I came to the attention of Iphonegrapher and dilettante extraordinaire one Ashley Woodson Bailey via my partner in crime Michelle P., whom happened to hear about her via my very fave Ginny Branch (if you don’t know Ginny you need to get to know her stat). Of course I was bowled over by Ashley’s beautiful imagery all captured on her Iphone, blown up to inconceivable sizes and just in your face statement pieces. My mouth was a little agape as I went through image after image and wished I had the foresight to have done something so incredible as Ms. Woodson Bailey, but alas I have still not found my photography ‘niche’, one day…But the photo’s aside, they are impressive and all but nothing and I mean nothing, could have prepared me for her inspired (and sometimes tragic) back story, how she got to this fantastic place in her career and life. [Read more…]
Before you start thinking that as the photographer for the cover shoot, I got to boss people around for 2 days straight, you should know that in reality, every client shoot is truly a collaboration. In addition to myself, Tristan, and Sanae, we had Sanae’s Editor, and the Art Director on the team. Thankfully, they were absolutely delightful to work with, and we all shared the same goal for the shoot (creating a cover that was warm, welcoming, and true to Sanae).
We thought you might be curious about the nuts and bolts of the image workflow while collaborating on set. Tethering the camera to a laptop was an important first step. It is far more practical to have your images pop up on a laptop screen for the group to analyze than to make everyone huddle over the tiny LCD screen on the back of your camera. Even when you are shooting solo, it’s much easier to scrutinize an image on a larger screen, and all it takes is Lightroom and a tethering cord, so why not?
Here’s how to tether through Lightroom in 5 easy steps:
1. Plug in the tethering cord to your camera & laptop.
Note: a tethering cord is just a longer version of the cord provided with your camera to upload images to your computer. I have a 15’ cord which is plenty of length for my needs, but you can get them up to 65’ long!
2. Turn on your camera. (I told you the steps were easy.)
3. In Lightroom select: File > Tethered Capture > Start Tethered Capture
4. The Tethered Capture Settings window will pop up. Here you will name the session, decide how you’d like the files named, and choose a destination folder for your images. I recommend creating a project specific folder for your image destination to keep things tidy.
5. Once Lightroom detects your camera, your camera model and settings will display on a small tool bar. This bar also has a shutter release button. Meaning, if your camera is set up on a tripod or stable surface, you can snap a photo right from your laptop!
If you have any trouble, make sure the version of Lightroom you are using supports your camera model. I had to upgrade to Lightroom 5 to get support for mine.
Once we composed and captured a promising image, I took a quick screenshot of the image in Lightroom, then dragged the screenshot into our group project folder in Dropbox. This gave the Art Director instant access to the photo so she could pull it into Photoshop and mock up a cover – complete with title, subtitle, and author’s name. As you can imagine, instant feedback on what was or wasn’t working, brought tremendous value! We were able to make adjustments on the fly, and do everything we could to end up with the best possible cover image for Sanae.
On a personal note, I feel so honored to be a part of this project. It’s a joy to meet and work with people who not only have a passion for what they do, but can make a hard day of work fly by because they are fun to be around too. Also, shooting in Aran’s studio was a photographer’s dream, bright white with perfect northern light… do you think she’ll notice if I move in?
Lightroom Tethering Video Tutorial
Equipment Used for the Shoot
Photos above shot using VSCOCAM on an iphone 5
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.
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.
Laptop for tethered shooting.
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.
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.
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…]