoot it a completely different way too. So this might lead itself to creating a moodboard. So we pull up a blank Photoshop document. Now we're just going to Google around, find some images that inspire us and start putting them all together in this document. Let's head to Google. There's a lot of complimentary colors. That's the main premise of color blocking. Pink and yellow. Yellow, pink right here. Let's see if we can find some footer. I really like this. Oh, look at that. That feels like it matches the edgier vibe of Doc Martens. So let's use that. Okay. We'll just copy and paste that into Photoshop just so we know what colors are inspiring us for the shoot. But I do like to break it down and do colors, props, and the product and just get these different categories of inspiration so that we can take it from there. We can combine them all into one image. I think that the other ones, since it's going to be natural lights and whimsical and fun, I was thinking this one could be the opposite and be a lot edgier, similar to what the actual branding for Doc Martens is. I feel like they use a lot harsher direct flash on the product. So we could do that with this image. Maybe let's pull up some examples of that, direct flash look. We go to Instagram a lot for inspiration. We're going to just use our own just for the lighting, just so we have an idea, can we shot this in our home? And so we'll be in the same location that this inspiration photo was shot in. So the lighting and the location will be similar. That's a good thing to put on the moodboard. The moodboard, it's mostly just so you can get all your ideas on a page. It doesn't have to be pretty, it doesn't have to be perfect or anything, it's just to draw inspiration from. Why don't we go to their Instagram just to see what they're doing. I don't think that we're going to put a person in these ones, let's just do the product on its own. So I want to be similar color, I don't want to deviate from paraxial boots that we'll be using. Oh, that's kind of cool. You know what? I like the combination of flowers with it. We're going to do a harsher edgier flash and if you do something softer like flowers, that could be like a cool juxtaposition. Well, juxtaposition is a good way to make people stop in their tracks and look at your photo. Here we have a bunch of different flowers and boots. A lot of these are like cowboy boots. I don't like this image as much because the vibe is not right and putting on the moodboard, will just throw everything off. Yeah. That's definitely not the mood we're looking for. I want something harsher, cool. Well, like this? Like that. I don't know if that's a Doc Martens or not, but it's that harsh direct light so that fits perfectly. Let's just toss that in there. That's enough on our moodboard to really have the inspiration we need in the visual references. Really fast. I'm really loving that we're using the pink color, which is softer. But then we're using direct flash, which is edgier and then we're using the dramatic boot, but then we're softening up with flowers. So all around, it's having this really nice juxtaposition. I guess it's simple concepts. Yeah. It's important when you are thinking of all the props you can include in your image, not to just grab random things even if you think they look cool. Even though we're looking for things that are yellow, don't just grab anything that's yellow, because it's going to detract from your image if it doesn't make sense. Look for props that actually add to your photo rather than taking away from it. It's also important not to include props that have prominent logos or branding on them. Because if you do want to shoot product photography, you just want to highlight one brand. Okay. Now it's your turn to sketch out your shot or create your moodboard. We have these two cool concepts and I think first, let's focus on the Rube Goldberg one with the ladder and the bowling ball. That will be a fun one to see out. So now we have to figure out the location and the lighting for the shot. So in the next lesson, that's what we're going to dive into. 4. Location and Lighting: Now, let's talk about where we're going to shoot it and what the lighting is going to be like because lighting is really one of the most important things in photography. So what we're looking for is window light that's nice, soft, and creamy. So it'll be a nice even photo. We don't want any harsh afternoon or late afternoon light coming through with hard shadows, we just want some soft morning light. So for our apartment and the windows that we have, that's usually between 08:00 AM to maybe noonish is when we get our best morning light. We also are looking for a nice blank white wall. Yeah. If you don't have that in your house, consider other locations that might not be as apparent like we've shot in your parent's garage, in their basement. Yeah. Basements tend to have those little windows that let in just nice. Nice stream of light. A nice stream of light, and then garages, if you don't have a window in your garage, you could literally just open the front garage doors, and usually creates a nice even light. Pay attention to how light interacts throughout your home throughout the day. Like we know there's a certain time of year where at 7:30 in the evening, we get this nice stream of light, but it's only there for a couple minutes. So since we shoot at home a lot, we always prioritize nice natural light. So luckily, this place we're in now does have some nice windows to work with, and there's a few different locations throughout the apartment that we've shot in before. One is our hallway. We have a nice long hallway with two big windows that face a courtyard. So the light that comes in is always just soft, even light. On the other wall, we have our bathroom. So if we open the door, you also get light from both sides. So that's a nice little location too. Yeah, but since we need just more space to work with the latter and the bowling ball and everything, I think we'll go to our favorite spot, which is this corner, we have a chair setup that will probably move stuff out of the way and work in that space. 