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How to Be a Commercial Photographer

Lesson 12 of 34

Shoot: Glass and Fake Ice Part 1

Rob Grimm, Gary Martin, Aaron Nace

How to Be a Commercial Photographer

Rob Grimm, Gary Martin, Aaron Nace

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Lesson Info

12. Shoot: Glass and Fake Ice Part 1

Lesson Info

Shoot: Glass and Fake Ice Part 1

Now it's, time to pull out a couple of cute and add some whiskey and see what's gonna happen to this thing. Rob, is that a train groove product? Acrylic ice? Yeah. You know, it could be more than likely it is. I've had this for a while, and I bought it from a place called city photo when they were being sold. Um, I have quite a collection of these. I think I have two hundred plus cubes. Um, cool guys is just really important. There's two kinds there's, acrylic and there's glass glass is even nicer in many ways. It's. Even more expensive, but the acrylic is really good. Uh, trend growth is in place to go together without question. All right, so I'm just gonna take a quick look at a few of these that I brought, and we're gonna find something that works. I'm gonna put two cubes in there, and I want to get some shards, there's some things that feel like they have melted. We've also done ice balls quite a bit. You know, the ice fears. Those were really funky and really weird to shoot, becau...

se when you put him in the glass and you have part of the ball sticking out, it very quickly melts and becomes a mushroom. The alcohol has a big effect on what's below the liquid level and then not the top so you have this round thing and also no flip and it will move and you've got like those weird mushroom shaped kind of bizarre ok, so basically what I'm doing is I'm taking a look at the ice trying to find a good spot for it wait this's where your hands start to get smelly like booze because start moving things around in there so whenever I'm pouring liquids I always brace myself and just try to keep myself very steady with things um I try to avoid drips on the sad as much as possible these glasses are definitely interesting so robbie say's you smell like booze and if you do lipstick ads and maybe a good thing the wife knows you know it's a good thing she's aware of what I do yeah, I often come home smelling like a distillery all right? Let's take a quick look at that damn I think I went like that just so I know we've captured something for only for the bottom and only for the cab or is that part of one seventeen part of one seventeen so I don't know if he has caught that gary had gone through and he was working on the notes for this and he just wanted to double check with me to make sure that I had shot the bottom pieces that I wanted great digital tech will do that will make sure that they know what I'm doing I'm shooting components because I'm you know I'm merging stuff together to composite a bottle and he's just double checking my work and making sure that I don't get to the end of the day and I missed something let's blow up that class class so rob with this composite photography that you're making this image out of multiple images, how many photos will you actually take to make that one single composite image? Do you have a set number that you normally target? Uh no there's, no set number? Um it all depends on the bottle itself and every bottle has a different complexity to it sometimes you can get them in just a shot or two um other times like this where you've got to go toe light up the golds like I have um half a twelve and one image and half twelve and another so those will be bled together. We've already got what seven shots? We've got seven shots for the bottle right now, so we're gonna be emerging seven different pieces to make the one bottle so that's that's one the beautiful things about digital photography before, when we were shooting film you couldn't do that because you could only get so many lights out there you could only have so much going on you get on ly higher, you know, hide so many little cards and stuff behind a bottle before you ran into trouble. Now we can shoot for different components and you can really build something that's just incredible, and I will tell you that some people like is that kind of cheating? I don't think it's cheating because what we're doing is we're using the tools that we have to make something the best that it can be, so we're analyzing little parts of its kind is just like what we do with noodles in a bowl, we want to make sure that the noodles look like they're going the right way. We're doing that with the bottle, we're just making sure that we get all the components of this bottle to make it really look heroic, just to be clear. And that was a question from an e p thanks for the question, so you're so when you say components and you mean, you know you mean the top on the label you, but you're not talking about components like you're going to take one highlight from this photo and that will be positive with a different highlight from another photo even the highlights themselves are components, so yeah, so like there's that that this thin highlight that I have right here that's just give me a light on the edge of that facet I'm probably gonna have air and take that and duplicate it two more times over those other assets over those other facets so to me that's a component um you know, we I hit the light on the inside of there on the on the left side that's one component shot hit the light on the right side that's another component shot uh the two different shots that we have going on for actually we only have one for the neckar so when I say components, I'm referring to the