Our Book Cover Shoot Equipment

Book Cover Shoot Equipment Besotted Blog.com

I want to preface this by saying this is what we used for our shoot, this is not standard, although I do believe a good wide angle lens would probably be seen on most commercial shoots. Speaking of commercial shoots, I’ve been on several and all of them have been done in darkened cave like studio’s with artificial light, even the ‘windows’ were lit up by lights. Since this was a smaller production we were able to use natural (window) light, but I have a hunch it may have been a preference all around.

The most asked question about our shoot was the equipment used, and even though in our photo classes we stress it’s not the equipment that makes the photographer or photograph I will make the addendum that you may need some specialized equipment for a commercial shoot so you can achieve the shot that both you and your client envision.

Below you’ll find the equipment used for the book cover shoot, some of these items I would recommend for your blog/product shooting please feel free to ask us any questions!

//OUR BOOK SHOOT EQUIPMENT//

A full frame sensor camera- If you are shooting commercially you will want to be using a full frame camera.* Most of our consumer cameras are crop sensor not full frame, the one that I shoot with is cropped, but I wish it was full frame! I found this blog post helpful in explaining the difference.

Extra battery

A wide angle lens-Both Michelle and I prefer prime lenses to zooms. She used her trusty nifty fifty and rented a 24 mm.  She says she wants a 24mm now, I don’t blame her.

A sturdy tripod with a pistol grip.-Michelle found this steal of a tripod. She bought hers (the same one) for twice the price, it’s on sale right now, so if you are in the market for a tripod I would urge you not to wait!

A side arm. If you don’t know about this and you are shooting food or product shots overhead this will be a game changer!  It allows your camera to be positioned parallel to what you are shooting below it.  No more dangerously having your tripod at the edge of your board in precarious positions!  We like the Manfrotto (very sturdy).

Sandbag-A sandbag will help with balance when using the aforementioned side arm.

Reflectors-We had some handheld reflectors and at Aran’s studio we were able to use an extra large one with a stand (I want one so badly now). Here’s a similar one.

Laptop for tethered shooting.

Tether cable- I’m actually going to get one so I can start shooting tethered for my product photography. It makes looking at your camera’s LCD screen for shooting seem like child play. I need this!

Lightroom 5, for shooting tethered. All this tether talk, now you may want to know what the heck I’m talking about?  Michelle promised a quick tute on it but basically it’s shooting and having the images pop up on your laptop screen in Lightroom. It helps to really be able to see the details that you may have missed if you were looking solely at your LCD screen.

Some things we didn’t have but would have been useful:

Photo assistant-We all took turns holding the small reflector but it would have been nice to delegate the task to an intern!

As you can see we stayed true to form and maintained a less is more philosophy. Michelle’s shooting was sublime (I have always been a fan of how she captures light), Sanae is pretty much a creative genius her props were insane and we were both humbled by her humbleness. You of course can take any of this info and translate it into any of your future shoots, good luck!

*For those starting out you can always rent a full frame camera for your shoots. My suggestion is to always practice with any equipment you rent and aren’t familiar with prior to shooting for your client.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a baby girl. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

The Prepping of a book cover shoot::Part I

Book Cover Prep Besotted Blog

Before I start this post, I do want to do what I never like seeing other bloggers do and apologize for my absence.  I am sorry, I want to be here more than anything and I am working on trying to figure out the next phase of this here site and how I can come back on a more frequent basis.  I am not doing great on the work/mom  balance (or juggle) and trying to figure out how to do that; obviously it’s possible I see others doing it and flourishing (and it kind of makes me feel super inept) but I will persevere and hopefully I can share soon what worked for me and my chronically inept mommy self! And now back to the post…

On Instagram last week I made a mention that we (Michelle and myself) were in the process of prepping for a book cover shoot!  The amazingly talented Sanae Ishida (pron. sun-eye) is working on her second book this year (a very unique take on a sewing book) and asked Michelle and I to help out with the book cover shoot. We were so honored to be chosen for this incredible opportunity (Sanae is both a talented photographer and stylist in her own right, so it’s an extra honor and a whole lot of extra pressure!)  Michelle and I are always fascinated by the creative process and the challenge of figuring things out and this has definitely been a learning curve. There isn’t exactly a book or resource on how to shoot a book cover so we thought we would show you our process and behind the scenes. We shoot this week, a two day shoot, the second day at Aran of Cannelle et Vanille‘s famed studio! [Read more...]