5. Styling Your Shot: Now that we found our location, our next goal is to style the shot. We're going to take over props that we have, and then arrange them and bring that sketch that we have to life. There are a few unknowns with today's shoot. We don't know exactly how we're going to prop the shoe up so that it looks like it's about to fall off. We don't know how we're going to need the bowling ball to stay on top of the ladder, which is a little bit nerve-racking. We don't know if we're going to use human hands or these prop hands that we have. We're going to see what looks better, what works better. There are probably is a little bit of trial and error involved with this step. You just want to start laying things out and see if what you actually had in mind is actually going to work with the constraints that you're working with in real life. I want to have the ladder face this way, so we're going to have the boot on this side. On the platform there? Yeah, where it's going to the light on it. So then the bowling ball is up here? Bowling ball up there, we'll have the hand reaching out from down here. Like a pokey threatening to knock the bowling ball over type hand? Yes. How far away from the wall should we put the slide on? I think this is good, it has enough depth. We're shooting the vertical four by five crop in minds. I'm thinking the sketch shows from here up. The camera will be pretty high up and we won't get anything below. Right. We definitely get inventive with finding things around her house to either use with our props or to help our props stay the way we want them. Whether it's like fishing line, or zip ties, or whatever. I like the shoe lace. That feels cool and it's helps that stick out from the background. Yeah, like I want and then I can just Photoshop this power adapter out and we'll just be like the wall behind it, and it'll look like it's floating, which will be really cool. Now, should we get the bowling ball in here? Here catch? It's actually a three pounds. It's a prop bowling ball. I want to keep the holes out so people have an understanding that it is a bowling ball. If we're photoshopping anyways, just a little mild photoshopping where we use a base. Look at that. It's like perfect size. Then you can angle it however you want. What I'll do is in Photoshop, I'll remove the roll of tape and then I'll just move the bowling ball down. This tape, it covers up a similar amount of the bowling ball's bottom that the ledge of the ladder would anyways. Yeah, there's this ledge up here too that it would hide behind a little bit. Yeah. It's like it's definitely photoshopable. I want the hand to be the bottom edge of the frame. Because it's just a wooden. It's not just like randomly and floating here. That would be weird. Well, we have a little cheap light stand and something. I could probably fasten something where it just has to stand on a base. I have just a really cheap old light stand. This is like a nice base to set things, and I can adjust the height of the stand. I think this will work well for putting the hand on it, but we've done just a little stool with a stack of books. Just whatever you have around that's going to help you get what you want. I took a zip tie around the hand that we want to be pointed right by the bowling ball. All I did was I found this scrap piece of cardboard and I used gaffe tape to tape the zip tie to the piece of cardboard. It's very DIY. Then I'm just going to crumple this up and you could attach it to whatever you have around that would work. You can get creative. In this case, we do have a C stand, which is just like a lighting stand. I have an attachment that will clamp onto it. You could probably continue styling it forever if you're a perfectionist. It's never going to be perfect. There's always going to be something that you can change. Our goal is to take it from that sketch, that idea that you have in your head that's on paper to real life. Once you get it looking like that, is when I think it's time to start shooting. Then you can always do tweaks once you start seeing it in camera, because sometimes things don't really photograph as they are in real life. So you might have to make some adjustments, but I'm really happy about it and I think it's going to be really cool. Good job. 6. Shooting: Concept One: Now we're finally ready to shoot. We are going to shoot with a neutral perspective, which just means shooting straight on with our whole scene. Yeah, the way is in my head is like a neutral straight on perspective. Our other options could be like a 45 degree tilt. Where you're angling down at the whole scene. It does change how things look and how you perceive them as a viewer on a two-dimensional photo so it might be weird. For this specific scene, I think we have to go neutral. Same. Let's do it. Let's get the tripod setup about where we want it. I like to leave the camera on live view where you can see the screen. You can see through the lens essentially as you move it around. It's really a nice way to see how the end photo is going to look. Do you want me to crop the hand off of this one already so we don't have to drag in? Well, I think we want enough space. I think it's okay. I can crop in later, I just want to make sure that we fit into four by five frame. So it's better to have negative space even though we know we're going to crop later. The reason why we are shooting on a tripod is since we know that we're going to have to Photoshop out some elements, it's really helpful if you can do a clean shot. It's called a background plate, which is where we would just shoot just with the ladder and take all the props away and take a photo and not change any settings, not move anything, but bring the props in without moving the ladder. Then when you open it up in Photoshop or whatever editing application, you have a clean image with no props. If we want to erase the stand holding the hand, we have that wall behind it in the other image so we can just erase it. It's super easy and that will make our job way way simpler. One tip that you can do is if you end up bumping something that's not supposed to move in their background plate image, you can do that shot again at the very end. For instance, we have all the props on there now and we don't have the plate image yet. We could wait until we get the final image and then remove all the