Still Life and Product Photography: 5 Ways to Improve Composition and Style with Impact | Olena Hassell | Skillshare

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Still Life and Product Photography: 5 Ways to Improve Composition and Style with Impact

teacher avatar Olena Hassell, Tea Photographer and Stylist

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

9 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Introduction and Class Overview

      2:16
    • 2. Class Project

      1:05
    • 3. What Makes a Great Photo

      3:55
    • 4. Tips to Instantly Improve Your Photography

      7:29
    • 5. How to Make Your Hero Stand Out

      11:59
    • 6. Styling Demo 1: Light and Bright

      6:03
    • 7. Styling Demo 2: Cozy and Rustic

      5:19
    • 8. Photostudy and Exercise

      9:59
    • 9. Final Thoughts

      1:15
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About This Class

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A great way to style with impact is to make your subject stand out in photos. Join me in this class as I share my best tips and tricks for creating strong compositional structure to instantly improve your photography.  

In this class I'll cover:

  • Natural Lighting setups for maximum impact
  • 2 Styling and Composition demos
  • Step-by-step Styling Technique for success
  • 1 Photostudy + Exercise
  • 4 Attributes of a great photo
  • 5 Tips to help your subject stand out in a photo
  • 2 different ways to style the same subject and improve efficiency                 
  • Tips and Tricks along the way

By the end of this class you'll be able to confidently create a spectacular still-life composition or a product photo of your own. You'll have a straightforward method for creating content for your social media and learning to better read a photo.  This class was so much fun to create and I'm really excited to see how you incorporate this knowledge into your own work. Thanks so much for watching!

Checkout some of Olena's other courses:

Product Photography: Creating Images that Sell

Follow Olena in Other Places:

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Meet Your Teacher

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Olena Hassell

Tea Photographer and Stylist

Top Teacher


Hello, I'm Olena and teach photography and styling classes.  I trained as a scientist, worked in Biotech and human Vaccines, and, after having my first baby, discovered the joys of Instagram and developed a new passion for photography. 7 years later, I now create beautiful imagery for designers and businesses (big and small) and help them advocate for themselves online and on social media. I've grown two Instagram accounts to over 100K each and I love sharing tips on composition and Behind The Scenes on instagram.  

 

