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How to Take Amazing Photos with your DSLR

Lesson 20 of 31

Shoot: Website and Marketing Mock Ups

Julia Kelleher

How to Take Amazing Photos with your DSLR

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

20. Shoot: Website and Marketing Mock Ups

Lesson Info

Shoot: Website and Marketing Mock Ups

- [Julia] We're going to do a vertical mock-up or a stand-up mock-up and then we're going to also do an overhead. I'm going to do one for, say, for example, a blog header or something where you're promoting a blog about maybe your family or your life. I'm a photographer, so I'm going to do it as if I was doing a blog for my family and my life and taking pictures of that. Okay, so I'm going to basically shoot what's called a vertical mock-up, all I have is two pieces of foam core, okay? Again, you buy this at Home Depot, you can buy it at any frame shop, you can buy it at Michael's or Hobby Lobby, it's like three or four dollars a sheet, super cheap. I go through this stuff like crazy when I'm doing these kind of things. So Belinda is going to be my wonderful assistant and just hold it upright. Let's hold it out perfectly on top, so I'm just creating a nice, simple scene, okay? So what I want to do is leave room for text, I wish this was a little bit longer but that's okay, we can stret...

ch it out in Photoshop later and I'll show you how to do that. Wouldn't that be cool? I'm going to leave a lot of room for text over here but I want to just create a scene that's very me, okay? I love vintage things, I don't like a lot of colors, I tend to be very kind of neutral, I love texture, and I'm bringing things in that have differences in height but that also means something to me, okay? So, first of all, just to add a girly factor, I'm going to put in my little flowers. I love cotton, I think the texture is so pretty. I'm creating a line or scene this way and then since it's Julia, I brought my "J," okay? I'll be careful. Okay. Then, "Joanna Gaines is my spirit animal," have you ever seen that mug? I love her and I bought these at the Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas and I just love, love, love them, just the texture so I'm going to bring that in as well. It's not the same without a vintage camera. And then just sea glass blue is probably one of my favorite colors. - I think I want that. I'm just creating interest but all heavily weighted to this right side. I'm going to go ahead and have you just pull this this way just a touch, perfect. And then that'll leave me some nice white space over here on the left to put text in. If I had my druthers, I'd want this to be a little bit longer so I had more room, okay, for a nice, long, skinny blog post, but I'm going to shoot the shot and then you'll see that in Photoshop we can actually stretch that super easy, it's a piece of cake, okay? All right. So, again, just a nice big window light wise, let's see what am I going to be at here exposure wise. Oh. I had a happy trigger finger, I wasn't even ready. Okay, it's a little underexposed. I mean, I feel like the light is changing again, do you feel that? Crazy. B, let's white balance again. Crazy town. Okay. - One more time. Okay, thank you, dear. Is that better? Yup, see how the green changed in the leaves, it's not crazy? So in other words, whenever you feel this happen, you feel things shift in color...and it just comes over time, like I used to not see it and just go and then in Photoshop later, I'd be like, "That looks really bad," and I'll go, "Oh, yeah, white balance change." Over time, you will see the color shift and you'll learn to...okay. I'm shooting a little bit wide knowing that I'm going to crop it all. B, go ahead and move it to my right a little bit so we get all those flowers in because what I can do... As long as I have that all on the background, you guys are going to think I'm crazy, right now I don't really like the way that's falling but I can actually...okay, now, B, move it completely to the right. Your right, more, more, more. Perfect, stop right there. I can actually later in Photoshop fill it with the frame, okay? I know that seems strange to think about right now but I can actually make my case better later and extend it with the background because I'm shooting it in two separate locations, okay? So that's a simple mock-up that I could then add text to and just be a personal blog that says the J Blog about whatever and there's cute J in there and the colors I love, etc., etc., very simple, maybe I love to sew and so I have scissors and yarn everywhere, I mean, it doesn't matter. Whatever elements speak to you is what I want you to use, okay? So this is a basic vertical mock-up. Again, guys, the lighting situation hasn't changed. This is the same window, it's the same... I mean, the color temperature's changed. So you can pull that down, honey, you don't have to hold it up the whole time. The lighting situation hasn't...the color temperature has changed but I'm still using the exact same light, five lights, okay? Sidelight, directional light. Okay, next I want to, say, for example, do like a service for an artist who's maybe a painter or does maybe sells education content about how to paint, okay? Again, same thing, this time we're going to do it overhead, we're going to do it on a darker background, okay? So let's clear some of this stuff. Do you have any questions while I'm clearing off stuff? Yeah, Kenna? - [Kenna] Sure. A quick question from Casey is how do you white balance without a gray screen or a gray card? Are there any other tricks or you don't yet have one of those? - On a Canon, you can actually use a piece of white foam core. Canon's custom white balancing is a little different, you would basically take a picture, fill this with the frame, and then set the custom white balance with the image you just shot. So Canon's custom white balancing is a little bit of a different method, so you can use white with them. With Nikon, I found that you need to use gray or 18% gray. As far as custom white balancing, you need something for the camera to read, so with Nikon, that's more challenging. I would suggest just shooting know, like in this situation, Shade or Cloudy preset or with a Kelvin scale. Learn your Kelvin scale, what's true daylight and what's warm or what's cooler and then adjust it and play with it around based on that, okay? Let's do that one, the bigger one, yeah. Okay, so this time... just go ahead and bring all that stuff over when you get a chance. We're going to use a piece of poster board. This is matte board, okay? How much I paid for this? I think I paid 14...matte board is a little