Product Photography: Style and Edit for Stronger Images | Tabitha Park | Skillshare

Product Photography: Style and Edit for Stronger Images

Tabitha Park, Chocolate Photographer

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6 Lessons (1h 6m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:55
    • 2. Props, Story, and Brand

      8:19
    • 3. Lighting

      12:23
    • 4. Styling, Composition, and Shooting

      26:59
    • 5. Editing

      15:55
    • 6. Final Thoughts

      0:50
119 students are watching this class

About This Class

Strengthen your product photography and still life images through better prop selection, cleaner composition, and basic editing. Join me as I lead you through my entire photoshoot process, covering topics like:

  • Creating for a brand's aesthetic
  • Considering your target audience
  • Props with a purpose
  • Utilizing the best lighting in your space
  • Working with basic artificial lighting at night
  • Styling effective compositions
  • Editing your images using 3 different apps

Whether you're equipped with a full-size DSLR or simply your smartphone, I hope to see you sharpening your work and honing your craft with me in class!

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Tabitha, and in this photography class, we are going to be creating a stylized product photo. Product photography is everywhere you see it all over the place, scrolling on Instagram or surfing the web, so it's so important to stand out whether you are running a small business, and you're trying to promote your products, or you just want to improve the look of your still lifes and flat ways to make your Instagram look better or you want to do what I do, which is content creation. I make photos and sell them to brands. This class is for you. I made this for beginner to intermediate level photographers. You can work with a DSLR or smartphone, I know half the time when I'm taking pictures I'm using my phone, because I left my camera at home or what have you. Don't be afraid you don't need a DSLR for this class, we are going to be talking about overall lighting concepts. I'm going to help guide you through prompts that you should consider for your shot, how to tell a story in your image, and important branding considerations as you are putting together your shot. I am going to style a bunch of different setups for you so you can see me working, and the things I'm thinking as I'm putting together these specific shots, and what I had in mind versus how it ended up, and then I'm also going to touch on editing. Editing is so important because it takes your image from eh to wow. I edit every image that I share, even the ones I share on my personal Instagram account. If you are just wanting bare minimum edits, I'm going to show you how to just drag a couple sliders right before you hit ''Post'' in Instagram, and just that is going to be enough to help add a little bit more life into your photos. This is the whole deal, this is my stylized product photography class. I hope you stick around. My name is Tabitha. I'm a livestock photographer, a content creator, and I teach here on Skillshare. Let's get started. 2. Props, Story, and Brand: Thanks so much for joining me. For the class project, I want you to create a stylized product photo. I'll be showing you my process of planning, lighting, shooting, and editing for some inspiration and direction. I can't wait to see what you create, so let's begin. When I set out to take a stylized product photo, I like to make sure I hit three main points. The first is a clear message. I want to make sure that the items in the frame are easy to identify and that they help contribute to the story. The second point is a brand alignment. I want to make sure that I am capturing the look and feel of the brand or company and I am making sure to market to their target audience and then the third is compelling imagery. I want to make sure that my images are clean and crisp in focus, beautifully lit, just really nice, high-quality shots. That doesn't mean that you have to use a DSLR. I'm going to show you how to work with your phone's camera as well to get better quality images with your lighting. I want to chat about props. When I think of props, I like to consider props with a purpose. Making sure that there's a reason for the items to be in the frame. There's tons of reasons to put something in the frame. The first and most obvious is to include items that help tell the story. We're looking for supporting characters, maybe its ingredients in a recipe or product, or maybe it's types of foliage, props that you might use, supplies, art supplies, tools, brushes, that thing. The second thing to consider for props is incorporating something that will give the image movement or texture. I like to throw in like a tea towel or some ribbon or twine, something that's going to carry your eye through the frame and create lines and movement and cultivate a mood or feeling. Another important thing to consider is establishing a sense of place. If your props, maybe you have a row of books on a bookshelf and you set your coffee mug in front of it and you're taking a shot of this handmade coffee mug, the books are in the photo, but they're secondary. They are not the main subject, but they help contribute to the story that you are in a library or it's your home bookshelf and you're just sitting their reading by the window or maybe you're in a coffee shop, something like that and so those will establish a sense of place. Another example, if you were to photograph bath products and you set them up next to your bath faucet, the faucet can act as a prop in the fact that it helps establish credibility. This is about product, it's by a bath. The fourth avenue that I like to consider for props is anything that aligns with your brand's audience. If you make vegan protein bars for plant-based athletes, you would want to incorporate things that align with that genre of person. You wouldn't put your bar next to a stack of beef jerky because vegans don't eat beef, you wouldn't put it in a child's backpack. You would put it next to gym clothes or a fit bit, you would incorporate a lot of plants and fresh produce type things, things that vegans are interested in that aligns with that specific audience. Another example, if you are selling bamboo toothbrushes and your market is people who are creating low waste habits, you're not going to want to include plastic packaging in any of your imagery because it's going to be confusing for the viewer. It's someone who's looking for less plastic and then they see plastic and they're like this doesn't really fit. Considering your ideal audience in the way that you choose your props and set about creating a photo is super important. This leads us into our next topic, branding. If you are shooting for a company, it's important to know not only what they look like, their look and feel, but also what they stand for as a business. What are their morals? What are their beliefs? What do they do and how are they in society? I guess branding is something like, what are their core beliefs? Do they believe in incorporating whole foods and organic stuff or are they, for example, there's a shoe company called Allbirds. When I first found them, it was through someone I follow who was like a low waster. They posted about these shoes and so I went to the Allbirds Instagram page and within minutes, I already knew about this company, not only that they make shoes and a wide variety of colors, but their shoes are made from renewable resources, so they are sustainable. They paid for carbon offsets, which means all the emissions that