If you’re a photographer that’s new to TikTok and you have no idea what to post, then this is the article for you! I’ve been using and learning TikTok for a few months now, and I wanted to share with you some of the ideas I’ve tried on TikTok as a photographer! I compiled six ideas that you can use to get started on TikTok today!
#1: A Day In The Life
People want to see what your life as a photographer is like, whether that’s heading to a photoshoot, working on some edits, or even something wild like photographing a music festival. Here’s the TikTok I made about one of my favorite days ever, when I got to photograph Post Malone at VooDoo Fest in New Orleans.
#2: Before-After Photos
These can be so much fun because you get to see the process from the original unedited photo to the final beautiful image! You can also show off your Photoshop skills with a Before/After photo. Here’s one I made, and I combined it with the Wipe It Down challenge to try to widen my audience.
#3: Your Photography Glow Up
You know those terrible photos you took five years ago? Pull those out, because a new trend on TikTok is to show your photography glow up. Put the photos in order of oldest to newest, so people can see how much you’ve improved. It actually took me a few hours to go into the archives and pull out these old photos, but I love how it turned out.
#4: Behind the Scenes of a Photoshoot
This can be an on-location shoot, or even a product shoot at home. People love to see how photoshoots happen in real time. Here’s one I did of a donut photoshoot in my house. Make sure you end the video with the final images so people can see the end result.
#5: An Editing Video
As cool as photoshoots are, editing videos are just as cool! Show people the process you go through on Lightroom or Photoshop. You’d be surprised how impressed people can be by some simple spot removing and color corrections. Here’s a pretty extravagant Photoshop session I did for a TikTok. It took a few hours, but simpler edits work fine too!
#6: Photography Tips
This one is gold on TikTok. Any advice or tips you have to share as a photographer is really valuable. People want to know how to pose better, how to get great shots with their iPhone, outfits that work great for photoshoots, and much more related to photography. Here’s one I made called 5 Prompts to Pose Couples.
Bonus: Whatever is Trending Right Now, But with a Photography Take
This one works great to get new audiences to see you. Go on the trending page and see what people are making videos about (or what songs they’re using) and try to make one, but with a photography spin. Here’s an example of one I did when it was trending.
And most importantly, have fun! This is a totally new way to share your art, so go try making some TikToks! Make sure to tag me if you do use any of these ideas. I’m @gdeimz on social media, and I can’t wait to see your TikToks!!
GET EXCITED! If you know me, you know that pink is kind of my thing. So I thought it would be fun to take one of my favorite pink presets and do a giveaway!
This preset rocks. For the past few years I’ve been perfecting the perfect shade of just-enough-pink and warm tones which makes a fabulous preset for a white or pink backdrop. Here are some of my favorite photos with my pink preset!
To enter, simply follow me on Instagram and comment on this post. I’ll be selecting 3 people to receive the free preset, and I can’t wait to see all the awesome images you create with it!
Good luck to everyone, and may all your photos be pink and wonderful!
I’ve been brainstorming ways I can use my platform and art to be part of the positive change in the world and #amplifymelanatedvoices and I thought a good start would be sharing stories from friends and colleagues who are passionate about the Black Lives Matter movement and who are using their voice to create change. All June, I posted portraits of people that I had photographed over the years, and asked them to share their thoughts, ideas, and opinions on the state of the world right now and where we could go moving forward.
There is no wrong way to feel towards injustice, just make sure to take action to stop it’s perpetuation.
Grateful to see people using their unique voice, privileges and assets to support Black Lives Matter right now.
It is also important to sustain involvement; this is done through self-educating on the oppression of Black people through history into our present; staying updated and involved in the movement; voting; taking care of your wellbeing and more.
When the protesting in St. Louis first happened, it felt very reminiscent of what is now a normal feeling for me. Black people dying being blasted on the news isn’t something I’m not familiar with. So when it happened it was hard to see that, and I do think there is change happening, but it comes with a lot of hurt that we’re still in this place. Why do we have to fight for you to recognize that this is not right? It hurts seeing somebody being lynched on the TV screen, but it does come with hope.
I love seeing the protests because there is even more unity than with Ferguson. All 50 states have protests. And change is coming. Empathy, love and support are great, but we’re now at a place where we need action by voting people into office, not just with major positions but even municipal laws that effect us on our day to day. Whether it’s legislation around what police can and cannot do, and laws around bystanders.
