[MUSIC PLAYING] The first question I hear from entrepreneurs, who are planning a DIY photography shoot is, what camera should I buy? This question is hard because there is no one camera you should use and the cost is a huge factor. You should first know that because you have an expensive camera, doesn't mean you'll take nice photos. The camera is just a small part of a larger set of decisions involving lighting, exposure, retouching and the items themselves.
The camera doesn't take the photo, the photographer does. I recommend before going out and buying an expensive camera, just try with what you got on hand like your smartphone. I encourage you not to buy a camera because the cost could exceed hiring a professional. And at this stage, when you're first starting out money is tight. Now I'm going to show you how to set up your camera starting with your smartphone.
So let's start by reviewing our smartphone setup. We have this tripod, which we discussed just a second ago. I'm going to start by raising it up. So that it's dead center on the product and imagine the lenses up here in the upper left hand corner. I'm going to try and center it on the product. As I kind of-- when I start the lens is going to be zoomed out completely and when it's close to the product, you may be able to tell that this is going to be a little bit distorted.
So this is because the lens is so small. It causes it to be a wide angle lens. You may have noticed this, if you took a selfie and your nose looks really big. It's the same kind of thing. But this product's nose is going to look really big, if it's really close to the lens. So how we're going to fix that is, we're just going to pull this product back a little bit and the center of this lens is a little bit less distorted. And then to fix it, I'm going to Zoom in.
And so that looks a lot better. I'm going to go ahead and square this up, so it's dead center. I'm really going to think about where I want this in the frame because I'm going to repeat this with my other products. So I want you to really think about, how this looks here. And then I'm going to square it up. So that it's nice and level. Good and that looks OK. I'm also going to rotate this product around until I get it to the angle that I really want it to.
So I want that Shopify sticker to be dead center. One thing I want to talk about is just the quality of the light that's coming in and you can tell that the left hand side is going to be a lot brighter than the right hand side of this product. And that's something that we'll address later on how to control the sliding but at first I just want you to see what happens with this style of lighting and that's normal. That's OK. That's what we should expect to see.
Let's talk about the exposure really quick. We really want this image to look right on the back of the camera, as close as possible. To adjust the exposure, we just push our finger to the screen and move it right and left. You can tell we can make it a little bit darker or a little bit brighter. We don't want to go too bright. So on this one, I'm just going to go just a little bit brighter. I'm going to go and take the photo.
You can tell where I tap, it focuses. Every app is going to be a little bit different as to how it controls the exposure and the focus. And since we're using the Lightroom app today, this is how we're going to do it. So let's go ahead and take a look at what we've got but to start you should know that every image that you photograph will require some sort of editing.
My 15 years of shooting almost never has it come out of the camera looking just perfect. Throughout this course, we're going to use Adobe Lightroom to evaluate these images. There are two versions of Lightroom-- Lightroom CC and Lightroom classic. I recommend using classic for taking and evaluating photos for your business on your desktop computer. It costs about $10 USD a month. It comes with Photoshop and will really make your life a lot easier, if you're shooting lots of photos.
You can test it out with a free trial too. Quite honestly, I don't recommend using Photoshop is a very complex program but Lightroom is really straightforward and most people can use it. Ultimately, you can use Microsoft picture or Mac preview, which come standards with your operating system to do some of the editing, if you don't want to spend any money. Shopify also has a built-in photo editor. And I'll show you the resources on how to access that software in the resources below.
My preference overall for ease of use and making these edits on multiple photos is Lightroom. So let's go ahead and jump into Lightroom. I'll give you a little tour of how everything works and we'll get started. Let's start by talking about these different modules up top. So that's what these are up here. And we're primarily going to use the Library module and the develop module. The library modules, where we keep our images in order kind of like a finder and it's got a lot of folders in there.
And it really helps us stay organized and I'll talk about that in a second. And we also have the develop more module and this is where we actually edit our photos and you'll see here on the right hand side, here's where we'll go to Edit our photos. There's other stuff like the map in the book and the slide show are really not used. Sometimes you might use the print but these other five modules are probably not going to be used. So go ahead jump back into the library.
There's two sides to this. So the left hand side is where you kind of manage all your images here and you can see this is just kind of this catalog section is just every photo ever taken, all the sync photos and it just kind of creates these ones automatically. So you don't need to really worry about that. Down here in the folders section is where we're really going to spend a lot of our time. And you can see that we have a Google Pixel 21.
So that's my phone and you can see all the images that have been sinked in. So this is the latest image that we've taken. I also want you to notice that there's your archive folder. So after I'm done shooting, I can go ahead just drag this folder into that archive. And if you have this archive in a folder like a Dropbox, you can actually share this with the rest of your team and they can be able to see it. On the right hand side, we have a histogram, which we'll talk about in a little bit.
We have a quick develop which we won't edit and some of the metadata and this is kind of some interesting information. It shows the file name. It also shows the copyright status, if that's important to you and the dimensions of the image. Let's go ahead and jump into the develop mode. So here's our image and now we can do, go ahead makes some edits on these images. You can tell that Lightroom kind of comes with some what are called presets and you can actually purchase presets online.
These kind of just give some interesting looks to the photos but we're not going to use that for this. On the right hand side, we're going to spend most of our time and to develop your image and make some edits, you're going to start at the top and work your way down. The first thing we're going to start with is the crop. So if I click this little square button, it's going to allow us to crop the image.
I'm going to want to keep this relatively the same throughout my products. Like you can tell I can go and change the side. If I hold down Shift it changes it evenly. If I don't hold down Shift, I can move it around like this. I'm going to want it to really center my product and press Enter. The next thing you want to do is just go into your basic and this is where we're going to spend most of our time.
So I'm going to click the eyedropper and take a white balance. You can tell not a lot happened. And that's because our auto white balance on our camera was doing a good job and it made everything white. But let's say if the image comes in super orange like that and go ahead and take a white dropper and just neutralize it. Whatever we neutralize will turn it white. The next thing down is the exposure.
I can adjust the exposure to make it brighter or lighter. I'm really looking to make sure, I don't want to blow anything out which means make those whites too bright. And in the contrast, adds a little bit of shadow or darkness to either side. You can tell how that's adjusting that a little bit. And then the highlights will adjust just the whites and the shadows just part of the shadows.
So we can kind of go through these and just kind of wiggle them around and kind of see what the results are and just kind of really dial it in. Once we kind of get the set, we don't want to really make adjustments for future images because this lighting will be the same. And we kind of want to keep it consistent. So with this first image, let's just really kind of get it looking the way that we want and then shoot the rest of our products with this type of lighting adjustment-- only making adjustments to the exposure if we need to.
These other types of areas like the tone curve, HSL, the split toning we're not going to use in this course but just know that they're there and they're kind of fun to play with. Under the detail section, we really want to add a little bit of sharpening to our image. We don't want to go too far. And you can kind of tell what happens if we go too far. It starts to kind of turn into this weird over sharpened thing.
This is noise reduction. It will lower the noise. One thing I want you to notice about these images is when they're in there full screen mode like this it looks OK. But if you Zoom in, you start to see kind of the downfall of shooting on a cell phone. It's very pixelated and you're not going to see this on some of our better quality cameras.
So if you're using a Zoom function on your website, shooting with a cell phone might be an issue for you. So that's our overview of Lightroom. As you can see we just touched upon the basics of how to edit some simple photos. We didn't really do a lot but just know that this software is really robust and there's a lot you can do with it to help edit your photos and organize your photos for your business.
Let's go ahead and jump on set and switch over to the point shoot. So we can see kind of the differences between shooting with a cell phone as opposed to shooting with a point and shoot camera.