their company creates, they pay to offset that and that money goes toward research or for planting trees, that stuff to my understanding. I'm learning all this stuff about their company and what they stand for just on their Instagram page. If you really understand the company or if you were starting out as a company, what are things that you believe in and where do you stand? What's important to you? Because if you're showing these things to your audience, they're going to be able to tell pretty easily if it's something that they agree with as well and so incorporating the brand and feel some things that I like to do when I am setting out to create an image as I like to put together a list of 6-12 adjectives that I'm shooting for. Am I going for a clean, fresh, organic, bright, and airy look? Am I going for moody and grungy and ethereal? I like to create a list of words that will help drive my creativity. It'll help me think of things and put props in my mind "Oh, maybe I'm going to use brown paper for an organic look or maybe I'm going to use sheet metal because it's a very industrial type look." I like to try and keep these words in my head so that it helps me plan out a shoot that's going to align with what I'm trying to achieve in my photo. Lastly, I want to touch on aesthetics. Basically, if you go to someone's Instagram feed and all of their photos have a defined look and feel that is basically their aesthetics. If you create a product like Matcha, for example, let's say you create a green tea and your product is colored like it's green, it's Matcha. You want to make sure that you're incorporating that color and other complimentary colors in your look and feel. Maybe you have little bits of pink and yellow, instead of shooting on metal for an industrial look, Matcha is organic, its earthy and herbal. You want to have a lot of fresh ingredients and a clean, bright, artistic, inspirational feed rather than something grungy or with a lot of information. Taking the time to figure out what it is that you're trying to say and how you can convey these things in your photos is so important to not only having a more successful shoot, but getting you on the right track. You're not getting lost in the reads, your making images with a purpose. It's also important to consider your level of artsy your photos are. In a way, you can capture product photos that are really polished and clean and cut. Every single thing in the photo is in focus and inline and really just like crisp or you can get more this looks like real life. It's just set-up casually or you can veer onto more like the artistic end so you've got a lot of camera blur. You're creating this really aesthetic scene. You're shooting through a bush and it's creating lots of depth and drama in the shot. Being able to figure out where on the spectrum between really crisp and really artsy you need to go for the brand that you're shooting for is important because it'll help you pick out the right equipment for your setup. Now, that we have a lot of ideas jumbling around, feel free to jot down some ideas that come to you if you have a specific product in mind that you're shooting and then in the next section, we're going to talk all about lighting. 3. Lighting: This is our section on lighting. I'm going to just say this right up front, lighting will make or break your image. If you have poor lighting or mixed lighting, your image is not going to be very strong or clean or beautiful. It's so important to make sure you understand what good lighting looks like and how you can achieve it with your space and what you have. I have put together a PDF, a little scenario sheet where I lay out every lighting situation like, what time of day and whether if the sun's out or if it's night time and where I would shoot and with what light and tools to get the best quality image. That is going to be in the project. Resources section on the right side, you'll see a little PDF that tells you about basically lighting scenario. I just felt like it was going to be helpful. I think a lot of people they feel like they don't have the same setup as me and so they don't really know how to get good effective, consistent images and so this document will hopefully help you be able to apply these lighting building blocks into your life so that you have someone pushing you saying, hey, this is how you use this light on this day etc. So, let's just start at the top. Most of the photos that I do, 95 percent of the work that I make, I use natural light. This room is lit up by the sky. The sun is out, but the clouds are covering it, so I have really beautiful diffused light, I don't have any other lights on in the room. It is so important not to mix your lighting. The only exception is if your product is candles and your candle is lit. In that case, I would not call the flame a light source, I would call it a mood setter or an ambience piece. Keeping that in mind, I see a lot of people, they feel like, I'm shooting in my kitchen but my window is not bright enough, so I turned on the lights. Don't do that. The reason you don't want to do that is because the lights overhead are going to set shadows that go straight down and they're going to probably be a different color than the sun and so you're going to get weird colored shadows in all different directions and it's going to be muddy and mixed up. I promise it's going to seem weird to turn off the lights when you do pictures but get close to a window if it's not bright enough, get even closer. Use light modifiers or drop down your shutter slip so that your camera can take cleaner exposures. Window lights, I would use a window light on an overcast day. I would open my blinds all the way, if it was a sunny day, I would close my white curtains so that I have beautiful diffused light. If I am shooting outside, I don't typically shoot outside. I used to shoot outside all the time when I did a ton of portraits. I don't shoot in the middle of the day ever. If the sun is directly overhead, I pick a different time to shoot. I do not shoot if the sun's directly overhead because at least in portraiture, it will cast shadows under the eyes and the neck. It's unflattering light, so I aim for light that's just lower in the sky behind my subject that will make them glow. This can apply to products photography because if you're shooting a product, let's say you're out in the forest and you're shooting a scene of serums on mossy ledger or whatever. If you have that sun low in the sky, it's going to make everything sparkle and it's going to be really beautiful. If your light is directly overhead, you're going to get patchy leaves that are going to leave weired jagged shadows in your shot and it's going to be really hard to tell what your product is. I would avoid overhead lighting at all costs. Don't shoot when the sun is straight up in the sky, don't use overhead lights in your house, turn them all off. Side lighting is going to be a lot easier to work with, especially if you're just getting started. If you're like, I worked during the day. I don't have the luxury of getting this at my house all day and take pictures, that is totally fine. You can make successful images at night in the dark with lamps. So I would recommend getting 2 lamps that are the exact same color, you can get LED lights, you can get whatever bulb you want just make sure it's all the exact same bulb. You can use one or a couple. Keep in mind that if you have more than one light, it's going to be brighter and easier to work with for indoor shooting. I have two lamps, they clip on the side of a table and they have LED bulbs in them. They're the same color. It's