Building a Complete Photography Kit: Cameras, Lenses, Storage and Tools | Tabitha Park | Skillshare

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Building a Complete Photography Kit: Cameras, Lenses, Storage and Tools

teacher avatar Tabitha Park, Product & Food Photographer

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      DSLR Camera Bodies


    • 3.

      Prime Lenses


    • 4.

      Other Lenses


    • 5.

      Accessories (Tripods, Flash, Bags)


    • 6.

      Tools (Storage, Programs, Client Galleries)


    • 7.



    • 8.



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About This Class

In this class I’ll take you candidly through my photography journey starting with my very first camera and lens upgrade to the setup I use today! I’ll dive into: DSLRs, Lenses, Speedlight Flash, Tripods, Bags, Memory Cards, File Storage, Editing Programs, and Client Galleries.

This class is for beginner to intermediate photographers looking for resources or guidance toward making their next gear upgrade. I talk in-depth about various prime lenses and share current pricing on a handful of DSLRs in the market today and sites you can use to compare products. I mostly shoot NIKON DSLRs but I do touch quickly on current Canon bodies as well and how I recommend finding the right equipment for you. 

This class was published August 2018.

For the class project we’ll be exploring the art of Knolling Photography and I’ll show you how to take an aesthetic overhead photo of a series of organized items.

If you’ve got specific gear questions or want to share your own experiences, please leave your comments in the community section here in class so we can help each other out! Check out the Class Project tab for a list of resources and links to all the gear and tools I show in class.

