Product Photography Basics | Brian Mahany | Skillshare
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9 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project Overview

    • 3. Building a Set

    • 4. Gear

    • 5. Cameras

    • 6. Lights

    • 7. Demo

    • 8. Tethering

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class

This class is about product photography and how you can use it in your everyday life and learn the skills to become a better photographer Join photographer Brian Mahany in this engaging 30 minute product photography class.. I will go from the basics to some highly advanced techniques and skills. This class is geared toward beginner and intermediate photographers but anyone taking this class will be able to learn from it and take away something from it. You will learn how to set up for a product shoot and what equipment you’ll need. You will also learn about the different types of lights and lighting styles used in photography and what lighting works best for your product shoot. You will learn about exposure and how it affects the image and how getting the correct exposure will help produce great imagery. You will briefly learn how to shoot tethered and why it’s important to shooting product photography. My portfolio may be viewed at for an idea of my work and style of shooting.


Class Outline

  • Introduction. A well-made image can elevate a product from simple object to work of art. In this series on product photography for beginners, Brian Mahany teaches you the skills required for “tabletop” photography. You’ll learn how to set up your tabletop, what settings work best for which products, as well as which lights to use and why. The lessons included in this course are for anyone who might like to sell stock photographs, improve their portraits photography, or just share photography online with their friends and followers. With just a few tips, you’ll be creating gorgeous photography products in no time.
  • Project Overview. In order to improve your skills, you will be photographing a highly reflective wine bottle and making it look natural. Since reflections can be one of the trickiest aspects to manage, once you have mastered this, other items will be easy.
  • Building a Set. Before you begin, you will need a simple setup that will allow you to create the proper background and setting for your product. Brian shares his method and materials for a professional-looking set that can be built with no tools and a single trip to the hardware store. He’ll explain the concept of the cyc wall and how to construct one, as well as some techniques for getting different textures in your set.
  • Gear. It may seem like photographing products might not take a ton of equipment, but there are some specialty items that you will need to get the best results. Some items, like the mono stand, will only be available to pros, but others, like the C stand, can be had with little investment. Brian goes through his equipment list and gives you several options for finding and using this special photography gear.
  • Cameras. In this section, Brian opens his camera bag and shares his thoughts on how you should invest in your camera equipment. Lenses, for example, have the highest resale value, and you should always choose an expensive lens over an expensive camera body, which will not hold its value over time. He’ll also cover hot shoes and what you’ll need to know about them to get the best results out of your shoot.
  • Lights. Brian gives you an overview of tungsten, strobe, and fluorescent lights, going into detail regarding which ones to use and when. Each light gives a different type of light, and knowing the differences will help you decide how best to photograph your product.
  • Demo. Once you’ve gotten a handle on the lighting options, Brian gives you a demonstration of each one, breaking down the results and the differences between them. You’ll learn how to use soft boxes and bounces to fill in dark spots, or how to use scrims to knock down highlights for a pleasing, even light with no hard shadows.
  • Tethering. No matter what camera you use, you should still connect your camera to a computer monitor so you can see the results as you shoot. This is called ‘tethering,’ and Brian walks you through how to connect your computer and camera, as well as the reasons you should never shoot without tethering.