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Transcripts

1. Introduction and Class Overview: And how to prepare and how to prepare for your photoshoot. Hello, my name is Olena Hassell and I'm a commercial photographer, educator, wife and mom of two little girls. I love bright and colorful images, cozy styling and clean lines. And I hope to share some of my tips on how to achieve those with you in this class. I love tea and unique vintage crockery, and I always run out of space to store it. I love styling products and food. Give me a unique product with beautiful packaging and humps sold. Over the last five years, I have been working full-time from home and turned my passion for food and product photography into a unique career with over 250 thousand followers on my to Instagram accounts. And I did it without hours and hours of research, without special lighting equipment on a budget and without professional photo studio. And I believe you can as well. My work has been featured by various magazines, including Vogue, Italy. And I've had the pleasure of collaborating was wonderful, big brands and small and have helped many designers in small business owners to take photos of their products and to advocate for themselves and live. In this class, we'll dive deeper into compositional structure, which will help you instantly improve your photography. We'll talk about what makes a photo grade. And we'll go over some case studies to help you learn to read a photo. I will take you behind the scenes of my home studio. Show you how to shoot two different themes using similar probes and the same product. This class is designed for beginner to intermediate photographer, for a designer, for business owner, for somebody who would like to take better photos. This class will include styling demos, case studies, and tips on how to make your hero stand out in your photos. You can find me on Instagram at not it is and Mandelkern and on my website at Alana hassled dot co. So grab your copper and jump right in. I can't wait to see what you create. 2. Class Project: In this class, the project will be to photograph your cup of your favorite beverage. Could be t, could be coffee. Setup is seen by the window or wherever you are. A great source of natural light is try to pull the probes for the mood you're going for. So for light and airy, think of something that's light and airy. Maybe pinks, maybe whites for something that cozy, drastic. Try going for some rustic would. Maybe metals, maybe even a little bit of marble tried to add movement to your frame and thus draw the eye specifically to your hero within the frame. When styling, tried to think about the symmetry, about the proportions, use, or number of elements in your frame. Try to give you here a bit of negative space and give it some action. Put it in a prominent place, and then edit your favorite way using a favorite filter and share it with the class community. And the easiest way to start is to grab a kappa and jump right in. I can't wait to see what you create. 3. What Makes a Great Photo : When you as a photographer, are able to create visually appealing photography that is going to evoke strong, powerful emotional response in your viewer and tell a wonderful story. You have a potential for tuning your photos into business by focusing primarily on improvement, on improving my photography skills. I was able to grow my T-accounts to up to 250 thousand followers. I was able to secure partnerships with large brands. It gives me an ability to ice cream my money for my work. But what is it actually that makes it photo grade, that makes people come back to it, studied and spent a long time on it, make them connect to it. There are four factors that play into this. Number one is the presence of a subject with impact, which means presence of your hero. Hero is the major element of your frame. This is something that has to be on the center stage. And it captures the viewer's attention through its beauty or our careers through these, through its unique features, or some interest that is not present in all the other props in the sea. So hero is something that stands out in the photo. It's the first thing that viewer's eye has to go to. And your job is to guide the viewer's eye towards your hero because you're here is going to be your product. And in order to guide the viewer's eye towards a hero, you have to master the composition. And composition. It's something, it's the arrangement of elements within the frame to support the message that's portrayed by the hero. And dynamic composition will support the overall story and highlight a special quality of the hero that you want to highlight. And a pleasing composition will exhibit qualities of good visual design and balance. It's going to be visually appealing. It's going to be pleasing to the eye. It's going to be attractive. Something we could relate to, something that could connect with. Number 3 is effective use of lighting. And lighting has to be used to support a message conveyed by the hero and also to attract the viewer's eye to the beauty of it created by a well balanced lighting within the frame. And lighting will help you highlight a special element of a hero not known before. Maybe there are special features. Maybe something that catches the eye only when the particular light hits just at that particular angle. Lighting is very important and usually encouraged my students to use natural light because it's widely available and it's free, especially when you're starting on the budget. So you can create amazing lighting within the frame without the use of fancy equipment. Just use your window like I usually do. And the colors will be so much easier to add it, and they will just appear to be much more natural and more attractive. And lastly, a great photo has to exhibit or evoke a great, powerful emotional response from the viewer. But it also has to convey a certain mood, a certain sense. It could be light or bright, which immediately elevates the photo and makes it a bit lighter, a bit more modern. Or it could be dramatic and moody, which is a very effective way to tell the story. It also can convey a sense of place and location. In the next class, we're going to analyze some photos for compositional structure and elements