more expensive, I think I paid 14 bucks for a sheet of matte board, okay? This is what framers would use to matte an image, okay? So this is just a 32-by-20 I think...32-by-40 piece of matte board, okay? It has dark on the back so you could use either the kind of charcoal side or the green side, this comes in hundreds of colors so you can basically go and just pick the color you want and perform from there. Again, this is where design and color come into play, okay? So now, I'm going to start doing some fun stuff here. I have these old antique paintbrushes. Again, I love old things that are kind of textural and cool, so these will be really neat. And then it's just a matter of placing things. What I want to do is put the message that I'm...the text message on the canvas so the canvas is going to be my focal point, that's where I want the viewers' eye to lead so they read the text that I'm later going to put on here in Photoshop, okay? So from there, it's just a matter of placing things pretty. That's all it is. How are you like it? Use a couple of pencils. Can you bring my eraser over there? Let's use these pencils. A little eraser and then take some paint...unless we have over here, I'm just looking. I'm just looking. This is where you can get...just be careful because less is more, the temptation to put tons of stuff on there is so huge and you have to just be careful that you don't overdo it. I don't know. I think I like it, let's just be...let's be less is more, okay? I only get to do this once. Coolest art. Okay? So then I'm just going to shoot this, again, just like that and then later I'll be able to put text on the mock-up, okay? Oh, that's all fun. The problem is that you get addicted to this stuff and then you just do it every day and you collect all kinds of stuff and your spouse or significant other is just like, "Do you really need that? Do you really, really need that?" "Yes! I need it." Okay, I probably have to switch lenses and I will need my stool, so let's switch to a 50. Thanks, Sam. Thank you, dear. Okay, get my little stool here. I think what's important to note is that...oh, we could even bring the paint in. Fun. Okay, I'm not sure I want to do that. Do you know why? It's hard to see when you're not looking at it from my angle, I'll shoot it. Oh, I might need a taller ladder, I might have to use a wide angle. Will you hand me my zoom? My kit lens. She's like, "I don't know which one that is, I'm not a shooter." I don't think so. Poor Belinda, I put her under so much pressure. No, that one, yeah, that one. Perfect, thank you. So now that's better, I can actually see what I'm doing here and there we go. So I want to shoot a shot of this and you're going to find yourself when you do this, you'll be rearranging stuff like absolute crazy. You're like "Nope, that should be in that corner. Nope, that these needs to move over there." So don't be hard on yourself if you start making stuff really complicated. Okay, so I shot an image of this, tell me why I don't like the paint tube in there? Too bright, it draws your eye away. Squint at it, squint out the image, see how you see that white, it's like, "Oh, distracting." Distraction. It's cool if I had an antique tube or a tube that was silver, it was all worn, I would be like, "Oh, yeah, that's awesome." So now I'll take it out. And what kind of color scheme am I using here? You guys are all so quiet. What kind of color scheme am I using here? - [Woman] Neutral. - Very neutral but also like analogous, right? Like all next to one another on the color wheel, very monochromatic. Okay, this is totally me, I love this. And it looks a little underexposed, doesn't it? One more time, and be careful because you can really fall over in a heartbeat. And so then I can use the canvas to write something on, I can actually paint an image in Photoshop and pop it on there and then put text in the upper left corner, there's all kinds of ways I can make this image that much more fun. Now, I'm using a wider angle lens, you can see I'm shooting at 42 millimeters, so I'm getting distortion, you see how the top of the foam core or the matte board is going in like this? That's because the wider angle lens is starting to distort my scene. Now, I can correct that somewhat in Photoshop but the reason I'm using this lens is because I can't get up high enough with my other lenses to get what I need but that's a basic mock-up for, say, a painter or an artist and you can see how much fun you can start having with this in a hurry. I could make it more feminine by adding some flowers, would you go ahead and bring me that hydrangea, the brown hydrangea? I got to take the tag off...oh, thank you. Thank you, dear. And I end up... You get really fussy about the stuff in a hurry, I swear to you the obsessive-compulsive in me is dying right now, I'm like, "I have to make this perfect." So you could add a flower to it to give it a little more interest. Now, that's going to block some light and create some shadows but I think I like it. And shooting these tethered, I'm realizing it's actually kind of cool because then you can see whether or not you like it and you can adjust and fix it. Okay, so later in Photoshop, we'll put some text on top of that canvas to show you what can be done, okay? So you get the idea, have some fun with this, you see how I've created a visual flow through the image? The way I did the paint was very on purpose to make you go that direction up towards the text and your eye just wants to travel around, so use the square composition to help you create the best possible composition. So those rules on composition and a little quick reference guide for the rule of thirds, (inaudible), all that stuff is going to help you play around a lot with this, this is really a wonderful homework study in understanding the different composition techniques. So, challenge yourself to do golden mean, a spiral somewhere. You know, like, wouldn't that be cool with different objects and flowers and ferns and things like that that really make a neat composition there, then add text to it later, okay? So let's move this out of the way and, of course, you do ruin a piece of matte board when you brush paint over the top of it but that's okay. Okay, so now I want to do kind of more of a business-y one. This is the wonderful artist and I'm going to do it right on this table. - [Judith] My question was about the arrangement of the one you just dissembled, that I wasn't seeing the flow in that. To me, it almost looked like three different things and the one... - I can see...yeah, I can see how you're thinking that. My mind is, "Okay, we read from left to right, I'm going to