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.