Meet Your Teacher

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Tabitha Park

Product & Food Photographer

Top Teacher

Hi! I'm Tabitha and I teach photography classes. I'm a lifestyle, product, and food photographer living in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, our 17 gorgeous chickens, and Smallcat! I love plants and coffee and naps. In my spare time I'm a reckless gardener (irl and in Stardew Valley), and unapologetic hobby starter. Currently hyperfixating on crochet, embroidery, and spoon carving!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Tabitha. In this photography class, I'm going to show you all the gear and equipment that I use to run my business. I've been doing photography professionally for almost eight years now and I've done everything from family and baby pictures to engagements, bridals, weddings, dance parties, content creation, and product photography. I've done a lot of changing over the years and my gear and equipment has changed with me. I'm going to show you where I started out with photography and the different upgrades that I made along the way to get where I am now. I'm going to talk to you about prime lenses and file management, how I keep everything organized and backup all my photos, the editing programs that I like to use, as well as the client gallery management tools that I implement in my business. This class is for beginner to intermediate photographers who feel their photos aren't where they could be. Do you feel you're growing out of your equipment or you aren't quite getting the quality that you're looking for? Hopefully, this class will give you some insight, as to what equipment upgrades that you could make to really get your photos to the next level. At the very end, I'm going to talk to you about our class project. We are going to be diving into the world of knolling photography, which is basically the method of organizing a bunch of objects in a frame, in a very meticulous and clean way and then taking a picture from above, a flat lay, to achieve this really aesthetic look. You can knoll your photography equipment, your current gear, maybe you're planning a trip and you've got your clothes and your passport and your bag and your shoes, you can knoll your make-up collection, or your toolbox, or your favorite recipe. The possibilities are endless. I've got a Pinterest board that I will show you for some additional inspiration and I'm really excited to see what you create. If you have any questions for me, leave them in the discussion section and we can work through any photography related issues that you might be having. So, with all that said, let's dive right in. 2. DSLR Camera Bodies: Thanks so much for joining me. To start off, we're going to talk about camera bodies. I shoot Nikon DSLRs, and the main reason I shoot Nikon rather than Canon or Pentax or Sony, is because the very first camera I got when I was 16 was a Nikon. It was my 16th birthday and my family, my parents bought this Nikon camera for me. It came in a kit from Costco with the two lenses and a bag, and it was a Nikon D60, and so, I've always shot a Nikon because of that. My dad at the time said that he chose Nikon because that's what the pros use. I don't know if that's true, I've seen amazing photographs from every different kind of camera out there. So, what I recommend when choosing a camera body if you haven't dived into the world of DSLRs or you're thinking about switching, go to a camera store and hold every camera in the store. Hold it, feel it in your hands, try the shutter, see what it's like to navigate the menus, like, go through and actually take the time with each body and figure out what you actually like. There's a lot of battling online about what's better, and oh, Nikon shooters versus Canon shooters. Honestly, there are so many incredible cameras out there. Just find the one that you like. Five or six years ago, I had the opportunity to shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II, which was the modern-day top camera of the time, and it was a dream. I loved the way the shutter sounded and the pictures turned out beautiful, and I was feeling a little bit like, oh, maybe I wished that I had Canon instead. But ultimately, I have already invested in Nikon lenses and I loved the quality of what I've been getting, and I'm really comfortable using it, I'm comfortable navigating the menus, so Nikon is really just amazing for what I do and it's perfect for me. So, I'm mostly going to be talking about Nikon bodies because that's what I shoot. The first Nikon body that I ever got was a Nikon D60. It had a whopping 10.2 megapixels. It was a pretty lightweight camera, at the time it was gigantic because it was my first one. But, now when I hold it, I'm like this is a tiny little camera. It came with two kit lenses, which is standard, and I have since sold the entire camera and it's kit lenses and the bag. I had it until about a year ago when I upgraded to my D750. So, I went from a D60 to a D7000 to a D750. Over my 10 years of photography, I've only really had to upgrade once every four years-ish. So, my first camera body lasted me quite a long time. I had it for the first wedding I ever shot. I did like a bunch of cool star photos, and silhouette shots like, I loved that camera and it served me for many years. I upgraded because it wasn't very good in low light, and if I had to do portraits or shoot pictures inside a building, it really just couldn't keep up with me even with a flash. So, I upgraded to the Nikon D7000 by a high suggestions and recommendations from people on the internet. So, D7000 was an incredible jump for me. I went from an APS-C sensor to a CMOS sensor, which is a higher quality sensor. The D7000 is still a crop. It's a crop sensor which means it's not a full-frame camera. So, if I put a 50 millimeter lens on this, it's going to zoom in just a little bit. It's not a true 35 millimeter equivalent. This just means I have a little bit smaller photos, they don't take as much space on my computer, and it's a cheaper camera. I upgraded from this one because I was getting to the point where I really needed a lot bigger pictures, I wanted to have my photos printed on tapestries, and I wanted to improve the quality of my video. So, my first class, my lightbox class here on Skillshare, was recorded with my D7000. Some of my B-roll now is still recorded with this camera. But for the most part, I've been using my D750, and my video quality has improved significantly which is awesome. So, I love love love my D750 and I am completely happy that I've upgraded to it. The D750 is a current Nikon camera. The other two of my D60 and my D7000 are both outdated, there's newer models that have replaced them. So, the D750, it costs $1,699. It has 24.3 megapixels, it takes full HD video at 60, 50, 30, 25 and 24 frames per second. The ISO is awesome, it's excellent in low light. It ranges from 100 to 12,800. Insane. I don't think I've ever shot all the way up, all the way at 12,800 but, I've gotten pretty close and it just blows me away. The camera weighs 26.5 ounces. It has built in Wi-Fi and a really large LCD tilt screen, which is super helpful when I'm trying to take a flat lay. I can hold my arms out, tilt the screen, and then I can still see what I'm shooting when I'm using live view instead of looking through the viewfinder. I love it, I love it, I love it. I still hang onto my D7000 because it's still a great camera, and it's really important to have a backup especially when you're taking on real paying clients and you don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with only one camera that's having issues. You want to have a backup always, all the time. It's also nice to take travelling. I don't have to worry about it as much. It's not my main working camera, it's my backup and so, I can take it on hikes and not have to worry so much about it getting stolen, or broken, or damaged. It is still a workhorse camera and I love it. Both of these cameras run on SD cards, two SD card slots, which is super nice because I already had SD cards and I didn't have to switch to the compact flash ones. I've always shot with SD cards and I love it. Really quickly, I wanted to talk about kind of some current DSLR cameras available from Nikon and Canon. So, this is just a graphic that I screenshotted from Nikon's website. This shows their four newest cameras in the DX range. So, these are kind of more entry level or beginner cameras all the way up to more enthusiast or expensive camera. So, basically, the main thing that these all have in common is that they are DX, and so that means they're not full-frame cameras. Full-frame cameras, basically, they have bigger sensors and so they're more sensitive to light. So, you can use them in a lot darker situations and you can still get really beautiful high-quality images with less noise. But honestly, a lot of the DX little cameras perform excellently, like what I was dealing with with my D60 was tremendously worse than what you would get with any of these. So, my D60 was about $600 when I got it. The D3400 is $499.95, and I promise you it is worlds better than the camera that I started with, just because technology has advanced so much in the past 10 years. So, if I were you, I would just do your research. I can't tell you that any of these are excellent, I've never used any of them, so I can't say I definitely recommend them. I'm just basically showing you that these are kind of what you could expect, different price ranges, and then of course, once you navigate further you, can see what separates them from each other, what their video capabilities are or how low, or how they perform in low light. There's tons of websites online that compare. One that I like to use is You pick two cameras and you can compare them side-by-side. Another one that I like to use for really heavy intense reviews is He helped me pick my second camera, and considering my third as well, and so, those two sites I highly highly recommend. So, if you're not looking for a DX camera, maybe you are looking to grow out of kind of the starter cameras and you want a full-frame, these are Nikon's full-frame cameras, these four. I can definitely recommend my D750. I have said nothing but positive things about it aside from the fact that it's gigantic obviously, but I have nothing really to compare it to. I haven't tried or shot with any of the others. I'm sure that they are incredible also, and so again, if these appeal to you, you can kind of see where your prices are looking at. These are the current cameras as of August 2018. Then, on Canon's website, these are just four more entry level