A DSLR stands for a digital single lens reflex camera. It's essentially a professional camera, just like this. I'm now going to switch over to DSLR for the remainder of the course. But don't worry. Most of the principles I'll teach in this lesson can be applied if you have a cellphone or a point-and-shoot, like we discussed before. If you find yourself wanting to get a DSLR after watching this, I recommend starting with an entry-level camera that's affordable so you can get your feet wet.
For Canon, it's the Canon Rebel series. And for the Nikon, it's the D3400. You'll need to get a lens too, and I recommend starting with a 50-millimeter prime, which is what we use at POW a lot. All in all, you're probably going to spend around 500 bucks to get started. Again, consider hiring before buying because, as I'm sure you're starting to realize, this photography stuff is easier said than done. One great thing about shooting with a DSLR is that you can shoot tethered from the camera into the computer, which means that as we take photos, they arrive in the software ready for us to edit and review and make decisions.
This is how the pros do it. And if you have a compatible camera, you can do it too. Let's get tethered, let's take a couple shots, and continue our photo shoot. So let's go ahead and get our camera setup like we did with the point-and-shoot. You'll notice this will be really similar to working with the point-and-shoot where we're going to set our exposure settings to auto.
But what's really great about shooting tethered with this camera is that we can shoot directly into our computer. So you see, I've got this long USB cable coming out of the side of the camera. And I just want to get it connected first before I start shooting. So we're going to go into Lightroom to start our tethering. I'm going to go into File, Tethered Capture, Start Tethered Capture.
You can see I already have the naming setup. We're going to name it the year, month, day for the folder, and this is the folder it's going to go into. And then we're going to also name the files to come out of this camera as a year, month, day. I'm actually going to start it at around 200 since we've been shooting today, so it's a nice fresh name. We don't want any of these names to be the same. We want them all to be unique. And then the destination, we're going to go into our Shopify lifestyle folder.
Keep the metadata to none for now, but you can put your information there, and click OK. So you can tell here that we're tethered into this Nikon D600. And what's really cool about this is that I can actually push the button, and it will take a picture remotely from our computer. You can see the image come in. And there's nothing setup, obviously. It's all wrong, right? So I'm going to go ahead and just move this out of the way.
One thing that I want to talk about is Develop Settings. So this program can see the previous settings that we shot to. So if I make adjustments to this image in develop mode-- let's say I just take this image, make it really bright-- if I take another photo, it'll copy those settings from the previous image and apply it to the new image that comes in.
And you can see it comes in here, and then it brightens up again. Obviously, this isn't right, but this is just an example. Lightroom is really great for working with lots of different images because you can copy these settings. So for example, this is an image from the point-and-shoot session. If I go in to develop mode, I can go ahead and brighten this one up, make my adjustments, maybe add a little bit of clarity, a little bit brighter, and then I can select the images that I want to apply it to, and go sync.
And you can tell these are all the settings that I want to synchronize. If I just synchronize it all, it copies those settings across them all. Imagine you shot 100 product photos, you probably don't want to spend all day making adjustments to all 100 photos. And if you do this in Photoshop or Mac Preview, that's what you're going to be doing. You're going to be making these adjustments to each one individually.
Where Lightroom really helps you is it allows you to copy these adjustments across your entire shoot and keep it consistent. So let's go back to our DSLR. We'll go into Library. We'll go into the folder that we're shooting to, Shopify lifestyle. So this is where we're at. It doesn't look great. So let's go ahead and frame up our camera. The first product we're going to shoot is our beauty product here on white.
And where we left off was we had the cards in. We hadn't decided if we're going to use the dark card or the white card. So I really just want to make this really even. All right, let's go ahead and take a shot. I've got all my settings to auto right now. And if I want to brighten it up, I'll go into the exposure compensation in this camera. So that's looking all right.
Let's go ahead and add a little bit of exposure to it. [CLICKS] It's transferring. Oh, too bright. Let's go ahead and pull back. This is what it's going to be like for you. You're going to take a photo. You're going to shoot it. You're going to look. And you're going to evaluate.
You're going to decide if you need to make adjustments to the exposure or to the positioning of the product. So this is actually a good place for us to start, I think, right here. We talked about making those adjustments, so I'm going to go ahead and jump into Lightroom here. I'm going to move this out of the way so it's just not in my way. I'm going to develop. I'm going to go ahead and make a couple adjustments here. Oops, you can see we have an exposure adjustment, a plus 1.
I'm going to reset that so you can tell the original capture is a little underexposed. I really want to get this in camera correct first, so I'm going to keep adding exposure using the exposure compensation. Let's go ahead and just take a shot. See if it's too much. Yes, too bright.