We need you to utilize your white privilege and power to help create change. When we have a country that’s been built to make sure that people of color stay at the level they’re at, it’s about recognizing that the institution is flawed. I was talking to someone that said, “Well, not all cops are bad.” And you’re right. Not all cops are bad. But it’s not about that, it’s about the institution and what’s in place with laws, what is being told from generation to generation. Be open to conversation and being wrong, and let’s help create the dialogue of change.
I am constantly trying to re-evaluate myself. I believe that every year or experience brings us more maturity and we should give ourselves room to grow; it is very important that we get to know ourselves and go beyond our obstacles and be flexible to explore, revisit our values and vision but most importantly, to believe in ourselves.
As I write today I am half overwhelmed and half hopeful. I sit at the intersection of black womanhood and christianity. While those are only three of my identifying factors those are the ones at the forefront. Racial Inequality and inequity are not new to me. I grew up in a multicultural neighborhood and I have generally been surrounded by people of other races who have contributed to the climate both knowingly and unknowingly. I have sat in predominately white evangelical spaces where I heard the mocking of black death and the questioning of the topics importance in a christian setting. I have felt unsafe and unheard. I have also felt supported and loved. What we’re experiencing right now is not new to any black person in this country. What we’re experiencing right now is a white, white presenting, and non black poc awakening.
I am overwhelmed because as I get older and closer to potentially having a family of my own I get more worried about whether or not I will live to see that come to fruition. I get more worried about what will happen to my unborn children. I live and will live with this for the rest of my life. I am hopeful because I also see christians starting to rise up and tackle this reality. The ones who used to deny or ignore it. I am hopeful because Christ is coming back and there will be a time when we can exist in peace.
What’s really hard is that we’re dealing with this awakening while also going through a pandemic. My anxiety has prohibited me from being able to fully embrace the other parts of me. The other identities. The musician, the artist, the friend, etc. It’s frustrating. I see others accomplishing things and I feel pressure to do the same. But some days I can’t get out of bed. I am praying for peace, for a cure, for the freedom and privilege to live like my white brothers and sisters can. To not have to prove why my life or any one else matters. However, I am fully aware that this period of time is only the beginning of the fight.
In times of uncertainty we can’t help but ask ourselves what will be the outcome, what’s next and if this situation will pass. The fear of the unknown can cripple us.
To avoid this, I solely focus on what I can control. I’m also motivated to help others reach their full potential.
Recently, empathy has inspired me to encourage others to take action into gaining financial success. I am passionate about challenging others mentally so they can expand their horizons.
Honest relationship is at the forefront of lasting and meaningful change. That’s why it’s at the forefront of Templo’s mission. There’s a saying that goes, “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. That human connection makes all the difference and it will prove to be the game changer in teaching others.
If we focus on what we can control during uncertain times, we can unlock the necessary tools to enrich our legacies. Financial empowerment can secure our future, our families’ future and our communities, as well. Yes, the future is in our hands, and it first starts with challenging ourselves mentally even in uncertain times. @Templo_Education 🙂
Someone who I love told me yesterday that “we can’t solve this problem for them.”
“We” = white people. “Them” = black people.
Guess what? This is PRECISELY our problem to solve, and precisely the time to do it (as fucking long overdue as it might be). We do this by first solving OURSELVES.
By examining our own personal bias and privilege. By educating ourselves. By continuing to have difficult conversations with people who look like us but think differently.
Listen and learn. And then take ACTION.
I am committed to taking action by
– amplifying the black voices around me.
– sharing resources with and hiring BIPOC photographers. – learning more about the oppressive and racist history of our country and speaking out to defund the police.
– continuing to recognize my privilege as a white, middle-class woman who has absolutely benefitted from the color of my skin to, at the very least, be able to exist in this country without constantly fearing for my life.
Yes, this time is difficult, heavy and exhausting. But it’s about time we get exhausted over this work. Our black friends have been doing it for centuries.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.. Endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights..
Among those are LIFE, LIBERTY, & THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.’
Created equally and yet not treated equal. DO NOT turn a blind eye to the injustice around you. DO NOT squander the privilege you were BORN with- not just to create change but TO BE THAT CHANGE. It is time to listen to silenced voices, wake up to the ignored reality, and learn from personal mistakes and horrific crimes done unto those around us. It is time to be loud, to speak up and speak OUT.
