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How to Be a Commercial Photographer

Lesson 17 of 34

Equipment Overview

Rob Grimm, Gary Martin, Aaron Nace

How to Be a Commercial Photographer

Rob Grimm, Gary Martin, Aaron Nace

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Lesson Info

17. Equipment Overview

Lesson Info

Equipment Overview

in our studios in ST Louis, we use the Mac Pro Towers and inside of them of the Mac pros. If you have one, there are four hard drives. So basically, with um, with with something like carbon copy cloner were able to capture to a hard drive and then copied over in this situation, we're using a Mac book pro since we're on location. So if you guys were shooting on location, kind of give you a couple hints on how to like, just maximize your stuff, not through Apple, cause if you do it through apple on by ram through Apple, it's quite a bit more expensive. So step one in terms of ram compared to like the gigahertz of your machine. Since photographers are using files that air in much more quantities and we're not doing things like rendering video, it's more important for you to have RAM maxed out on your machine than having a fast computer faster. Computers are great for editing video rendering stuff like that. So if you have an older machine, especially that's three or four years old, look a...

t something like getting ram for your computer, seeing how much ram you can get a little really help, especially your capturing. So in the computer that we were using yesterday with 16 gigabytes of RAM, we got it from other world computing. That's Mac sales dot com, and it's dirt cheap. So Max out the ram on your computer or your PC, even keep in mind when we're talking about files yesterday, we can shoot, you know, several 100 on a job, and each raw file on that camera is 100 megabytes, just the raw basic coming right at the camera. So you do that by 1000 you're there's a lot of images that are being processed. So if you can Max out your RAM and get that machine faster in an inexpensive way, it is well worth it. It makes the day go much faster. Also prevents help crashing to not choking the computer. So, uh, another thing. We keep our operating system disk less than 40% full, and in our machine we have solid state drives. So in the machine that we use yesterday and our backup machine that we have here, we always have to computers and in each computer, everything we've replaced with solid state drives that we also got from Mac sales on and it ranges from, you know, I think the smallest might be 60 gigabytes. The biggest is like 480. Obviously, the 480 is gonna be quite a bit more expensive. So keep everything on your operating system disk. Keep that less than about 40% full. Definitely keep it less than 70% percent full. Because once you get past that, you're gonna see crashing. You're going to see your computer. Slow down. So if you have that happening on your machine, make sure just replace it or just keep it. Keep the information that you don't need archives somewhere else. Keep in mind. It's all about data protection. All right. We want to make sure that all of our images are safe, because if something happens to him, we've just blown a job and our jobs, you know, they're tens of thousands of dollars per job. We don't have to go back and repeat that because we've really cost yourself. So doing something like maxing out our machine is relatively and inexpensive insurance. You know, policy. Basically, uh, make sure make sure you don't lose your images. So we've taken it a step further with our Mac book pros. And again, keep in mind that these aren't the new Mac book pros. The retinas is what they call him. You can't do that with the new retinas. Once you buy that computer from Apple, you cannot upgrade the ram and you cannot upgrade. You're solid state drive because they're actually fused to the logic board. So I purchased the other Mac book pro, the newer version, and were able to change it and were able to customize it the way we want that fits our needs. So we've actually taken out the optical drive in both of our laptops, so physically turned the computer over, take the screws out. It's called the Data Dubler. They send you all the screws and everything you need. It's about 40 bucks from Mac sales and take the optical drive out and put another solid state drive in, and that will allow us to keep our operating system disk. Uh, not full left 40% and then copy everything instantly what we were doing yesterday through carbon copy cloner to a second salad state driving It does it quick When you have a solid state drive with no moving parts, things happen quite a bit faster, able to read and write data quite a bit faster than an actual regular spinning hard disk drive. You think about hard drives there, just like tires on a car. It's not about if they're gonna fail or if they're gonna pop. It's when they're gonna fail. So, um, with the vibration of you moving your laptop, it just makes him more susceptible to failure. So so we're instantly doubling our data on the machine, as we capture were instantly backing it up there. So it's all safe. If one drive fails, we haven't on another. And as quickly as we can, we get it onto 30 external hard drive and on our server. So it is lots of repetition. Redundancy is important. It might seem like that's silly again, it's insurance. Don't lose it on the job. Just don't want to have that happen. And if you notice yesterday not only where we duplicating it internally in the computer, but we were using one of these, which is USB three and also Thunderbolt, and I had that next to the computer, it was triplicate ing the data from the second drive onto