so important that whatever you use, it's all the same color. I turn off all the other lights in the room. I'm only using my lamps. It's very dark, that's fine. I clip the lights to the side of the table and shine them. I set up a piece of tracing paper between my lights and my subject. This is going to break up those harsh beams of light. It's going to spread them out a little bit and create really soft, beautiful shadows. I'm going to set up an old piece of mail or a piece of foam core, anything that's flat and white that can be used as a reflector. Some of the light is going to hit that reflector and bounced into the shadow areas to help even out the look of my scene. I'm going to use side lighting and shoot from above so that I get really flattering shape definition in my subject. This is how I would shoot indoors. Again, I would avoid it at all costs but if it's the only thing that you can do or you are feeling inspired and it's night time, don't feel like you can't take pictures, just know that it's going take a little bit of work to get exactly what you want. That being said, 99 percent of the time, I'm using light from a window, I'm diffusing it, I'm using reflectors so when I set up, you will be able to see how I'm using this light and how it works in action. Before we end this section, I want to convey some lighting terms. Direct light is when light is coming directly through a window, so sun is shining in your interior house. It's the patch of light that you're cat likes to sit in, that's direct sun. It's going to be hot and it's going to produce harsh shadows. I would diffuse it, get a piece of tissue paper or a sheet of tracing paper, put something on the windows, stick it there so that the light that comes through gets broken up into really beautiful diffused particles. That's going to be very flattering light really easy to work with. If you have overcast day, it's cloudy, rainy, maybe smelly, that's totally fine because the clouds are going to be your sheet of diffusion basically, so it's a little easier. It's one less step that you have to consider. I use a lot of reflectors if my scene is dark and I have a lot of side shadows, you can buy actually a reflector or you can use a piece of foam core. Most of the time, I just grab whatever piece of mail envelope is sitting on the table, fold it in half and then set it there. Anything that's going to be white and easy to pose can be used as a reflector. Something else to keep in mind that's so important when you're shooting is what you're wearing. If you're wearing neon pink and light hits you, it's going to put neon pink in the little bits of shadow in your shot, and that is so hard to remove. This is called a color cast. Color casts are important to consider because they're really hard to get rid of and it will muddy-up your shot. So, I usually wear gray or black or white when I shoot, when I wear white, I am a reflector. So if light hits me, it will lighten up that front part of the shot. This can be good or bad depending on the look of your scene or what you're shooting. Important cast, white balance is important. In the editing section, we are going to talk more about white balance. White balance means the white in the photo is actually white. It's not a little yellow, it's not a little blue, it's white. This is so important to get in product photography because you're showcasing something that is maybe for sale and you want people's expectations to be set fairly. You don't want everything to be coming up blue are coming up yellow because when they get your product in real life, it's not going to match what they see online. This is especially important if you are getting product photos for an etsy listing because you need to make sure that the colors are right and white balance is one thing that we will be able to talk about in our editing section. It's really easy to get white balance. If you're taking photos and they're all coming out blue or they're all coming out gold, don't panic, you can edit that out. You can fix it by tuning the photo, changing the temperature, and bringing it back to true to life. Really quickly I want to touch on getting the best success shooting with a phone. If you are feeling like your images are really dark and pixely and they just don't look very clean and crisp, it's probably because your scene is not bright enough for your phone. Basically, if your phone has a sensor and it can tell if there's enough light to make a good picture or if it needs to help out the camera a little bit and so the sensor can dial itself down to be able to let more light in and this is the ISO, and so basically all you need to understand is if you're seen as too dark, your image is not going to be as high of quality so get a little closer to your window, allow a little more light, get a phone tripod. A lot of times phones will balance a combination of ISO and shutter speed, so you might not be able to take as quick of a picture if its a darker scene. Whereas, if you're shooting outside and bright sun, it'll take really fast pictures because it only needs to show the sensor for a very short amount of time to get enough light in. So remembering that your phone is just trying to interpret the scene as best that it can, you need to set yourself up for success. So making sure that you have enough lighting, adequate lighting, making sure that you're not shooting with overhead lighting because you'll get the phone shadow in your shot when you're doing a flatly and you can also help your phone out. Use a reflector, bounce more light into your scene, use a tripod that will hold your phone still so that you're not shaking it and causing a lot of blur in your shots. Then if you're getting photos with your phone and they're coming out sharp but they're really just not super bright, they're dull, they don't look very good, that's okay. Most camera photos with a DSLR or with a phone come out pretty dull. They look grayish, not their best and that is why editing is so crucial. We're going to talk about editing in editing section, but I don't want you to skip it because editing is really going to set your product. If you're not currently editing any of your photos, people know they will see your feet and they'll be like, she makes nice pottery but, it's just looks social b ut then they'll see another page may be the pottery isn't as nice but the photos are better, that's going to make a sale. People want this beautiful, gorgeous, cleanly led compelling photos. They want to be able to see the texture and get this color and feeling in real life. They don't want to see just any old photo. So you need to make sure that even if you're taking photos with a phone, you just do a little bit, at least a little bit of editing in the Instagram app, even something simple, quick couple nudges on the sliders to really help show off your photos because what they look like in real life and what they look like on your phone are different and so you need to make sure that you are pushing those phone photos so that they look just even better and sharper, cleaner. Just some basics. Most of the time when I take a photo with my phone and then I share it on Instagram, on my personal account or whatever, I'm going to increase the brightness, increase the contrast, add sharpness and then sometimes I'll push up the saturation, or I'll adjust the tone. Sometimes I'll throw in a little bit of a filter, not full strength. I just do like 10 or 25 percent and it just helps elevate the photo to another level. My friends will comment and be like, how can even you make a photo of mushrooms, like a little plastic wrapped basket of mushrooms look cute and i was just like, seriously? All I did was like a couple little tweaks in Instagram and that's it. So please consider editing. It's going to really hump up not only your phone photos, your decile photos as well. We got to help our cameras out a little bit and make the photos look as best as possible. So tangent, let's get shooting. 