Tabletop Product Photography

Lesson 31 of 38

A Sensible Approach to Gear

 

Tabletop Product Photography

Lesson 31 of 38

A Sensible Approach to Gear

 

Lesson Info

A Sensible Approach to Gear

gear is something we all are concerned with because it's expensive because we have to do you want to spend the time to purchase it because it has to last us uh and and mostly because it is really part ofwhat we do this is our life our livelihood whether it's our camera and our lenses all that stuff so livelihood in product photography our gear is is really attuned to a small area you could make a living by the way shooting on top of a table you didn't have to shoot big products you can shoot on the top of the table there are photographers who specialize in drinks um liquors that's it they shoot liquor whether it's in the bottle or splash you know ice cube splashing it out of a glass or what have you they their whole life is on the top of a four foot square so you can live there pretty comfortably how you how you get your gear and put your gear together says a lot about how you're going to run your business buy only what you need on ly what you need not what you want there's a lot of th...

ings I want my list of wants is we're talking motorcycles motorhomes villa and paris not at paris barcelona will hang out with eduardo hated world um they're a lot of different things I could I could do wants needs my needs list much much shorter it's the stuff he used every day it's the c stands it's the c stands that we use here for our big stuff that really makes sense when you're first starting out you might want to get a c stand and some regular tripod stands but three legged stance that's great as you keep going through your business and making money as new invest you invest in symptom or c stands starting out bia's frugal as you possibly can a dollar spent for something you don't use is a dollar you don't have for your business or for your wife your bank account for that matter for food and I've seen so many people go into debt for things that they don't use three hundred millimeter f two point eight lenses that sit in the corner you know that's a long very expensive piece of glass to sit in the corner well I'm you know I want to shoot fashion someday well you should've rented it put your book together let your business by you the three hundred two point eight and you get to the end of the year and you sit down to your accountant she looks at you about january fifteenth says over or december fifteenth and says oh ho you better spend some money spend some money now pangle by the lens that's cool but when you're first starting out in this business savior savior money be very very frugal I'm gonna show you a little bit well here's a the shot you can see right over there is being photographed right there with a bunch of clamps and two pieces of foam core in the side of a piece of foam core in the front that's it do they make panels light panels like that that you could buy yes they d'oh they do you can go and buy light panels like that and they cost a lot of money and they do a very very nice job for me I'm going with foam core and I'd rather put the balance of what I didn't spend on those things into something else so let's look at my travel bag when I go out on location where when I go just about anywhere these days mr stand bagger goes with me three tops three flashes none of which match tch all of which were very cheap um because I break things on location is something when blows down in something I don't think any one of these flashes cost me more than fifty bucks they're all like you's flashes so they fall down said it triggers a little boom a shoot through umbrella a bounce umbrella it's not in the shot three stand toppers and too little shorty stands they all fit in there they all go over my shoulder and they're comfortable gives me enough work lights that I could do a lot of stuff when I go on big on on location what's not shown in this picture is a half of a shower curtain that's rolled up and tape with with gaffer's tape that fits down into the thing and I can roll it out tape it to the wall roll it out have a little soft box I could do a lot of stuff with it this is my travel basic travel kit questions on anything on that they're pretty simple right this is my little guy that I take with me and I took stuff out of it so I could lay it all around this isn't actually in the book in the workbook that you all get something to go through all the different things but I carry tools super clamps um clamps of all sizes just can't have too many different kinds of clamps and these little guys you can get him at home depot and lows these little guys actually are magnetic so you got a clamp with a magnet on it okay that you can actually attach other little things to you can lay the clamp down and put a little metal flag or something on it with the magnet um sometimes I use these clamps is stabilizing device is more than clamping you know just sit right on the on the ground can't have too many extension towards can't have too many clamps makeup mirrors um the little makeup store was calling alta so what it is alta they've got these little bags of makeup brushes is that you should pick up why because you can brush dirt out of out of a shot with little makeup brush they'll actually catch the dirt in the in the uh the thing