want somebody to focus on the words that will be written there." So I made this energy come this way to guide your eye into that and then that just leads you out of the frame. I don't really like the hydrangea, it didn't really work for me, I think it looks better just to have the paintbrushes, but what I'm really trying to do is to communicate to an audience, "I'm an artist, I'm a painter, and I want you to read the text that's on this," okay? So that's the thing I was trying to accomplish was working on the rule of thirds, you see the grid? I've got that on a point, this on a point, and then this on that line of third, "the horizon line," to make you go that direction. See it? - Yeah. - Okay. And you can...oh, you can have a heyday with this stuff. You can play around...well, we can do this all day long as far as I'm concerned. You have to be careful not to get over obsessed with it. Okay, let's do a business mock-up. So what ultimately we're going to do is we're going to take this image and see how I have an iPad Mini right here? We're going to superimpose something into the iPad Mini so that it looks like there's something on the screen, okay? So this could be maybe an electronic product you're trying to sell. So, for example, you have a PDF or an e-book or something like that that you want to sell, you can put the cover of the e-book inside the iPad later, okay? In Photoshop, and we're going to do that. So I'm going to create a mock-up first. Ah, I saw these and went, "These are so cool." They are really shiny though, so I have to be careful that I don't overdo it. Okay, let's see here. - Now I know how I'm going to do this, I think I might...the scissors are kind of bit much, aren't they? Yeah, a little violent. Maybe we'll pass on those and just keep it simple. Yeah, as a matter of fact, we're going to keep this crazy stupid simple, okay? Less is more, baby, right? Less is more. Now, one of the things you're going to have to worry about a little bit is reflections on the iPad. However, I don't want you to obsess over it because later when we go into Photoshop, those reflections are not going to do anything for my...I'm going to replace them. Make sense? Lacey back there is freaking out going, "Don't fall." I can read her mind, I've done this enough, right? Okay, again, super simple, so this time I'm going to keep it over on the left, I'm going to play around with moving the iPad to different directions. More of a graphical look, the table has a ton of cool texture, so this is a more of a I'm selling a digital e-book or something. That iPad, you see it first, right? I'm keeping the lines of the table on my thirds, okay, you see that? Simple composition. I mean how much simpler can you get? Instead of the stapler, we could do the tape in here to add a little more balance with the white, you see what I'm doing? Okay, see how that balance, just adding a little white in there balances out the iPad? And honestly, I love it, it's done to me. Now, the line on the left on the table is bugging me a little bit, we're going to put this like this. Nope, don't like it, a bit down. For a nice graphical composition, succulents are the best, aren't they? They are such cool plants. Okay, better. See the difference? Now, some of those lines and knots we can take out in Photoshop later and actually retouch, but for the most part, I'm pretty happy with that. Now I think what I am going to do is make this straight one more time to make a little bit more of a graphical look so that when you look at the electronic guide or the e-book or whatever it is inside the iPad, it's actually all straight, so let's do something really symmetrical and kind of line. You see how I'm using the lines to create a composition? See that? Now, the right side of the image is brighter, the table. Do you see how the light falls off? So if I really wanted to get anal about stuff, what I should do is put my scene on the right and make the left side of the image go dark, okay? So let's do that. I'm going to have these lines and a matter of fact, let's move it even further down here. The table is also on wheels, so I'm sure Lacey is just like freaking out back there going, "Don't fall." Now I got tons of reflection in that iPad right now, tons of reflection going on. But I don't care, you see all those reflections? I'm going to remove those for the most part, I got to be careful about the reflections on the white though because I don't want reflections on the white part of the iPad Mini. If it's in the black, I'm okay. There we go. Whoo, did I get it? Better. Okay, we'll work with that and see what happens. Okay, the other thing I'm going to do...I'm sure you're all going to I think I'm crazy, is I'm going to take a picture of the floor. I hope this table can hold me. You're like, "What are you doing? Crazy town." Okay, I need to lower...I don't have anymore...I know this seems nuts, just bear with me, we're going to have some fun with it. I always look at my chimp to make sure I'm good and I can't see it. There we go, perfect, that's all I needed. Okay, why do you think I got that image? - [Man] Texture. - Texture. - A question had come in about the colors of the wall, the direction you're shooting at, and the foreground affecting the white balance. And I know you've shown us that you're kind of considering all those factors but how much do you have to consider that? - I'm sorry, can you repeat the first part of that? Considering the...? - How do the colors of the wall, the direction that you are shooting, and the foreground affect the white balance? - They can very much so because if you think about... Light has a color temperature, the light coming in this room has a color temperature. However, when it hits certain objects, it bounces that color light back into the subject. Have you ever shot a family on a green grass and put them down by the floor and their chins are green because that light is bouncing back up? So, yes, and it's really hard to correct for that and the light that's coming in from the sky or wherever, so you don't want to put a subject near something that's going to bounce crazy color into it, so hence the reason I'm using more neutral tones. You could get a piece of bright red matte board and put white objects on it and it will bounce red light back into those like crazy and it could be kind of cool, but it can also totally ruin the goal you're trying to achieve. So, light itself has a color temperature but then when it hits an object and bounces off it, it takes on the characteristics of that object, the color of that object as well, so something you need to be very careful for and consider. It's a great question.