We are definitely going through a change in society right now and I think it’s for the better. There needs to be accountability. There needs to be change and I want to be a part of that. I have sat by and passively supported the movement for too long. In the current state of this country, I could be next. I know that I am not safe. I also know that as a mixed race man, I have experienced many more privileges than many other people.
I want to use my middle platform to inform those that I can. I want to do what I can to inform my white friends and spread as much awareness as I can.
I have always been told I need to be careful when I go out… to watch myself when it comes to cops. And the reality of it is, I shouldn’t have to. That shouldn’t be reality for black people in this country.
No matter how far we advance, our society doesn’t respect the limits of black people’s bodies. This is about the right to exist inside my own body, the organic boundary that we live in and supposedly belongs to us. We must start respecting others, especially black people who have been suffering prejudice and outrageous crimes for so long. The work we are committing to do now is not only for black people, it is for all of us.
“All lives matter” is a deceiving speech from those who are choosing to not do their part in this time in History. It is time to assure that black people have their voices, not only heard, but also occupying spaces they haven’t occupied before. Black lives matter.
Honestly to me black lives mattering should not be headlining news, It should be a way of life, the way all lives other than black lives have mattered for centuries. Especially in a world that was created on the backs of black and brown people.
We are a talented, creative, inspiring, kindhearted and loving group of people…… Our voices being heard doesn’t just need to be a trending post it needs to be a reality.
Because in order for this world to move forward Black people need to be THE STORY and not an insert at the end.
I’ve never let the colour of my skin hold me back from enjoying my life. I am a 29 year old black man who’s favourite bands are Mayday Parade and Pale Waves. I mostly wear pink and my wardrobe is twice the size of my girlfriend’s. I don’t fit into any box you’ll ever try and put me in and I bloody love it.
Unfortunately the sad fact is that despite all these intricacies that I’ve been allowed myself to develop; some people will never see past the colour of my skin and force me into that box against my will. Sometimes it’s an employer; sometimes it’s a woman moving to the next tube carriage; sometimes it’s a grey face on Twitter…and sometimes it’s the police.
If you’re reading this, you could one day be any one of those examples. Maybe you’re on Twitter and you’re being bombarded with BLM posts that you don’t understand. Or maybe you’re in your 3rd (and final) month of police training and you’re getting ready to patrol the streets. Either way, all I ask is you see me before seeing my skin. I am a human. A complicated, intricate human. I am more than my melanin. Please see that.
Growing up in elementary and middle school, there were a lot of ignorant people. I remember I had a friend tell me when I was ten that her mom said that it’s okay that I’m black because black people are all just white people with a permanent tan. And I hadn’t complained about being black, and I had never said that I wished I was white, so I was like, “What did you say to your mom that made her say that? Why do you think it’s something that she has to tell you is okay?” But it was the kind of small stuff that I would always just tell people, “Whatever, you’re stupid.” When people were like, “You probably can’t even get a tan,” I’d say, “You’re an idiot” and walk away, but I would never sit and ask, “Who told you that? Why do you believe that?”
For me, I feel like in the past I’ve missed the piece of educating people. I just ignored things and didn’t address them, because I knew people were ignorant and I didn’t want to make them uncomfortable by saying, “Hey that’s really offensive, that’s not a joke you can tell.” But now at work and other places, I have lots of people coming to me asking, “Can I say this? Do I say “African American or Black? When is that appropriate?” And people want me to proofread articles to make sure it’s politically correct, and I really appreciate people valuing my opinion and letting me have a voice.
Now I have a space to actually speak up and say, “Hey, that was really inappropriate to say, please don’t do that.”
I could take this opportunity to dive into the racism I have personally experienced. But this is bigger than me. This is about my ancestors that were stolen from their culture. This is about my brothers and sisters who have to fight that much harder because of the disadvantages placed upon them since the dawn of this country. This is the past and the present. We can do better in the future.
Anyone who has taken the time to educate themselves on the racial divide in the world knows police brutality is only a small fraction of the deep-rooted issues that still exist to this day. In addition to this, there are inequities in the nourishment, health care, neighborhoods, prisons, and schools to name a few things. There is a reason the whole world has united in this fight.
The history books we are given as children offer a skewed, glossed-over version of the truth. It does not mention heinous crimes of the leaders we are taught to look up to. This is an opportunity to question what you know to be true. To inform yourself about the untold side of the story.