the third drive. So we instantly had three copies of the data right there, and some situations will instantly send that off site. Put that with the producer and put it in another location. When we were shooting motion down in Austin a couple of weeks ago, we were shooting to the computer. We put everything on three separate hard drives. We walked with one hard drive. We gave hard drive to the director, and we give a hard drive to the creative director. So everybody went in different directions, and that data was safe. If he and I went down in a plane crash, somebody still had that data for that job. So we're just thinking about making sure that if there is a problem with one thing, it's doubled or triplicate. You know it's redundancy. It's just it's somewhere else. And it's safe, period. So data backup raid is a term has ever know Raid. What that means, like so rate is just how data is written on drives. You'll see. Um, a lot of like raid zero, raid one, raid five. Like What does that mean? They all do something differently will help you protect your data in a different way. Um, raid One in five are most common. So let's say I went shopping and I want to protect my data in case Ah, hard drive failure. Aiken by something called raid one. And a lot of people make him so If I buy, let's say a 16 terabytes, rade one. Then I have access to only eight terabytes of data because everything written on the drives like 12 and three are instantly copied. And you don't have to do anything onto drives the 345 if there are six drives in it, but you get 50% of the volume. So if you buy a 16 terabyte raid one, you only get eight terabytes. Raid five is a little more common. You get 75% some of the entire drive. So if it's 16 terror, but you're gonna get 12. But only one drive can fail. Okay, so if one drive fails, you probably haven't lost, and you instantly got a replace it with raid one. Two drives can fail. So, Rade one absolutely most secure raid five most common. It's gonna be the most bang for your buck. So in terms of archiving your data pick like a raid one. Our raid. Five. There's every hard drive maker. G Dr Lissy, Mac sales. They all have raid systems. Just pick one that's gonna fit your budget. And raid five is what we use. It's think it's the most questions Redundancy seems to be a theme is a theme and bitten, backing up all of our data to theme and getting our message out of what our images are. There's just a certain amount of redundancy that you have to have in this business to make it work. So back to raid one What we were doing yesterday is a good example of raid one. Everything that we shot on one drive, we were using software to copy to a second drive and then to 1/3 drive so each all of that data is copied. Let's see, your great We've been using these for a while. I've never had one fail, um, so far, um, and their mobile, their bus powered by the computer, you don't need to plug him into power. So the computer itself is powering it. Great on location, and it's also USB three and, um Thunderbolt. So, you know, we were just doing a job where we were filming about, you know, 30 to 60 gigabytes of data at a time, and we had to quickly copy that from the motion camera, and it took no longer than 10 minutes to copy all that data. If you're running something on like FireWire 800 or if you have, like a USB two, it would take hours. You're gonna be there for a long time. So if that's speed is something that you need If you're on location shooting a wedding, maybe and you don't have a camera like the five D that has to like a C F and the S S D card. Um, you need something to write it quickly again, like the five d mark three that has, like, a raid system built in so I can shoot to the CF card and instantly copies to the SD card. So that is awesome. It's kind of the same concept we're doing here in raid 5 75% solution. So, again, carbon copy cloner id software. Um, it could be used to back up your computer. If you guys use like time machine on a Mac, it's the same thing. It's what we use. But yesterday what I did, I select the source, the folder that I wanted to capture folder, that we were using the shooting to, um selected that I select where I want that to go. So I just selected the other Dr inside of the computer and then select the file handling, have the options of delete anything that doesn't exist on the source, preserve newer files, don't delete anything or temporary archive deleted. I am. So if I were to delete something, let's say yesterday we shot some stuff. I decided I didn't like it. I deleted it. Then it would actually delete it from my backup, and they would mirror each other. Or you have the option to don't delete anything on the source, which is safer, which is We would never delete anything on location anyway, or temporary archive deleted items. You can schedule it. You could do it on a daily basis, So if you want to back up your computer this way, you can you can sketch. Just schedule it every four hours. Every eight hours every day. We're doing it every hour. Yesterday. Obviously more frequent, the better with your own location. All right, here on the phone stuff, right? Yeah, Gear. So you guys got to see me play with our gear a little bit yesterday? Um, I think one of the most important things about gear is you pick something that one works really well for your style photography and for your workflow. And two, it becomes second nature. The camera is really and truly an extension of my hand. And in my mind, I know the controls. I know how it feels. I know what I want to do with this camera. We have been shooting with HASA blood for a long time now. Probably. Well, actually, I started very early in my career