cameras, and they kind of go through their list of features. So, you can see where your pricing starts with these, and these are all going to be the price before you buy a lens, and so this is just for a camera body. Again, I'll talk about this later, but I don't actually recommend much kit lenses depending on what you're getting into. I would buy the body and then buy a good prime lens to go with it separately, but again, whatever it's going to be best for your business. So then, this is their higher level cameras. I haven't shot with any of these, I will never use the Canon 5D Mark II, and so this one has the 5D Mark IV and the 7 Mark II. So, I haven't used any of these but I imagine that they will be excellent also. So, again, go to your favorite cameras store. Try out the cameras, figure out which company you feel comfortable with, and then make sure that it's going to keep up with you and give you plenty to learn before you need to upgrade again. Then lastly, the last camera I want to talk about is my phone camera. This is iPhone 6S plus. It is outdated at the time of this video. It's already outdated I know that. I don't have portrait mode but my next iPhone will have portrait mode. I use an iPhone because I have Apple everything. I'm an Apple fan girl. I have the phone, I have the watch, I have the computer, I have an iPad. It's just a really sad addiction, but I just love that. I love iMessage, I love whatever, it's fine. I'm very happy with my iPhone. I can still get really good photos with my iPhone. I go hiking all the time and I always just have my iPhone with me, and I get great images and I edit all of them before I post them, and so, this is just as essential to my everyday life as my DSLRs are to my business. I do anything professional with my highest quality camera possible, and then again, this is just my backup for whatever I need other than that. If I were to upgrade again, I would get either two of my D750s, or if I ever had the need to update from D750, I would get whatever my business needed at the time. I don't imagine that I'm going to outgrow the D750 for a few years, but who knows, maybe we will be doing crazy holograms someday in the future, and I'll want a camera that can take those. Anyway, in the next section, I'm going to talk to you about lenses. 3. Prime Lenses: All right, this section is all about lenses. When I first got started using my D60, I use the kit lenses that came with 18-24 zoom and also 70-200. So, I had your everyday walk around zoom kit lens, and then I also had more of like, I would always say it was good for shooting tigers because you stick it on and you're getting a picture of what's way over there, and then you can zoom in to that even. So, I rarely ever use that because I didn't really ever have instances where I needed telephoto lens. So, my first big upgrade was a 35-millimeter Nikon lens. This little guy was a game changer for me because I was struggling with a camera that was not performing very well in low light. Part of the reason it wasn't was because my lens was a zoom lens and it was your basic, really cheap, standard lens. It had really small glass, the light couldn't really get in because it was longer. So, the 35-millimeter was an amazing little upgrade for me. It doesn't look like much. It doesn't look like it has incredibly huge glass or take amazingly sharp pictures, but it does really well. This lens weighs seven ounces. It has a minimum aperture of 1.8, that means that's as far as wide open as you can get it, so this will give you really, really, really creamy backgrounds. You'll have a very narrow focal plane. It has a maximum aperture of F/22, which will put pretty much everything in your frame in focus. It is a DX lens, which means that it was designed for DX cameras. So, it's a crop sensor lens. If you put this lens on a full frame camera, it will force your camera to crop it down to the crop size, which is just like defeating the purpose of shooting with a full frame. So, I definitely recommend getting full frame lenses for your full-frame camera, but know that it would still work to take pictures with, it's just not going to be as nice. The reason that I upgraded to a 35-millimeter rather than a 50 was because at the time, there was no 50-millimeter lens available that would do autofocus with my camera. So, my Nikon D60, my very first camera, did not have an internal focus motor. Which means, it's nice and light, and it's great if you have lenses that have motors inside them, but you cannot use the film lens, it doesn't let you do autofocus if your lens doesn't have a motor. So, you would have to get more expensive lenses that had motors or you would have to manually focus, which I was not about to do. That's one thing. I know there's a lot of really, really amazing photographers who manually focus everything that they do. I've never done that and I never will. Manually focusing, that's like one more thing that I have to think about when I'm working this camera. I shoot manual mode, so I'm controlling all the settings. But if I have to make sure everything is tack sharp, like I have glasses and wear them while I shoot. So, I just trust the camera to focus and get my picture sharp for me. So, at the time, there was no way I was going to upgrade to a lens that would not autofocus. So, it actually happened that there was a 50-millimeter lens with a motor that released a few months after I ended up buying this one. But whatever, 35-millimeter, I settled for it, right, because everyone online was like, "50-millimeters, my dream lens." Like, "Oh, my photography just exploded when I got a 50" and "Oh, yeah, everyone has to have a 50, it's your first upgrade." I wanted a 50, but it wasn't going to happen for me. So, I settled for 35 and I absolutely love it. I do not regret it at all. One thing to keep in mind with a crop sensor, is that it zooms in on everything basically. Because instead of this much frame, you're getting this much. So, it's not really zooming, but it's cropping in, and so the frame photo that I was getting was about a 50-millimeter equivalent anyway. So, I fell in love with the 50-millimeter crop essentially, but I was getting that with a 35-millimeter lens. So, this lens, when I have it on my camera, it can see about what I can see with my eyes. So, if I'm shooting a group, I can pretty much get everyone in the photo without having to be like a mile away from them. So, it's a little bit wider than a 50 which I like, and so this is just my walk around lens. I'll shoot a whole wedding with the 35-millimeter lens and that's about it. Maybe I'll swap to macro lens to get a range shot or whatever, but for the most part, this is everything. I would do a whole portrait session with this, a whole newborn session, 35-millimeter is my dream lens. This is the 1.8. I got this one because it was affordable. At the time, I only wanted to spend like a 150 bucks on a lens, and the 50-millimeter that was in my price range didn't have a motor, whatever, I'm not mad. But this one ended up costing me 199. It might've been on sale at the time, but it was so, so, so worth it. The 199 is what it would cost today and I use that lens for a really, really long time. The next upgrade that I made was to an 85-millimeter. This is your standard portrait lens. I didn't ever feel like I needed a 50 because the 35 and 85 are far enough away, and they'll both cover what you're getting with a 50 basically. So, the 85-millimeter is perfect if you're doing a lot of portraits, and you want the background to just be a big blurry smear. You want it to really separate the subject from their background. This lens weighs 12.4 ounces. It works as an FX or DX lens, so that means it's a full-frame lens, but full-frame lenses work just fine on crop sensor cameras. It's aperture ranges from 1.8 to F/16. The 85-millimeter is a little bit more expensive. It is 479 and it is gorgeous. It has a big piece of glass in there, you're going to get really beautiful, really sharp images with this lens. One thing to keep in mind that was a bit of a learning curve for me was because it's a little bit longer, you need to use a little bit faster of shutter speed so that you reduce the amount of camera shake that you get. That's going to be standard with any lens that's more zoomed in than your classic 35. One thing that's super important to me when it comes to buying lenses, is the minimum focal distance. Most people don't really stress about this but I stress about this. I like to know how close I can get to a subject and still focus on it. The minimum focal distance on the sky is 2.62 feet, which is huge. I can be no closer than two and a half feet or it won't focus. So, basically, this just means I have to do a lot of stepping back when I'm using this lens, and I didn't know this when I bought it. But the photos that I get with this lens are so crisp and professional-looking that I don't mind as much, I just have to shout a little bit, "I have sessions" because I got to get a little bit further away because of the focal distance and because it's an 85 so it's a little more zoomed in than my classic 35. The minimum focal distance for the 35-millimeter is 0.98 feet. So, it's just barely under a foot. I love being really up and close to my subjects, whether it's flowers, and bugs, or people, chocolate, whatever I'm photographing. So, the minimum focal distance is really important to me. When I was putting the 50-millimeter lens on my camera and the camera starts, I was like, "I should just finally get myself one of these." When I upgraded to the D750, what I found was that the minimum focal distance for the Nikon 50-millimeter 1.4 was one and a half feet. That's an extra six inches of distance that I have to put between me and my subject, and I just couldn't get used to it. It just felt awkward. I kept trying to focus on stuff and having to back up because I'm so used to 35-millimeter for minimum focal distance. So, that was just like a dealbreaker for me in the end, so. The next lens that I want to talk about is the Nikon 105-millimeter. This is a macro lens. I got this lens right when I got married and there was no way I was ever going to be able to afford it. It was a gift, a wedding present from one of my dad's friends, and it just blew my mind. Like, "Who gives an 18-year-old this powerful, powerful lens?" I am so grateful that he did because I have always loved macro photography. I love taking pictures of bugs, and flowers, and textures, and everything and so this lens really helped me stay in touch with my creative side as well as- while I'm trying to run a business, I can still take pictures for me, for fun. So, this lens at