different captures that I'm taking for the different pieces of the bottle makes sense any other questions? Is it going and would you've already like in the in your lead up to the photo shoot would you have already? I decided I'm gonna, you know, get a phone, I'm gonna highlight the edge I'm going to do this I'm going to do that or is it a combination of once you started shooting? Then you see other stuff that you want to bring out it's both it's a combination of knowing what's important to the brand I know the facets are really important it's a great shape bottle so I want a we want to be able to highlight that but I have not shot this bottle before, you know, like I said, every single budweiser bottle is a little bit different because of the properties of the glass even though I've been shooting glass for twenty years, they all throw different things that may um so I get into it I want it I want to figure out what what it's going to do I have very preconceived ideas because I have twenty plus years of shooting class uh but there's always a little bit of challenged or something I don't know that's gonna happen and I think that's why he keeps me so engaged even after twenty two years I mean, you think about it, we're shooting bottles that could get kind of monotonous I'm not tired of it yet I really still enjoy it very much so you know, thank goodness right and rob just to follow up for people that are just starting out and they're just beginning if you were to composite, could you just have one light and you could take a photo of one highlight and then move your one light and take a photo of another highlight? You could I think that that would be difficult because that takes an enormous amount of pre visualization and without experience you don't have a lot of pre visual pre visualization who another tongue twister uh that could be a very difficult thing to do yeah, you could do that, but if you notice we did that in a sense of starting with one light and then building up then we turned all the lights back off went to the one light and then started building it back up just to check everything and see where things where it was giving us kind of a total picture and then I was going in and I'm working the details of it I think if you only have one single light um I don't want to discourage anybody from doing that I don't want to discourage anybody from trying anything in photography just be aware that that's gonna be a difficult thing because you're really gonna have to pre visualize what you're doing and there's going to be even more post work I mean, we're we're leaving a good amount of post work and I'm trying not to, you know, try to do things as much as I can in camera um so I would just to be cautious but that do it there's nothing you shouldn't try and photography they're really mean what rule isn't made to be broken one more quick follow up question to composite photography for someone just starting out do you think it's important to learn? Composite uh yourself in addition to other photos skills so you don't have to get a professional re toucher I think well, I think it's really important for two things first of all, I hate retouching personally I started on photo shop too when it not see us too but photo shot to that tells you have been in the business a little while in many ways I'm still stuck on those patterns and that I had a way back then uh but learning how to do it is really important particularly wants to get to the point where you no longer want to do it or you no longer have the time to do it and you turn it over to retouch er's knowing how to do some retouching will help you immensely in conversing with them and talking about what you want to dio they're re touches obviously that don't need your input but I think it's one of those lingo things it's really important to be able to talk the lingo with them and if you I have a background in retouching it's gonna help you all the more it also it just it makes you a better photographer when you had to do the retouching on your own stuff um it makes you think about how you can shoot differently so you don't have to do all that rita or how you could shoot better to make the retouching his ears so absolutely learn it make a better one more okay, okay jim bought a bim wanted to know how you deal with reflections of your equipment on the glass um or do you see that right now, I'm not saying I'm not seeing it, um we'll have to blow it up a little bit tighter. I'm really not seeing much of that at all. Most of the stuff that I have is black, like my camera stands in the studio, they're black, I don't have a ton of stuff that's reflected and reflected back in, and usually I'm wearing very dark colors. I just have a propensity for it, it definitely helps if we're starting to see that stuff, we often do a couple of things, one we can put a black hard in front of the camera and cut a hole for the lens to come through. We can do that with a white card and it pushes light back onto the label. We often do that one of my tricks that I'm constantly doing, we don't need it here is we use camera whole diffusion, so we'll take a roll of roscoe thirty eight o eight and we'll put it on c arm, drop it down, cut a hole for it and put the lens coming through it. I'll even put my polarizer on the other side and then we can have lights on this side and we could push light back into the product and it really helps give it, you know, more warmth, more glow, more light and then eliminates any reflection that I have so I mean you can see how nice and defuse that is so if you imagine hanging that right here right now and cutting a hole net you can really do some nice stuff with