see I carry makeup sponges yeah makeup sponges the little wedges for propping things on uh gaffer's tape ah little piece of black velvet back here it's about two by two piece of black velvet um tools wrenches bungee cords I showed to hear there's really twelve you know in the kit all kinds of little things now this is not the kit that I do when I'm doing people I take this pete this kid as well but I've got my people kit where I've got all my makeup I've got makeup um powders and compact things so that the girl from put the powder on her hand and powder herself you never want to share a makeup that's in a compact that type of thing so I've got three of these little types of cases full of stuff but this is one that goes with me everywhere because it's got all the little pieces of doodads and hardware at it this case and my stand bagger goes out the door with me pretty much for every every shoot that I do know what type of cases that you know it's it's I got it a long time ago at a camera store I don't think they make them anymore the other two that I have are um plastic tool kits home depot or lows tool kits really really nice especially with the ones will have the bigger trays of the top triggers in him and everything the one that's not on camera here that I didn't show has I can walk out the door with that I've got three sets of triggers and all the different like little hookups for the strobes you ever notice how every stroke has a day penn you need you know trying to hook up certain brands of very famous wireless triggers two things can be a daunting task because it doesn't make sense half the time um but what we carry it out we carried all ah and in redundancy many of the things that are in this bag are in my third one as well in case one gets lost hopefully not too gets lost and you get to see how some of the different folks shoot stuff we got foam core being shot over here um they looked like an alien being up no it's a cute flash up top well speed light and the whole bit over here we've got little booms and white reflectors the neat thing about it is that you're working in your studio and you're working with inexpensive items to create cash flow that's my little modifiers by location modifiers honnold honnold grids here honnold snoot ce speed like pro kits as my gammy light that's the diffuser that goes inside the gammy light this is my absolutely adored westcott apollo twenty eight larger grid all the little straps and stuff and all of this goes with me as well I don't take what I think I need okay I take everything when I packed to go on location whether it's a people shoot or a tabletop shoot somewhere product shoot I take it all I just don't know what I'm going to need and you all saw that during the weekend here when we're shooting you just don't know well let's try this let's try that you don't know what's what you're going to need to take it all but at the same time this whole table the most expensive thing on the table right there is the westcott that whole table probably less tha nh three three four hundred dollars for all of those modifiers being in business means you have to spend a little bit of money and I've heard people say well she's so expensive to get into the photography business try pricing a pizza oven someday find out what it would cost to go into a mom and pop pizza store photography drop in a bucket some of those pizza ovens air corps million dollars so think about it is it expensive to get into photography not really a couple of shots of uh oh that was it so that's my my approach to gear buy what you need make what you can and use that to purchase the stuff that you want yeah you're like me been using natural light before you're going to go by your first light what would you suggest you could have got limited room to your first like it yeah oh good night well actually used brand names on this because why not right I think if you got a uh wasn't called paul buff einstein paul but einstein I like those lights because they're powerful on one in but they're very you can take him all the way down to like six watt seconds at six point four white seconds at the other end very very versatile stroke soft box and a strip light and a boom and a whole bunch of phone court and then go from there one light you're already usedto one light as your window light and with the einstein that's able to dial all the way down I think some of the I think the brand new pro photo delights will go all the way down as well I don't know maybe someone the internet tell me um but the point is to be able to dial him down then you could actually use your your strobe with window light and actually to a point where the window lights still your main and you're using stroke for film so that would be my right out the route that the shoot so one boom that that and a bunch of stance and as many little homemade booms is you could put together

Class Description

Don Giannatti returns for a special workshop on tabletop product photography. Don starts with an introduction to tabletop lighting - tools, scrims, DIY gear - and how to organize your shoot around a tabletop to bring everyone up to speed. Then Don will teach you the basic concepts of Tabletop Product Photography. Finally Don will ramp up to more advanced topics adding extras such as kicker lights, snoots, and grids that can bring your work up a notch.


