Photoshop and photography an happy ending

The topic of one of our last branding design lectures was photography. I didn’t really know too much about it or at least about how to professionally take photos… and I usually am one of those people who places their fingers on the camera’s lenses every time they have to take a picture… So I was really looking forward to learn something about photography and understand the basic principles and rules to run a proper photoshoot.

Firstly we taleked about the basic principles of light and shadows in photography and we learnt a quick technique to add more light or more shadows to a picture by simply using a white paper sheet to reflect and amplify the light. Light actually has a very strong impact in the resulting effect of the picture and a change in the balance of light and shadows can make the photo much more dramatic.


We than had 1 hour to shoot 4 images starting from 4 very different briefs. This really put us into action since we had a very small amount of time to come up with the ideas and to actually shoot the pictures. In addition, since the briefs were very different, for some photos we had precise steps we could follow, whereas for others only the broad concept was explained and we had more freedom to shoot the pictures.

Learning how to manage a brief and how to understand what kind of result the client wants was really interesting and useful. I believe that this experience will help me to better understand how to properly write a brief myself in order to obtain the result I am looking for, and to understand how to communicate effectively with advertising agencies and photographers.

Here is a blog about the basics of photography which helped me to understand the basic principles of photography.

In the further sessions of the course we learned how to modify images with Photoshop. Similarly to Illustrator and InDesign, the first approach was not easy and it took me a while to play around with it and understand how  to  properly use the basic tools. However I found it extremely useful when it came to modify and fix images.

For our last group assignment we had to reposition a brand and develop an advertising campaign….this also included directing a photoshoot! The photoshoot experience has been extremely fun and exciting and tought me a lot. Having to take photos yourself and in a professional way makes you understand how the smallest change in the light or angle of the photo makes a huge difference. And how having to direct someone to get the right pose or look can be difficult and take a lot of time. It was also interesting to see how images might look very different from the camera and the laptop screen till the very print out.

We had to re take a photo because even though it seemed good on camera once we tried to modified with photoshop to get the effect we wanted it just did not look right. A further challenge was the actualization of our idea for the campaign…our pictures portraid female models and we wanted to integrate in the pictures some lion features…to make the model look fierce and strong as a lion. This took us a lot of time, in order to make it look as realistic as possible, but we made it and this is the final result of our campaign (we targeted Lion chocolate bar to women in their twenties).

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Developing  this campaign taught me how important it is to have at lease 2 or 3 option when presenting and working on a creative project and really made me learn a lot on how and actual campaign is created and shoot.

I think that this experience will be very useful for me and I think that with the skills I gained with Photoshop I will create a small portfolio (including the campaign) which I will present in job interviews to show what I can practically do with such programs.

In addition, directing the photoshoot and modifying the images made me understand what are the challenges and dynamics of realising a campaign and I’m sure this will help me to communicate more effectively with photographers and graphic designers.

Finally this is a tutorial which really helped us to work on the images and obtain the realistic look we were looking for.

Hope it can be useful for you too!

Photoshop and photography an happy ending

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