the time, was about $1,200. Now, you can get it for about 900. I love this lens so much. It is hard to use in low light because it's really long and so it takes some time for the light to go through it despite it having just really big glass. But I use it for photos of wedding rings, I use it for texture shots of chocolate, I use it for taking pictures of plants, and getting all the little tiny, tiny textures. I even use it on some portrait sessions or for newborn pictures, getting pictures of little baby fingers, and tiny things, just making them really larger than life. The minimum focal distance for this guy is also a foot, which I love, because then I'm getting really close to my subject and I'm blowing it up really big. One thing to keep in mind when you're using this lens because it's a 105, it's really, really, it's showing you what's pretty far away. So, if I'm photographing a scene on my kitchen table, I sometimes have to be halfway across the kitchen to capture the full scene rather than just a tiny section of it. But anyway, I don't use this lens a ton. Mostly, just for product photography nowadays. I use it a lot more than I used to. So, I super love this lens, but it is more of a niche piece of equipment. It's also so heavy. It weighs 25.4 ounces. It's an FX lens, which means it works for both FX and DX cameras. This lens has such a precise focus option. So, basically, I can twist the focus ring all the way around and it just gives me a lot of options for fine tuning. So, at one end, when you set it to infinity, the minimum aperture is F/2.8 and the maximum is F/32. But if I've got my focus ring all the way on the other side, my minimum is 3.5 and my maximum is closer to 40, or I could even get it as tiny as F/57, which I didn't even know was a thing. But apparently, F/57 is real. That just means that the hole that lets the light is so, so, so tiny, which means you'd have to shoot with a tripod and give it time to expose. But, you're more able to get more of the photo in focus which is helpful when you're shooting macro because you've got such a narrow plane of focus being that close to your subject. My all-time favorite prime lens is actually the lens that's on my camera right now. It's called the Sigma Art 35-millimeter 1.4, that's a lot, but that's what it is. It's a 35-millimeter, so it's the same distance as this guy except that the Sigma lens is a full frame lens. This is a crop lens. So, if I were to put this lens on my full-frame camera, I would be cropping the image that I am able to get. So, it's not going to be as high quality of an image. So, I needed to upgrade from this guy, my trusty dusty 35, to a new 35. I've read different reviews between the Nikon and the Sigma, and there was just a lot, a lot, a lot of commotion about how awesome the Sigma Art 35-millimeter lens is. So, I went to my local camera store and I tried both, and I rented a one, and I just really wanted to experience the lens. Have a weekend to figure out if it was the one that I wanted because this lens runs at 899, so it's not the cheapest lens but it has just been a dream ever since I got it. It weighs 23.5 ounces and its aperture ranges from F/1.4 to F/16. One thing that I had to get used to was the full-frame 35 on a full-frame camera. It's actually more zoomed out that I'm used to with my 35 on my crop sensor which, like I mentioned before, is about the same distance as what you would get with the 50 on a full frame. So, it's a whole thing. Just know that my 35 gives me a slightly more zoomed out look and it tends to distort if you get too close. So, if I'm doing portraits and I'm getting really close to their face, it can pull these extremities more forward. If I'm trying to shoot a scene of everything laying out like a knolling shot, it tends to distort that as well. So, I just need to tweak that in the lightroom to make sure everything lays flat. Ninety-five percent of the time I don't even notice it but occasionally, I'm like, that looks a little strange, I'll have to fix it. But it's really easy to fix if you're in the habit of editing and making sure that you're keeping those things in mind while you're shooting. But it's a 1.4, so that means that it opens up super wide and it lets a ton of light in, it's an awesome lens. The only downside is that it's a lot longer than this guy. This guy is super short and so it was really easy to just tuck in my bag, my whole DSLR with the 35. Then now, my set up with my D750 and my 35-millimeter lens, it is a hunker. It's a giant camera with a giant lens and it's not very convenient to take to traveling but it's worth it for the quality. So, we do what we can. The Nikon equivalent to this lens is $1,699 unless you drop to the 35-millimeter 1.8 FX lens, which is $529, which you'd only need if you're shooting full-frame because if you have a crop sensor, you could instead get the 35 1.8 for only $199. Or you can save even more, you can save $65 off of that and get the 50 millimeter 1.8 for only $135 with the only exclusion that you would need to have a newer camera body that contains that internal focus motor. Before we jump into the next section about the other miscellaneous lenses, I wanted to talk to you about why I choose prime lenses. Prime lenses are lenses that don't zoom, basically. So it's just one distance. If I want to zoom in, I have to move my body. So, they can be a little bit inconvenient especially, at weddings if you need to be there but that's where someone's sitting down, you have to fiddle with it. But I love prime lenses because they're sharper, they're faster, they tend to be better in low light, you can get really wide aperture. So, thinking along the lines of one 1.8, 1.4, 1.2, you can get really wide apertures which let light a ton of light in and give you that really dramatic background blur. I like using prime lenses because it's clean and cut. I throw it on and I know exactly what to expect. There might be a little bit of a learning curve if all you know is zoom lenses, but I promise you, the quality that you're going to get with a prime lens is going to be higher than what you would get from your kit lens that came with your camera. So, I am a huge lover of prime lenses. It's a little annoying to have to bring a couple to a shoot. Maybe I'll bring my 35, and I'll bring my 85, and then just swap between them throughout the night. Or, maybe I will use my 35 and then I'll bring a zoom anyway in case I want to get a wide angle shot of the whole scene. Or, if I'm doing something wild, and I need to chase them down, and I need to rely on the fact that I can't just keep switching back and forth. But for the most part, for 95 percent of what I do, prime lenses are ideal in every situation. So, yeah, prime lenses. In the next section, I'm going to talk to you about the other lenses I have that are not prime lenses. 4. Other Lenses: All right. So, the other lenses that I use that are not prime lenses are, this guy. This is a zoom, and I just got it when I bought my D750. They came in the kit deal. I hate calling this a kit lens because it's so much more than that. This is a 24 to 120 so it zooms. I don't use it very often. It was a little bit expensive, I got a deal on it because I bought my camera at the same time. The thing I use this lens most for, is travel photography. The annoying thing about taking it traveling is that it is huge. But I don't have to worry about, I wish I could get the shot of this alleyway but my 35 is too cropped. Or, look at that cool thing way over there. Too bad I can't zoom in. No. I can, because now I have this lens. So, it's awesome for if I'm going camping, or if I'm going traveling, or if I'm shooting a birthday party, and I don't want to have to move around and get in the way of grandma all the time. I don't shoot birthday parties for money though, it's just an example for my family. But this lens is awesome. It has really beautiful, big glass which is nice, because it looks a lot alive in despite being a zoom lens. I've enjoyed using this one but I haven't used it as much as my other one. So I don't have much experience with it. It does retail at $1099. So, it's not really a first timers lens, it's quite expensive. It's a full-frame zoom which is part of the reason why I got it, and I wouldn't just use my crop sensor zoom lenses. So, I actually sold all of those. My full-frame zoom is great for my full-frame camera. The zoom range is 24 to 120, and the f-stop, the lowest that it goes down to is four, and then it goes up to F/22. It ranges a little bit when you're zooming, and sometimes at certain zoom points, you can't go all the way down to F/4, but F/4 is your minimum. Next up, I want to talk to you about my wide-angle lens. This was actually a gift, so I didn't pay for this. But if I had, it retails for 899. It's a sigma 10 to 20. So, this is wide-angle/fish-eye. This is going to give you more of a distorted view, but it's nice if I'm trying to get a big group shot and I can't get far enough away from them, I can just throw this lens on. It's nice for really silly dramatic portraits. I honestly, only take it with me if I think I might be in a situation where I really want that dramatic, getting the whole scene in the picture. There is quite a bit of distortion again, because what you're seeing, it's not just showing you this, it's showing you this and so, you're getting that fishbowl effect with it. But this lens, it's pretty great. The minimum focal distance on this one is 9.4 inches, which is actually the least amount of all the lenses that I have. So, I can be nine inches away from something and still get a picture of it. I took this one camping, we went out to the desert here in Utah and we were taking pictures of the stars, and I wanted to take my wide-angle because the time before I'd taken my 35, and it just showed me this little tiny spot in the sky. Whereas, this guy, if I zoom all the way out, I'm seeing the whole sky and I love it. I took it with us on a hike and I was trying to get a picture of a beetle and I could get so close to him and still focus, which was awesome. So, that was fun to find out. But again, I mostly just use this for star photos. Lastly, I wanted to talk about this little guy. This is a LensBaby Composer Pro. It was also a gift. I do not use this lens very often unless I'm doing experimental photos or maybe I'll toss it on my camera at the end of senior pictures just to see what we can get. This lens has a tilt mechanism and so, what it does is, it can focus on one section of the photo and letting the rest of it get really distorted. It's like an art niche experimental lens and it's been fun to play with. I know LensBaby has a ton of