VSCOCAM TUTORIAL | DARK & DRAMATIC

VSCOCAM tutorial besottedblog.com

Hello Besotted beauties! I love the look of black backgrounds. They can be rich & theatrical, and they allow subjects to shine without any distractions. Lately, I’ve been using the VSCO Cam app on my iPhone for test shots (and for Instagram) before I haul out the dslr & tripod. I am often floored by the results, sometimes I even prefer the phone shot! Here’s my method in case you’d like to give it a try. Yes, you really can get these results too.
1// Download the VSCO Cam app.
2 // Set the stage. My set-up : Window to the right of my subject*, black stretch velvet fabric draped over a rigged up art canvas and small table. Style your subject so you are ready to take your shot.
Dark and Dramatic Phone Photos Besotted Blog
3//  Open VSCO Cam & bring up the camera. Tap the screen with 2 fingers in order to access the separate focus & exposure buttons. Exposure control is your secret weapon!
Dark Dramatic Phone Photos Besotted Blog
4//  Set your focus point, then move the exposure button to a brighter area. The app will think “hey, that’s too bright,” and cause it to darken the rest of the scene, making for deeper shadows and blacker blacks. Pull back to find that bright area if you need to, just plan on cropping out the clutter in your editing process.
5// Crop, Edit, Voila! Rich, dark & dramatic -all right from your phone.
We are always curious to see your results. If you put this tutorial to good use, share it on Instagram, with #bbdarkdramatic so we can take a peek!
*Next time I’ll share how to get this kind of glow!
Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

THE GLOW

the glow photo by kelly stuart besotted blog

I have been obsessed, I mean completely obsessed with The Glow and their photographs. If you do not know of this magical site you must pay them a visit, it’s inspired by motherhood, but the chicest most inspiring/successful mothers in town. In other words, the complete opposite of the type of mom I currently am (slovenly, tired, frantic and decidedly unchic). For some reason instead of feeling pangs of supreme jealously it has given me hope that I could one day join the ranks of society that can hold a conversation, eat sitting at a table, shower longer than 30 seconds and a whole host of other things that I am hoping to one day to accomplish again. And of course there’s those photographs-le sigh.

I recently did a shoot with a local photographer (my mother’s day gift) and all I wanted was to try to recreate one of these images from the site. Just one is all I wanted, I think every mom should have at least one photo that is so breathtakingly+ heartbreakingly beautiful that captures the essence of this ephemeral time in her life, don’t you?  We did not accomplish it, but being the tinkering (and obsessed) kind I have been trying to figure it out because I want a photo like this darn it! And unless I become wildly successful, creative and beautiful in the next month (E. is growing so fast!) I won’t be having Ms. Stuart photographing me anytime soon.

Once you have devoured the site, you can now purchase their new book release.  I haven’t gotten my copy in yet, but I am sure the images will be every bit as inspiring. One of my favorite shoots/interviews on the site is the co-founder Violet Gaynor and her daughter Plum (darling names, right?) I am hoping they show more of them in the book.

What else is new in my little world? Not a whole lot, I still haven’t gotten my ‘sea legs’ on this whole mama + work thing.  I did successfully finish a design project, which took me about 2 weeks of stolen 10-15 minutes here there and there (not the most optimal way to work but I did it and the client was happy!  I am still working at my little shop, lot’s of custom stamps for small businesses, always makes me happy. E. is cutting teeth and her canine’s are coming in before her front teeth, she is going to look like a hill billy vampire (no offense to hill billies or vampires). Michelle is going to grace us with her talent again and has an amazing tutorial you’ll have to check out. We are still working frantically behind the scene to bring this site back up, I’d love to be here on a less sporadic basis (oh, how I miss you all so very much!) and of course introduce my new partner on the site (I bet you can guess, but she does need a proper introduction…). So until next time my friends!

CLICKIN’ MOMS

photo by caroline jensen

I feel like I mention this at least once a year, I am a broken record when it comes to this recommendation, but I think it’s such an amazing resource with such a nominal investment that it warrants my yakking on about it.  The resource is for photo enthusiasts, it’s a forum that has grown into a huge online community of both amateur and professional photographers and even offers some of the best classes in the industry, it’s called Clickin’ Moms–cringe.  I know, I know the name is to be desired, it doesn’t translate what high quality is available to you.  I have belonged to the forum for nearly six years so way before I became a mother myself, so no kiddies required!  If you have any interest in photography it’s worth taking a peek.  I am mentioning again today because I saw that they were offering a free 30 day trial, which I think would give you plenty of time to get a feel of what Clickin’ Moms has to offer.  Even if you don’t join the forum, you can still get a ton of generously ladled out info at their blog.  They are also hosting what looks to me to be an awesome conference called Click Away, oh how I want to attend, it looks like good times!  Sue Bryce, one of my fave photographers is going to be there.  I recently took one of their mini classes called ‘breakouts’ (I know, another unfortunate name, sorry friends!) for creating beautiful black & white images.  I love b & w’s but I always find it hard to know what type of light will translate well into a b&w conversion, after taking the class (on line mind you, at 3 a.m.) I feel like I have a little more of a feel for what I need to do to create a more impactful b&w image.

The photo above is from one of their classes Shooting 304 : The Art of Observation, taught by Caroline Jensen. I am freakin’ in love with this image (beautiful tones), yes, I now totally want to take this class too!  I think you will find there are a ton of classes you will want to take, but just join the forum, it’s inexpensive, lurk, there’s tons of info that’s available and people are willing to answer questions or point you in the direction where you can find answers. It’s free for 30 days so that’s even less of an investment, I love this forum so much I just subscribe automatically now, I don’t want to miss a thing.  I hope you check it out and find it somewhat helpful to you in your photography journey!

photo by caroline jensen

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a sweet baby girl! Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Blog by Hello Monday Creative