and see what could be done to enhance it. 4. Tips to Instantly Improve Your Photography: Composition is an art of arranging elements within the frame and thinking logically, if you can learn and utilize rules and guiding principles of composition, you can instantaneously improve your photography. Let me show you how. So at the beginning, as a starting point, there are three major guiding principles of composition that everyone needs to know. And that helped me to improve my photography pretty much from the start. So symmetry, and here you have to think about vertical symmetry and horizontal symmetry. Symmetry. Second is negative space. And basically how much of the negative space is used, whether we are giving some breathing room to our subject within the frame surrounding it by a bit of space, letting it shine on its own. And lastly, it's rule of thirds. It's the simplest rules rule. And it's something that we can easily use with just setting up a grid on our camera, on or, or and our phone. So symmetry is a very good starting point. And it's somewhere where every artist starts. Basically you have to analyze your space vertically and horizontally and place your objects in balance with each other. So if you draw a horizontal line, if you draw a vertical line through you seen life left side has to be proportional to the right side, or it should have similar visual weight within the frame. And as soon as a composition has symmetry, it looks like it has intention. Symmetry is often used in Nature. Mother nature uses it, therefore are, I just naturally seeks it out. You can see trees usually if there is one branch on one side, there is another on the other. You can see it in architecture, you can see it in ancient designs. This is what the Leonardo da Vinci worked out. Symmetry, something that's very useful when you're composing your scene. This is an excellent starting point. Then you can start tweaking it around. When you utilize symmetry in your composition, your image looks like it has intention, it has a certain purpose. It can also create a structure within the simplest of compositions. And by a1 symmetry to your composition. Our eyes feel pleased. They feel like the harmony has been achieved. When thinking about symmetry, it's important to think about something, a concept of negative space. You want your negative space to balance out your positive space very evenly. So negative space is an empty space within your frame when there is no texture and no color. Nothing that would attract your attention. Whereas the positive space is where the action happens, is where you place your subject, is where there is texture and some interest and some color. And your eye has to be drawn to the positive space. Therefore, it needs to be surrounded by negative space. Imagine if you're in the room with other people, is always a crowd of people. Everyone looks the same, but when people are social distancing prom each other, for example, you can see each individual very clearly. You can hear the voice projecting from every one of them. That's the negative space that you have to consider in order to highlight your subject. And areas of negative space are almost as important as areas of positive space. And those series of negative space. They are there because they serve a purpose of pushing the viewer's eye towards the positive space. And within the positive space, there needs to be enough interest for an AI to remain in that area. So consider this photo and just look at it and see which subject within the frame captures your eye. You will see that your eye doesn't spend much time on negative space at all. It goes straight to where the subject is and straight to this particular one, which is placed very strategically without within the frame. And this brings me to the third principle, which is the Rule of Thirds. Rule of thirds works for everything and there are multiple applications. Rule of thirds is a sort of proportional position of objects within the frame worked out many generations ago. And basically, it would work for any configuration, any proportion. It would work in a square format, in a long story format, it would work in the usual four by six Instagram format. It just works and it's wonderful starting point. The easiest way to visualize this is when you turn on the grid, on your phone or on your camera and just place the most important elements along the lines and on the intersections. Intersections are the hot points. They definitely need to have some object of interest within them. So if use spatial, visualize that you place a grid over your photo, your most important elements have to touch the lines and the intersection if you draw it out first, it's much easier to arrange elements within the frame on paper first and then in life. Or if you do it in post-processing with a cropping to online. Of course, these three concepts of symmetry, negative space, and rule of thirds, and perhaps visual clues are very important as a starting point. And composition has many, many guiding principles that one should familiarize themselves with. And I'm going to highlight some in the demo later in this class. But just to mention some, geometry plays a key role and I talk about it a lot in my previous class on products, creating photos to sell. Because we go over understanding the composition and its concepts there. Balance, symmetry, textual layering, contrast layering are all very, very important. So our patterns and textures, so our diagonals and multiples. So a triangles, this coming back to geometry, but triangles and rules of all words where you would use on the odd number of elements within the frame is very important because then our eye is not divided into wondering where to look. It sort of goes around the frame. Looking for resting point. The framing is very important. Dynamic tension and interest within the frame is all very important. And it's also very important how you crop your frame. And once you've had a bit of an experience, it will start coming naturally. But there are also some things that you could do once you master all of these principles. How you can highlight your subject even better within the frame. How will you make your product stand out even more? Because everyone or most people can create good photos. But in order to create great ones, you have to have one specific hero was huge impact. And in the next lesson I'm going to explain how to create that impact within the frame. 