How to shoot photos using simple props and get that professional look. | Sarah Hipwell | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

How to shoot photos using simple props and get that professional look.

teacher avatar Sarah Hipwell, Photographer + Digital Media

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. Video01 Introduction

    • 2. Video02 Shoot set up

    • 3. Video3 Photoshop Lens Blur tutorial

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Hi, my name is Sarah Hipwell and welcome to my course on getting that high end look to your photos without the high costs. In the first two videos I explain the concept and the shoot set up. The final video is an Adobe Photoshop tutorial explaining the post editing techniques I used to create this high-end look to the image.

By using simple inexpensive props, and using just one flash light. I will demonstrate how I was able to get a professional high end quality shot. I will show you how the photo below was taken not in a casino but in my living room! 


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sarah Hipwell

Photographer + Digital Media


Sarah Hipwell is an independent professional photographer based in Dublin. She specialises in high-quality corporate, stock and portraiture photography. Her background is in Design. She received her BA in Hons Design from the University of Ulster, Belfast. She has many years commercial design experience working as a designer and as a trainer for large multimedia companies. See more of her work at

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Video01 Introduction: I. My name is Sarah Hip well, and welcome to my course on getting those high end look to your photos without the high castes. In the 1st 2 videos, I explained the concept on the shoots set off The final video is a Photoshopped tutorial explaining the post editing techniques I used to create this high end look to the image. Recently, I wanted to shoot a Siris of images that had a poker casino style theme. But I didn't want to rent out a casino for a few hours or hire models, which would have been very costly. Plus, there are no casinos where I live, So I decided to try and do a set up at home. I wanted to keep the set up a simple as possible by using the camera equipment and props that I already have. The props, by the way that I used in this shoes are relatively inexpensive to buy. For example, I used a black shower curtain as the background, which I purchased for six euros, which I believe is about $8 in the States. Party poker sets can be bought online quite cheaply, as I didn't hire any models I shot a Siris of close ups with a shallow depth of field. This allowed me a bit more creatively way in the post editing stage. I was then able to create a fake Booker in photo shopped for the background. The third video is a Photoshopped tutorial on how I did this technique and others to give the wow factor. So let's move on to the next video to show you how I set up the shoes. 2. Video02 Shoot set up: But this set up, I used a Nikon DSLR camera with one speed light fitted with a 36 inch translucent see through on brother, roughly at 45 degrees angle over a smaller table to the right. I home the black shower curtain opened the wall using a plastic telescopic pole from my upstairs bathroom. I didn't have any green found, so I improvised with my old PSA beauty of green cloth. This is a well known table soccer game. My aim here is to mimic the dramatic lighting, similar to a spotlight effect that gives drama to a shot. This is a typical photography set up using just one speed life. So I set the flash to manual as 1/8 power with the flash shutter speed. At 1/30 of a second I left the flash sinks bait as 1 250th of a second. The camera settings were FH for aperture on the camera shutter speed. At 1 250th of a second. I wanted to lessen effect of the ambient lighting, which in this case was the general lights. From the room. This incandescent lives can produce a yellow curry cast on the image. I use the commander mode on my camera to trigger the flash. I showed the same height as the table, getting in very close and tight, using my 18 to 200 millimeter lens at 65 millimeters focal length from this illustration, you can see how I set up the scene and what gear and props are used. I have included this settled illustration as a J pic fire in the project folder for you to download. By the way, the purple rubber gloves were not a prop. They're there to illustrate that the rial per pounds were used to hold the cards. So let's have a look at the photos and how they appear straight out of the camera. - Now on to the final video, where I show an easy to follow for the shop tutorial on how I created the Bucher background . Using lens blur on blend modes, ticket that high end look to your photos 3. Video3 Photoshop Lens Blur tutorial: Before I begin this photo shop tutorial, let me show you the different stages from start to finish. Using layer comes here is the image straight out off camera on. As you can see, the image is quite cool and