Lifestyle Product Photography Tips with BlackRapid

Jay: Hi. This is Jay P. Morgan. Today, on The Slanted Lens, we’re up here
in the snow shooting lifestyle products shots of the new BlackRapid Retro Strap. So let’s get started and see what we can do. It’s gonna be cold, but it’s gonna be fun. Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens, we’re here at Tibble,
Tibble Fork? Tibble Fork, fork and spoon, fork, knife and
spoon reservoir, Tibble Fork Reservoir in Utah. It’s not near as close as Idaho was, but it’s
certainly beautiful up here. Got a little wind going so you might hear
that in the sound, I apologize for that. But today, we’re gonna talk about how to do
a lifestyle product shoot. Lifestyle product is really a great way to
make money in the industry these days because everyone has products, but they wanna see
it in use, they wanna see people using them in, kinda, situations that talk about the
product and give it perspective about what the product is and what it does. So today, we’re doing our shoot with the BlackRapid
Retro Strap. Now, this is a strap that was on the market
at one time and they re-released it. It’s an incredible strap because it’s just
a basic great strap, great padding on the shoulder, place to put your credit card, so,
we’re gonna wanna show the strap and the different features in the way we shoot this. So, we’re gonna talk about the different steps
on how to do a lifestyle product shoot. So let’s just talk about the strap and how
you set it on here. It’s a simple process, got a little carabiner
that clips onto the back and this is…it comes out here. We can take it off. It’s got a safety strap that hooks to the
side. So it’s important that your talent understand
how to use the product. There’s nothing worse than a great product
shot, the lighting is great, the scene is fabulous, but they’re holding the product
wrong or they’re using it incorrectly. Clients gonna see it every time and they’re
gonna reject all of those, so just make sure that you understand how to use the product. Cameras are easy because I use cameras all
the time, but if it’s a product that you’re not used to, make sure you understand the
product, teach your talent so they know how to use it, so when you get out there, the
images are gonna be a lot more useful to you. Let them practice a little bit with them. I always tell people when we’re doing cameras,
“Take pictures,” you know, so you start to get in the routine. You’ll start to understand and it’ll feel
very comfortable to you. It’s like a movie script. I wanna tell a story, which means I need a
great establishing shot, I mean, we’ve got beautiful mountains here, we’re in the snow,
we wanna see that they’re snowshoeing so I wanna do great establishing shots, wider lenses,
so I see all the sitting stuff around them. But then, I’m gonna wanna punch in to the
product to see how the product’s used, to see what they’re doing. I wanna get a sense of their relationship
together, so I’m gonna get medium shots to see them laughing, talking, kissing, doing
all those kinds of things. Do people kiss when they’re out taking pictures? Female voice: Yeah. Jay: I guess these guys do. So there you go. So you wanna start to tell that story about
what’s happening with different lenses. I always say, “Wide, tight, and interesting.” Get a really wide shot as an establishing
shot, go in for tight shots of the product to show how it’s used, show what you do with
it, and then get interesting shots. Lay on the ground, get up high, look for instant
light, you know, make it wide, tight and interesting. That’s really what you need. It’s really important to get comfortable with
your talent. Talk with them, joke with them, ask them where
they’re from, what they do, get a sense about who they are, let them feel that you’re a
genuine person, that they’re genuine people because when you start shooting, you want
them to feel very comfortable doing the things you’re asking to do and make that just a very
smooth kinda process. Now, I love working with couples, they’re
a couple, because it’s automatically chemistry. They’re used to snuggling up with each other,
they’re used to kissing each other, you know. You’re not gonna be in an awkward situation
when you ask people to start to get into each other’s space a little bit, so I love working
with couples in that way. It’s just a very easy way to make that comfortable
and I think the shoot’s a lot more successful. So my go-to lens when I shoot any kind of
product lifestyle thing, any kind of lifestyle is a 7200-millimeter lens and there’s a couple
of reasons. It’s a 2.8 lens, which means I would go to
2.8 or maybe F/4, which is what I’ve been shooting a lot on it today is F/4. I’m not stopped down all the way, so it’s
slightly sharper, but I can still get nice bokeh and nice stuff out of focus in the background. I want the background out of focus when doing
those tighter images. When I go to 70 millimeters, I get a little
