LIVE Tutorial

Check out my latest Timelapse videos from my photoshoots! by Zack Smith Photography


Lighting large groups with strobes!

I have had this continuing portrait client for a few years now, photographing a very large group outside with multiple strobes. Paul B. Habans in New Orleans is the most laid back teachers I have ever met and they make a complex lighting scheme very easy and fun. It’s always different how to light for large groups and how to mix natural light and strobes, but once you do it for the same client in the same place, it gets easy!

Product photography in the studio!

When life gives you beans you do a photoshoot! Really on top of your game? You TIMELAPSE! I had 20+ bags of beans to shoot in my studio on Magazine Street in New Orleans so why not timelapse the process. You can see more about how I lit the beans and how I created a custom photoshoot workflow for this by SUBSCRIBING to my Youtube channel - GO HERE

Photographing Hats is Old Hat: Product Photography Gallery by Zack Smith Photography

I wanted to use this blog entry as a follow up to my Product Photography Facebook LIVE Tutorial that aired on June 6th. If you missed it you can CLICK HERE to view the video and see the gear list, then come back here to see the final images! I partnered with hat maker Colby Hebert to photograph a collection of his new line of hat wear. This collection of one-of-a-kind hats we photographed at my studio needed to be shot a specific way so that the composition, lighting, and editing all fit the same aesthetic. I based my lighting scheme on a few photos he showed me from a recent ad campaign that he liked.


Creating the Photographic Dream and Managing Client Expectations: A Dance Worth Learning

This style of product photography gave the hats a uniform look and could easily be integrated into his social media advertising and website. Any time I meet with a client to talk on any type of shoot, especially product photography, it is so important to understand their goals and creative ideas. Lucky for me, Colby had a very specific look in mind and I could replicate that at my studio...right next door!

Product Photography Lighting in the Studio!

To give Colby the look he desired, I chose to go with a large octabank softbox and a grid with my trusty Einstein 640 from Paul C. Buff. I like this particular light because of the consistent color and light. Now this might not make a difference to me as much in some shoots where I am shooting all day on location, changing sets and lights. But when you are photographing in a studio with a set background, props, and products from the same line or company - you need to have your most important variables on LOCKDOWN! Having a consistent light power and color output from your head every time will ensure that Hat #1 looks just the same as Hat #100 - and when your client wants to roll through the images on social media one after another (as expressed by mine) this is very important.


I also had a White Lightning 800 head with a smaller strip softbox that was about 45º to the back left of the hat for some light fill on the brim, and I was not lighting my slate grey background so the hats would just pop naturally. My camera was secure to my tripod and I was tethered to view on my monitor to my left.

There was a time where I'd say "NO WAY" on a photoshoot to my clients. Now, I say "HELL YES"

Having a monitor to view your images in front of your client has been a game changer for me. As I alluded to in the live video I really don't mind clients looking over my shoulder on a shoot. I always take time to explain to them the detailed editing and color correcting that takes place after and showing them as we shoot ensures that we got the shot. When I was less confident with my editing skills I was very reluctant to show anyone what I was getting since there would be considerable amounts of editing...or "saving" the shot. The more confident I became in my photography and in the communication with the client, the better aligned we were on the expectations. I wasn't born technically confident of my gear, this comes with time, patience, and alot of practice.

I hope you enjoy a few of the hats above - you can see more on Colby's Instagram Account. After the shoot I wanted to get a few images of the production side of Colby's operation, where he works and what it looks like. We also got some great portraits. Here are some of my favorite. 

If you are looking to tell the story of your business, Email me now!

Wether your business revolves around services or products, there is a uniqueness we can capture with well informed and creative photography! That uniqueness is YOU and I am am all ears! 

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VIDEO:How To Creatively Do Product Photography In Your Studio or Home by Zack Smith Photography

I continue to count the blessings that shine on my life since I have moved my studio to Magazine Street. It has been a rewarding experience being able to do business headshots in New Orleans for so many entrepreneurs, business owners, attorneys, and realtors while getting to hear their stories and learn about their profession. One of those other blessings is meeting the talented and hard working hat maker Colby Hebert from New Iberia. Meeting that guy and hearing that accent I knew the block would be c'est bon.

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Natural Light Portrait Video Tutorial and Lightroom Edits with Zack Smith in New Orleans! by Zack Smith Photography

Watch this Video for my Natural Light Window Portrait Tutorial and see the final edits!

Watch this Video for my Natural Light Window Portrait Tutorial and see the final edits!

How to Photograph Portraits using Natural Window Light! Watch as I set up and explain an easy portrait scenario using the natural light at the TASC Performance New Orleans store on Magazine Street! I have to thank my friend Ava for modeling, photographer Sarrah Danziger ( for the LIVE shoot, and Amanda, Seth, and Regan for the help at TASC!

Using a store window to shoot natural light portraits is easy, fun, and you can do it too!

As I have always said - "let the subject set the settings" and the rest will follow. In this 15 minute photography video tutorial I show you the nuts and bolts and basic settings to help you get your best natural light portraits yet. From putting the lens on the camera body to the final Lightroom edits, watch the video above and then see the edits below! No secrets here! Watch as I show you in real time how to quickly switch back and forth from shallow depth of field to extended depth of field to get two types of backgrounds and change your perspective!

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