5. How to Make Your Hero Stand Out: So there are many ways to make your product stand out and I'm going to cover the easiest ways to make it to help your product shine in this lesson. So number 1, once you have worked everything out and you have your hero into this scene, the easiest way to make it shine even more is to separate it as much as possible from the background and from the elements in the background. So you could pull it forward. You could remove objects from the background. You could clear the background completely, or you can blur the background. So if you create some distance between background and your subject, your subject is going to speak louder, it's going to pop. Consider this composition with the teacup is the primary focus. And look at what's behind it. If we place a t put in flowers, which are usually placed to create a story, seemed to create a vignette. If you please them very close to the subject. They sort of fluorine with the subject. And you can't have the separation between the different objects within the frame. But if you move them to the side or move them completely out of the frame, or move them a bit further. You see that there is a much more prominent space for your subject or your cup of tea within the frame. And T suddenly has much more visual impact and it's better balanced and UT is king of the ship. You have to remember as well to pay attention to the background and to try and to simplify, simplifying it. Because simplicity, a sister of elegance. And you always have to think how to simplify without stripping it completely funny interests. So it's a, it's a very delicate balance to reach. If you want to think about it in terms of food, imagine the burger, and you'll place that burger in the middle of the scene. And then on the side there probably will be a bottle of beer and put a little catch-up and maybe a plate of fries. If you line everything up closely, for example, burger in the front and the second burger slightly towards the side. And beer and the glass slightly towards the other side. If you put them too close, they almost blurry in. And you don't quite know which object is the primary objective focused on. But if you push them a bit farther away and perhaps to the side, and leave a little bit more of negative space around your hero. Suddenly your hero has higher impact. Another way to zoom in on your subject is basically to fill your frame with the subject. You really have to go close. You have to fill the whole frame was your subject. And if it fills the frame, there is simply no other way to look at it. You can only look at what you see in the frame. So another technique for highlighting your product within a photo or making it pop is zeroing in on it. With shallow depth of field. In order to do this, you will need to use portrait on your phone or set your camera into manual or aperture mode and set your aperture to the lower number. So usually, and my comrade goes to 1.4 in my lens. So the easiest way to do it is to set your camera to manual mode. And if you're not familiar with that yet, set it to aperture mode, aperture priority, and select smaller number. The smaller the number, the more shallow depth of field, which means the area of focus is very narrow. I would probably go to f2 is a safe number. But sometimes I'd go all the way to afford, I wouldn't go more higher than that. Because then you start seeing a lot of detail in the background. And if you want to separate your subject from the background and make it pop, you want the subject to be in focus and everything else to be blurred out. So go for smaller aperture number. Of course, another very useful techniques, and the technique is utilizing lines to draw the eye to the subject. So the lines would usually be created by your props and how you position them within the frame. So if we focus on a cup of tea, think about the story. Think about what other probes you would include. If I'm shooting T for sure there will be a tea strainer that will be teapot, that will be flowers. Maybe there would be some ingredients. So for example, if it's a camomile tea, then I'll include some camomile flowers and maybe cookies or some trees or cake. And I would position it to each side separately. And with the teapot, I would probably tip the nose of the teapot towards my cup a little bit. And the plate I would maybe go for elongated plate and I would position it so that it points toward my car. I'm going to put them a bit farther away so that the cup still has a center stage. And I'm going to put them behind my subject, which is the teacup. But overall together, they're going to create an effect of lines leading towards the cup. The lines can be straight lines. They could be hint of a line. You can use, for example, a board or a little train that points in that direction. A second cup could be behind the cup, but slightly pointing towards your center, subject your hero. And also, for example, you could add an action. And an action could be that you're pouring tea out of, out of your teapot into the cup. And then the leading line is going to go from your hand to Rudy T spout Through, through the teapot spout and the line of the tea pouring into your cup. This way, you not only elevate your photo to a status of lifestyle, but also you add action. And whenever there is action, whenever there is some movement, even on the street, if you walk along, you see some action, your eyes immediately drawn to it. So if you manage to use this S-curve as a leading line, It's great. S-curve always had an interest, but also. If you can make your viewer imagine that there is action within your still-life frame. It's fantastic. So imagine the action and your viewers eye goes directly towards it. And speaking of action with his sort of a bonus point. Sometimes you could create a really interesting bits. Have you ever had a cookie or something fall into your cup? And the T splashed all over the place of coffees partial over the place. Yes, it might not seem funny to you when it happens, but it might be a very interesting short to capture. And with that, you