4. Styling, Composition, and Shooting: This is a perfect example of 80 percent of the photos that I take or taken in this exact setup here in my kitchen with my diffused window screen at about 02:00 PM in the afternoon. I've got about six more hours before the sun is completely gone, but usually creeping up to like 5:00 PM or 06:00 PM, I get a little bit of a color change as the sun is setting. This is perfect time of day for me. This is what I usually go for. Now, let me show you my setup. We are going to start off with a really simple clean white background show, this is pretty easy. Let me just talk you through what I've got going on here. This is a giant white board I got from the hardware store. It was on the wall so it has holes, but I'm mostly just using it as a spill over. My shooting scene is going to be right in here. This isn't really necessary. But just in case I get the edges is going to be easier to Photoshop than my dark table. I have a piece of white foam core, typically I would just use this as my back wall but mine is like pink dots a little bit. It's got scopes on it, and so I'm using a clean white poster board. I have attached the poster board to the foam core with little blue clamps, and then I have a corner bracket in the back holding it up so it doesn't fall over. I'm going to be shooting here on this seamless background. I've made it a nice, gentle curve so that my background is just nothing. I have a little hexagon shaped tile that I use as a coaster. I like the hexagon shape because we are going to be photographing these little wooden honey dippers. I have a hexagon which makes you think of bees. Then I also have a piece of a honeycomb. I bought this honeycomb, it came suspended in a jar of honey from Trader Joe's, and I was super excited because I feel like cutting comb is really beautiful, adds a lot of visual interest. It elevates an image a little bit. We're going to use this little piece of honeycomb here. My plan is to set the honeycomb on this little tile boosted up a little bit and then rest the honey deeper in it, and then pour honey over the top so it's dripping and adding to this scene here. I'm going to just start setting this up, let's turn it a little bit, open it up, and then I'm going to rest this here. I love, so far I'm going to push this honeycomb forward and the toward the camera just a little bit. Maybe even off the edge of that Coaster. I don't like that. I'm just kidding. I'm going to put it back in the center. I like that, but the problem with putting the handle closer to the camera is it's going to appear bigger than the top, and so I'm going to try exactly sideways, that's fine. I may even crop the image close. But I want to have it be a little more honey inspired. I've got this container of honey. I'm just going to drizzle it over the top and then trying do like a couple of drops that way. It certainly captures this like Dewey, trippy, messy honey look. Maybe some around this guy. Permanent off the edge, and then I may add more later, but I did it haphazardly, not too much planning. I'm going to clean up these little tails right here, and then take a look, I love the way that looks. I'm just going to grab my phone and take a few pictures. The main part that we want to focus on is this cone situation up here. This is where the action is. I'm okay if that doesn't end up in my shot. Considering the crop for Instagram, I'm not going to want to take a sideways photo. I'm going to take a tall portrait shot. I'm going to give myself tons of room and then I'm going to move a little bit out of the way so I don't block my lights, and then I will take a picture. I'm going to tap on here. I'm going to click on the Sun and raise him up just a little bit to increase the brightness, and then click. Let's get a little closer, maybe like a 45-degree angle. We can see that little hexagon shape a little better up here, perfect. Then I'm actually going to do a shot from above as well. I've already got the setup, so we may as well take advantage of all the angles. The above angle isn't as effective because the comb blocks a lot of this. I would have to recompose this particular scene to get a good flat label. While I have this here, I'm going to just shoot a couple of different angles. Then I want to get a shot that's more straight on. But if I angle my camera, my phone straight up, everything's down here. I'm actually just going to flip the phone upside down since the camera is at the top of it. I can take more of a straight on shot of this. Then we can really see the detail and the woodwork, and then I'm actually going to try and hold this up while I drizzle honey and see if I can get like a good drip in their. Once you feel like you've got the shot, go ahead and recompose if you want. For this one, if I wanted to do a flat lay, I might put this guy here. Hi. Hi mama. This looks a lot better from above. I'm just going to add one little touch of honey on the edge here. Just to balance out the shot. I'm going to clean up this little piece right here. One thing I'm looking at is I don't want this handle to go directly out of the corner of my shot because it's going to draw your eye to that spot. I'm going to just casually let it x at one of the other edges of the frame. I'm going to shoe backlit so my lights over there and it's turning this way and I'm here, I'm going to shoot getting a little bit of sparkle in the shot, and then we should be good to go. I'm pretty happy with how that one came together. I'm going to clean this up and then we're going to shoot on this white board for our next shot. For shot number 2, we are going to be using this whiteboard as our setup. I am going to be photographing some bidders. I have these little vials of bidders. I'm going to do a stylized flatly. I'm going to bring this to the floor and bring you closer. I don't have one of those tripod arms. This is as close to a flatly as we are going to be able to get, and the clouds have moved significantly in front of the Sun. I'm actually going to open up these blinds, these curtains so we can let a little bit more light in. I'm right next to the window. What I want is to create some movement with my product here on the board. I also am hoping because these little glass vials are clear that they will spread a little bit of glow out from the side. I am going to have to deal with this rolling situation. Let me grab a little bit of salt. Salt is a good tool to use to help prevent rolling. I'll show you right here. If you put a little bit of salt down and then set your item on it, it's less likely to roll because it's getting those little bits of salt. Because I don't mind that little bit of texture, I'm probably going to use it throughout so that I can show off the little bit of Logo, the flavors in each of these little bottles. I have eight total. I'm not exactly sure how I want to organize these, but we're going to just start sprinkling amount and then get them situated as we go. I want my image to be tall and fit but Instagram crop, so I need a general height here rather than spreading them this way, I'm spreading them vertically. I'm liking how this is looking so far, but I want it to be a little more free form, I think. I want to create an S shape. It'll just be subtle, and then to add a little bit of visual interest, I'm