props very carefully and then take our plate image which will just give us some Photoshop information of the wall and everything so will make our job very simple. You might notice we have our tripod and the camera raised up fairly high. It's like almost up to my chin. The reason why is because we have everything on a higher part of that ladder, we want the lens to be pretty parallel with that back wall so it's a neutral perspective and everything will just look like they do when you look at it in real life essentially. Normally when we're shooting with human models, we are a little trigger happy. We like to shoot through fluid movements and get the in-between moments, but when we're shooting with a staged photo honestly, our goal is to get one photo of this and one photo of the plate. To trigger the shutter we mentioned we're going to use a remote. This camera has an app with it, so you can use your phone and trigger the shutter, but you can also use a self timer. You can use the interferometer. All of this is just because we're going to be Photoshopping it out later. Maybe your image doesn't require Photoshop, maybe it's not going to be a Rube Goldberg contraption. That's just what we're going to do for our specific shot right now. If you can't remotely trigger your shutter, It's not a big deal, we've done it for years, just being careful not to move too much, and honestly be fine even if it does move a little bit. If you are shooting with a DSLR, you might wonder what aperture to shoot at. The lower the number, the more shallow the depth of field will be. That means whatever you focus on, everything that's that far away from the lens will be really sharp, but everything in front of or behind it will be pretty blurry. Everything is mostly at the same depth, they're on the same focal plane where it's like you have the hand, the ball, and the shoe and then the wall is back there. We want the wall to be a little more blurred, so we're going to start with a relatively shallow depth of field, but not so shallow that we might misfocus where maybe the bowling ball is and focus more than the boot. We don't want that to happen. Especially since we're Photoshopping later, we don't want that hand for example to be a little blurry, have soft edges. We clean edges so that we can Photoshop everything. Certainly. So right now the aperture sets at F 3.5 and I think that might be pretty good. Yeah, anywhere between 2.8 and 4 wins. I'm like relatively the same focal plane is probably going to work. Yeah, it's pretty safe. We're going to take a test photo and I'm going to select the boot as our focal point, since that is the star of the show here and that's an F 3.5. one more shallow depth of field gives you a little blur behind it, which is sometime is exactly what you want. You don't necessarily want it to look like you're shooting in front of a wall. One thing that I noticed is that it's so nicely laid on this side and it's just like a little shadowy on the side. So I was thinking maybe we should bounce some light into the picture. Okay, that's a good idea. We have a 5 in 1 reflector, which it's about this big cost about 20 bucks, it's really nice to have if you're going to do a lot of photos. But what we also picked up at the art supply store was just these pieces of foam board and it cost maybe four bucks. I don't know. They're very inexpensive so we can honestly just use those, anything that's like a nice white surface to bounce light in. We'll put that on the far side where the window is not on the opposite side and that will take that window light and then bounce it back into the more shadowy portion of our frame. Next, I'm going to connect my app to the camera so I can shoot remotely. Then after you get that shot as quickly as possible, we have to remove the props so that we can- Have the same lighting. Have the same lighting because we're not doing artificial light. It will shift quickly. As far as white balance goes if you're shooting with raw it surely doesn't matter with photos because you can just adjust that and post and it won't change anything. In this case we have a nice white wall to use as our base of what we want white to be in a photo. One tip is set your focus, so we set the focus on the boot, and then switch the lens to manual focus so that when you remove the boot, the camera will not lose focus and it will still be exactly how it was when you had the props in the frame. Since we are shooting with a Canon DSLR, this one does have built-in Wi-Fi on the camera so I can connect to it and I can actually see my whole frame, which looks like that and I can actually adjust all the settings and I can just fire off a photo. That's a good way to take a shot without moving the tripod. Taking a shot. Now she has to remove the props. The sooner you can do it, the better so that the lighting doesn't shift too much. Coming in for the second shot. This is our plate. It's obviously way easier when you have another person to help you out, to hold the bounces, to take props in and out, to take the photo. I always think it's best if you can recruit a friend or a family member. But it's certainly possible to do by yourself too, just you have to find some things to lean your bounces up against. Maybe the remote shooting really helps when you can use a phone or a remote trigger for the camera so that way you can be in two places at once essentially. We are also just making it pretty difficult for ourselves, it doesn't necessarily have to be this difficult for a product shot. We just wanted to find challenge and we know that we had two people working on it, so just think of that when you think of your concept, how you can actually pull it off if you're by yourself. I think we got the shot that we want for our final image. What I always want to do in camera is zoom in after I take the photo and make sure that the key things are in focus. In this case it's the boot and everything that goes along with it. We double checked and the boot looks good, we're happy with the lighting, so I think we got the shot. What I would love to do though, is do our second setup where we'll probably use some flashes, it will be bright and bold in a way different. We're doing the same product but just a totally new way. Let's do