with HASA Blad on on hospital film cameras and moved away when I was shooting some larger format cameras with digital backs and then came back to the hostel blood. This is the each life we shoot H three, age four and H five, which is a different variety of the same essential camera. Different size sensors. For the most part 39 60 megapixels is the sensor size, so it's a huge file. My go to lenses are my 1 20 of my 80 in 80 is a standard. It's the equivalent of a 50 on the 30 35 millimeter system. So that's your basic standard lens. The 20 is closer to an 83. Somewhere around there so would be between 80 and 85. That is a great lenses also macro lens. And it's how we get in really tight on a lot of our stuff. Beautiful Glasshouse obliges has beautiful glass. This is also what we have on here right now is a zoom. This is the 50 to 1 10 This is a really versatile lens. Use this with great frequency, but more often than not were on the 1 20 of the 80. The conversion factor is up there, So whenever you're looking at switching lenses in thinking of 35 year old Mutar versus two and 1/4 there is a conversion factor of 20.615 So that's how you calculate what an 80 millimeter lens is gonna wind up being. It's gonna be 50 on 35 so just keep that in mind. It's the same thing with, like, the five d mark, he and the 70. The sensor sizes different. So 50 millimeter lens, if I'm holding the five d is gonna look different than 50 millimeter on the 70 just a different way to think about it. So in love with your equipment, I'm in love with this thing. It's just amazing. Shooting back plates is something that we do quite a bit on. DWI. Use some grip gear to do that. So yesterday we were using the five D on location because the sensitivity to light is much better than a medium format camera that has quite a bit more noise and needs more light. So on location, especially for shooting a back plate, is going to be the five D with prime lenses. Um, and we use something from really right stuff. Um called finds the nodal point. Let me get that out because what we often do with back plates is we calculate where the nodal point is on a lens, and if you don't know what the nodal point is, when you think about light, it comes into a lens and it crosses and then goes in the opposite direction, right? That's how the refraction of the light happens. Where that crosses is the nodal point. So we use a special type of all head that allows us to figure out where that nodal point is. And then we can take a shot every one degree 12345 So we can get this very large panorama that we then stitched together and we wind up with a huge back plate, lots of resolution, incredible file size, and it gives us the ability to have a really large back plate that we can then use in our final image. So if you notice this is the nodal point ball head that we used. So this mounts on the camera through a bracket that you can mount No this way or this way, and you notice how these the center of how this will rotate? It's not rotating where this is the access here. It's rotating where this is the axis. So if you're gonna create something like Joel Grimes is a photographer, that kind of one of the guys that pioneered this technique where he creates this back plate of almost like a focal length that doesn't exist and it's super dramatic. It's super wide, and then he shoots his subject in the studio, using like gels to create the background. That's one of things I should have mentioned. It's really interesting when you do this nodal point technique. You are creating an image with a millimeter that really isn't quite there because you say you're doing it on 85 you take 10 shots and you put that together. That's effectively a millimeter that isn't out there and it makes this dramatic effect on the background. Just you can't quite put your finger on it, but you look at it and you go, How did that happen? It's a really unusual fact that something really want to try to play with, because I think it's really cool. So maybe before we get into the lighting we should kind of go over Robin. I travel quite a bit back and forth and if any of you guys travel, having a great bag is a central. We have two of these rollers that fit in an overhead and when you open them up, um, this is made by a company called F Stop gear When you open them up. Basically pack these. We packed these and keep them in a safe. So we pre packed him in these inserts inserts. It's kind of a different, different approach to it. You're not actually packing the bag. You pack these inserts that are different sizes and you can always cannot be ready to go and then put that in the bag themselves. This is really kind of cool because it helps us keep our equipment very well organized. And when we want to put it up. We have a huge state that we put all their equipment, and we want to make sure that that stuff is just in the event. Something happens so we can just pull these out, slide him in the safe. We don't have to take everything out one at a time. The next stop here is a really incredible company. They really thought about the's camera bags and how they work. Actually, our neighbor of ours in ST Louis, the right down the street from us, which is really kind of cool because we have a nice relationship with them and we can talk about what's working with us and what's not working with us and they, you know, they take that with a grain of salt and listen to some advice the photographers give. But it's just incredible. Gear, like the rollers on these things, are different than anything I've ever seen. They really are very, very smooth. So I highly recommend taking a look at that. Stop here, there. Their bags were really nice, the