products that give you different effects when you use them. This is a manual focus only lens, and so, you just have to hope for the best when you use it, but it's been fun to experiment with. So, that is about it for all my lenses. I want to dive into accessories that I use, next. 5. Accessories (Tripods, Flash, Bags): All right. This section is all about the different accessories that I use while I am shooting. So, to start out, I'm going to show you my tripod. I use MeFOTO tripods. I have two of them. So, my big one is holding up my camera right now, and then this is my backpacker travel one. It unfolds and I can extend the legs and extend different parts of it. It has this little play on the top, so I have a play on the bottom of my camera all the time and it just screws into that and it's super convenient. This guy's really lightweight. It's probably only a couple of pounds. It's nice because I can take it traveling, I can throw it on my car, and I know that I have a good tripod with me without having to just lug this giant, heavy, bulky thing. One thing that's not great about it is, because it's so lightweight, it doesn't really stand up in heavy winds or if I were to set this in a river, I'd be nervous that my camera would tip over. It has a little clip down here which I can attach a sand bag to, to help weigh it down which is nice. So, if I'm out in the desert and I don't want to get any camera shake taking pictures of stars, I will often anchor it or get it as close to the ground as possible so that I'd have less likely of getting shakes in it. But anyway, get yourself a good quality tripod that you enjoy using. I use my tripods all the time, constantly holding up my equipment or filming while I'm working or filming while I'm working. So, big fan of a good quality tripod that you love. Next up, I have a flash. I never ever use the pop-up flash on my camera. I don't think I ever have and I don't think I ever will. This is the pop-up flash. If you're using auto mode, if you've got it set to total auto mode, the pop-up flash is going to come up and try and ruin your life all the time. No, I'm just kidding, not ruin your life. I'm sure there's a lot of great uses for the pop-up flash, but I never use it. I never use it on this camera. I've never used it on that camera. I never use my pop-up flash because what you're going to get is light shining right at your person's face. It's going to flatten them out. It's going to blind them. It's not going to be very beautiful light. What you want is light that bounces off of the ceiling or off of a nearby wall because then it will be diffused and it will fill in in a more natural direction rather than light in front of the person. So, what I use for that is my Nikon Speedlite SB-700. I bought this guy because I needed to make sure that I had something that I could use that was reliable for if a wedding happened to be lit by twinkle lights. It's a very common thing to give your wedding, very romantic lighting by turning off all the other lights in the room and only lighting it with candles and twinkle lights. It looks super cute but it's very hard to photograph. So, if you want to have good wedding pictures, talk with your photographer and make sure they have the kind of equipment that's going to photograph your very dark wedding. Or just maybe figure out what's going to be easiest to photograph and then work with that. Either way, it's nice to have a backup just in case and this is my backup. So, how I use it most of the time is, I attach it to the top, this is the hotshoe, it attaches and it locks into place. Then, I basically turn it on and I aim it where I want. So, if I were to aim it straightforward, it's going to do the same thing as the pop-up flash but it's going to be more powerful because it has its own batteries and it's powered, it's a very high intense flash. Most of the time when I'm using this flash, I'm bouncing off the ceiling. So, I'm taking a picture, it flashes, the light hits the ceiling and then it basically turns the ceiling into a giant lamp and then casts this nice diffused light all over your subject. So, you can get really beautiful pictures bouncing your flash. So, you just need to make sure that the room that you're in, the ceiling is white and not neon green because then you'll get neon green light everywhere. If your ceiling is really far away, you can also turn this and bounce it off of a wall, so bring them near wall and it'll bounce off the wall and fill them in with side lighting, which is also beautiful. So, having the flexibility to use that. If I have no ceiling, I'm shooting outside or it's so far away that it won't make a difference, I also pack with me this Gary Fong flash diffuser. It just basically nests onto the front of this and then it creates a room that will diffuse my light, so it just makes the light bigger which tends to be a little more flattering. So, I can use that either in a forward position or in an upright position. The flash itself without the diffuser, that's extra, the flash itself comes with, this is a flash magnifier or something. There's a white card in here, I would show you but mine is stuck forever. I don't know how to get it out, it's broken, whatever. But anyway, this flash is awesome. I love using it for dance parties and weddings. It's nice to just have it in my bag, just in case I have a horrible incident where we run out of light and I need to use a flash. I've used it for head shots inside my home, they look really like studio high-quality. I use it to take studio quality photos, so I have a set of studio lights that I rarely ever use and don't recommend buying. But, I have them for fun and the flash in this will trigger those and set them off and so, I can use that as a, it's called a slave in a studio setup. If you want to get into studio photography, I may do a class on that someday. It's just a whole beast of its own. This will get you pretty far for a lot less money. Actually, that depends. You can get a really cheap low-quality studio for $200, and I think this guy was 350 or four. So, who knows? But anyway, really nice to have. It takes four AA batteries, so I am always packing batteries when I go to weddings. I've got two sets or four, just in case, because if I'm shooting the flash a lot, it's taking a long time to refresh, I need to switch out my batteries and make sure that I'm getting all the shots and my flash isn't slowing me down. So, yeah. Next step, I wanted to talk to you about my prop clamp. This is the newest piece in my product photography arsenal. It's basically just this gooseneck that bends and holds its shape, and it has two clamps on the end. So, I can clamp one end on the table and then I can position the other end and I can clamp a reflector into it. Then I can position it, so that if I'm trying to shoot, I'm not also holding up a reflector or trying to balance it. I can make this guy hold my reflector right where I want it and then I can shoot hands-free and not have to worry about trying to- Hold everything on me, and position it, and clamp it and hope my cat doesn't jump on the table and knock it all over. So, it just means that I have a free hand and I love it. I got this on Amazon. It needed to be tightened up when I first bought it but it works great and I might get another one just so that I have more options. So, this guy's awesome, I'll leave the link for that in the project section so you can get yourself one too because they're awesome. Out in my car, I have one of those giant fold-up reflectors and it has a silver side and a silver gold side and I can shine it at my subject and light them up from the front but I never use it. I always take it with me and I never end up using it. The reason is, I do a lot of editing in Lightroom and Photoshop and the way that I shoot, I have really honed in how I like my lighting and I found that a lot of reflectors when they bounce light into the subject's face, your subject goes like this and they get lit up right here and they squint and I don't like that look. I want a very natural candid look. So, I might introduce it in a candid way or in the high-fashion pictures if I am not editing it and I need to deliver it quickly. I might use a reflector in those scenarios. I definitely use a reflector a lot when I'm shooting product photos because there's no eyes to squint and so it can bounce light into the shadow area. But most of the time, the reflectors that I'm using are foam core boards, just the cheap $1 foam core boards from Walmart. So, you can get a reflector if you want, carry it around, wonder why you bought it but I recommend using just a white foam core reflector, if you have one. You don't have to worry about it getting dirty or messed up because it's super cheap and you can just repurpose it and cut it down, use it for lots of different things. So, my reflector is anything I can find or of white foam core board. I want to talk to you really quickly about this guy. This is called a color checker passport. I used it a lot in the beginning when I first got it because I was having trouble with my white balance. So, basically, it's this program, you have this program on your computer it's by X-ray, and you take your first picture of your session with your model holding this up. Then you take all your pictures with the same settings and when you edit, you can click on one of these little pictures and basically, the program knows what color these are supposed to be and so it does all the white balancing work for you, which is awesome if you're just starting out and you feel your photos are ending up to green, or to magenta, or too blue. So, the other side just has a neutral gray card and this little tool is awesome. You just slip it in your bag and you always have it. I don't hardly use it at all anymore but sometimes, I'll be in a scenario where we're in a big grassy field and the sun's hitting the grass and it's shining green light onto the subjects and I'm like, this is going to be a pain to white balance later so I'll just be like, "Hey, hold this up for me real quick." We get a picture, I put it away and they don't even remember that we did that. Then I have a sure-fire way to know what my white balance is going to be because I've got a picture of this card. So, this guy with the program is about $100 when I bought it, which was about five or six years ago. So, I think it's probably the same or there's better, newer equipment but this is what I'm using. Then last step, I wanted to show you my bag. This is my brand new camera backpack, it's by Vinta. It was a kickstarter bag. So basically, they have a version one that was ready and then they did a lot of changes