it. 7. Shooting: Concept Two: Now we're going to take down our first photo set and set up the second one. If you remember from our mood board, we decided on a pink backdrop. So we're going to use our pink savage backdrop roll. We're not going to use a backdrop support system. We're just going to keep it super simple and tape the paper to the wall. If you don't have paper backdrop, you can use something simple like poster board, construction paper, and then juxtapose against that we have our yellow. We chose yellow again because of the Doc Martens logo that's etched into the back of the boot. We just got this from a fabric store. It's a few yards. The fabric was 12 bucks and we're going to toss this over a stool. This particular fabric has silk. It's really glossy side, and then a more matte side on the back. I was thinking about putting the glossy side forward because we're doing that direct flash so it's going to really reflect light. That's true. We're really going for an edgy vibe with this, so anything that helps bring that out. Yeah, let's try that out. With this blue in particular, we do know that that tag on the back of the Doc Martens boot it's a signature thing that all their boots have so we want that to be in the photo. We also want to have a little bit of dimension to the boot so by angling it, so it's not just completely one-sided. Tilting the boot out towards the camera a little bit just gives a little bit more depth and a little bit more visual interest; you see a little bit more of the boot itself. Now we have this bouquet we picked up yesterday. It's just a bunch of flowers that were going to try to shove in this boot. We're going to get the tripod low this time; just boot high probably. That way it'll just be pink behind it. What lens do you want to use for this? Fifty. The 50, because I was thinking we could try the 50. Browsy like the 35. If we wanted to look edgy, the 50 rarely looks very edgy, but the 35 has a little bit of distortion. Why don't we try it with the 50 first then we can always change it? One of the reasons why we use the 50 in our first shot was because it compresses the scene and it doesn't really distort much and it brings the background closer to the lens. Where if you shoot wide they feel a little closer. If we don't want to see too much of our sloppy backdrop, a tighter focal length will show less of all that sloppy edges. A wider angle lens can look a little edgier and it's more of our vibe usually especially when we're using direct flash and edgy look. Technical words aside, just like feeling wise, this is going to feel a lot more baggy than this one is. Here let's just do a test shot. We'll do with no flash and just so we can see the focal length difference. That's with the 50 millimeter. Now let's just leave the camera as is and put on the 35 just so we can see how much more of the background that'll show. Obviously, we can see we have to move this camera in to see less of all this background. Yeah. We're using direct flash in this one because it does give you that edgier look and if you remember on our mood board, we grab some examples where they were using that hard direct light. It'll cast some shadows and you'll get some hits of brighter light on the boot which gives it a overall edgier vibe and feels more like a party here, some. With direct flash that generally means you're also going to get hard shadows. You can point the flash at like a reflector, like we had here. We can point the flash here and this will provide a softer, larger surface area. Do you want to do it? You want to try it. That would also be a method to get some artificial light without having that harshness from the direct flash. Now I'm switching to a 50 millimeter again, just to have it. Just so we have an alternate shot. We can see later in post production which one we like better. We have our shot. We have our main shot and now it's time to play a little bit. We're going to try putting a few leaves or flowers around the base of the boot to see if we like that better or more. That's pretty cool. You want to look at it? I think we both are happy with the shots we got. We usually have the other person look at it just to make sure see if they see anything different that we may have missed. Maybe there's a detail that's off. When you're behind the lens and looking through a camera, it can be hard to focus on all of your camera settings, the lighting, and making sure the details of your actual set look good. So it's nice to have an extra set of eyes when you can get it. I think since we took the time planning out the shoot, making the mood board, getting on the same page, going into the shoot, that when we actually got the shot, we both knew it. At that point you can decide, maybe you find some inspiration just working with it and maybe it gets more ideas of different things you could do with lighting or props and so then you can just start to play around with that if you want, but you don't have to. If you set out to get that edgy shot with direct flash and flowers and boots and you got it and you're good to go. I think we got our final shot. We have two very different moods for the same exact product. One is very clean and natural light and it's a cool creative concept. This other one is just visually stimulating, show stopper. It's bold. Do you want to take a look at the final images? Let's look and see what we got. 8. Final Thoughts: Well, you made it. You finished our class on creative product photography. What's next, you may ask. I think we'll want to do a little bit of Photoshop retouching just to remove some of the things that we don't want in the final photo. Then we'd like to do the final color grade in Lightroom. We have our own presets that we use for that, but it's very simple, and we like to give it a timeless look, so it won't look too stylized one way or the other. For our second photo, we won't even take it into Photoshop at all. We'll just be doing minimal color corrections in Lightroom. At this point, we hope you have some images that you're really proud of. If you do, make sure you share them in the project gallery so we can take a look. Thank you so much for taking this class. We're really excited to see what you shoot, so get out there and go shoot.