going to add little drops of some of these liquids and hopefully it looks good, I don't know. Because bidders are often paired in like an old fashion with a sugar cube, I'm going to grab some sugar cubes and see if we can get a little bit more story in here. Okay, so the sugar cubes, because it's white on white, they're going to be a little bit tricky to see. But because I'm working with sidelight, we have a little bit of shadow play here that will help define that texture. I'm really happy with how that's going to look. Let's put a few more in here. I'm going to crush one maybe. Yeah, okay. That looks a little more organic being crushed. I'm going to add some of this sugar. Take out the cat hairs. Let's take a look. I'm going to actually put some beaders on these sugar cubes. Okay, I sprinkled a little bit more drips. A little bit around the edges just to extend our image. I added some beaders to these little cubes to help bring in the colors and the feeling Then I think I like the way this look. A lot of it looks good to my eyes, but does it look good to my camera? We will see. You have to play with it and make sure that it looks good to your eyes and to your camera. That looks pretty good. I'm going to get my big camera and get a few more texture shots. Okay, I just brought everything in a little tighter so we can get more in the frame. I am happy with what we got here so I'm going to clean up and we can move into our next scene, which will be another flat lay. But it's gonna be a lot more complex with more levels in the shot. For this next shot, I am going to be photographing this handmade soap. I picked this up at my local grocery store. It normally has a label on it, but these little slices do not so I'm going to tell the story that they were made by me and I'm wrapping them up as a gift. I've got a couple different things going on. I've got this little foliage that I just clipped out of my garden. I'm hoping to be able to shoot through it so I can get a little bit of blurry green in the edges of the frame and then I also have a series of ribbons and twines. I've got a burlap runner and some brown paper. I'm just going to start layering and working with these different textures and try to get a beautiful setup that I like and then I will finish with our finished soap. Probably, the blue one. I'm tied up and that's going to be the main focal point so I'll bring you a little closer and begin. I want to add a little bit of a texture to this brown paper so I'm just going to crinkle the whole thing up and then unfold it. Okay, so this piece now what we have done since we're working with sidelight, it's catching all these little ridges and adding this really beautiful crinkled texture. I actually got quite a lot to work with that matches. That looks really cute. I'm going to play with colors a little bit here. If I were to photograph this blue one, I feel because the soap is textured and the background is textured, it doesn't stand out super well so here is a piece of tracing paper. I'm playing with these strong sharp edges and the smoothness which will hopefully help contrast between the background. Let's play with this blue piece of soap here. I'm going to want to wrap this guy up so let's put some of this. This is just the salvage edge of some yellow linen fabric that I bought for a project. Let's see what we can do. The cord is going to draw your eye through the frame. We want it to look like it's delicately placed but not contrived. We're going to try and implement some organic movement with the twists here, but not try too hard to make it look too perfect. Good, I like that. Okay, next I want to bring in a plants. We're going to be shooting through those so they'll add an interesting framing in the side of the picture. I'm actually going to add one more layer here just to make that soap really stand out. I'm going to incorporate more of this string inside of this shot. I might coil it up and then I've got some of this little sand-colored twine. We can maybe add a coil that in here. Maybe we'll see if that looks good. I'm going to roll out some of this burlap to take up some room. We want to just really have a lot of layers and textures happening here that look like they might contribute to this story, this packaging soap. I might put another piece of soap under here to help raise it up. Yeah, maybe incorporate this green one in this side. This little green spool. I'm going to move this one. I will switch places in that way, the green and the green tie in together. Maybe I'll play into the ingredients here and work with some oats. I've got this big tub of oats. Maybe we'll sprinkle some of those here to imply that it's handmade. I put some here and it trickles down that leads your eye around this haphazard mess feel. It makes it look more natural and then I'm just going to sprinkle a few up here and call it. One of those bars of soap has sea salt in it. I'm going to sprinkle some sea salt here too. This is just adding texture. It's helping you maybe smell or possibly taste some of these ingredients. It's soap so you're not tasting it, but the same idea applies. Okay, so I like the colors that are happening here. We have this nice blue, which contrasts with the yellow in a really pleasant way. This green matches this green. I'm going to try and snap some pictures and we'll see how this looks on my phone. I'm going to bring this eucalyptus really close to my lens. This will give me that blur. It's a little trickier to do with a phone because the phone has a really narrow aperture. It sees everything and tries to put everything in focus. We're just going to put it right up against the back of this camera and see if we can create that airy feel. I'm going to just pop over to portrait mode and see what I can make happen. Go further away. You couldn't really see what I was doing. I had to get really far away for portrait mode, but I've got this blur in the edges from eucalyptus that I just held right in the crook, which was awesome. I am going to recompose this and I'm going to lean into that green. We're going to definitely play with this green tone here. We're just going to have the one, and then I am going to wrap it with some twine. I just threw this to gather look, I'm going to accent with little sprigs of eucalyptus because it's the same color as that bar of soap. Eucalyptus is clean and smells good. This basically would imply that this soap is eucalyptus scented, which is a good story to tell. It's meant. Pretend it's eucalyptus. I have folded this burlap in a haphazard way. But basically what I'm wanting to incorporate, is a lot of these ripples because they will catch light and cause shadows and play into that movement game that we're trying to capture. We have oats and eucalyptus. Those are our ingredients. We have ties to help draw your eye through the frame. I'm going to play into that pool there. I have burlap for texture. I've got a little bit of this tracing paper to break up the monotony of the crinkled. There's a lot of layering happening here. I have a brown texture and then a white smooth, and then a brown texture and then a colorful soap piece. This stands out from this, this stands out from that, this stands out from that. There's a lot of layering happening, and then the sprinkle helps break it up a little bit. It seems complex, but I'm just layering things on top of each other and hopefully trying to break it up. If this was brown and this was brown and this was brown, it would be just way too much brown. Like if I just did not have this tracing paper at all, the brown would blend in too much with the background. Same with the burlap. If I