Let your voice be heard. We far outnumber the people who have kept up the system that has failed us. They’re scared. They’re backed into a corner and using violence and controlling the media to get their way out. Question everything. Put an end to normalized racism. We have the rapid spread of information via technology on our side. These are the moments that define a generation. What side of history do you want to be on?
I am born into this world to accomplish great things and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I am uniquely designed to not fit your stereotypes. Respect me as human! Judge me by the content of my character and not because I am young, black, male, and gay.
I am your friend and not your enemy – Hate me… ok. Then understand your hateful energy will always return back to you. Stand with me… Yes! Then the doors will open for freedom, love, and acceptance. Together we are powerful.
I really believe it’s up to us to educate ourselves so that we can live in a world of equality. Listen to these words: Black. Lives. Matter. Every human being should be able to live their life without feeling like they are less than, without being discriminated against and without fear of the world around them. It’s not a political issue, it’s a human rights issue. Here are some resources to check out if you’d like to learn more.
It’s May 1st, 2020, and I feel like I’m in a creative rut. I’ve been quarantined at my parent’s farm in Missouri for the past six weeks, which is just a little bit like culture shock from the way my life looked a few weeks before that, when I was living in New York City, doing photoshoots every day, hosting my art gallery show, and staying busy cultivating my craft. Due to COVID-19, quarantine, and social distancing, I can’t go out and do shoots, my weddings have been cancelled, and music festivals are all postponed, which is a pretty big bummer considering those were my summer plans.
But it’s time to recalibrate! I’ve been playing with the idea for a few years now to do a photo challenge for a month. The goal is to create one photo each day for the entire month. It sounds daunting, right? I tried it for approximately three days a few years ago, only to realize I wasn’t ready to dedicate time to such an intense project. But here we are in 2020, and I suddenly have a lot of free time on my hands, so I thought, let’s give it a try. I’m going to be doing self portraits every single day during the month of May 2020, and I have a lot of ideas already! Wish me luck, let’s go!
Day 1: Pink Cellophane
I found this pink bag laying around my house, and I wanted to see what I could come up with! I set up a white sheet and took pictures with my trigger attached to my camera. In Photoshop, I overlayed the bag shots with the portrait shots to get this effect! I absolutely love how they turned out.
Day 2: Living Room Fashion Shoot
I set this up in my living room. I wanted the sunhat to cover my eyes a bit, and when I did the edit in Photoshop I added blues to the shadows to give it a fashion feel. Blue isn’t usually my go-to color, so it was fun to play with a new tonality.
Day 3: Yeehaw
I used a pink gel on the left light to get the pink edge for this shot. My original idea was for a champagne and mimosas shot with hard flash, but while I was shooting inspiration struck and I came up with this. I’m obsessed!
Day 4: Pineapple
Today was a test in Photoshop. I shot this on a white background and took a bunch of those pineapple shots. Then I Photoshopped the whole thing together. It took almost two hours, but I love how it turned out! Shout out to my parents for buying that pineapple!
Day 5: Pink Wonderland
This is probably my favorite shot from the entire series. It took FOREVER to Photoshop, but it was totally worth it. I took the picture out in a field at my parent’s farm and then added tons of layers to create a pink wonderland! And yes, this is what the inside of my brain looks like.
Day 6: Glitter Lips
I had seen versions of this done many times, so I wanted to finally give it a go. This tasted terrible but I love how the tones turned out. And I love all things glitter and sparkles, so I’m happy with it!
Day 7: Butterflies
I got these butterflies from a craft store in college and had done a photoshoot with my roommate years ago with them. When I was cleaning out my closet, I found them and thought they would be fun for a whimsical self portrait. The oranges are super saturated and I love how I’m looking off into the distance.
Day 8: Rainy Day
This one is probably my least favorite shot of the series. I had wanted to do an outdoor shoot, but then it started raining all day, so I decided to pivot and try an outdoor rainy shot. Blues and greens aren’t my go-to tones, so maybe that’s why I don’t like it as much as the pink shots.
Day 9: When life gives you lemons…
I had about 4 minutes to take this picture today, so cutting up a lemon seemed like a good option. This is a simple and cutesy portrait, but I like how minimal it is. Sometimes the best portraits don’t have to be overly complicated.