would need to set your camera to shutter speed priority. And you want to boost it right up because you want to capture the splashing action. I wanted to mention two more points which are very important. Light make the use of light to be your friend. I usually recommend finding the best light within your home, within your home studio. If you bake in the kitchen, you can also shoot in the kitchen, or you could shoot by the window in the bedroom. As long as there is a window and as long as there is a sort of not sorts of natural light, you have a meaningful to studio that can be transported to anywhere within your house. So the best light to shoot in would be overcast light, of course. But right now here I'm sitting, it's very bright and sunny outside and I'm sitting in a bit of a shadow, which is lucky, but the sun will come through Zoom. So if the light becomes too directive, right? I can always diffuse it through transparent material. For example, a white sheer curtain, a sheet or something like that. To make sure to add a cloud to it's sort of, and also if it's still bright and very deep harsh shadow, I can also reflected, reflected with use of a white reflector or aluminum foil or something like that. The most important thing to remember is that center stage, your spotlight has to be on your hero. So make sure the light coming to your hero is wonderfully sharpen illuminating. And it's reflected beautifully to fill in the shadow on the other side, whereas the background can be kept a bit darker. And that separation in light, that balance and light can be very effective with highlighting your major element. So whenever you're thinking of light, think about your major element to be the brightest in color, most attractive element within the frame. Whereas the spotlight of light has to be focused on your hero, you need to create contrast in order for the image for the hero to be seen. So for brightest BCE, something that's darker would work the best. For darker background, something that's lighter and brighter would work the better whenever you shooting was light. Think of your friend. Think of your two friends, your reflector and diffuser. Because then if you are stuck at home on a bright sunny day and the shadows are two stock which you can do. You can manipulate your light and make the best of what you have. You can diffuse your bright light to create a sort of a cloud effect, which is going to be much more even and beautiful and solved. And you could reflect your light to fill in the shadows, and reflect your light and fill in the detail and texture information on the other side, which is usually lost in the shadow. So in order to draw attention to you here within the frame, the very effective technique to use is to use a frame. Within a frame, a frame could be a plate, a source of where your cup. A frame could be a little tray. It could be a little wooden block with could be anything. It could be a cutting board, something that has a bit of a contrast when compared with your hero. And frame. Within a frame, we'll draw all of the attention into that particular tree where all the action is focused. But it creates an extra layer. It creates a bit more of the textural effect and it creates a frame around your subject, and thus it draws the eye towards it. And frame within a frame works particularly well when you're shooting flatly. So this are very helpful tools when thinking about composing. But remember, if it's just a collection of elements that have no relation to each other. It's just that collection of elements within the frame. Make sure they relate to each other and they tell the story in this way, your viewer is going to be captivated and he or she's going to want to learn more. The eye's going to dart through the frame. The story will make sense. It's going to be relatable. It's going to draw your viewer into the frame. So make sure it's not just a collection of objects, but a collection of objects that really make sense and go together for the story you're telling. And now let's do some demo. This is the most fun part and I wanted to create some action within the frame. And I'll take you through step-by-step of doing just that. 6. Styling Demo 1: Light and Bright: We start with a blank canvas. The light is coming from the side. This is going to be my scene and I'm going to use my curtain as a reflector if I need to. And when the light gets too bright, what I could do, I could put a sheer curtain or something of that sort in order to diffuse the light. So it would be nice and even not harsh light, harsh shadows like this. So first and foremost, we start with flowers. I like to start with flowers because I think It's nice to set the scene for what's to come. I'm going to add some texture. So the texture is going to be white. This is just a regular sweater. I'm going to put it on top of my wood, close to close to my boss. And this is going to create a first textural layer. So it's nice to start with a neutral tone was one lovely texture. And in this case I have a sweater and layer it with something else. So we have linen in different color, which looks really well here. We could arrange this scene here, or we could have something like this, another color, pink. It creates a completely different effect. So here I have a tray, is this is going to be my hero, my hair is going to be my cup. And basically I need to build a scene around this that I feel if I just put it on the traits bit simplistic. So I'm going to layer some more. So don't forget layers of texture and layers of color. We have textural soft here, we have metal, we have white, we have think we could put something like this. I love this frilly bits here. I think they work fabulous. Dark, maybe this one instead. So something like something that goes well, something that refreshes this scene. Maybe. Let's see if it works on top actually does work. Let's see if we take away this stripy one would happens. Then maybe let's put this neutral one which I needed by hand. And on top of it we'll put this white one, this creamy white one. And I'll ready to create different feel. 7. Styling Demo 2: Cozy and Rustic: Now let's create a completely different variation on the same scene. And we're going to use exactly the same elements, but I'm going to mix it up