backpack for the kind of the backpacker traveler, same concept that has one of these inserts that you put into it and you can get into it from the top itself and pull the entire thing out. Or as an extra security, you can get into it this way. Then just pull this entire thing out, get rid of the bag, and now you have a workstation wherever you're at. That's compartmentalized with all your stuff. And you would think for Studio Photographer's bags wouldn't be all that important, except we have two studios. We've got duplicates of all of our of our equipment in terms of packs and lighting, but we don't have duplicates of triplets of all of our cameras, so we're constantly in motion between Chicago and ST Louis or wherever the location is, these are indispensable for us, particularly with the fact that they were made for today's airplanes. Some of my older bags didn't quite fit on planes. There's a lot of issues, and I wanted having was buying one bag after next. F stop here has really eliminated all that. They've really been thinking about that. We use these things constantly we live on. And before we go into lighting, I'm sure the Internet audience wants to know what kind of our go to lenses for the cannon system. And it's the 50 85 the l series we use. We use a lot of prime lenses. The glasses just really pretty zooms air. Great. It's really nice toe have if you're on the go a lot. Carrying five prime lenses gets really heavy, and that will break your shoulder after a while. So zooms a really nice for that, but the prime lenses the glass. It's just so beautiful. They have a way of gathering light that you just can't get out of a zoom. Eso we have really fallen in love with crimes and what's nice about this, too? We also have a cannon C 100 motion camera. So are still primes. Work really well on the motion camera just gives that beautiful cinematic quality cool. So, uh, the lighting that we use in both studios or, you know, light heads that we were using yesterday made by brown color. So I'm a brown color addict. I think we've made that kind of clear. I absolutely love these dis equipment. It really for me, it's the right equipment. Allows me to control flash duration flash temp. It gives a beautiful, clean light. There's a variety of different light shapers that go with it. And, you know, lights have been our go to lamb pet. They have. They have a few different lamp heads. I find that, you know, light is really versatile. It's just a great head, and we pair that with our score O's, which is also just an incredible pack. You guys saw those in operation yesterday. They are absolutely fantastic, and they just seem to be bombproof. This is an incredible pack. And, you know, one of the biggest difference between the light like this in the light, like alien bees or something like that. When you adjust the power of an alien be, then you put it all the way up there. If it's wrong, then you gotta bring it all the way back. But with these, you can control the power from a remote. Or you can control the power just by leaned down and impressing You. Don't move your lights and you can do it. Incredible increments. 1/10 of a stop. That's just a little subtle difference. And, you know, to trained eyes that makes a big difference when you're looking at 1/10 of a stop doesn't sound like much, but to me it's very important. So I like the fact that I've got the ability to really fine tune the amount of power that's coming through a lamp. We also use Parabolic six, like the Para 88 or the Parent 20. This is one of my favorite lights of all time. Without question, the Perry 88 is something that we've been using recently. It's a little bit newer. We've been using the pair of to 20 for a long time. It's a big seven foot parabolic, and it is without question, the most versatile light that I have. We use a ring flash on the inside of it, and it has an arm going on the inside that allows you to adjust where the flash head is positioned on the inside of that parabolic so you can have a very soft source or you can have a very direct source. I have used it for everything to create or recreate the daylight feel on food, and I have really honed that light down and made it work for like a nightclub scene in terms of lighting people with with cocktails. It's amazing how versatile one like can be. If you have a chance to use one, I suggest you get you just play with a little bit because they're absolutely amazing, one of our good to lights. And the other thing that we do with it is we also use it as Phil. It's a very, very broad source when you're talking about a seven foot light and you put a shower cap or diffusion cap on the front of it, we could have some really tight kind of speculate sources coming as our main source and use the pair as a really nice, soft filled. It just kind of bring the shadows in a little bit. Obviously, this is an accessible to everyone. A light like this or a huge seven foot light. But in terms of replicating soft light you saw yesterday using Roscoe Diffusion. So buying a rolled of diffusion and having any light his light is light. And if you have something like this role right here behind Rob, you wanna grab that role? Yeah, sure. Um well, yes, saw this yesterday. This tough frost is that we use it all the time. It's if you want to know the specific name. It's the hashtag 3000 Roscoe diffusion roll. You can get that, like on B NH. I think it's a little over 100 bucks, maybe 150 bucks. 