Day 10: Sunglasses
Today I wanted to make a GIF! I was feeling sassy so the pink fur coat went on and I planned to use the sunglasses as something that could be changing in every frame. I love the end result! Check out how it turned out right here.
Day 11: Green Grass
This was made from pink streamers that I got for $3 on Amazon. I spread them around on the ground and did a downward angle shot. I love how the pink “grass” gives it a magical feel.
Day 12: Flower Power!
We saw these yellow flowers on the side of the road, so I made Justin stop so we could take a picture. I added the yellow squiggles for an accent, and I think it’s cute.
Day 13: Cupcakes!
I stopped by Sweetology and got this delicious cupcake in St. Louis, so I thought it would be fun to use it as a prop for the photo. I tried a bunch of different angles and didn’t love it, until I switched it up and did some shots from the side. Pink, playful, and sweets is my go-to, so it felt like this shot was in line with my brand.
Day 14: Balloons!
I saw an inspiration idea for this on Pinterest, so today I thought it would be fun to try it out. I had Justin take a simple shot of me outside holding my arm up, and then later in Procreate I added the balloons. Lots of my portraits this series have dealt with illusions, whimsy, and fantasy themes, so I liked this addition.
Day 15: Reverse Self Portrait
I needed a new idea today but I didn’t have anything concrete. When I was in the studio, I had the random idea to turn the other way and take a few frames that way. I only took two shots, but they came out awesome and I knew I could work with it. I added the squiggles in Procreate to give a little more line color (my new favorite thing to do) and ta-da!
Day 16: Collage
This was fun to make and not too complicated in Photoshop. I found a bunch of textures I liked and layered them, cutting around the shape of me for each one. It feels like a digital scrapbook page, which I love. And of course the pink tones are my favorite too.
Day 17: Evie and I
I guess this Procreate swoosh is becoming my signature lately! I was in Chicago today taking some family photos for a friend, and I was shooting all day long, so I knew I would have to incorporate today’s shot there or I wouldn’t have any natural light to play with. I got Evie to pose with me, and it’s so darn cute that I had to use it as today’s picture.
Day 18: Bubbles
BUBBLES. I used Evie’s bubble machine for this shot, and I do not regret it, lol. For the video of the bubbles, check it out here.
Day 19: Stereoscopic Photos!
A stereoscopic photo is one where the same scene is photographed 3-4 times, with a slightly varying perspective. When you put the images together, the end result is an image that appears to be shaking or moving slightly. I’ve been interested in these images for awhile, and today felt like a good day to try it out! Shout out to Justin for helping me shoot this, because it was a little bit complicated to get correct. Check it out here!
Day 20: A Gaby Collage
Adding movement and motion to images has been the theme this week! I did the same collage thing as earlier iin the challenge, but this time I made it move. Personally I think the motion version of this is way cooler, so click here to see it!
Day 21: Pink Brain
I have been seeing some cool collage work on Instagram, and wanted to explore the visual concept of having a bunch of stuff coming out of my brain. This took a few hours in Photoshop to do, but worth it! Here are a few of my favorite things (and the only thing I forgot to include is a Taylor Swift reference!)
Day 22: Beach Day Baby
Summer is finally here! I saw an image like this online and wanted to recreate it. I asked for Justin’s help to shoot this. He stood on our diving board and shot at a downward angle (my tripod wasn’t tall enough for me to shoot this without a person holding it up). All I had to do was Photoshop a few cracks in the concrete and it was done! This is one of my top favorites from May so far.
Day 23: Angel Wings
I wish I had wings in real life but this is cool too! I added them in Procreate after taking the photo. I had seen a lot of people doing this with PicsArt so I wanted to give it a try. Now I’m thinking about all the other stuff I can add on in future photos..
Day 24: Pool Party
Shout out to my brother Ethan for getting the drone out for this shot! I envisioned a minimalist photo with just me on the pool floatie. I had been waiting all week to do this shot, because it had been raining, and because I knew we were having a pool party on Saturday and I would be in my swimsuit anyway! The weather was perfect and the shot turned out cool. Definitely interested in doing more with the drone soon.
Day 25: Pink Ghost
I created this by using a long exposure and a pink gel on the left side. I didn’t really know what I was going for today. I was kind of just exploring, and it turned into a happy accident. The reason my right hand looks so weird is because it was holding the trigger to take the shot and I thought the image was more zoomed in, but it was wider than I thought. So when I Photoshopped the image, I took the trigger out because it was a little distracting. I love the airy quality of this shot.