right now we have a vintage teacup. We're going to swap it for something that's a bit more drastic. So probably the pinks are going to go through shuffled here. Maybe we'll save them for later. Teapot is out, pink tray is out. And instead of this nice white sweater, I'm going to use this lovely textured scarf. And let's add a hard surface, which is nice. And even. Yeah, the more ruffles, the better it is. And our next hearts serve. A hard surface is going to be a cutting board. And I like this particular one. It's vintage. It's very rustic and vintage books are my favorite. And here you can have a bit of an overview of your scarf. Here we could put a lovely linen towel. Maybe we'll turn it up a bit. And the more people, the better it is. It's nice when it's sort of just draping round without seemingly any effort. But remember, if something looks effortless, it means there is a lot of thought went into it. See, you really have to go with it. And then I have a cup of coffee. And then I have my texture tells, looks good to me. And I'm going to transfer my flowers from here, something that's white and smooth to something that's a bit more drastic. Hopefully my flowers will fit. No, I have another one just as good, a little bit bigger. So we'll put them here and we'll tilt them a little bit towards us. And let's clear the space for the flowers. We're going to put right behind here. And because we want the scene to appear a bit messy, we could also put some cinnamon round because then it's embodied life. We even have a flower to it on the side. And that flower forms a leading line as well. Maybe we have a stage platform for it as well. So as we go through all of these elements, notice that they all work. They're all neutral, but they're all rustic, handmade. So we have knitted scarf, we have linen that's a bit grain striping. We have knitted lovely little coasters, and then we have wood, then we have vintage wood, and it's a layer on top of layer, on top of layer. And then we have contrast. Dark, slightly lighter, bit dark, light, dark, light, dark, light. And of course, the flowers. And because they're seen as rustic, we might even want to include a nice old book here. And notice as well, the book is positioned so that it leads towards our cup. And our cup of course is our hero. And it's framed by all this lovely elements that in the essence, we're back to the cup. Now onto how to capture action and what one option can we do with this cup of coffee? I don't have a coffee pot. So I'm just going to remove things that I don't want to be stained by coffee. I'm going to put a board that's a bit darker. We're going to place my cup here. And then guess what? I'm going to take our nice potato or make sure this is out of the way. I don't want to spoil my drapes on my computer. And as I throw, that will be a splash though it's important again to put your camera on interval shooting with a second interval for a number of shots. And now very carefully, we are going to drop a potato in here and hope that our camera captures it on time. 8. Photostudy and Exercise: Now that restyled to different scenes in the same home studio. Light and airy and cosin rustic. Let's look at those in Resulting images and see if there are some things in common that could be applied universally to every scene you style in the future. Let's look for common elements within the compositional structure of an image. Whenever you style, the best place to start is to divide space visually into three equal parts, bare ground, foreground, and middle ground. And making sure we have something interesting in each one of those sections. Foreground is where you place some elements that would lead towards the hero. Bed ground is where usually place something interesting, maybe some flowers. And middle ground is where I police the hero. And you have to be careful to police elements in the background and foreground that will not distract attention from the hero. They don't have to be in focus, but they need to be present in order to learn the viewer's eye into the frame and keep it there. Middle ground is where you place your hero. It's always going to be in focus. There is always going to be great contrast, difference. There's always going to be some texture and some elements that will lead towards the hero. Here we see that the sections are perhaps noticed equally proportioned. But as long as there is some texture and some layers and some elements policed in the foreground and background. And the hero is in focus. The hero is the star of the show. And now let's look at the step-by-step of what we have done in the previous, previous lessons. So first of all, we started was a well eliminated species, which in my case is number one. It's Window. Natural light is always the best. I used. The drape lines was white fabric as a reflector just in case in order to reflect the light from the window back onto the scene and fill in the shadows. And number two, I usually start with some neutral background. In this case is a sweater and my flowers to start setting the scene, add in some texture to it and some life. In number three, I'm starting to test where to place the hero. And I'm sort of building from there. And I united all of the elements on the tray. And number four, I started adding some props that make sense and tell a better story. So I added a teapot, which is going to come in handy when we want to add some action. So starting this basic studio setup, we want to do it by the window. Window is the best source of natural light. Sometimes a window light is too bright, in which case you could use a diffuser to diffuse it and create a nice soft light rather than the dark, rather than the stark direct light. And sometimes there is not enough light, and thus we end up with a lot of shadow on the opposite side of the window, in which case one could use a reflector. Reflector will fill in the shadow and reflect the light from the window back onto our object. I also started with pulling some props, was different, neutral textures. I like to go for colors that work well together, and textures that are neutral, but at some interests to the frame. And then we place a camera so that we could see both the window and the other side. But focus on the hero. We start with setting up the