We'll come back down again. And that's about perfect. So this is the clean capture without any real big adjustments besides this little clarity here, which is fine. Remember, that just gives us a little bit of pop. And that's really where we want to start.
We want it to look great right out the lens. You can tell it already looks pretty good. We're already almost there. I would say that I want to give this a little bit of rotation here, and I can look through the lens while I'm doing that. And I think it's pretty straight now, so let's go ahead and start lighting this. As we shoot this, we want to make sure to have the edges really stand out from the background.
And imagine we're going to send this over to pixels later, and they're going to remove this background so it's going to be totally white. And if we do that, this edge on the left might just completely disappear. So I'm going to start by adding some black cards into the side. We're going to get start getting really advanced with these cards. So I'm going to come in real tight right here. Boom. I want to make sure that they don't overlap the product, and I'm going to go ahead and take a shot now.
Let's just see what we got. So I want you to evaluate the product itself. Imagine this background is going to be removed in retouching. So we're really looking at this product, and you could tell there's this dark line on the left-hand side, and then it turns to white. And it doesn't quite match this other side here, so I'm going to try and match it so it looks pretty even.
Maybe I'll pull it back a little bit. And these little adjustments on these cards are going to change the quality of the light on the product itself. So I'm making all these little adjustments here. Let's take another shot and see if that's shadowed correctly. We really want that edge to stand out from the background, and we're imagining that background going totally white. You could tell the image that comes back is really different.
Just that little movement made this adjustment, and that's what you're going to be doing here. So let's go ahead and try and-- the right-hand side is a little dark. Let's add a little white card in there to bounce that light in and really even this out. Remember, we're doing this all on window light and we're just using these cards, and these pictures are turning out really great. So let's go ahead and do this.
[CLICKS] So you might be asking yourself at this point, wow, there's all these cards that are in the shot. Like we don't want these cards in the shots, right? But I want you to remember that when the retouchers is remove everything around the product, all that's going to disappear. It's all going to be removed and turned to white. So when you're shooting for products on a white background, you're going to be able to do that and bring these cards in tighter and get some better adjustments.
So let's go ahead and jump back into this image here and take a look. It looks pretty good. I think we're actually done with this image. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to press 1. It's going to set this rating to 1. And later on, I'm going to be able to sort and find this final image later. So let's go ahead and move on to the next product. So we just shot a bottle. So now's a great time to shoot all our bottles.
Even though this bottle's a little different, we're going to be able to pull the same kind of lighting strategy that we did from this previous white one. So let's go ahead and just switch it out, and let me show you a little trick. So I can use this little card here to help me remember the position of this product. And if they're the exact same shape, that's going to make it a little bit easier. But it reminds me how to position this product in the shot.
Now that's looking pretty good. I've got it centered. And remember, I'm looking through the lens, and I'm trying to center it here. I'm looking at the lighting and stuff. Let's go and just take a shot and see. So we can tell going from here to here, it looks pretty good.
Maybe I'll give it a little bit of a boost. We can tell, because this is a glass bottle, it's got this darker line on the side. So that's just what's going to happen, and it is really showing the reflection of the black card. You know what, I think this is looking pretty good. Let's go ahead and stick with that and move on to the next product. So let's go ahead and move on to this metal product.
This one's a little bit bigger, so we're going to have to make a couple adjustments. And it's made of metal, so it's going to be even more reflective than this glass product. So again, I'm going to mark my spot here. I'm going to pull this out. It's a different shape, so we're probably going to have to make some adjustments. I know that there is a little Shopify label there in the middle, so I'm really considering how to place this.
And it's bigger. It's bigger on the set than the other one, so I'm going to have to move these cards out a little bit and make some adjustments. But we're in the same basic spot, at least the front of the bottle is, and that's going to help us with focus and position. We'll see if it's too big for our shot. It is. So since we're too big, I'm actually going to have to reposition the camera. I'll go ahead and pull back, and I'll raise the camera up so that I'm centered on the product.
And I'm going to re-focus. If you're using auto-focus, you just push your shutter down a little bit and re-focus. You can also set it to manual and manually adjust it. Let's go ahead and move these cards back a little bit. Same thing I want there to be a nice darker edge so that it separates, but I don't want it to be too pronounced. Let's just take a shot and just see.
I forgot on the other shot we decided that this brown bottle we're going to stick with, so I'm going to give it a 1. So we're a little crooked on the camera a little bit. I'm going to go ahead and fix that a little just to straighten it out. This is really easy if you're on a tripod. Notice how much we're using this tripod to keep the same angle. You can do it without a tripod, but this just really helps a lot.
One thing that I don't like is the top of this cap needs to be rotated a little bit. Boom. And there's all these lines coming here. This is from the window just acting weird. It's going to be hard for us to get rid of that. But maybe we can try actually blocking the window with another card.