Day 26: Glitter Please!
It felt like a good time to start covering all my photos in glitter and sparkles, hehe. I’m getting so close to being done with the May Photo Challenge, the weather is warming up, and life is good. It felt like a good day to celebrate.
Day 27: Paint Splash Overlay
Again, I was just messing around in my studio and I thew a pink backdrop up behind me, because I love pink. Later, in Photoshop, I overlayed this shot with paint swooshes and then changed the blend mode so they’d make me look more pink. I don’t really know the concept for this, but I thought it was visually interesting, so it became the photo for today.
Day 28: Spiral Gaby
Today got a little swirly! Josie Sanders did a shot like this at a gas station on Instagram where she added the swirls to her photo, so I tried a pink version of that and I’m absolutely obsessed with how cute it turned out. I’m sure I’ll be adding it to a lot more of my future photos.
Day 29: Gold Glitter Galore
I was itching to shoot something fun today, so at the last minute I went into the craft room and found a container of gold glitter and poured it on my face and took some shots. Then I layered a close up shot under the portrait of me to add some depth. I love the tonality the shot ended up with.
Day 30: The Pink Universe
This shot came together surprisingly quickly. I took two shots of me walking away outside, and had the idea to change out the background to add some interest. It only took a few minutes to Photoshop, and the pink clouds worked perfectly with my sweater. Another favorite from this series, and I really just stumbled into it.
Day 31: An Artist’s Portrait
Yay, the final day! I wanted to do a stripped down artist portrait for the final day, but of course with a pink twist. This is definitely more of how I look every day versus some of the more dramatic shots in this series. I love this shot because it feels like an honest capture of me as a creator and artist.
And now, a few bonuses, because I got so hyped that I accidentally made a few extra! Here are some outtakes and explorations I worked on throughout the month that didn’t quite make it into the series. As you can see, I played a lot with adding lines in Procreate. It’s been awesome to get to explore with multiple mediums, and try so many new ideas!
I started this project a month ago because I felt constrained from quarantine. I hated that I couldn’t be out shooting portraits like I normally am. This felt like a way to prioritize being creative and creating something new every single day. I was a little worried at the beginning that by doing it every day, some of the shots were going to be terrible or uninspired, but I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the quality of the images I created this month. I feel like it was because I put a lot of effort into planning and conceptualizing shoots consistently.
Surprisingly, these are some of my favorite photos I’ve taken lately, self portrait or not. So many of them were ideas for shoots I had been saying for a long time that I was going to try “when I had more time” and this month gave me the chance to execute on them. So for all my creatives out there, I would highly recommend you spend one month trying a creative project like this, whatever medium it is. It’s been an awesome experience and I feel so revitalized and rejuvenated with photography! I know I’ll definitely be spending more time in the future on more self portraits like this, because I still have so many ideas I didn’t even get to yet!
All my images from this series are on my Instagram, along with other content I’ve been creating lately and video tutorials. Head over to YouTube to check out my Gaby Answers Questions series, and for my full photography portfolio, you can go to my website to see lots more sparkly and fun imagery. Lastly, for more content like this, subscribe to my email newsletter! Every few months, I send out latest projects I’ve been working on, photo tips, and inspiration images. If you have any questions about any of the above photos, or any photography questions in general, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my May Photo Challenge!
Now that #socialdistancing is the new norm, weddings and music festivals are cancelled, and most of my photography jobs are postponed, I’ve been brainstorming ways to keep practicing photography at home. One really creative way to do that is through product photography.
I’ve been doing product photography for quite awhile now, starting when I moved to NYC a few years ago. In between my freelance jobs, I’d reach out to brands and trade them product for a studio photoshoot. Luckily, now I actually get paid to do product shoots, which is awesome! So on that note, I thought I’d compile a mega blog post with my favorite product shoots I’ve done over the years.
Most of these shoots I’ve done in my apartment, but some were on location in stores or studios. You’ll notice that I love to shoot food and desserts, and that’s because I usually get to eat them after the shoot, hehe. I also shoot fashion and lifestyle products, and really anything that can be photographed in a fun and vibrant way. I try to keep that theme throughout, so my still life work still matches my portrait work.
And now, without further ado, here are my favorite product photoshoots from the past few years.
Fruition Chocolate Collab
Fruition is an awesome chocolate company with colorful packaging that was lots of fun to photograph. You can check them out here.