Class Description

Understanding how your camera functions is a start, but in order to capture the best images, you need to know more than what buttons to push.  Julia Kelleher will walk you through some likely beginner photographer scenarios to show how to work in multiple situations, compose your image and get the most from your subjects. Whether you purchased your camera to take photos of your children, your friends or even products you are hoping to sell, Julia will show you how to feel comfortable in any environment. In this class Julia will show you: 
  • Taking pictures of children: how to work with energetic subjects, what compositions are safest as well as poses and ideas to keep them engaged 
  • Taking pictures of groups: be it your friends, coworkers or clients- learn the best approaches for group photos so you can capture people looking their best 
  • Products: If you’re starting a business or selling your belongings online, a great picture goes a long way in helping a buyer choose your product 
  • Headshots or banner photos: learn techniques to get professional headshots or captivating banner photos for your social media or website 
  • How to work with natural light and control it in your favor, as well as inexpensive options to help improve your lighting quality 
 If you’re new to working with a professional camera, this class will give you the confidence to capture an image in any scenario with your expensive purchase. Make the most out of every situation by learning to compose, pose, direct and light your subjects.  

Ratings and Reviews

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Julia is an amazing teacher!!!! Funny, go with the flow, honest, and obviously so gifted at what she does. That came through and also inspired those feelings in me as a novice photographer. I left her class feeling excited to play with my camera and appreciate that she encouraged me to use what I have now and get good before spending tons of money on fancier stuff. I also love that she showed how everyday materials from Home Depot can make for great images. I particularly appreciated the 2nd day on product photography, social media images and the short demos in PhotoShop. Please do a full class on just this Julia/Creative Live!!!!!

Brandon Couch

So first off I've been doing photography for a little bit now and only shot in manual 20% of the time and was okay with it. Since coming to this class and seeing how manual mode isn't scary, it is everything you need and want in the life of photography, I now will not use anything else. The team at Creative Live is amazing and Julia's love for other starting and even professional photographers is amazing. She would sit and talk to us together and individually and really loves those who love photography. I would recommend this class and any other one of Julia's classes here on CreativeLive. I can't wait to come back. Was AMAZING!!! LIFE CHANGING!!!

a Creativelive Student

What an awesome class! I am not a beginner and am currently making a living as a photographer and was interested in this class because #1 Julia is such a great teacher with such talent and #2 I was expecting to take away some valuable information to pass along to my little after school beinning photo club. I am happy to report Julia did not disappoint:-) What actually happened was that I learned so many things that I probably should have known being a seasoned professional that I lost track of my original intention of why I was there. I couldn't wait to pull out my camera and try all of the new things that I had just learned. The color balancing and the little dot showing when your camera (Nikon) was manually focused alone was worth the price. I enjoyed every minute of this course. Thanks Julia! Anyone would benefit from this course....