and they made a version two and, then I had to wait three or four months for it to come out because it got delayed. But anyway, I have it now and I love it. I've only had a few opportunities to use it but so far so good. It's a lot bigger and more rigid than my previous bag, which is a leather bag that's falling apart that I regret. But this bag is nice. It has a really cute aesthetic look, this is a waterproof twill. It has a little pouch up here which I can keep a lens in, this comes out. I usually end up putting my keys and wallet up there, a lens right there, zip it all close. This front pouch has a couple different pockets, that's where my color checker passport is as well as my little receipt book. I still do physical written receipts, that's cool. Do what works for you. Then, the sides have these really cool expandable zip pockets and so I can unzip it and then this pocket will fit my whole water bottle, and then I can clip my keys onto there. Then if I don't want to use them, I can zip them up and I've got this really sleek low-profile look. So, I've got a pocket on each side and then this side actually has a strap that will hold my tripod in. So, I put a leg in here and then I wrap the straps around the tripod and it will hold it in place for me. It's got some straps on the bottom, you can add optional kind of leather straps here and you could bring a blanket or you could put your tripod here, whenever you want. Then, the main guts of the backpack are only accessible from the backside which is nice because if you're traveling and you've got your backpack on, you don't have to worry about someone unzipping and stealing your stuff. So, this guy opens all the way up, it has a pocket for your laptop or your iPad, a zipper pocket right here. This is the lens pouch I mentioned earlier, and then this whole section opens up and that is where you would store your camera and it's got padding that you can adjust to fit for you. So, I'm really loving this bag, it's super sleek and nice. I love the way it looks, it keeps my gear safe. The only downside is, it's annoying to have to get my camera out because I have to unzip this and then I have to unzip this and move my shoulder straps back. So, pretty much once I have my camera out, I never put it back in. If I'm trying to shoot something quickly, that's not an easy way to just pull it out really quick and use it. But you have to sacrifice in one way or another and maybe I should just get a different bag that will be great for pulling my camera out really quickly on the go and then just use this guy for traveling and for aesthetics. But anyway, I love this bag and you can get it online on Vinta's website. This is my last bag, the one that I had from the beginning that I just barely upgraded from. It's a leather bag by Kelly More. It's across body messenger style bag, which I don't recommend because if you're carrying a lot of equipment in this, shooting a six, seven hour wedding, your back is going to be sore. Half the time, when I take this to shoots, I just set it somewhere in the dirt because I don't like carrying it. It hurts me, it hurts my shoulder whether I wear it on one or across my body. It's nice because I can just pull my camera out really fast, close it, I don't have to zip it, it's got this top flap that closes over, so that was super convenient. I had owned it for about two years when the buckle holding the strap just shattered and I reached out to their customer service and they were like, "Yeah, so you're out of the one year warranty but we can sell you a strap." I was like, fine, whatever, I'll buy a $15 strap, I don't care. So, I was like, "Yeah, sure, let's buy a strap," and then they email me back and they were like, "Oh, actually we're low on stock so we can't sell you a strap until we get more in. So, you're going to have to wait three weeks." So I legit had a bag that was duct taped together that I had to take to shoots because it was all I had and they wouldn't sell me a strap until they got more stock in. So, that was really frustrating and it left a bad taste in my mouth. So, if you were considering a Kelly More bag, consider that and also the inside, this velcro situation was so down and now it's just falling apart. If you have the bag open and it starts raining, you'll get a bunch of weird rain stains. Yeah, it's not the worst bag in the world. It was awesome at first and I think just over time, it just didn't wear up like I thought it was going to. It did last me four to five years and so, that's one thing to keep in mind. If you can, try and touch a bag that you're considering in real life, touch it and feel it, wear it, try it out. If you have a friend who has one, see if they'll let you borrow it for a shoot and really see what you like in a bag because a lot of them are over $100 each, and so it's a pretty big investment for your photography equipment. You want something that's going to protect your gear, that's also going to be comfortable for you and something that you enjoy using. So, yeah, I'm probably going to get something that's a slim cross body situation that I can pull my camera out of really quickly but for most of my sessions, I'll be using my Vinta backpack. Next up, we're going to talk about storage and memory cards. 6. Tools (Storage, Programs, Client Galleries): In this section, we're talking storage and memory cards. Both of the cameras that I use, my Nikon D750 and my D7000, both use SD cards. I use the 64 gigabytes SanDisk Extreme Pro memory cards. I use these and the 32 gigabyte ones. It's really important to pay attention to what class of memory card you have. I recommend a class 10 or higher. You'll see a little C with a 10 on the inside. It'll tell you typically how fast the memory card is. This one's a 95 megabyte per second memory card. You want a fast memory card because if you don't have a fast memory card, it's going to slow your work down. Basically, if I plug this guy into my memory card reader and I'm uploading my photos to Lightroom, I'm importing them, the speed on the card is going to determine how fast my photos transfer from my card to my computer. If I'm waiting for my photos for forever, it's slowing down my workflow and it is impacting my work. It also affects you on the other end. So while you're shooting if your couple, they're jumping into each other's arms and swinging and dancing and laughing, and you want to get a lot of shots of this right. You're capturing this action all at once, you're going to be taking a rapid-fire amount of photos. If you get to the point where you're trying to take more photos but your camera won't because it's thinking, it's likely your memory card that's holding you up. Your memory card is trying to store the photos before it can take another photo. So, don't let slow memory cards hold you back. So, I highly recommend getting them. They're more expensive, this is $30 range card. I have a pile of memory cards because I have a full session on one and a full session on another and if I'm editing both, I can't use either card and so, it's nice to have a little pile. I have like five-ish memory cards, six that I use. So, 64 gig is awesome for my 750 because it takes bigger photos and so, I can get 1,000 photos on this before I need to dump it and wipe it. But, with my D7000, I could get like 1,200-1,400 photos before I would need to wipe it. So, just work with what's going to be best for you. I don't use anything higher than 64 just because it's a little riskier. If you have a whole card corrupt, that's more likely that you have a whole session that's just gone. But a lot of times the technology, we can recover corrupt cards and get the data off of them even if you've wiped the card multiple times. So, yeah, pretty cool. I've never had to do that, fingers crossed that I never do. I also want to talk to you about my NAS. So, my NAS is this little white box that sits on my desk and it holds my hard drives in it. When I first got my NAS, I put all my old photos on it, everything that I ever had copies of, I put on there so that I would always have that and have access to it. So, I had two, three terabyte drives that were running redundantly, which means if I put a photo onto my NAS, it puts it on both drives. That way, I can put one drive at my mom's house and another drive at my mother in-laws house and then if one of the houses burns down, I still have a copy of my photos. I like to think that no one's house will ever burn down but you got to be prepared just in case. So, it's running a RAID, which according to my husband slash the Internet is a redundant array of independent disks. So, there are two different disks but they're running the same thing, they're identical. So, I actually just barely upgraded because I ran out of space on my two, three terabyte hard drives. So, I will put them in storage and then I just got two, six terabyte drives. So, hopefully, those will last me twice as long as the ones before but at this rate, probably not. But anyway, I have my six terabyte drives in there right now. I have it connected to my local network in my house and I can access the folder from my Mac. So, I open it up and then I have everything organized by year and then within the year, it's organized by date and I should organize it by last name of client or a project or whatever, but right now it's just organized by date because that's how Lightroom organizes my files. So, in the event that I lose all my file names, it's going to be really hard to figure out where all my photos are but let's just hope I never have to do that. I feel like my storage solution is better than it was, but it's probably not perfect. I'm not super, super organized but I try. I try to be organized and so my NAS is awesome. My husband does all of the tech support on that and so, I really need to learn how to use it but I haven't yet. So, anyway, I recommend getting terabyte drives and backing up your photos. I always make sure I have two copies of my photos. So, if I do a session, I come home, I plug my card in, I import the photos onto Lightroom and then I don't wipe the card until after I've delivered the session to the client. So, that way if anything happens to my computer, I still have copies on the card and then after I deliver the photos to them, I've got a copy on my drive and I've got it to them and so I feel safer wiping my drive at that point. So, I try and save all the raws that are good, all the raw files that are good and then also the edited copies as well. My drives are Western Digital hard drives and the ones that I just switched out will be going into storage. Then, if I ever need to access them again, we're trying to figure