the whites look particularly gray. I had sent the white balance to auto in camera as a shoot rule. I do all my basic edits in Adobe camera raw before bringing the image into Photoshopped. So here's how the image looks. After I applied some basic edits in camera, I adjusted mainly the white balance lens correction on chromatic aberration. I then bring the image into for a shop where I apply levels incurs as adjustment layers. I also cleaned up the image for just blemishes. Here are cleaned up the some nails. Andi, I got rid of the speculum. Highlights on top of the nail. As you can see here and now, here is the fake Boca background applied, which is in fact, a photo of a Christmas tree with lights. The final stages where I used the brush tool of to paint a blob off white on a separate layer on change the blend mode. Okay, this image is done, but I normally add a topaz adjust effect here. This is a plug in for photo shop, which I really love, and it gives your images that extra punch. But I'll also show you how to get a similar effect just using photo shop. So let's get started. I'll go back to the Layers panel, where I'm going to add the Faith Booker into the black background. First, I'm going to need to the Christmas tree image. So go up to the application bar and go to file place. Choose your image and click place. The little lights are going to be perfect for this technique. I have included this image in the Project folder for you to practice on. This brings the image in on a separate layer as a smart object, which is perfect as I need to make it bigger as his image was shot vertically, I need to flip it horizontally, so go up to any of the top corners on when the cursor goes to this rounded Taibei. Com. Click on drag around. Hold the shift key to they get to 90 degrees. Now I need to make a bigger so go back up to the any of the two corners. Aunt hold on. All shift on dry goes to about 100%. Holding the shift key on drag up to about here. Click on the Commit to transform Icon. Now, if I go up to filter Blur, you can see the lens blur. Eruption has been great out. That's because this is a smart object I'm also using. Afford a sharp CS five. So by right clicking on my layer and go to restaurants layer, then go back up to filter, blur lens blur On this pop up dialogue box appears this is the fun bit, and it's up to you to experiment with different slider values to get the desired result. I wanted to keep the IRA shape rounded, but you can change the shape Teoh five sided, for example, the Pentagon or to a square. I'm just going to zoom in on show you this. If I moved the blade curvature on the rotation, you can see the five Pentagon shape might go up to the square. You can see the square shape, so I'm gonna go back to Hexagon. Increase the curvature on the rotation until I get the rounded shape, which is what I want. Thes two sliders here will determine the book of fact. I've left the brightness at 32 on the threshold as 111 when you happy click OK, this process may take a minute or two, depending on how fast your computer is on the size off. The image now change the blend mode from normal to screen. I then applied a layer Mass because of gas T glow effects on the cards, which I don't want. I've already created this mask, so I'm going to enable us here that the Boca Effect is now just visible on the background. Okay, we're nearly there, so that's create a new separate layer here. We're going to create the spotlight effect on the cards. Go to your brush to on I have it sent to 1600 pixels on. It's going to be a soft brush. Click on the image around here a couple of times. Go to command T on a Mac to bring up the free transform, too, or control T on the PC, holding down old shift on drag from one of the corners out to about there. It's Okay, quick on the commit to transform icon. Go back up to the blend modes and you're going to change this from normal to overlay. I reduced the fill to about 40 46% and here you have and spotlight effect on the cards. Now you have the wild factor in your image. However, up the stage, I usually add topaz. Adjust to my images. This is a paid plug in for for a shop, which I love. I think it gives a graze punch to your image, but I'm going to show you a quick technique to achieve a similar effect and photo shop, though command option shift. Be on a Mac or control old shift E on the PC to merge all the layers into a new layer. Go back to the Christmas tree image and click on the layer mask. Hold on the old key and drag up to this layer and release. Now we have a copy off the mask. Go to adjustments. Click on levels. Move the white slider over 2187 on the mid tones lighter over to 1.22 Click on this icon to create a clipping mask by clicking the layer visibility taco here. Now you can see the background has more punch to it. Go back. Two layers click on the brush tool a mask away this bit off the image juices fell to 90%. Group the two layers on reduced pay city to 86%. So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed watching this to Troy as much as I enjoyed making this.