Backgrounds for Shooting


Compositing for Commercial Photography


Lesson Info

Backgrounds for Shooting

Number of shots also matters. How many shots will affect your billing. It's all on a sheet, you'll get it. It's on the keynote. Okay, background. You really changed my thinking on this. So, with working with her, what she does often, is she will investigate the background in advance. Like, call the retoucher in advance. How many of you have looked for a background for a shoot and you're spending hours on stock shooting; stock looking? Pardon me. And you find something that's close, but oh, we'll make it! Engaged the retoucher in the beginning. If you find that mountain. So for example, in the sample we have, the background was only a vertical. I made the extension for horizontal, but it was so fast for me. And I think folks don't think about that. Engage the retoucher early and get the background. Adobe Stock has some amazing stuff. You have to worry about, not worry; you have to concern yourself with the licensing. So if you're putting a Adobe shot on a product that is for sell, you h...

ave to buy an extended license, as opposed to a simple license. But you can check that out on Adobe Stock. What Christina does, is she will print a background, as you can see here, and shoot through the background. It's so brilliant. Do you know how much time it takes to strip out glass? That's expensive. You can get prints, and we're gonna show you some stuff here. There's some places where you can get prints pre-made. I got a big one; this is I think a six by, a five by six. Yeah. So this is a little on the higher end. But you don't have to go that big. You can go four by three. And cause she's genius she's like, Trick. Make sure you blur it; make sure you blur the background. Don't I want a sharp background? But for the shot we need it blurry so you can see the product, right? She said, if you blur it, you can put it closer. Put it right here. You can shoot closer. So you don't have to have a huge set. And I was like, my gosh, that's brilliant!! Oftentimes, they want all of the product 100% sharp. And if you have a very deep set with a lot of stuff in here, you're backgrounds gonna be completely in focus at that point, if you get that done. So blur it. Make that nice and soft. (whispers) Genius! Then you can bring that thing in, just put it right where you need it and then you don't have to fiddle with that later. It's brilliant! Why thank you. Total brilliant. (laughing) And so, on that note, there's companies like Backdrop Outlet, where we got this and that one, I'm gonna be honest is 100 bucks, but the smaller one is 40 bucks. You can also go to Staples. You can go to Kinkos; I do believe. I'm not sure, I think they do a 40 by 60. And you can go to Costco. Now, the only thing that will get you is time. You need to worry about time. Because you have to get that file delivered, print delivered. But, just as a side note to consider you guys, especially when you're shooting something like that, there's refractions and reflections of the background. If I shoot on white, and strip in a background, I have to put all those in. Money, money, money. So honestly, put this in your work flow, it's fantastic.

Class Description

Compositing, or combining multiple images to create a single image, is particularly important in commercial photography, when getting the perfect shot while remaining under budget is essential. Well-known retoucher Lisa Carney will demonstrate a strategic compositing workflow from concept to shoot planning to prep to post-production. Joining Lisa on set is Christina Peters who will help Lisa demonstrate the relationship and interaction between the retoucher and photographer while shooting a commercial product. Christina is an award-winning food photographer and owner of the Food Photography Club, an online forum for all things food photography.

Lisa will cover time- and cost-saving tips for shooting a campaign, including heading off costly pitfalls and planning for the unexpected. Perfect for both photographers and retouchers, this class will help you elevate your workflow and increase your profit margin.


Anne Dougherty

I love Lisa Carney’s classes! She is casual yet precise, and she thinks like I do! The workflow logic of her process is brilliant. Really brilliant. I started working in PS version 1.something, as the publisher I worked for was just computerizing their department, and I was a total novice. But right from our first day working digitally, we had to create images and files that our novice printers could successfully print from. Lisa’s logic/approach is so familiar! Making things work on a deadline is an incredible way to learn time-saving techniques, and I wish I’d had Lisa crunching solutions with me. I am new to the newest PSCC, but all off her process made sense to me. She moves fast, so it might be a little tough for a total beginner, but she stops and explains things very clearly once she’s gone through it a time or two on a file, so, hopefully everyone can get things solidified for themselves. Now that I am retired and doing my photo work just for myself, her compositing techniques are helping me get to my end results much more quickly. I wish I had a Lisa sitting alongside me, with a glass of wine, while I’m experimenting with my creative composited work. Thank you so much for having her as a CreativeLive instructor/mentor.


I took advantage of Photoshop Week and caught this class live - and loved it! I own other CreativeLive food photography courses, but I really liked the way Lisa and Christina taught the image shoot segment in this one. They show us a little glimpse of how the retoucher and photographer work together, in real time, on the set and I like that. Lisa and Christina are also very giving with their knowledge of how things work behind the scenes as well. Though, the main reason I bought this course was for the info Lisa shared about file naming and file version organization. There are a lot of video's on how to perform functions in Photoshop, but almost none about correctly naming, and organizing your versions. Now, I've got a real base to start from. Thanks :)