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Setting Up a Bedroom Set and Photographing Pillows

Lesson 26 from: Craft Photography Fundamentals

Candice Stringham

Setting Up a Bedroom Set and Photographing Pillows

Lesson 26 from: Craft Photography Fundamentals

Candice Stringham

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Lesson Info

26. Setting Up a Bedroom Set and Photographing Pillows


Class Trailer

Session 1


Introduction to Craft Photography Fundamentals


What Your Visuals Say About Your Brand


How to Become a Photographic Author


How to Use Natural Light for Your Product Photography


Setting Up Your Photo: The Basic Rules


Becoming the Viewer to Take Better Photos


Shooting 3 Setups: Creating the Backstory with Images


Lesson Info

Setting Up a Bedroom Set and Photographing Pillows

So this is, for those of you who are shooting something a little bit larger, maybe fabric, and we're gonna build a whole kid's bedroom right now. So, we're also gonna see if it works. Because, I haven't done this set before. These other ones I'm more familiar with. And, my husband always laughs, because I have these huge ideas that I was like, I have this brilliant idea. And then, I spend tons of time on it, and it's not as brilliant as I thought. And that's okay, because now I know it doesn't work, and I won't do it next time. So, I feel like I actually learn a lot more from my mistakes, than I do when something works perfectly the first time. Like these first two shots, I'm like, wow, I'm really good today, right? But, it's good to see the mistakes because then you know how to fix it. So, we are gonna start with a boy's room. And, we are photographing, can you hand me that? Yes. This guy. I love him. So, very applicable. This is Gingabear, is her company. And Stacy is a good friend t...