light we do that with great regularity I can't even tell you I'm almost every shoot I mean we're using this on the side will build a tent around it in front of the camera behind it the nice thing about this is we can create any side soft box that we want we've taken it a step further gotten frames taken the canvas off the frames and I taped this with white tape onto the frames themselves so we have essentially like fifteen to twenty soft boxes that are different sizes that we can throw around everywhere but it's good to also keep it on the rule so you could make it any size you want and you don't have toe cut it as a great way to make an amazing light is just to go to an art supply store and get a frame structure you know the kids so you can put together put him together they're cheap and then put roscoe on it put a light behind it and you have a beautiful soft box field it's just it's gorgeous you can do it to any size you want you could make him thin you can make him wide you could do whatever you want and it's very inexpensive we do it all the time so we're even though we've got all this awesome brown color you know, light modifiers and self boxes and pan heads and all kinds of beauty dishes and reflective will often go to to roscoe and we'll just make something make something that fits um we were shooting last week in chicago for baileys creamers and the bottles were just reflective jet black and they were they would not only were they round they were bell shaped and they had every possible curve you could add on this thing was on it we were shooting on a black surface against a black background with black product with flavor cues really challenging stuff we had roscoe everywhere we even double diffuse panels in order to get lights to soften up and really look good on that black so we didn't have these harsh lines it's just a great tool and it's I mean in terms of costs it goes a long way you get one of those roles is a third of the cost of the light but you can make I'm no umpteen lights out of it so definitely look into that any other questions back to booze so that's actually looking kind of interesting to me I think that I want to kill this light because it's given me that hideous highlight on the front let's. See what that does? Very well. We both fire and sorry we're gonna raise this guy out. Lots of bubbles green right there. That's probably the kino to tell you the truth. All right, go go back to where I had the highlight from the strip bank place or from the bar. Like okay, I need that highlight. I need smaller closer. So to me, I think it's going to be weird if I don't have ah highlight from the bar to the strip like coming down on it it's going it's not gonna fit next to the bottle so I'm gonna try to bring this in a little bit on feather it down and make it a little bit smaller. His barn doors are awesome. I don't have any on my strip light and I'm gonna have to get some because now hooked just to you. So because of the shape of that that glass it's not gonna transfer through the course of it so I'm gonna constantly lower that to see if I can get that highway two start to round down in this fear I doubt that it's gonna go it's not gonna bring it back up and I'm gonna try to feather a little bit more that looks pretty good when you blow it out, man okay, so I'm getting bubbles and her clinging I'm gonna need to knock them out, which is gonna totally change my ice and we'll never go back to where it wass but that's okay? Because hopefully I'm gonna get something even better this once he smells really good. You see what happened when I rotated that all of a sudden I'm getting a really tough highlight that's coming out off of one of the pieces of ice now. Booth okay, that was starting to get somewhere but I need to give this a little bit of love so let's see what happens when we start to slip a gold card in oh it's great! I can't wait till my head's out way. Okay, so this gold card is pretty harsh. You can see how it's creating that that really tough highlight it's a little too yellow I'm not loving where it's going and you can see how that's just banging it's really shiny so I'm gonna try one that's much more matt much more diffuse. I have lots of these these cards even have some that are really weird again. You can get this there's a place that I go to call heart mark that has all the stuff art supply stores always have gold card silver cards they are indispensable for photographing liquors just absolutely indispensable can't do without it let's, try. That might be too that it's almost like somewhere in between the two mouths. That's got some interest to wear there. So what you can see that you see them doing right now is I'm just kind of changing the shape of this. I want to find something that makes it a little bit interesting. So I'm just kind of bending and changing the shape of this card in order to get those facets to do something interesting right there. I'm not getting an image that's as warm. Is that either? I didn't hear what you said, it's. Not as warm. Uh oh, god. Totally different. All right, I got to come over here more often. A look. Well, come on. The guy's questions what's up. Anybody got any? No that's. Pretty nice. Isn't it's nice, but still a hot one that I think I want to go back to that town. I got a question back to the ice. Keeps you mentioned. You have acrylic and glass. How do you decide which one to use with different problems? I have all I have all I don't have class. Okay so that's easy I go I go with you why not the glasses or something? Just because because because I've already invested it's han in the acrylics and like him you can polish him back up like I said, I