50. But the amount of different light shapers that you can create out of it you can create that beautiful window feel with one light behind it, or you can create a small strip bank. Um, if you get a little creative with cardboard, so yeah, we hit, we have taken black cards and just cut a little strip inside of it and put the Roscoe diffusion and that we can then put a, you know, light had behind it. And that gives us a nice trip. We do. You strip. Thanks a lot. This is you know, you saw issues this one yesterday. This is a light bar, and it just gives a really even beautiful source for me because I'm shooting so much beverage work, and you want a nice highlight coming on a lot of bottles. This is really a go to light for May. That's not necessary for everybody. But we just want to show you a little bit of the equipment that we use lighting, Um, and again on location. When we shot that back plate yesterday, we don't always use strobes like we also use constant light. And one of the contest prizes is a Roscoe Diffusion 12 by 12 Axiom Daylight panel on that's all lit from the side, pushing in so that broad source of light is just like a window so you can use that setting like we did. You can use it for shooting portrait so you can use it. It's about that then super light. You can put Velcro on it and put it anywhere and hide it. Super compact. It could be battery powered. You can plug it into the wall and it doesn't get hot. You can leave this thing on for 36 hours and it doesn't get hot whatsoever. So when we shot that back point, you know, in the restaurant, you saw it in the dirt Trans yesterday. We actually went in there and only is too light panels to like that. We were using obviously some of the ambient light that was in the room on. We bumped up our essay, but we only needed to light panels, toe light, that entire scene. It was absolutely incredible. So you think about the speed that those light panels gave us in terms of set up and break down, we're going into a restaurant kind of late in the evening. We had a bunch of talent that was coming. There were we were able to put that set together very quickly. Get everybody in the right space, go ahead, shoot the thing and break it all down and get out of there in a relatively short time. In that instant, strobes would have been much more laborious toe hide them all to get them all out there to really get them to Kraft light and take the time with it. It would have taken us several hours longer. So the light panels really came in handy in that it was incredible. Uh, the ball head we were using yesterday's made by a company called really right stuff. I believe it's under that flap. Oh, yeah. So I'm again fall in love with the gear I'm in love with really right stuff. They make brackets that we put on our cameras and leave them there. You can instantly go from horizontal to vertical with just flipping this this quick release open and switching the camera, putting it back. These are incredibly solid. I have never had a single issue with this and absolutely feel so confident. When my cameras on this thing it's just rock solid. So take a look. It really right stuff. They're a great company. The nodal point Had we went over that allows you to build those really nice back plates. C stands. You know, if you guys were you don't have to buy c stands new first, look to see if there's any use. He stands out there. But, you know, having a lot of C stands where you can put your lights anywhere makes a big difference when you're suiting, Shooting on location or in studio C stands are great because their feet are nesting so you can get the really close to each other in a much easier fashion than you can with some other stands. And sometimes you need a lot of stuff right next to each other is you're building a really complicated set, so the you know, the turtle basis, what the calm on the C stands are really beneficial inside. What are auto pools? Rob Bowman on poles on my face, one of my favorite things of all time. If you don't know what an on A pole is, it is simply a poll that has a lever in the middle, and it allows you to put pressure between the floor and the ceiling by basically cranking it up and using lever to lock down. Then you can attach anything to it. We attached backgrounds to it. Like all kinds of seamless. We can put lights on it. We hang diffusion from it. It's amazing you can put a pull up and you can attach stuff to it is one my favorite tools indispensable for a studio I couldn't live without honor polls like fun, super clamps and magic arms. So that's another thing that we use all the time. Super clamps are big clamps. They attach right onto the auto poles. And there's a variety of different things that you can use with them you can use. Does you can use magic arms. You can use J hooks, which are all different features in orderto hang other things off of your audible. So again, this is all about sec oration. Um, super clamps and magic arms give give us the ability to create the right set that we want in order to hang backgrounds to hang flags or whatever it may be studio must haves. Okay, so here are a few things that I absolutely cannot live without. Blue goo. You guys know what that is? Fun Tack. You know what? Fun tackiness. So if you were a teenager one time and you had a poster fair faucet that you wanted to hang up and you use that blue go and stick it to your wall, least I had a fair faucet. This blue Whose hair? Positive. Yeah, Yeah. Uh, it's in the history books? I guess so. Blue goo. We use blue all the time. Blue goo is just It's sticky and tacky, and we use it to put little gold cards on a little wire and attach stuff here and there and everywhere on a set. We also use it to mark where things are in a set, so we will often be building a set that's got, you know, several drinks and a couple of bottles on it. And once we get the whole composition, we then want to shoot for the pieces because one