out a way to plug them into a machine that talks to my computer and then I can access my photos that way. Because, I have a really hard time when I have to put everything into storage because then it's like, "Oh man, that one shoot I did in 2015, I really wish I had access to." If you can store your files in the Cloud and pay for that, you'll always have access to them even in long-term storage and so I highly recommend having a Cloud solution. I highly recommend having a Cloud solution on top of an actual physical drive solution if you can just to protect yourself and your clients. Part of the reason I stopped doing weddings is because I didn't want to have to promise that I would have access to everyone's weddings from the beginning of time. So, it's more convenient for me to just be like, "Okay, well, I access my drives once a year, so you're going to have to wait till June and I'll dig up my drives and give you your photos then." Do what works for your business, whatever is going to be convenient for you and also going to protect your clients. Make sure they know how long you're keeping files and protect yourself from any worst case scenarios that could happen; corrupt drives or fires or anything like that. As you can see, I use an iMac. This is the 2017 Mac Pro, I think. No, it's not a Mac Pro, it's an iMac. So, it's like the whole screen is the computer and I love it. I was running a windows machine for a while and I really wanted to make it work because my husband builds computers, and so if he could just upgrade my computer as we go that would be so nice. But there was a lot of little quirks that were really hard for me to get over, so I insisted on using a Mac even though it's frustrating in a lot of ways. Like for instance, when this computer no longer is fast enough for me, you just have to throw away the whole screen basically. You can sell it or whatever, but you can't keep the screen. So, basically every time you upgrade you're buying a new computer and a new screen. When I was running a Windows setup, the plan was to just upgrade the components and then keep the really nice high-quality screen. Then it was a lot cheaper to maintain, I could have a really fast, better computer than this and just constantly keep it updated but it just wasn't sustainable and I couldn't love it, and it was hard, and it sucked but we're back to Mac and I love it and it has it's issues. This one has a 500 gigabyte hard drive on it which means if I'm working on sessions as soon as I'm done editing them and delivering them, I have to move the files over to my nest, my long-term storage because I don't have enough storage space scratch disks or whatever on my computer to work on everything all the time. It would slow it down way too much and so I'm constantly finishing up sessions and deleting the photos that were no good and then saving just the good photos to my long-term storage and then just keep going putting more photos on, working through them, getting them, put away. I do all my editing in Lightroom and Photoshop, so like 95 percent of the work that I do is in LightRoom and then I do like five percent Photoshop. Basically like if I have to take out something crazy out of the background or if I've got a crop that's too close and I want to extend the background I'll do that. If I'm throwing text on something I'm in Photoshop, and so those are my workhorse editing programs for that. Then if I'm using my phone, I'm editing in Lightroom CC or the Instagram app typically, so yeah. That's just for the photos that I take with my phone or sometimes even my DSLR photos, like once I get them to my phone they don't look quite as good because it's hard to get them calibrated exactly the same. So, I'll be like, "Okay let's bring up the contrast just a little bit or fix the white balance and then it works out." All right next I want to talk about client galleries. So when I was first getting started, I was burning a disk for every single session I was doing and I was mailing disks and people had to wait for their disks to show up in the mail and, "Oh! I have a Mac book so I don't have a disk reader," and it was like a whole mess. So, I just switched to digital delivery only. So, I was using WeTransfer, so just and you go, for free, you just type in your email address and their email address and a message you can transfer up to two gigabytes of files instantly. Well, instantly if you have faster Internet. If you have slow internet it takes all day. But yeah, so it uploads all the photos and then sends it to them, and they have to download the photos, and what they get is a zip file, they double-click on it and then it's like, "so and so's pictures" you click on it and then you have all these files to look through. So basically, what I'm picturing is my clients sitting down at their computer, file navigating and then clicking on a photo and it's gigantic because it's Flores photo. Fills up the whole screen, zoomed into their face and they're like, "Bob, my horrible face. Wow! It's so big." So, I realized that the experience that I was giving my clients wasn't as good as it could be. So, I started looking into using galleries I feel like people are really used to the Pinterest feels, you're scrolling through Pinterest, you're scrolling through Instagram, and so I wanted something that was going to display their photos as a set in a really beautiful dynamic way. So, I started using Pixieset, It's free for the first two gigs, you can have up to two gigs or three gigs I can't remember of files there. So, I could send my clients there, they could look at their photos, favorite their favorite ones and download them or whatever. But the problem is you would run into space issues unless you're uploading smaller files or you're only doing a couple shoots at a time or you can just pay and have like more storage and you can optimize your galleries that way and make them customized and stuff like that. So, Pixieset was awesome at first until I realized I was going to run out of space and then I also wanted something that was going to pack a little more punch. So, I started looking into it, there's programs or there's websites like HoneyBook, 7Hats like a bunch of different stuff like that, but I settled on, I don't mean to say settled, I ended up with ShootProof and ShootProof has blown me away. I love it so much. I love ShootProof because I have access to invoices, I can manage my clients, I can email them straight from the website, I can upload all their photos to their gallery and I can set permissions. So, basically I can say they can have five photos for free, five free downloads and then they would have to pay for them after that. I can set up prints, so basically they have like an order form they can order prints directly from ShootProof and then it gets sourced out to a printing company and then it just gets delivered right to their door. I don't have to be involved but I can still make a little money on print sales that way. I love, the thing I love the most is I can check on my gallery visitors. So, I can send over an email that's like, "Hey you're gallery is ready. Check out your photos and download them using the download link or whatever." Then I can log in my ShootProof and I can look and see if they've actually looked at their pictures. One thing that was really hard for me when I was first doing photography is like I would do a whole session and I would work really hard and I would be really proud of them and I'd give them their photos and they'd be like, "Thanks" and disappear and I'd never hear from them again. I'm like, "Did they love them, did they hate them, did they disappear and never show their face again because they think I'm the worst." Like, you are your worst critic for sure and so sometimes the only way that I would ever know people liked their pictures is if I ran into them again. They were like, "Oh! We had such a great time." And trust them right, or I go to their house just for whatever reason and their pictures are all over the walls you know I'm like, "Oh! They did love them. They printed them out." I didn't see him share them on Facebook or Instagram and tag me or whatever. So, I just didn't know if they liked them, they didn't email me. You know, a lot of times people do they're very gracious and they're like, "Oh my gosh these are amazing I have such a great time blur, blur, blur" or they'll be like, "Hey any chance you could fix my double chin" or stuff like that. So, I'm in constant communication and they let me know what they think but with client galleries, I can see how many times they login and what photos they looked at and which ones they favorited, which ones they downloaded. I can see them actually downloading and using their files. So, it helps me understand what people like and it helps me know that they actually like them. So, that's helpful for me because I want to make sure I'm constantly producing the kind of work that people like. So, ShootProof is awesome. I actually, I pay for it. I think you can have like a free version and you get a limited number of photos but I just jumped right into the paid version which means I can have 1000 photos at a time with the current subscription that I'm using. I have access to invoices and contracts and client management stuff that way. So, I've really loved ShootProof. It's so nice because I can send out an invoice, they pay directly through ShootProof, so I don't have to worry about, you know keeping a card reader on me all the time I can just be like, "Oh yeah I'll send an invoice to your email" and then they can't be there gallery until after they've paid and then they pay and I just get, you know ShootProof pays me and it's just really convenient for me. So, it's nice to get to the point where you realize you don't have to do everything. I don't have to be the one who's like writing in my receipt book, I still do for taxes, but writing in my receipt book and like tracking down people and mailing them disks. It's just a lot of stuff that I get to cut out now and ShootProof offers this beautiful, wonderful experience where they sit down, they type in their password, their gallery appears and they see all these beautiful amazing photos altogether and they just get excited and they want to share it. So, it's giving them a better client experience than what I was giving them with, here's a random WeTransfer, but that's not to say that WeTransfer isn't great. I still use it all the time to just drop a bunch of photos in peoples' inboxes. It's super convenient and I highly recommend it. So, WeTransfer, ShootProof, PixieSet, those are kind of the client galleries that I use. To get photos from my computer