And just because the window isn't directly in front of this product, it's not directly hitting it, we get some window light just bouncing around the room that might be able to ambiently light this. And so the light is actually bouncing in the room and coming down and bouncing off these cards and lighting this product, and it's going to change our exposure quite a bit, actually. But let's just take a shot and see how that looks.
[CLICKS] All right, so that's looking a lot better. Let's go ahead and compare the two, and you can see what happened here. So I think this is actually looking pretty good. I think I'm going to bring this black card back a little bit.
One thing that I think we should do is clean this product off too. But I just want to bring that up that it's good to make sure that your products are really clean before you shoot them. Every product represents all the other products, and so you really want to pick the best of the litter. I'm going to make a couple adjustments. I'm going to move this other white card in a little bit.
[CLICKS] Take a shot. I'm looking and evaluating. All right, that's looking a little bit cleaner. Notice that we have the cards in front of the lens. That's not something you would normally do. Having something in front of a lens is bad, typically. But as long as it's not overlapping the product, it's fine.
Because remember, your retouchers are going to remove this background for you. Make it nice and clean. So I think this shot is good. So I'm going to give that a 1. All right, so now we're out of bottles. Let's move on to the hats. I'm going to go ahead. Since we're moving on to a totally new product, I'm just going to start from scratch and remove all my cards. So this is the hat that we have.
So one thing I want to point out about this hat is that it's got this cardboard inside, which is really helpful. It's going to help give a shape. And actually, what I would do is, if we were in our studio, I have a bunch of foam that we could pack inside this hat to really help give it a better shape. But since we're just DIY-ing it, we may want to just cut off a piece of cardboard to help give it shape and just position it so that it looks nice and smooth on the outside.
Well, we have a steamer here that we actually steamed this had before the shoot. But if you have like an ion with some of the steam function, maybe you can get some of those wrinkles out. So for this shot, we want to do a front and a back for the website. So I'm going to start by framing it up. I just got this hat on set without anything else, and I want to see if it works for me.
Let me rotate it a little bit. [CLICKS] I have a feeling this is going to be overexposed, but we'll see. Oh, actually, it's not so bad. I do think that we got to clean it off a little bit. There's like a speck of dust there that we can get rid of. It's a little out of focus on the front, so I'm going to adjust my focus a little bit.
Try to get rid of this dust here. Notice how detailed I am with this and how I'm really trying to do everything I can to try and make this product look its best. [CLICKS] And I think I need to add a little white card on the right-hand side.
I like this shadow coming off the right, so I'm going to keep that. But this white card is going to help just bounce a little bit of light in there. I'm also going to give it a little bit more rotation. I can go ahead and mess with it a little bit. And when I move under the next hat, I'm going to try and match that same position. [CLICKS] Let's go ahead and look at our development settings.
We still have a plus 20 on there. Let's go ahead and clear that out and just see how it's looking. So this is not so bad. Maybe I do want to add that plus back in just to brighten it up. And then this area is getting a little dark, and I can go into the shadows, actually, and boost up some of that. I don't want to go too far, though. Just a little bit. Maybe we can bring back the exposure a little bit. Imagine again, we're going to have this background retouched out.
And actually, that one looks pretty good. Notice we didn't do too much lighting on this one. It just didn't need it. It looked good. Let's go ahead and flip it around. Again, I'm going to go ahead and try and make sure that it's in the similar position. I can use these black cards to help me find that position here, and then I'm going to flip it around so that we see the back. The reason why we want to see the back is so we can see this clasp here.
I'm doing my best to straighten it out. [CLICKS] Good. And since we haven't moved the lighting, we just moved the hat around, it still looks good. I'm going to go ahead and mark this place again and shoot the other hat.
Again, I'm trying to fluff up the hat a little bit. If I had some foam, I would put it in there, or maybe some pillow batting would work. [CLICKS] So I really want these two to match up, have a similar angle.
And actually, it looks like the blue one needs to be rotated around a little bit more. I'm going to go ahead and just look at my screen and try and visually just get the same angle. [CLICKS] There. What I'm really hoping that you'll see is this workflow that we're doing where we're trying to match the same lighting in between different products with similar shapes.
And we're shooting and looking and we're shooting and looking, and we're looking for opportunity to try and style this and position this in better ways. So this is looking pretty good. Let's go ahead and mark this and do the back. [CLICKS] Let's go ahead and compare it to the previous shot.
Let's see the previous one there. Great. So if you want to crop your images, you can crop them at any point in the process. I recommend not cropping them right now. I recommend cropping them after you get them retouched and have them come back with all this white space.