object, maybe blocking light from another. So we make little tiny balls of blue goo. Put him on the surface behind where the bottle is, and then we can lift that bottle out, shoot whatever is behind it and then put it right back in the exact same place. So things like blue goo are absolutely indispensable. Tweezers. That's another thing. I couldn't live without their own. All my camera stands usually in my camera bags. There are little things that we have to do and manipulating our our subject. A lot of times it's food, you know. We want to make the noodle move here they're or there's a hair on something and you can't get it out. So you pluck it out with tweezers, tweezers, air handy little things for us even moving things around in a drink. We use tweezers all the time. Can there? Gotta get rid of dust somehow, Right? You don't want to create a dusty image because then you're retouch is gonna curse your name. Candor is very important in our life. We also use candor in an unusual way. Teoh shoot cocktails. And maybe we'll go over that in some other tutorial because, uh, say that I go through a lot of candy I can go through. Honestly, I could go through five cans of candor and shoot, So we'll save that for another day. I will be fun. I was next. Goof off. You saw issues Goof off yesterday. We have got to clean these bottles. Bottles come to us. They're never really not. Never there usually not hero bottles there, Almost always something that we get right off the shelves and we have to clean them up and put new labels on. Goof off is the best way to do that. It's absolutely indispensable indispensable for getting goo and glue and all kinds of crowd off of our bottles. Um, small fine paintbrush. I use small pain prices a lot because I'm adding the ice chips and the beverage cues. The refresh ability cues, two bottles and two cocktails all the time. So those little tiny things have to go on with a brush, and you're gonna get to see how I do that in this afternoon's tutorial. Ah, steamer. We also use steamer to create condensation. If you want to make a drink look like it's really sweaty, best way to do it is actually with the steamer, not by making making a cold the ice, actually, just sitting there melting in a drink doesn't really work. Doesn't look that good. So we use the steamer. It's one of our many tricks. Ah, current relate torch. You can have a lot of fun with current delay. Tortures. Actually, we use them all the time. They're great. A lot of times some of the fabrics that we have will be kind of fibrous and will be little things coming off of it. You can quickly almost lik that creme brulee torch across it and it gets rid of all those hairs. We also use it because we're doing a lot of things with realize. We are often kind of sculpting the ice and making a crack in ways that we want with a combination of candor turned upside down and a creme brulee torch. So for me, that's one very indispensable thing. It's also the easiest way to light a fire. We have a fireplace in the studio, and it's just the fastest way to get that fireplace going. Hair dryer and heat gun. Those are very important for us. We're often repackaging our clients brands, and they send us shrink wrapped to put on the neckers. So we use a combination of a hair dryer or heat gun, depending on how that shrink wrap is made in order to re shrink the bottles. Because again, very often, when this stuff is coming to us from the factory, it's crooked. It's drunk in a weird way, so we take that stuff and we very carefully slice it, tape it and then we re heat gun that ourselves. So that's another thing that's really important. Ah, water pump. We take water pumps and turn them into beer pumps. What else are you going to do with him? You're gonna get to see how we use that today, because when we're doing beer pours, it never just happens the first time around. We fill a glass and we do a couple of magic tricks that we're going to show you this afternoon and how to make that beer look perfect. But we have to repeat it. We don't want to move the glass to take it off set, so we use a pump in order to pull that beer out so we can then fill it and do it again. So that's absolutely indispensable. White cards, great cards and gold cards. I think you saw US employees some of those yesterday where were using that to add a little highlight on some of the reflective properties of the label, as well as using like a gold card to kick in and really make the light sitting through there and white gloves first, all who doesn't want to have that Michael Jackson feel with white gloves. Secondly, we showed you yesterday some fingerprints that got on our bottles in our glasses, right, cause these cameras opportunities house abouts read everything in the world. So we take a lot of time to make sure that the glasses clean, we wipe everything down, and we use white gloves and handling stuff in order to not get more fingerprints on them because they show up and then we gotta retouch them out. And with that, we also use a lot of anti static loss. They are little tiny claws. Um, I think you saw one yesterday was orange. I used them. Actually, once I've cleaned a glass or bottle, use it also in place of a white club, or I'll use it to help kill static so that we're trying to reduce the amount of dust. It's kind of sucked against a glass. That's that. That wraps it up. So with that, we've got a little special surprise for the in studio audience. Okay, so look at that. So it's a basket. A little swag bag for from F stop here. The bad company that we were going over caught wind that we're gonna be doing this workshop and wanted to hook you guys up with linds cases in these in these bags. Is this