scene. I always please, the flowers. And I like when there is a bit of a shadow on one side of them, so I don't go there was reflected too much. But I also like to set the scene with a bit of neutral texture. In this case, I'm just using a regular sweater. One could use a blanket or any other texture or textile or fabric. And then I unite all the elements that are going to go into this scene is with the tray. The tree is big in itself and it's big enough to house the cup. And the vessel was the flowers and some layers and t and t Put both. The teapot is important because it helps you tell the better story. It makes sure you're using the odd number of elements because our eyes see them better and they don't feel divided to which side of the frame to look at the just dart from object to object. So they go from a teapot, teacup to the flowers and back. And the tray is making sure that the eyes kept within the frame. Leading lines are very important for making our heroes stand out as we discussed previously. There is a leading line from the flowers. There is a leading line from the handle of the jug. Then there is a leading line that goes around the tray. Then there is a sleeve of the sweater that points towards. Was the hero, and of course there is the teapot and the pouring action that goes straight into the cup and thus attracts our attention. Some leading lines can be straight created diagonals. Some leading lines can be curvy. The curvier, they're better. It's more interesting. After we've done everything we can do to style it, Let's go into a little bit of the edit. And I always, always start with the cropping. I download my photos into Lightroom, desktop Lightroom, and I go into crops and Lightroom crop overlays to help me improve my composition. There are multiple variations. The golden ratio and rule of thirds. Golden triangles and diagonals are all the different versions of the same rule that help us work out the position of elements within the frame. They aren't optimally crop the image so that our major objects are placed on the important intersections. And along the line, we looked at the portrait. Now let's look at the landscape. And this is again a golden ratio. That's the derivative of the same golden rule and the golden spiral that works the same way. And you can see that a cup and a handle is touching one of the intersections, and so does the top of the jog and some flowers that we want to bring viewers attention to. Then of course, we have to analyze our photo for symmetry. And it doesn't have to be absolutely exact. But what we want to make sure is is the top part of the photo has approximately the same similar weight as the bottom part and same goes for both right and left side. And I think our photos here are pretty proportional. Then we need to make sure that our hero is surrounded by ample negative space. Negative space is very important to attract attention of the viewer towards the positive space. So if we start reading a photo from top left, which is convenient to the frame, and straight away we are going down towards the teapot and towards the cup tray that's surrounded by negative space, ensures that we travel along the line of the tray and stay within the frame. With the Cozy drastic one, there is a bit more of negative space. And we place our elements to make sure the AI does not leave the frame. And looking again at the scene overall, it's wonderful if you're able to spot the triangles. And it's very easy to do if you use odd number of elements to style. So here we have flowers, we have a cup, and we have teapot, three elements that catch your eye right away. And we can just bounce arise from one place to another and keep it within the frame. If you look at the image on the right of the frame, you see there is a cop in the middle and you sort of official pyramid or a visual triangle, the scene widens up towards the bottom. It's more of a pyramid composition. S-curves. I mentioned leading lines and S-curves before, but S-curves are sort of a leading line on steroids. It's very sexy. It's very interesting. And whenever you see some curve that there I can travel along, it becomes a bit more intriguing. So you can see that I can travel from the hand through to the top of the teapot, to the spout and into the T, and then back onto the flowers and then come back as home the handle of the jog. And so it can go on and on and on. It's like a winding path for a right to travel. And on the right you can see that our eye can travel from the flowers down along the handle of the jargon on the side and to the cup. And also the blanket on the left has multiple folds and drapes that still keeper, I closed the hero. Now that we've gone through the photo study and have seen the photo analysis, I would like you to apply your knowledge to this exercise and analyze this image for symmetry. Ensure ample negative space for the hero. Apply the rule of thirds. Find the leading lines to the hero. See if you can spot this S-curve, find visual triangles if there are any, and see if diagonals are helpful in leading or right towards the hero. You will find the answer to this exercise attached in resource section of this class. 9. Final Thoughts: We covered so much in this class. We went through composition. We covered how to take great photos and what makes a photo grade. We covered five tips on how to make your hero standout in a frame. We went through styling demos and case studies to help you learn to read a photo. And we styled and captured photo series of photos around the same theme to increase our efficiency as a photographer. And we did all of this at home using equipment we already have, or a smartphone using natural light only on nothing else, complicated or expensive. We did this on the budget. So I hope you are as proud of yourself as I am. If you liked this class and want to learn more on lighting, on color theory, a bit more and composition and the editing. Please look at my other class, product photography, creating images that cell. And if you would like to receive some feedback on your photography from me and some tips for improvement. Please share your class project with the class community and I'll be happy to help. Thank you so much for joining me. And I simply can't wait to see what you create.