Because what you can do is you don't know where these images are going to go. If you go up to Facebook, you're going to want them rectangular. But if you go to maybe your website or Amazon, you're going to want them to be square. So you don't really know what the final destination size is going to be. So we're going to figure out this crop later. We're just get a rough it in for now and just get a general idea about the shape that we want. So we still have a lot of products to shoot, and I'm not going to shoot them all with you today.
But I do want to focus on one last product here, and that's this little beauty product which is like a lip balm. And I'm going to show you how to position the cap using some special putty that we have. So let's go ahead and just switch out the set. This product's a lot smaller, so we're not going to need this same setup here. So I'm just going to clean this off a little bit just to make sure it's looking good.
Coming in a little tighter. So when you have these little products like this, you can get fun with the caps. And if you have a box, you can do a side by side. How you want to do these little groups is up to you, but this is where you can get really creative with some of your products, especially if it has some interesting packaging. So for this one, we can just shoot a side by side, which is fine. So let's go ahead and just do that.
I'm coming up on the camera a little bit and repositioning and refocusing because it's a lot smaller. And let's just take a shot [CLICKS] and see where we're at. Don't forget to reset your Lightroom adjustments here when they come in. Let's go ahead and just reset.
We can reset everything completely by going reset. We can boost this up a little bit because it's a little under. So there's two things going on. First, the lighting on top is a little bright, and you could tell we're losing separation from the background here. I'll fix that in a second. But first I want to talk about the positioning of this product. This cap is just side by side. It's really not that interesting, but what if we wanted to tilt it up against the side?
So I want to do something interesting with the cap on this to show how we can use this tacky putty to position these things in an interesting way. So this putty is just a piece of putty goo that you can get at any Office store. And I think it's made to put posters on the wall. Anyways, we're going to use it to position our product today. So let's get in real tight here.
Let's say I want this to be positioned up on its side in an interesting way, like it's leaning on it, like they're friends or something like that. So I'm just going to go ahead and try and position the putty in a way where it's not quite visible. It wouldn't normally stand like this, but if I pull this away, it's literally just hanging out on its own. And then if I want to tilt this up a little bit-- because you'll notice you can't really see it-- I can do the same thing, and I could put more putty behind it.
It's important to make sure that you cannot see the putty because if you can see it, it makes your product photo look really bad. So let's go ahead and come back in. So this is the same photo as before, just [CLICKS] angled a little bit differently. And you can tell it just looks a bit more interesting. I'm sure you can imagine different fun ways to position your products using this putty.
Let's move it so it's like not quite floating there, so they're touching a little bit, so it looks a little bit realistic. [CLICKS] There. So we're looking at the product.
It is looking pretty good. Actually, the face of the product is looking OK. I might actually go in here and just adjust the development a little bit more. That's looking pretty good, but we still have some problems with the tops blowing out. And by blowing out, I mean they're too bright. That's a typical word for that. So one thing that you can do is take a black card and let it just hold it over the top, just like this. And while I'm holding it there.
I'm going to take the photo. [CLICKS] And you can see, it fixes the top of that a little bit, but now we have some color problem. But if we just boost it up a little bit, it should fix it.
There. Let's look at that now after that adjustment. So that looks a lot better. And imagine after we retouch out this background how much better that's going to look. So we'll go ahead and one-star that final image there. OK, so let's go ahead and take a look at all the images that we shot, all the finals that we starred. If we go into Filter, we can just go ahead and choose one star, and we could see all the pre-retouched images right here for our Shopify store.
So now we're going to move on to shooting these socks. And these socks are best shot overhead-- in this example, anyways. So if you're shooting this at home, I would recommend setting this up on the ground and maybe just getting a ladder and standing over the top of it. You can see we have a pretty complex setup over here with the tripod. And this is something you could use if you want to get more advanced or if you have access to a really big tripod like this.
But if not, I recommend just using the ground. So let's go ahead and set up these socks over here. I've set up the camera, so it's right overhead. I'm going to position these socks so they're just overlaid a little bit. I'm just going to pick off some of this dirt here. Just clean up and make them look nice. And then instead of pushing the shutter on the camera, I'm going to go ahead and shoot from the computer.
Let's just see what comes in. You can see it's actually looking pretty good. I'm going to give it a little rotation by doing command bracket twice, and that'll flip it around. The computer doesn't know which way the camera's oriented when it's done in this way, so you have to help it along a little bit.
And overall, you can tell there's like no adjustments going on at all. This is pretty much perfect right out the gate. You can also tell that we have the shadow coming up over the top. If we want to position the shadow in a different place, maybe off the side, we could rotate the set around a little bit and change that. So now you know how to use a DSLR for your shoot. Remember that it's not necessary to have this kind of DSLR camera, though if you have one and have access to one, I really recommend using it.
Now head over to the next lesson and learn how to set up a branded shoot.