have two hundred of them I think the glass glass cubes if I'm not mistaken can run almost a hundred hours a cube so if you need fifteen of them you just spent fifteen hundred bucks the acrylics are more like thirty five, forty eight hours cube depending on their size and I said I made a pretty substantial investment and you could get ten acrylic cubes for a lot less money than you could get ten glass ones you have any problems with rain? Boeing was patrick's lawyer absolutely I do. Which is why you got to go in and you got to start to twist and change because the acrylic will do that it's the same thing as the acid tate you know that we were talking about earlier it can rainbow it can give you green it can give you blue um so you got to go through and you gotta mess with it but yeah that's that's the one downside to using the acrylic and that's an upside to the glass the other thing that's also really cool about glass and I've read a glass you could do that to you can just write glass cubes you can hit glass cubes with a little bit of spray mount put them in a glass and then when you pour carbonated beverages in there, the carbonation sticks to the spray mount which is totally weird it won't do that on acrylic spray mount will eat the acrylic and you'll totally ruin your cubes and any goddess in a mountain having re polished and all that stuff so um their advantages to both the biggest advantage to look hot more affordable what kind of time frame would you have for a product like this normally to shoot? Yeah um I'd have a full day for for this shot maybe more I mean we're doing it and compressed amount of time to tell you the truth wait have a full day for this and is there ever a situation where the people that you're doing the shoot for that you know, they feel that you took too long and they don't necessarily want to pay for that time or how does that work? Um I've never had that issue no because we're up front about the money and how much it's gonna cost and the converse is true we've had had shoots that took a lot longer than we thought uh and I never go back to the client and say, you know what? I spent two days on it instead of one, so now you owe me double um, you know, the estimate is something that you really have to adhere to. I'm very conscious about their time, so I try to pace it so that it goes well, and it goes smoothly. I mean, obviously I'm a methodical guy. I think people get that about me if they really had a concern about that and one somebody speed through it, they wouldn't hire me, um, and maybe that's why, you know, they go, they go to other photographers because they want a different pace. I think people know me for what I do, you know? And I like I said, I have a lot of repeat business so that I think they're coming back to me for a reason. Thankfully question from the interwebs interweb bring all right, cool. So people wondering about your lighting schematic, and is this something you knew when you were coming into the shot? Exactly how you're going to like this is a similar to previous bottle shots and glass shots you've done before. Do you drop schematics for each? Uh, I don't drop schematics for each. I always have a preconceived idea of what I want to come to the table with and it's based on a lot of experience just years with glass, knowing my equipment, I didn't use a light meter at all. In fact, I haven't used the light meter and I don't know ten years um I've just gotten to the point where I really know what I'm doing and how I want to approach things but again every bottles a little bit different so I come to it with some preconceived idea is knowing that I want to place the stuff here very often gary could be setting the first assistant could be setting stuff up for me in advance and I can tell them okay this is where I want to start and it's a foundation there are some things that are very similar I almost always have a top flight I almost always have a beauty dish above every liquor shot ideo it's just always there um I'm always bringing light from the backside in order to get them to glow and to make them heroic and to make them sculptural those those things were given uh but those bottles are very different shaped not everything is the same and you learn this by experimenting on your off days you're doing it again and again and building you know, working for somebody else all day long is there assistant and then shooting at night until ten or eleven or twelve um and then coming back the next day and doing it again and again and again until I until I got there and then but even you know, even the first a few years that I had jobs and I was working pro it was there's a very nerve wracking time in many ways it was way more nerve racking than being an assistant because now I've gained a little bit of knowledge I know I've got a long way to go um and I'm shooting for clients and that's when you really feel the clock um so the more you can do on your own the more practice in the union or on weekends or whatever it just gives you a lot more confidence and when you have confidence going into job that that speaks of the volumes you know, because you can turn around and you could talk to the coin intelligently about what you're doing and how to make it work I'm just going to say this questions more for gary thanet is for rob like I think one of the coolest things I've noticed about rob and way that he works is it's very organic and like he's actually out there with the light moving around and doing stuff himself I don't feel like I've seen a lot of other lead photographers doing that would you say that something very unique to rob? I think in this situation since he's teaching