put the burlap on top of the brown, on top of this, it'd just be brown, brown, brown, brown, brown. But because we have that little bit of white to help break it up, it's hopefully going to end in a more dynamic looking shot. I'm going to use this little piece of mail as a reflector. Maybe I'll use this little packing list. Yeah, this one's a little bigger and taller. I'm just going to set this up right here. Then I'm going to start shooting here. The only trick with reflectors is you want them close enough to show up in the picture, but not so close that they're in the shot. This is looking so good. I'm so happy with how this one's looking. Sometimes it's hard to know if what you're styling is even going to look good, in the back of the camera, because the camera just flattens things out in a different way. When you set it up and it looks nice, and then you got to take a picture and it also looks nice, it calls for celebration. I really love this shot. I'm getting a few different compositions, maybe some different angles, that way I have a lot to choose from, but I try not to take the same picture twice. That's especially when I'm working with my big camera. If I do a full day of products shoots and I get to my computer and I only have 50 to go through, that is such a happy day for me. I'm like, "Oh heck. Yeah, I only have to sort through 50 images rather than 2,000 of all the same shot basically." Once you're confident that you got the picture, look through your camera roll, double-check, and then call it. There is no need to take multiple identical shots of the same setup. I am really pleased with how this one came together. I have one more shot prepared for you, so I'm going to set that one up next. For this final setup, we are going to be shooting this candle I got from Target in the hearth and hand section, magnolia. This one I wanted to talk about the importance of making sure your logos and focus. The things I photographed so far, the logo was not really the primary thing, but if you're photographing for a company, they're going to want to make sure that the logo is legible and in focus. We are going to work on that. I am using the same little wood cupboard, and then I also have a bunch of foliage and plant matter over here. These are cholla branches, you could use driftwood or whatever, and then these are my eucalyptus that you saw from before. I'm going to train, taught, pile those up so that they look good. I'm also going to incorporate some cardamom pods because this candle is cardamom and vetiver scented, and then I have some matches ready because I want to light the candle to give it a little bit of mood. That is why we are in this makeshift corner, because we want a really dark and moody shot. I've created this pretend corner of our room, because I have the windows back there and I don't want them in the shot. It's still light and airy, but it's shadowy. I'm going to bring you a little closer so you can see what I see as we get this going. Yes, I did not clean up anything from the previous shots, that's all my mass, the kitchen disaster, the cat, crazy. Now that we're here, let's decorate with some cardamom pods. That's a lot. I'm going to break one of these open. Say hi. I'm going to light my candle. That's a quick burning match, that one there. I'm angling all my matches so the ends point toward the camera. This is just a visual queue bringing your eyes into the important parts. We'll stick that light right there. How are we looking? We look dreamy. What I'm seeing is that my background is a little bit low. I'm going to try and pile these up a little bit. Wow, that might actually be okay, heck, yeah. I'm going to work on my tall shot. I like keeping the important elements on one of the thirds. Since this bottom third of the photo doesn't really add, I'm going to put our candle on that bottom third and then have the foliage grow out and around. Let's go with that. I don't like this. It's not the same color wood. It's just throwing me off. I'm taking it up. I feel like I wish there was more happening here. Maybe I'll bring some of these, I'll bring this little wood piece and have a cascade front. I might have to turn this shot down just a little, so click on it and bring it down for the mood. We'll play with it in editing. That one might just be better with a DSLR. Sometimes that happens. I have a zoom lens. If I am shooting at 35 millimeter, I need to be really close. When I take a picture like this, it pushes my background back. If I do the same picture but I zoom to 85 and then get far enough back to do a similar framing, it brings my background forward. Here's the first one, the foliage is further back, and then closer. I'm playing with the rule of thirds here. I put my candle in the center for a few, but I'm going to put it on the right third or left third, just to add a little bit of visual interests, change it up, awesome. I'm going to take down my wall, just for fun. I feel like I've already got my shot, but at this point I like to experiment a little and see what else I can come up with. In this shot, you get more of my home in the background, which helps define a sense of place. I don't know that it's a nice specific place, but it just adds a little bit of something interesting. It's all out of focus so you can't really tell that it's my car ocean. Can you hear the thunder? I picked the noisiest data feel. I'm going to bring this forward. This will mean this is closer to the camera. This is going to be more blurry. I have a chair in the background that I'm getting in this shot that's distracting since you don't really know what it is. It's like, "Oh, what's that dark blob?" I'm going to open this, so we get a little brightness on our foreground. Hi are you? Are you just enjoying the eucalyptus? You silly girl. I'm going to go ahead and call it. I feel like we got a lot of really effective images here. Hopefully this was helpful to get a behind the scenes. Look at how I put my stuff together and realize that my kitchen is a disaster, and then that's just how I work. I just work around it. But anyway, I'm going to lead you through really quick edit on Instagram, and the Lightroom app on the phone, as well as a full on Lightroom computer tutorial, if you're working with a DSLR. Yeah, let's get to editing. 5. Editing: So here is our quick edit in the Instagram app. I have selected the photo that I want to edit. Before I hit the next button, this is where I adjust, where the crop is on this photo. If you actually pinch, it will give you a bigger view. This is the four by five ratio, eight by 10. Or if you double tap, it'll take it back down to square. We're just going to do a simple square for this shot. I'm just going to pinch and zoom a little bit, I want to have it be a little more centered right here. It seems like there's a lot of emptiness over here, and what's happening is over here, so I want to make it centered. I feel pretty happy with that crop, so I'm going to hit the next button. This will take me right into the filter's menu. If you hit this edit button, you can do your fine tuning edits. Go ahead and put a filter on it if you want. But a filter is still going to leave you with a dark and dingy image, so I'm going to go back to normal, and then I'm going to hit Edit. At a bare minimum, I want you to do three things, increase the brightness. I'm taking my brightness up to about 50, and increase the contrast. Naturally, your phone is going to want to add a lot of grayness. It's going to want everything to be even, adding brightness and contrast. If I long press, this is what I had before, and this is what I have now. It is incredibly