hat I've met, and I just love her work. Her animal illustrations are so amazing, and she just recently got a line with Land of Nod. So she was someone who was selling stuff on Etsy, on her own shop, and was noticed by a major retailer, and has really grown her business, but she still keeps her own shop, which I love. So, we are photographing some of her pillows today. So we're gonna start out with just a white foam core board to be the base. There's no real reason for that. It's just, I don't want the dark to have the possibility of showing through on this. I'm gonna move my camera back. And we're just gonna create a fake bed. Because what I hear from a lot of people is, well I don't have a kid's room, and I'm selling kid's items, so I'm just gonna shoot it on white, and it's fine. But you can create that in a small amount of space, and photograph on that, and put it away when you're ready to put it away. So we're gonna start with some bedding. Let's, we want the top towards you. (laughs) It's big. It is big. But, I wanted that fluffy quality that you would have from a bed, so that's why I'm using this. So, the top on your, we want the top edge right here. So I'm gonna pull it way towards me. Yeah. Perfect, just like that. Okay. And then I am pulling the plaid from yesterday, or from our earlier lesson, that we used as a place mat. But I feel like it'd be super cute with the fox. And, I don't want it all the way, I just want it in here. And I really, really love this fabric as well. So this is actually, let's do this the other way around. This is actually what I want to look like is the bed spread. Okay. Will you pull that side a little bit? And then I'm gonna have this come in like it's a throw, just to add some extra texture and dimension. And then we're gonna put in, so the pillows, they have pink on them, huh? We may have, well one's ... Okay, let's use the white. Alright. So, we would normally put a white pillowcase on this. Maybe we'll even tuck it in like this, so you can't tell. And we're gonna add this guy in. And then, we're gonna add a false wall, which we probably need to scoot this forward. Right in here. No, we'll fill. Are there? Yeah, over here. Ah, they're behind you. Okay, so we're using the frogs again guys. These guys are your best friends. Might want to put one in the middle, yeah. Yep. And, we're just using black foam core board this time, to be our wall. Okay. And, now I'm gonna show you a trick that I do all the time, when I want something to look like it's a real wall. I would have, I don't know. You might have to stand on the step stool. Can you come here for a second? Her hold this, or someone hold this right in. (laughter) We're a little crooked. Is it straight? Right there, okay. And, I could add in a clock. I could add in a hat. I could add in a poster. I could add in anything I want back there. We're gonna fix that line in a minute. But now, look at that. We've got a cute adorable kid's room in just a few minutes. And I'm gonna get up much higher for this. You can put down the picture for a minute. Just so you don't hurt your arms. Until we take it. Now you guys know how my husband feels about life. (laughter) Okay. And ... This guy is right now getting blocked by this. So, I don't even know if I'm really gonna want this. So let's ... You guys know how I love stuff coming out of the corners. So let's just try that. And see how that looks. And then we will add the frame in once we get it all ready. Pretty cute, right? I'm liking it. I mean, I would want a pillow on the pillowcase. That's my, but that's my fault. So, alright. I'm gonna pull back a little bit more, because I want a little bit more of it. Do you want the frame in right now? Yeah, let's grab the frame, and drop that in. And, keep going, keep going. Go down? Yeah. Keep going. Yep, right in there. Candace, can you talk a little bit about the different elements of composition that you've taught us earlier in this class, that you're looking at right now? What are you considering? Okay, so this is for me, this is about balance, right? So where I've placed the fox, and where the picture is, they're balancing each other out. So, even though he's on the side, we have the other picture on the opposite side, right? He's in the bottom right. The picture is in the top left. I might, I would probably change out the print as well, so it was actually something, and not just white mat. But, in fact, I know. Let's not do the frame. We're gonna pull from a different set. And this is real life, guys. This is how I really work. I try something, I don't like it. And then it's problem solving. What's gonna work? What's gonna fix this? And, I just so happen to have a print from Paper Bandit Press. So I would then ... I don't even feel like maybe it needs a frame. It's gonna save your arms. Gonna have you take that. And I actually love what that says. I actually feel like it fits the set really, really well. And I didn't even do that on purpose. Okay. And, I'm gonna get super close to you guys. We're gonna be besties for a minute. Okay, let's try that. And see what that looks like. What do you think? Okay, so the pillow, the back pillow to me is feeling like a big block of white right now. So I don't know that I'm loving that so much, so I would actually just maybe change it a little bit. So it's not kind of taking up as much real estate within the image. And, we may change it up in a second. Let's see. We may just drop this fabric over it, like it is the pillowcase, and then use the plaid as the bed spread, but let's try this. Definitely better. Yeah. So, I would continue playing with it, until I made sure that I really got what I wanted. But I would probably use a different pillowcase. This is an option too, which I've done all the time. And we're just wrapping it. So now I have a pillowcase. And, then I would maybe bring this in, across the bottom. I really just, I wanna lay down on it. (laughter) Break it. Fall all the way through. Okay. I, yeah. Okay. It's way better. Right? Yeah. So, the fox still totally stands out against that starry fabric. We've brought in elements that are on it, in the black. We've added in the print, which was super cute but not distracting. It's slightly out of focus back there. It definitely lets us know that this is like a real bedroom. This is some little boy's room that really loves this pillow, and his mom makes his bed for him. You know. And I kind of love that. I think this is looking really nice. And, I'm using an aperture of four, so you can see that the foreground and the plaid is blurring out slightly. Because I don't want that to be the focus. I want the fox to be the focus. I might even open up just a little bit more. So let's try doing it at 2.8, and just see what that does. Yeah, so we're just blurring it out. I might even, let's try one more closer, and then I think we're good, and we'll try our next set. I can already tell you what's gonna bug me about this one. He's too close to the end. So I wanna move in just slightly. Just an inch or two, is gonna make a difference. Yep. Alright. So, I like it. I think we're good. So, this will actually be a really quick switch, because we're just going from a boy's room to a girl's room. And so we can leave the bedding, the basic bedding here. And, we can just add in the bedding for a little girl. So, we're putting a pillowcase on the pillow, and we are adding some really adorable sheets. Again, over this ... Find the end of it. I think I want the arrows pointing towards the item. So that's a little detail, but that's still something that I think about. If there's gonna be arrows pointing somewhere, then I want it going to the object that I am photographing. And, this is one that I don't know about yet. We're gonna see if this works. Because I picked a pattern for the background that is very busy. But I liked it, I felt like it was super trendy, and it was something that would fit with her market of women who would be buying this for their daughters, and so I decided that we would risk it and try. So we're gonna put it up. Would it go this way? Yes, yeah. We're gonna put it up, and see what it looks like with the product. And if it takes away, then we will take it away. I think with this forward just a little bit ... This, yeah. There you go. Yep. So, I am just kind of adjusting. Making sure there's not a lot of wrinkles. Making sure everything is smooth. Okay, so it's kind of a crazy pattern, but I also really love it. And I feel like it is something that you would see on a little girl's headboard, or on the wall in a little girl's room. Okay. So we're gonna fluff up the pillow. But notice then with the bedding, we're going all with the same pattern. Because if I'm gonna, and notice again, that we have a little pattern and a large pattern. I'm not gonna add in two of the same scale. Now this item also is one solid color. This is Gingabear again. Her sheep pillows. And, the reason I picked this is, I kind of liked, it felt like mountains to me. Like the Alps, like where you would see a sheep. So I really liked that. And then it has this pale pink that's accented in the product. But the product itself is much darker and bolder, so I knew it would still stand out against these lighter tones. So let's photograph it and just see if it's crazy or not. Um, it doesn't bother me. To me it's not taking away from the product, but I'm not loving the lighting. That's what I'm not loving about this. So, I'm gonna change that. Now, in the little boy's room, it was a little bit darker and moodier, and it was okay to have the contrast of the shadows. In a little girl's room, I want it to be light and bright and airy, so I don't want those deep shadows. Now another thing is, again, the pillow, it just feels like it's taking up so much space. So, what I would probably do in this case, is actually make it seem like we're more towards the edge of the bed, so that I am just getting a little bit of this pillow, and not the whole thing. We don't want to take up all the real estate within the image. And then, we're gonna see how ambidextrous Kate is. Gonna put that right in there. There we go, yes. Okay. I'm gonna make sure all those lines are right. And let's try that. It's already so much better, you guys. Okay. Oh yeah. See. Yeah. I like that. I don't know that I would change that much. I might get in just a tiny bit closer. And I might come from just a little bit more above. Yeah, let's try that. Yep. So there we go. That is what I would do. I really don't think I would change much about it. I don't even feel like I need to get in super close. I might have a second shot just on straight white, so people can make their own imagination work with how they would use it. I just darkened that up a little bit for this other shot. And that is how I would do it. And, what did we spend on that? But, how expensive does that look? Right? It looks like a whole, really, a designer created bedroom for a child. But I did it probably with $10. So, you know? It's possible. It's totally doable.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Creating Visuals For Your Brand Assignment
Slide Presentation for Lessons Part 1
Slide Presentation for Lessons Part 2
Prop List