all of it he's talking about it it's easier for him but yeah, absolutely he I kind of sometimes we'll just sit back man the computer stands sure pretty you know, make sure that you know everything is backed up everything this tax sharp I'm managing the files that khun b when we're on a tight deadline that's a full time job to sit there and focus on that not be distracted with lights or cards and we usually have p a s and other assistants running around tow move the lights because at the end of the day that's not the most important thing but for rob like he just likes playing with flights and see what lights do it because it's a lot harder to tell someone up down left, right? No, not that much this's just easier for him to do it cards in particular really difficult and tasked your question I think I am more hands onto mostly photographers without question ah lot of them are more into directing and guiding but trying to tell somebody you know right there you know that I've done that a million times it just doesn't work for me it's a lot easier if I stick my head in from the camera and I do it myself then I prefer it I know what I'm getting um and it's it's it's the continuing education of rob grew I continue to learn every time I do stuff I feel like I'm seeing more of like an artist at work in watching you than I am like some big name photographer just barking orders so interesting. Cool. I like I like I said before if you were going to work for a studio, I think it would be you to that a lot of people would want to get in. Wait a couple of kids come on. Absolutely okay. This is from popeye from israel in this question came in much earlier. The question is how important is the medium format versus like a regular dslr? And for which features that you're shooting right now? Is the deal dslr not going to be able to do dslr can really handle a lot of stuff. What I like about the medium format. I'll go back to the crop factor. Everything I shoot is really eleven my fourteen I put in eleven by fourteen crop on every single portfolio images of the shoot because my portfolio is eleven my foe, it is the standard a cz you scale it up, it is almost identical. Teo a pretend with his standard for advertising so again, that thirty five millimeter the dslr it doesn't have that same format it's ratio is much longer and you wind up losing image image information off of the top on the bottom um, I just don't like shooting with, um for product stuff, I much prefer a bigger camera with a truer ratio for what the final result is going to be and, you know, again, that comes from what back in my days of four by five by ten cameras it's I just prefer one hundred times over everything else you can do it and I'm not I'm not saying that you have to go out and get a medium format in order to make images that's not the case, you just can't do that cost wise, so building on a thirty five millimeter system, but rent one of these when you can and try it and see what you think of the difference because it's pretty hot, but it doesn't have anything to do with being in capture the highlights in a certain way, it's more just a heck of a lot more detail. Like I said this, these lenses, they see everything that practically read your dna sensors were huge pixels are beautiful in their incredible um I mean, when you blow this stuff up to one hundred percent here's a great example, when I was testing the hostile blood cameras, there was a gal that had been working for me for probably five months at the time, but I had noted for several years she even had her wedding reception in my studio um, and we're shooting and shooting images of her, and I've gotta coming up on the computer, and I haven't blown up to one hundred percent I was starting to shoot, and then I blew up two hundred percent circuits to some of the detail, and I took a shot and I looked over, I was like, oh my god, lindsay, you were contacts. I've never noticed it with my naked eye, my naked, I never picked up her contacts, and I have talked with her face to face for years. When I saw it on the screen, I could see it plain as day. That detail is crazy. So I've been working with these cameras now for several years, and I'm still blown away. Did he tell the detail is just incredible for me, for what I do delivering more detailed images that can go up huge that could be on the side of the building. Um can be, you know, we've had billboards that have been, you know, several storeys tall in times square, you gotta have a big, detailed camera to do that, and for me, the answer is medium format without question, you know, one other thing about what you see here, I was able to show you where we're crapped, so we're not even using the full frame we've crapped in, and we can kind of avoid getting too close to the edges where there might be a little bit of distortion. And we don't have to worry about losing any resolution, because the system that we use the sixty mega pixels and those were exported there, about two hundred megabytes big, so we can crop in a little bit, um, and and still have, ah, pretty large file. Yeah, it's. The technology is just incredible. Implores me away, and it gets better all the time. It's. Just fun, which means you gotta, constantly, by new tools, come a bummer, but as a photographer who doesn't want to continue to buy new tools, right? And that's. Why we got in the business.

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!

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Digital Swag Bag.pdf

Day 1 Presentation Slides.pdf

Day 2 Presentation Slides.pdf

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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.