dramatic the difference just those two sliders make. If you want to take it a step further, you can touch the Warmth and Saturation ones. Warmth, I would say probably, let's add just a little bit just to kind of bring out those yellow tones in the honey. I'm setting mine to 10. Next in Saturation, we're going to put that one to about 10 as well. Then, we're going to come over to highlights and shadows. This is where we can really fine tune what's happening here. For our highlights, I want to take these up quite a bit. I want this white background to just pop. I want it to be pretty white. I'm taking this up to about 50, and then shadows, this is going to add a lightness to the darkest areas of this photo. I'm going to bring that up to about 50 as well. Hit Done. Now we can see this is before, this is after. It's such a dramatic difference. Then before you wrap up, there's one last thing that's at the very end, this is sharpen. We want things to appear really crisp on our phones, especially compared to everything else we see. I always add a little bit of sharpening. You don't want to go too far, it's hard to see, but this photo's like crazy sharp and crunchy if you go all the way up. I tend to leave it at about a third of the slider, so hit Done. Again, here's before and after. That is just like a really dramatic edit. If you wanted at this point, you could tap back into the filters, and add just subtle 12 percent filter. This would just add just a tinge of blue, and a little bit more of a stylized look that you might be looking for. Again, if you're just going with the normal, that's pretty basic. We would hit Next. This will take us to the part where we would write a caption, and share, and all that good stuff. I feel like that was a really effective edit that we did pretty easily. For a little more editing power, let me show you how I would edit in the light room. This takes me to all my photos on my camera roll. I'm going to click on the one we're going to edit, which is the same one I edited in Instagram. Just starting out, we have all of our editing tools down here across the bottom, we are going to do a bunch of basic edits and then take it further. I'm going to start out in the light drawer. We're going to bring our exposure up. This is very much the same as adding brightness. We are going to increase the contrast. We are going to pull the shadows up, we want some information in the front of this honeycomb. Increase those shadows. I like to bring the blacks down. That will just add a little more contrast in a honey dipper. Then, for the highlights, sometimes I find the editing in this, my highlights blow out a lot easier. I'm actually going to bring those down just a little bit, so that it will preserve the lights in this shot. I'm going to increase my exposure just a little more, and bring up my contrast just a little more. I'm going to close this drawer, and then Long press. This is going to show me what I started with, and where I am now, insane. Such a great edit there. Next I want to show you, I like to hop over into the detail, and increase the sharpening, just to make the image look more crisp on Instagram. Then, I think I'm pretty much done in here, but I want to talk about white balance. I mentioned it before. It's making the whites in the image appear as true to life as possible. I'm going to open up this color draw. The camera does a pretty good job doing an auto white balance, but I want to just make sure it's exact, and so I can adjust my temp and my tint by sliding these little sliders. Maybe I want to make it really yellow, and add a little bit of green to it. Maybe I'm, I don't know what's going to look good, and you play with the sliders a little bit. If you get kinda lost, you can always hit this little eyedropper tool, and then it will let you pick a spot on the image. I'm going to drag this circle to the background, which I know is white, and it's going to recolor it. You can drag it around before you accept it and get slightly different adjustments based on where in the image you select. I recommend selecting a white or neutral gray spot in your image, and picking out the best iteration of this. Then, you hit that little check mark, and it has white balance, the shot for you. This is super helpful if randomly all your photos are coming out kind of blue. It's hard to know, like, how do I get that white to be perfectly white? If adjusting the temp and the tint is confusing, you can always just grab the little eyedropper, and it will do the hard work for you. Then lastly, I wanted to show you, if you've got little specks in your image that are driving you crazy, let's scroll over to this little band-aid, it says Healing. If we click on that, we have these little tools here on the left. The top one is for adjusting the size. If I scroll in, whenever you move the image, you have to use two fingers, otherwise it will add an adjustment. If I scroll in, I can see some little specks on the edge of this coaster, and I want to edit that out. If I just tap it, it's going to select a spot, and then edit it. If you want to adjust the size of your healing brush, maybe that's too big, let's undo that, we can click on, the Top circle, and then drag up and down to fine tune how big that healing brush is. I'm going to make it a little smaller. Click on that little spot. If I miss it just a little bit, I can move it over, and it will just grab a sample from nearby, clean up that spot and make it look really nice. If you Long press, you can adjust from heal to clone, or you can delete spots that way. I'm going to click on this spot, and click on this spot, and click on that spot. I've got a little bit of a shadow right here. I'm going to get rid of that. I have a little speck on my backdrop right here that I'm going to get rid of. That should be pretty good. Everything else looks really clean. I have five or six little healing spots. I'm going to click the check mark. The other adjustment tools in that particular window, adjust the feather, and then this bottom one adjusts the opacity. You can do a half heal if you're just fixing someone's acne but you don't want it to be gone completely. You can half heal it so it's like just less obvious. Anyway, that's a little bit into the Healing Brush there. I'm going to exit out of that. This is our finished photo. I'm really happy with how it turned out. This is before, and this is after. To save this, I'm going to hit this little box with the arrow. I'm going to save it to my camera roll maximum available, that just gives me a full-size photo. Then I would take this right into Instagram and share it. All right, now I want to show you what I would typically run through in Lightroom. I'm over here in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom classic CC version 8.2. I have gotten all my photos imported into my library and I've selected the one that I want to edit. I'm going to click over to the Developer tab and begin. I'd like to start off in this top area. This is just all of our basic edits and the basic drawer. I am going to increase the exposure. You can see my background is white here. If you right-click, you can change it. This darker gray is the default. I like to set it to white when I'm working with white so I can compare it and make sure it's as bright as I think it is. Anyway, we're going to increase our exposure so it's nice and bright. We don't want to overexpose though, so keep an eye on your histogram and make sure that it doesn't turn white in this little mountain here and hit the wall. Bringing our exposure up to a nice level over all that took out a lot of contrast. So we're going to put our