really cool bags for your CF cards just to keep all that organized. Keep him dry. Keep him safe. So everyone's gonna be getting Who's ready? Bobby? Ready? And we also had Chevrolet Contact. Get in his kid in. Sorry, you get one. Where did you get one? You then are you friend? Bodies so good here is soft, So I'm going to read. A few people have asked this question, and I kind of just want to get this out. So banked awful. Who is from Lima, Peru asked if you would please start with the basic equipment as if you were beginning in this career, and then tell us the story of how you were choosing the rest of your equipment as you went on. Fashion TV, who's from Singapore? Said, If you translate all these awesome equipment into a starter kit for those who are new to commercial photography, what would what are the must haves? Does equipment used for a shoot matter to a creative or art director? And what's the minimum requirement? And then Ryan Tanaka photo said, I'd also love to hear the lighting suggestions for lesser budgets. First and foremost, equipment is accessible to anybody at very different levels. Obviously, brown color is high end, so it's not cheap. Same with hostile blood. There are so many different light sources, so many different camera sources out there. The first and most important role is Do what you can afford, period. You don't want to put yourself in deep hock when you're starting out buying equipment when you don't have the client base. So first and foremost, research some stuff that number one is in your budget to go down to camera split door and spend some time looking at that equipment. Talkto the people that are selling it, get your hands on it and then start talking to other people in that network that you've been building about. What equipment works for them. What works for me is the studio shooter is not what's gonna work best for a wedding photographer lugging, hospitalized and brown color out into a wedding. It just doesn't happen. So a lot of that is gonna be answered. Unfortunately by the people themselves, they need to know one what their strengths are to what their passion is, and three what their budget, ISS and base their decisions on that allow yourself to build and grow. I certainly did not start with this kind of equipment. You know, I was when I started out, I was using a Konica camera that my father had given me, and then I was buying a bunch of used Nikon. I went online, and I bought a lot of camera equipment that way and just built it up over the years. So, first and foremost by something that you can afford, give yourself some versatility. I think getting some zoom lenses in the very beginning is a really great way to go. Number one. In the zoom you have, Ah, whole boatload of images versus going out buying crimes where you are lonely, going to get one or two or three at a time. Start with a zoom it. You'll also learn a lot about what lenses you like. When you switch from a from a zoom to a prime, you're definitely going to notice a difference in the glass. But the concept of that millimeter of how wide or how narrow that lenses you'll learn that through the zoom lens you don't know what you want from there. Um, lighting package is very time out there. There's everything from alien beings there, so many AH lighting packages out there that are small and affordable that almost anybody can have access to. And take a look at rental agencies that almost every city there is some production house because there's some sort of film or some sort of photo business in almost every city. And usually you can find a production house. They will have some equipment that you can take a look at. We often there's a place in ST Louis called Black Dog on. We go down there a lot when we're interested in working on some new motion pieces we wanted, and we want to test that equipment cause there's so many different things. We call them and say, Hey, do you guys have this? Can we come down and take a look or can we come down and talk about options? They're very forthcoming in spending time with us to talk about the different options that we have in equipment. There's so much stuff out there, it's really hard to know. And at the end of the day, places like production houses, they are very willing to help you, because either you're gonna be a customer or you are a customer. So they're happy to spend a few minutes with you going over equipment help. It did. And I don't know if you addressed whether creative like art directors, if they care, or if their album, what you hear you you know, again, you're gonna be going on. You're starting out. You're in a different level. You're not working with the top ad agencies when you're first starting out. You're working with a different level of client, and they're all in the same boat. It's kind of a building thing. I know a couple of photographers who style is just to have one camera, one lens that works for them. For some clients. Some people, like actually cool. He only uses one camera, one lines and for other art are you know, art directors That's really off putting like this guy showing up with one lens. What if that doesn't work for me? Um, again, that's kind of a hitter misting and it to know your audience. Give yourself some versatility. I think that's really important. It's also important to your growth. Clients definitely wanna have options. Any time we do a real photo shoot. There are variances to how we shoot things were shooting things with. Well, this is how we believe it's gonna work. But if it doesn't, we need some back pocket stuff. So that goes with gear to you need to have some leeway so that you can shoot for different options and different scenarios.