Reviews

mc
 

THere are some courses in CL i think of as not covering a to z but covering -z to z. THis is one of those courses. The value proposition is over the top. The instricutor: Don Giannatti is so experienced he's a relaxed in his knowledge and practiced in cutting to the chase to provide answers to really good questions about set ups for product photos (vs. art/ still-life). The topics: complete workflow from first principles in order to understand what we're trying to achieve with table top work, Don Giannatti makes it clear that we're using light deliberately to give shape to an object. Example insight: using a white card (or black) reflector is not the same as using a silver/gold reflector. The latter create a new light source; the former shape the light that's there. Can imagine the arguments but the demo brings the points home. Or how about NOT using umbrellas for product shots. Or for "drop and pop" product shots, how to do that without umbrellas and tents "that's 50 dollars a shot right there" says Giannatti. Example tool demo: one of the joys of this course is that such an expert does most of the class using readily makable tools like scrims from shower curtains and baking paper. The specialist tools like a modifier on a flash is well within the range of an aspiring commerial table top photographer. And Meaningful Demos LIGHTING/composition what are some of the most challenging and compelling things to shoot when building a portfolio/photographic experience? Can you shoot shiny stuff - like bottles and jewlery. PHOTOSHOP making photoshop unpretencious and accessible, Giannatti presents examples of how to fix bits of a shot, as well as - and this one is worth the price of admission - how to put together a composite of a guitar product shot if you only have one limited sized light to light the whole thing. We also see where highlights can be added - and how. Some basic knowledge of Photoshop layering, masking and brushes would be good to have, but one can work back from seeing it applied into those basic skills. BUSINESS We start with light giving shape to objects as a demonstrable principle, move into how to use light structurally for bringing out something fantastic about that product - that as Giannatti points out - puts bread on someone's table, so respect. From these demos we go from light and camera to post to produce the finished image. Now what? or how have a product that needs shooting? That's the business of product photography. In these excellent sections on Business, Giannatti details the heuristics of hard graft to get gigs: where to look for contacts, frequency of approach, engaging with social media (you don't have to, he says, but effectively, it's gonna cost ya). "Doing just these few things you're already way ahead of your competition." I can believe it: they are many of them tedious, but can also well believe they are what pay off. COURSE BONUSES JUST FOR SIGNING UP - for those who subscribed to a live broadcast, all the slides were provided in advance (you can see this offer on class materials) Now that's classy. What other CL courses have done that: given something to participants who just show an interest to sign up? (It's that gift thing kevin kubota talks about in his workshop on photography business - makes one want to work with that person: pay them for the value they create, eh?) TRUST/VALUE Instructor Personality Throughout each part what's delightful is just the EXPERIENCE of this instructor. He's put together a thoughtful course from light to lighting to parts to gear to post to business. There's immediate trust: plainly this man has made a living from what he's talking about, and has addressed almost any immaginable scenario. There's a great demo towards the end of the course of working with students to take shots. The value to folks watching is to see how he helps us all think about how to problem solve (the mantra for the course) to find the shot - to use light card after lightcard to wrap the light to bring out the countours of the material. Even when he says "that's just not working" - there's not a sense of the people shooting having failed - but an opportunity to think about what's been learned - to keep working the problem. There's a whole lot of HOW in that interaction that is highly valuable. Thanks to the participants in the workshop to be so willing too to do that work. This is the kind of course you leave feeling like ok, i can do this - or at least i have the tools and some knowhow now about them to start to work these problems, to start to create value in these kinds of shots. I am already just from being here a better photographer now. Related CL Course: This course feels like a terrific complement to Andrew Scrivani's Food Photography. And no wonder: both take place in small areas and use light in similar ways. A contrast is that in editorial food photography - scrivani's domain - there's a focus on skills to work with what's there; in table top/product, one can enhane - knowing how to do that effectively/believably is where the skills - learning to see that - come in for this kind of work in partiular . If tabletop/product photography is a space you wish to explore, or you just want to be able to practice working with light in the small, and see how to bring you will be delighted with this -z to z deep dive introduction.