I had a lot of fun adding sprinkles to this line of skincare products, and of course I went with a pink aesthetic for this shoot. Check out their website right here.
Cookie Do NYC Shoot
I’ve done a few shoots for Kristen Tomlan of Cookie Do NYC, but this one at their downtown location was my favorite! We spent all day creating flatlays and various cookie combinations for their social media and website. Check out their delicious creations here.
Babeland Toys Photoshoot
I have to say, I’ve had the absolute best time working with Babeland in NYC. I’ve done two shoots for them. The first was at my apartment, and the second was at their Soho location. They are always down for super bright and colorful shoots that convey fun and playfulness. Have a look at their website here.
Last year I helped Taste Republic kick off a huge rebrand for their products and packaging. They wanted intricate flatlays of their various pastas for the website. They were also open to the idea of movement and GIFs, which I LOVE making when the opportunity presents itself. Grab some of their pasta right here.
This is an upscale denim company based in NYC and a few years ago I did a quick shoot for them at their storefront in the city. Have a look at their website here.
Hammond’s Ice Cream
I found Hammond’s when I was in San Diego and I asked if they would want to do a shoot for social media. They loved the idea so I went in for the day and got some great shots. And yes, they let us eat any of the ice cream we wanted. It was heaven. Get a taste of their offerings right here.
The Cookie Club
The Cookie Club is a new bakery that opened in my hometown this year. I wanted to practice shooting dessert, so I went in for a test shoot at their location and I love how adorable the shots turned out. PS their cookies are delicious. Head to their website here.
TheSmartFashionistas Makeup Line
A friend in NYC had a new line of cosmetics being released, and she asked me to take some product photos for the website. You can check it out right here.
Baked in Color Cookies
I stumbled upon these stunning cookies in Columbus Circle one day and thought, “I have tho photograph them.” They were also down for the idea, so it worked out perfectly! Check out Baked in Color here.
I shoot various social media content for Ona Bars every year. I usually do lifestyle images for them, but for the last shoot they asked for studio shots. It was really fun getting all the ingredients together and playing around with the compositions for these. Check out Ona here.
As I was digging through the archives to find all these photos, I stumbled upon some other photos that weren’t for full shoots, but were still cool product shots, so I wanted to include them to because I love how vibrant they are! Again, the majority of these images were photographed on the floor of my apartment, so I hope that helps you realize that the possibilities for what you can create at home right now are nearly limitless!
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite product photography photoshoots I’ve done lately, and maybe it has inspired you to try some at-home photoshoots as well! If you need some ideas, have a look at my self portrait series I created this May. I’d also love to connect with you on my Instagram, and make sure you head over to YouTube to check out my Gaby Answers Questions series, and for my full photography portfolio, you can go to my website to see lots more sparkly and fun imagery. Lastly, for more content like this, subscribe to my email newsletter! Every few months, I send out latest projects I’ve been working on, photo tips, and inspiration images. If you have any questions about any of the above photos, or any photography questions in general, email me at email@example.com. Thanks for reading!
I submitted some images to the Italian publication Faddy Mag to be featured and they were released in the latest issue for May! It came out today and I’m so excited to share the shots with you guys.
These were images that I collaborated on with some of my British friends (including my bestie Sara!) while I was in London. We took the train out to Brighton Beach for the day and did this shoot. The bird image on the second page is one of my all-time favorite photos.
You can check out the spreads below, and the entire magazine here (my images are on pages 20-25!)
Today someone messaged me and asked if she could use one of the photos I had recently posted as her phone background, which gave me the idea for a little freebie–because hey, we’re in quarantine and sprinkles make things better.
I officially had my first social distancing photoshoot this weekend, and I have to say that it was so refreshing to finally be out shooting again! I hadn’t realized how much I missed my job until I was out in a field with Grace and Colin, lol!
I was also excited to try out some new presets I’ve been tweaking, and they turned out so fabulous with the nature-y backdrop (thanks Missouri!). Check out my favorite shots from the shoot here:
I’m so excited to announce my art gallery show happening this March in NYC! The event is called Badass Women, and it will feature 50 portraits of women entrepreneurs and female founders in NYC that I’ve photographed over the past year. It will also be a great networking opportunity and is free and open to the public. Feel free to share with your friends and network! You can check out the attached poster, the Eventbrite page, and the fb page for all the details.