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This class taught by Candice was amazing. She teaches in such a step-by-step, easy to understand pace. She shares so much of her own tips and tricks she uses to create beautiful images without spending a fortune or having all kinds of expensive equipment. Having the DSLR lessons included was really great for anyone who wants to do more than the camera phones are capable of. Learning the basics of how to use a DSLR is confusing for most people, but Candice broke it down in the simplest way possible. Social media is all about imagery, so if you want to put out the most beautiful eye-catching photos, then you want to learn how to use more than the camera phone. I don't have a business where I need to take photos of things I sell and I still enjoyed her class so much. As a photographer, I am going to use her ideas and insight when I photograph things for fun. There is so much to gain from this class. I would highly recommend taking her class. She is a wealth of great ideas and information and has that friendly personality of someone you'd want to sit and have coffee with.


A wonderful class to get you going with craft/product photography. Candice provides (and shows) fantastic examples and it's really fun to watch her work through a shoot, moving items, etc. to create the final image. She also covers some basic photography tips which is very helpful. Great class! I definitely recommend to others!

Melinda Malamoco

I loved this class! Candice is so personable, clear and relatable. I would want to hang out with her and be creative! I have been taking pictures for YEARS, and for my Etsy store for over two years, and I still learned a lot in her class. The lessons are set up in a way that you can follow, take what you want and don't worry about what you don't need. I will say that I got a TON of ideas for how to better display my brand, what my personal style is and how to be consistent with it. I so recommend this class for anyone who has small business or just wants to be able to take better pictures of their products. Okay, off to build a prop kit!

Student Work