to my phone I used to email myself photos. So, I'd open up my email on my phone and download the photo and that was ridiculous. Why was I doing that? Now with my iMac I just drag and drop a photo into AirDrop and then it just, boop boop appears on my phone and it's amazing and great. I highly recommend AirDrop if you're running with an Apple device or you can just email yourself your photos like I do. That's the tricky thing about getting DSLR quality photos on an iPhone is you have to get them somewhere, you have to get them there somehow and I would just do it through email and now I don't do that. Now I send myself my photos through AirDrop but you could also use Google Drive, whatever works for you. So, yeah those are my favorite programs, and galleries, and equipment, and lenses, and cameras, and everything that I can think of that I use all the time. Obviously, I have some specialized equipment for portrait sessions, or for products photos, you know, if you've taken any of my product classes where I do chocolate or fruit photography or flat lays you'll see that I use a lot of other like props and equipment backdrops and stuff like that for those classes but this is kind of just like my everyday stuff and how I feel about it and how it helps me in my work and improves my life immensely. So, yeah next up we're going to be diving into knolling. So, I really just thank you for sitting through this diatribe, hopefully you're not asleep right now. We are going to start doing fun things now, organizing our objects in a beautiful aesthetic way and I'm going to show you how to do it. So, let's jump into that. 7. Knolling: All right. So, knolling, if you look up the dictionary definition, it's basically the act of organizing a series of objects in a scene in parallel and 90 degree angles. So, what we're going for is a really clerical, sterile, very clean, crisp, perfectly, meticulously organized look. So, we don't want things that are spilled, we don't want it to look haphazard, we want it to be very intentional and very poised, I should say. So, keep in mind, your objects you want to keep similar shaped objects near each other, you want to use a lot of repetition. So, if you're photographing, makeup and you've got them in little containers, organize all your containers in a grid if they're all the same size, and maybe line up all your brushes so that they're all right next to each other. If you're shooting your water colors, you've got your water color pallet and you got all your brushes together, so that everything's really organized. If you're doing a pile of clothes, make sure your shirts are really neatly folded into squares and your shoes are right next to each other, they're not askew, the laces aren't everywhere, it's very intentional and carefully placed. It helps have your camera on a tripod so that you can look in the viewfinder and see how it's looking, and then constantly tweak and look and tweak and look. That way, you're getting the best quality photo that you can. Then worst-case scenario, if something's just a little bit off, you can always jump it into Photoshop and then get it right into place. Keep in mind the lens that you use. If the lens you're using has a lot of distortion, like the 35 millimeter lens that I'm using on my camera, I need to keep that in mind and then just make sure in Lightroom when I'm editing, that I just get that distortion out and make sure the photo is nice and flat and straight. It helps to turn the grid on on your camera if you're using your phone or your camera, turn the grid on so you can line stuff up and make sure that everything is parallel and you're not photographing things at an angle. If you're using your phone, if you turn on the grid, you've got the little cross hair that you can line up to make sure you're directly above your subjects. Using your DSLR is going to be a little trickier, but you'll find a way to make it work with your tripod, or if you set up on the floor, you can stand above it or stand on a chair above it and just try and get your whole scene. Keep in mind that you can crop if you need to. So, if you get your toes at the edge of the photo and you don't want them there, you can crop them out if you're shooting on a nice plain, easy white backdrop or as any solid backdrop that's not going to be too tricky to Photoshop out. So, that being said, let's put together a photo. All right. Here's a quick shot of what my kitchen looked like while I was working. I have a backdrop setup which is just white painted boards on top of some white paper. I put it on top of paper in case I need to extend the backdrop in Photoshop, this will just making it easier than trying to turn my wood floors into my white wood backdrop. So, here is an overhead shot of me putting this to work. I've sped this up so you can see my decision-making process. I like to keep visual weight in mind when I am putting this together. I like to put heavier or darker items along the bottom and then just fill in with lighter colored or smaller objects closer to the top. I also like to put similar items together, you can see all the memory cards are put together and later I've got a row of batteries altogether. I like to change my mind a lot. This is the first time I tried putting the shot together, so you can see where I started to where I ended up. It's like a puzzle, just trying to put a bunch of layouts together until it seems to click just right. Once I'm happy with my placement, I photograph it from overhead utilizing my camera's viewfinder with the grid option. I take a couple of different shots and then pull the images into Lightroom foreign edit. So, here's my photo in light room and this is my quick edit for contrast and white balance. I tend to shoot with directional lighting so it makes the top of my photo lighter than the bottom of my photo. So, I just pull in some graduated filters to even out that lighting. So, I pull a darkened filter along the top of the image to help bring down those highlights, and then I bring a lightened filter with a little bit of shadow increase along the bottom to help brighten up those dark shadows. Then, I'll go ahead and hand paint any trouble spots, any spots that have overexposed areas, or I'll bring in some brightness on the underexposed areas that are really dark, and then I will go ahead and adjust the lens distortion. So, I'm using my 35 millimeter lens which means it makes it bubble up in the center and so I adjust my distortion to help flatten out the image. Then once I did that, I realized my DSLR looks a little bit crooked, so I go ahead and take this whole image into Photoshop. Here in Photoshop, I lasso right around the DSLR and then I right-click copy. So, I've copied what I've lassoed and it's sitting on top of my image, I hit Command T for transform, and then I rotate it just slightly to put it more in line in the image and then I go through and erase some areas that don't match up, and I use the clone tool to patch it so that it looks seamless. Then I merge the images together, and then save it and call it good. I didn't really notice my little copper tubes were getting a little close to the memory cards. If I go and again I'll probably edit that, so that there's a little more breathing room between those. When you're laying your image out, you want to make sure that nothing is touching, you want everything to be close with a good border between them that's consistent throughout your image, but you don't want items to touch because then, they become one item and our goal is to photograph a whole bunch of items altogether in one shot, not really trying to blend them together. Then here at the end, I've thrown together a bunch of different images that I was able to take with different themes in mind. So, this one is a tea shot, so I hard Stash tea in mind. When I was taking this picture, I included a bunch of shots of their logo and then some of the ingredients that they use in this particular tea. This is my favorite tea in the whole world, it tastes so good. It's like root beer basically, so sweet and delicious without adding any sugar, anything to it, and I love it. So, I made this as an ode to them, and how delicious it is. This is a shot I put together of all my cat's toys. This shot actually took forever, because these toys roll away or my cat likes to walk in and play with her toys while I'm trying to take the picture. So, there's that shot too. This is a picture I put together of all the stuff I take hiking. I go hiking once a week in the spring, summer and fall with my friend, and so you've got your water and your sunscreen, bug spray, my watch that tracks my workouts, my shoes and my snack. So, I organized those on my table just showing off my my hiking. This is a shot of a bunch of nail polishes, I just picked these few brands because these are the ones I use the most. I realized I really like sparkly jewel tone. There's no yellow, there's no browns, there's no orange in here, pretty much the closest I have to a warm color is the red, but I thought that made a nice image and I used my penny tile backdrop which emulated a bathroom feel and I feel that tied in really well with that. Then this is a shot of all the Chocolove products that I shoot for them. So, I put together this shot, putting them all in one frame, showing off each of the different flavors and everything that they offer. So, this was for a paid shoot but I think it turned out really nice, and I did this on the paper backdrop. So, if you want to do a shot on white, the white banner paper is excellent for this. There was a scene right down the center going horizontal, but you can't tell because I Photoshopped it out. So, feel free to do whatever inspires you for your class project. There's tons of different ideas here and then I've got a bunch in my Pinterest board that you can go through, or if you have an idea along the way, feel free to just pursue that. I can't wait to see what you create. 8. Outro: That's it, thanks so much for taking my class, I hope that you were able to learn something, and that you enjoyed this class. If you have any questions, leave those in the discussion/community section, and we can work through any photography related issues that you might be running into, don't forget to post your Knolling photo in the class project section, I love to see your work. If you decide to share on Instagram, I would love it if you tagged me, my handle is just @tabithapark. If you want to get an email next time I post a new class in the future, make sure you're following me here on Skillshare and you will get notified when I post new classes. Thanks so much for sticking around, see you next time.