Class Description

Ready to break into the commercial photography business, but unsure of where to start? Rob Grimm and Gary Martin will help you navigate the ins and outs of the industry by delivering expert advice on an entire gamut of subjects –– from marketing, to shooting, to branding, and location scouting.

Rob and Gary’s workshop will be your personal guide to every single aspect of commercial photography. You'll learn how to set a budget, advertise your brand, and build your portfolio and client base. These two seasoned pros will also share invaluable technical tips on shooting and retouching.

This course is a one-stop shop for all the tools and skills needed to build a commercial photography portfolio and find your niche in the industry!

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase



Free Bonus Materials

Digital Swag Bag.pdf

Day 1 Presentation Slides.pdf

Day 2 Presentation Slides.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I have gratefully been watching this tutorial for free online, and as always CreativeLIVE has done an awesome job in bringing one of the best instructors of the trade and his creative team to help us improve and enjoy a higher level of understanding and performance in the skills we would like to achieve. I am humbled as always and ever so grateful. I would love to purchase the course myself, but since I live abroad, it is practically impossible, I hope those who can, would. I would just like to add one of the most interesting things I have learnt from this course is the careful attention these guys are paying to minute details and the amount of patience it takes to achieve their goals in each project. Stay inspiring, Totoo in China


Outstanding course! I'm a former creative director, now photographer full time and have had the unique experience working with studio photographers for commercial products in the past. This course is right on and very close to my experiences, and now that I'm behind the camera, it's nice to see some of those trade secrets revealed. Commercial work is fussy and you often have to sweat the details, but the results can be astonishing and rewarding. Rob and Gary do an excellent job explaining the ins and outs, without any pretention or hold-back on secrets. Something that's always annoyed me in the past, photographers never liked revealing their process. It's great fun watching Rob and Gary work a shoot, and Aaron Nace is beyond amazing in his retouching skills. I don't expect to break into this field, but I wanted to learn how things are done, for my own personal projects. I particularly enjoyed learning how they get the look of ice, ice crystals, and frost on the sides of glass bottles. I purchased several items from Trengrove, as they suggested. Their acrylic products are not cheap, but the quality is amazing and I'm very pleased and looking forward to experimenting. Thanks to all at Creative Live, RGG studios and Aaron Nace for this presentation.

Doors of Imagination Photography

This course is outstanding. I would consider it an advanced level. Having a good understanding of the technical aspects of photography and lighting is recommended. Rob Grimm takes you into two real product shoots. These were not canned demonstrations, but the real thing including working to get the lighting setup just right. The postproduction section with Aaron Nace was enlightening. This does require a good preliminary understanding of Photoshop. It was amazing to watch them build the final images for the client in real time. This is by far my favorite course to date.