Still Life Advertisement (studio and photoshop)

Students will create an Advertisement for their favorite product. Using a backdrop, studio lighting, and Photoshop students will set up and photograph their own still life for their Advertisement. Then, using Photoshop create a magazine advertisement with text and images.

Irving Penn, Vogue Cover, October 1, 1943. © Condé Nast. accessed 11/11/20


  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Camera Cord to connect to computer
  • Table
  • Lights or natural light-the sun 🙂
  • Backdrop Cube

Step 1: Discover

Essential Questions

  • What makes a successful advertisement?
  • How do advertisements influence the viewer?
  • How will you create a still life images that is in focus, color balance, and detailed for an advertisement?
  • What are the elements (parts) of a magazine advertisement or cover page?
  • How will you create an advertisement that influences the viewer to want the product?
  • What advertisements or images were you visually drawn to? Explain why?

Look over the Advertisements and Slideshow of Irving Penn and on a google document reflect on the essential questions above. Then, think about a product that you want to photograph and make an advertisement. Find three advertisement examples (copy and paste them in the google document). Then, write about what your plans are for creating a

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 9.42.21 AM.png
Photographed by Irving Penn for “Fancy That,” Vogue, August 1994
Water melon
Irving Penn.
Photographed by Irving Penn for “Lusty Pleasures,” Vogue, October 1981

Step 2: Tether camera

Use the link below to connect the camera to the laptop.

Video Tutorial of tethering camera to lightroom.
Irving Penn frozen food
Frozen Foods, New York, 1977 Copyright © The Irving Penn Foundation

Assignment Requirements:

In this project, students will create their own still life based on a theme/concept of their choice. It can food, flowers, toys, and etc. The still life must have some type of seamless backdrop and must include a strong light source (natural or artificial). Then, they will take their top image(s) and create a magazine advertisement.

Students will need to build their own still life lighting and prop.  One light source either natural or artificial light.  The camera needs to be set on the proper white balance and has an ISO between 100-400. A tripod is strongly recommended.

The prop can include colored paper fabric or other items.  This is up to the photographer.

Students will take a full contact sheet of images (at least 20). Images of contact sheet will include: Worm’s eye, bird’s eye, tilt the frame, close up detail, front view and side view of food. 

The contact sheet must also explore large and shallow depth of field.

Step 3: Creating the still life

Start by finding a space that has a simple background or you can hang your backdrop.

Take at least 20 image, enough to full a contact sheet template. When metering for exposure, think about the depth of field technique. Cameras should be on a tripod (you will be happy you did use a tripod).

Video to creating a contact sheet in Lightroom.

Editing and Saving your images

Step 4: Artist’s Statement