contrast back in by increasing the contrast slider. I want to bring in the lightness here in the shadow areas, so increase the shadows, that will give us some texture detail in here. We are going to drop the blacks down. This is very similar to how I edit in the Lightroom app. I want to fix these corners here. Can you see that I have some vignetting happening on the corners? I can scroll all the way down to the bottom and the Effects menu and adjust the vignette manually but I know that this vignette is actually caused by my lens and camera pairing. If you go to Lens Corrections and check this box that says Enable Profile Corrections. It says I'm using a Nikon, I'm using this lens and it takes out the distortion and the vignetting that it knows that that camera ads. So let me show you if I scroll down to my history, this is what we had before, so we note a little bit of darkness in the corners and a slight distortion fixed and then this is after. It's just subtle, but it's just it finishes up the photo just really nicely. Next, let's work on our white balance. Here is our little Picker tool. We're going to click on it and select a spot in the background. This is our target neutral. It did a very subtle adjustment. It took out maybe a little bit of greens in there. That gives us a really nice finish. I'm going to scroll in here and check out the detail of that we've got going on. It looks really nice. I've got those little speckles I want to take out. I'm going to click on my Clone tool, adjust my size with my scroll wheel on the mouse, and then click, click and click. Okay, so those are just little subtle adjustments. I'm very happy with how this looks. I'm going to crop it for Instagram, so I'm going to open up the crop tool right now. It's giving me my original camera crop from my DSLR. I'm going to click on this original button and I'm going to go down to four by five slash eight by ten. This is the tall Instagram crop. I do this most of the time because this will fill up the phone screen better than a square will. I just keep my important details pretty close to the center. I might even bottom weight it just a little bit because I feel like it feels more balanced this way. It's a little bit of visual interest. I like to think of it like this is our scene and this is the sky. I don't think I would ever top weight an image. It just kind of feels awkward to me for some reason so bottom weight is what I would do. Then I'm noticing that this edge isn't straight on my little tile, so I'm actually going to adjust this. I'm dragging outside of the crop box and I'm clicking and dragging and that will adjust my angle. I'm just going to adjust a little bit and then click the crop to accept. Here's my finished crop. I'm actually not happy with that angle. I'm going to go back. That's better. Then I want to finish off with a couple of small adjustments. I'm going to increase the clarity in this shot. This just gives it a little more of that crunchy contrast. I'm going to increase the vibrance. Then I'm going to bring up a little more lightness in this spot here by upping the shadows. Just a little bit. I'm going to bring the blacks down a little bit more and I am really happy with that. This seems really saturated, the color's really beautiful. I'm very pleased. I'm going to scroll down and sharpen. This is my sharpening settings in the detail drawer. It shows me a close-up picture of the center of the image. If I don't like where this is, I can click on it and then click a new spot and check my sharpening from there. This is what I'm seeing and I'm adding some sharpening here. This is default sharpening what it normally sets to. I like to increase it to about 50 percent, about halfway up the slider. Then I like to adjust the masking. If I hold down the option key and then click on the mask, it we'll fine tune my sharpening to just the spots in the image that are white. Which is all the edges right now. I'm going to except that. I'm going to scroll in really close so I can see what's happening. Click back in the past. It's a very subtle sharpen. In fact, I'm going to bring the amount up a little bit more just to kind of give it that nice polished feel. I'm going to come down into the timeline. Right-click, hit export. This will bring up my export menu. I'm going to export it to my pictures folder and I create a sub folder. This one I'll call honey dipper. I'm going to rename the file. I like to use custom names sequence. This means that I can put in my own name and it will add numbers as they go. Right now my custom text says honey, and my start number is one. My file settings, I have the image format at JPEG, and I have my color space at sRGB. This is the only color space I ever use. The other ones tend to show up a little weird if you get your photo that kinda looks greenish. It's probably because you're using a color space of your computer does not understand. Because I'm not printing this, I'm just putting it on Instagram sRGB is perfect. I usually take my quality slider to 90 because the difference between 90 and 100 is so minimal and the file size is a little bit more different. I limit my file size to 1800 K. This makes my photo a little smaller. It also is the maximum size you can upload to Skillshare. If you are having a problem uploading photos to Skillshare, it's probably because the file size is too big. I've noticed a lot of my phone photos, the file size is too big and so I have to bring it in, change the file size in Photoshop and export it, and it's kind of a mess. I just make sure I do this right here in Lightroom so I don't have to even think about it. My image sizing, I resize to fit the long edge at 2500 pixels. I feel like this is what I normally do for Instagram. My photos look nice, crisp and great, and I've just had really good success with this. My resolution is at 240. That's probably way higher than it needs to be, but it works for me and I just let it be. I check the sharpen and the output sharpening menu sharpen for screen in the standard amount. This is just an additional little sharpening than it adds to the photo. Then in my post-processing I will show in Finder, I'm going to hit export. It will export with this little loading bar right here. That will pop up in the folder that I have selected for it, and that is my editing sequence. At this point, I would like to open AirDrop. I drop this file right to my phone and then I can upload it immediately to Instagram from there. That is just my typical workflow. Here is all three images that I edited for you side-by-side so you can see the subtle differences. The first is the one I did in Instagram. The middle is with the Lightroom app on my phone both of those are with my phone photo and then the last is with Lightroom, on the computer. Thanks so much for watching. 6. Final Thoughts: Thanks so much for joining me. I hope that you learned something. Again, post your project here in the project section in class or if you decide to share on Instagram tag me, my handle is just Tabitha Park. I want to see what you are creating and check out your feed and see how you are improving your photography. If you haven't seen any of my other classes, I have 21 over on my profile that range from shooting products and food to people or creating your own backdrops. Yeah, if you have suggestions for future classes, stuff that you want to see me teach, I always love hearing about that, so definitely don't be shy, leave a line. If you have questions, please share them in the discussion section so we can help each other out. Again, I love to see what you're working on. Thank you so much for sticking around see you next time.