You can learn more about the project at my website or on Instagram. Thanks so much and looking forward to seeing you there!
Today I’m going to explain how to pitch an idea to a brand. A pitch is basically a proposal or idea that you have for working with a company, in exchange for a trade, collaboration, or to be paid. This can often be a great deal for both parties, because you can offer your services and trade the company for whatever you’re looking for–from a free night’s stay at a hotel to a music festival ticket to clothes from a particular brand you love.
Pitching to organizations or businesses can be really intimidating, but it’s not as hard as you think. In my experience, if you have a solid idea and approach the business thoughtfully, they are very likely to work with you. Here’s what I do!
1. Formulate an Idea & Decide Who To Pitch To
The first thing you need to do is come up with an idea. Something a lot of people don’t realize is you can brainstorm ideas for projects on your own and pitch them to any brand or business, and they might say yes! I do this all the time with brands that are aligned with mine, and it’s a great way to collaborate, extend my outreach, and get awesome products. In the past, I’ve pitched doing photoshoots for social media for food brands such as YumButter, Ona, and EPIC. I’ve asked for a free ticket to a music festival in exchange for photos, a night’s stay at a hotel, and I’ve pitched clothing and product brands in exchange for free swag.
The options are essentially endless, as long as you make sure that the brand you’re reaching out to aligns well with yours. If you do all portrait photography, asking a food company to shoot product shots wouldn’t make much sense. If you’re a wedding photographer, asking for concert tickets isn’t very likely to work. Start thinking of brands you interact with on a daily basis–ads you get as you scroll social media, products in stores you shop in, etc. Once you know the brand you want to work with, come up with a pitch idea that relates to your and their brand. Don’t be vague. Have a specific idea in mind, like planning to pitch a Valentine’s Day lifestyle shoot to a flower company, or an on-the-go shoot for a granola bar brand.
2. Put Together a Pitch Deck
The next step is to create a pitch deck, which is basically a proposal that you create for the company you want to work with. This doesn’t have to be a 20-page document. It can be as simple as 3-4 pages containing the synopsis of the idea, examples of your previous work, and a mood board for the shoot. You should include your information, a link to your portfolio, the concept, and what you’re looking for in the trade.
Taking a little bit of time to create an aesthetically pleasing pitch can really go a long way in getting brands to notice you. Many people simply message a business on Instagram DM or drop them an email, so if they open yours and you have a PDF that looks like you’ve invested more than 5 minutes creating, that immediately makes you stand out.
3. Curate a Thoughtful Email
Draft an email to the brand and attach the pitch. Then give a summary of your idea in the body of the email. Here are a few questions that your email should answer:
Who are you and what do you shoot?
What is your project or idea about?
Are there any important dates/deadlines (i.e. if the shoot is Valentine’s Day themed and time sensitive)?
How will you do it?
Where did the creative inspiration come from?
Why should we feature this?
I’ve attached a few proposals that I’ve recently created to give you an idea of what to create. Canva is a great free resource that let’s you create proposals and PDFs, so if you haven’t tried it yet, I’d highly recommend it. This first pitch is for Getaway House, a brand that focuses on adorable tiny cabins for people to rent to get out of the city. I asked to trade a photoshoot of 20 images for one night’s free stay. They ended up accepting my proposal.
This was a really fun one. I saw Babeland stores around NYC and loved the pink theme. Since that’s super on-brand for me, I reached out and told them I’d love to do a shoot in exchange for free product. Not only did they love the idea and the resulting photos, but they later hired me to shoot a campaign for them. So, it can also be awesome exposure.
This pitch was for a contest for a free music festival ticket at Electric Forest in exchange for photography. You can get creative with it too! Who said a proposal had to be one paragraph of dull text? Make it colorful, exciting, inviting. Along with the pitch PDF, I also included a video. The requirements didn’t even ask for one, but I wanted to introduce myself and make myself stand out from the group!
Making the video took about 2 hours, and it gave me a huge leg up in the competition. Which do you think the judges will remember more, a one-page piece of paper with writing or a vibrant multi-page PDF with a fun video with graphics bouncing around?
I hope this sparks your inspiration and gets you excited about collaborating with other brands. Good luck and happy pitch creating! If you liked this article, make sure to have a look at my website, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest! Tag me @gdeimz on social if you make any pitch decks using these techniques!