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On-set Shoot Workflow

Lesson 5 from: Compositing for Commercial Photography

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

5. On-set Shoot Workflow

Lesson Info

On-set Shoot Workflow

I think we should move onto shooting. Okay, sounds good. Great. So now we're gonna move on to the photo shoot so we're gonna clear this. So one of the things I'm gonna do... I've got some fake, so this is water with clear dish soap in it. And this is one of those little pipettes you can get online for like, I dunno $8 for about 100 of them. And all I'm doing is I'm frothing it up a little bit, and then I'm gonna just lay, so our bubbles have sort of gone a little flat, so I'm just gonna lay some more bubbles-- Clear soap dish, who knew? Dish soap. Yeah, so this is supposed to be seltzer water. But now it's a little soapy, but nobody's gonna know that. Now this is one of those things as retouchers, that took her 10 seconds. That don't take 10 seconds in retouching time. So this is why having a retoucher on set can be so handy, because I can say, "Oh sweety, "will you please just take care of that? "I'm happy to do it, but that's $25." Or it's however much it takes to mask ou...

t soap bubbles and put it on. And sometimes I will say the client, they won't know how much sudsy-ness they want in there, meaning how many bubbles do they really want in that glass. So then variate, I'm the variation queen. So then we'll take a shot without any bubbles on the top, a shot with a few, and then a shot with a lot. And then in post they can figure that out amongst themselves, how many bubbles they're gonna have on the top. Alright so I'm gonna talk about real quickly, we're gonna talk about what we're gonna show on the photo shoot, then we're gonna show it. So I gonna go through this. So we're gonna talk about capturing software, we're gonna use LightRoom. And we're gonna capture through LightRoom. We're gonna talk about the background management, and what I mean by that is we are shooting this background, but then we're gonna strike that background and shoot it against white and black, to get extra plates for the compositing, okay? Then we're gonna replace the bottle. So this is really important, when we're shooting that bottle we wanna have a liquid line in it. But when you put liquid in a bottle it acts as a lens and you get all kinds of reflections. And in fact, what you will see is everything at your neighbors house. Do you understand what I'm saying? It picks up everything. So to strip in a single line of a liquid beverage is nothing, I can do that lickety-split. I tell her, "Honey get that liquid out of there, "let's shoot the whole job without it, "then we will place it at the end just for a final shot." And in addition to this, this bottle happens to have a seam on one side. So when we were looking at it yesterday and prepping, I'm like, "Oh, we're gonna have to turn that bottle." It's not big deal, to have this is the position we wanted, we had a seam, so just for one frame, we just need to twist the bottle, that's all. All on the shot list, 'cause you will forget, I promise you you will forget. In the heat of the moment you will forget. Image stacking, this is the most crazy wonderful thing. We're gonna use image focus stacking, with a third party software. It is fantastic, people use it for macro photography. More and more people are realizing you use it for product photography. It's not expensive, I could never retouch that quickly for the cost of that product. So we're gonna show you how it's done, it's cheap, we're gonna show you the name, we're gonna show all that. And then image coverage. So LightRoom, background coverage, white. Do you want the background sharp? Do you want the background blurry? Is there an alternative? Now, we're not gonna do a sharp background because the demo, we're trying to do a four hour shoot in 90 minutes basically. So you're gonna have to cut me a little slack on that, but at least I want you guys to know these kind of issues. The waterline, I just talked about that. It acts as a lens, so we're gonna put that waterline in after, that's a quick retouch. Know when things are quick, know when they're expensive. Image stacking, my favorite thing, honestly, it's fantastic. So we talked about saving time. By the way, let me be 100% clear, the photographer does that. It is her job to make sure we have everything we need here. That is not in my preview, I don't do it, it's her responsibility. And why I don't do it, not that I can't do it, it's her responsibility. So if something goes awry it's on her. And I, she needs to be the one touching it, it's a liability issue. And I always stack immediately on set. Meaning I take multiple frames, nobody touches anything, let's hope nothing moved, I stack it, put it together in the software. Then I process it out, look at the file 100%, everywhere to make sure it's sharp. Make sure nothing moved. I wanna make a point about this, I have other shooters who stack afterwards. I'm not kidding you, they strike the set, they do their image stacking afterwards. I think that is nuts. 'Cause what if you don't have it? You don't know-- Ah, you don't have it, it's gone. So please, I know it takes a few more seconds, you'll see it takes a few seconds. But we talked about that. Heavens, anymore, if you are waiting three minutes for something, aren't you like, "My gosh, that's taking a long time." Haven't we become slaves to that clock? Take the three minutes, it's worth it a million times over. Definitely. Helicon, halicon, hulicon. We had a issue about how to pronounce this-- I call it Helicon Soft, but I've heard people call it Healicon. Heety hity ho, who cares? Just get it it's fantastic. (laughs) And this is kind of a sample of it, they have a non-pro version and a pro version. And I apologize I don't know the cost of it off the top of my head. Get the junior one-- It's like $60, something like that. If you get the pro version, you can do it through LightRoom. If you don't have the pro version you have to do it as a stand alone application. It doesn't matter, get what you like. Alright, you can do it in Photoshop but we're not gonna do that. Why? It's not my job to do it, it's her job to do it. And I'm a Photoshop jockey, she is not. You don't mind that I said that do you? I don't mind that at all. Awesome, great. And then my favorite thing. Can you show these for a second, your bricks? Oh yes. I love these. So when we move the product, everything has to be in exact measurements. So we're gonna switch out that bottle during the photo shoot right? Yeah, so we'll, I'll just show them. It's gotta be in the exact right spot. So it call it marking the set, and let me tell you, when I'm working with a food stylist or a prop stylist who do not know this, it chaps my hide. 'Cause if we need to do something like exactly what we're talking about, and they're like, "Oh sure, I'll switch the bottle." And I'm like, "No!" People will touch. And they'll take the, great, now we have to re-shoot, and get this exactly where it was before, and start all over again. So marking your set is so crucial when you're doing things like this-- And, do you notice what she's, she's not putting tape on the set. She's not marking the set, because guess what shlup has to retouch that out? And when people put tape on the set it reflects back into the glass. Yeah. So these are my favorite thing, little blocks. Thrift store. These are children's toy wood blocks, I have a little bag.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Compositing Companion Handout
Delivery Worksheet
Estimating Shoot Worksheet
Retouch Checklist 1
Retouch Checklist 2
Solar-Curves Action

Ratings and Reviews


Super Lisa is the best teacher. She makes learning Photoshop fun. Great course. Lisa has a great teaching style. She mixes in a great speech cadence, great voice up and down and pausing, jokes, and is extremely knowledgeable and fun to watch. Awesome course. Learned a lot from the course.

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 :)

Student Work