sense, a better sense of the scene. I love the 70 to 200. It’s a great walk around shoot lens. I shoot it on burst, high-speed burst, because
I’m hand-holding it and I would take a breath and shoot and I just want to, as I shoot,
have two or three or four of the same shot in case one’s slightly out of focus. I generally get something that bursts is gonna
be in focus. So I’m gonna have eight and ten shots of the
same thing, but one of them is gonna be in focus because I’m hand holding a 7200 millimeter
lens. A monopod is not a bad idea for doing this,
just working on a monopod, something with a foot pedal on it so you can raise it up
and down, not a bad way to work at all, but the 7200’s great. I’ll also carry a 2470 if I want just really
great, wide shots and this is a great place to do it in. So I’ll go to a 2470. So those are my two lenses, but my 7200’s
where I usually start. So if I’m not working in a situation like
this where I’m gonna be moving around and its rough terrain, then I use a backpack. I got my Vanguard backpack here. I’ll put my batteries cards and extra lenses
in that so I can just move and shoot. So, I use my backpack when I’m out on location,
but if I’m in LA, I’m gonna walk around the street, I pull a little wagon, throw all my
stuff in that wagon, and we just run a gun, and shoot that way, just makes it easy to
work out of the wagon, to have things there to work out of. So you’ve gotta dress, you can get down on
the ground so you can get those low angle shots, that wide, tight and interesting. It’s really important to be able to get on
the ground. I can’t tell you how many times I rolled around
on the concrete on the road in Los Angeles, have no idea what’s on that road although
I kinda do have an idea, but dressing it down. So, like, right now, I can’t see the mountain
back there behind it like I want to. The only way I’m gonna get that mountain to
play is if I get myself onto the ground, and shoot from right here, and then it’s perfect. No, actually, it’s beautiful. Okay, let’s have you guys looking with your
cameras now off to the side. Just like that. Yeah, I’m looking at you. There you go, that’s perfect. Looking over, Evan. That’s excellent. So what I’ve got going on here is something
i’d like to pick up while I’m doing this kind of product lifestyle shoot, is I’ve got them
isolated behind the white mountain here but I’m gonna shoot a broad shot that gives me
all of this blue sky above it. Why do I do that? Because, it gives you a great place to run
type. I like to give you those wide shots to give
them place where type and placement or you can stick other images in there, they should
become epic shots. You see the two of them with a product in
the corner but you see all this blue space. So I’m gonna shoot some of those right now. So, in this situation, these wider shots give
us a great context. We see them in context of what they’re doing,
the event that they’re participating in, they’re snowshoeing in the mountains, we see all that
in those wide shots. So those wide shots really give us, kind of,
context of what’s going on. You don’t wanna to do too many of those because
the product is so small we’re not gonna be able to see very much of it, but you need
some of those so it can give you a sense. If you put two or three of these on a page,
you don’t want that wide epic shot, the tight shot, just like talking about it before, wide,
tight and interesting. We’re done shooting around and we’re ready
to wrap this thing up. We’ve shot all around the reservoir up here
on the mountain. What I’ve learned about this process? I’ve learned that you cannot shoot enough. I’ve gotta shoot those wide, tight and interesting. You gotta make sure you’re very comfortable
with your talent. You’re gonna make sure you get tight shots
of the product so you see that product and use and epic shots, and shots with backgrounds,
they can use for type. All those things are gonna come together. This is a great product here from BlackRapid,
a strap that just came back out on the market. You’re gonna wanna check it out because it’s
a strap that I think you’ll enjoy using. It’ll help you do your photography. So keep those cameras rolling and keep on
clicking. I knew that was coming. I’m looking back there, I’m trying to do my
dialogue, and Jillian’s making a snowball. That’s what she’s doing. She’s making a snowball. My camera is getting wet. Right on my camera? No. All right. So here we go. Male voice: …Thousands of dollars of equipment. Jay: Exactly. All right, here we go. One thing, here we go. So keep those cameras rolling, keep on clicking. Were you rolling? [00:07:44]
[music] [00:08:00] What is that? All I see is Jillian’s hand going like this. I’m gonna wish you want me to move over and
now I get it. Now, I got it. I’ve learned that you can get too comfortable
with your talent.

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