Okay, we know the ultimate situation for product photography is in a studio which offers the easiest and best control of lighting but what happens when your product is just too bulky to move a large quantity. The answer is fairly simple. Take the studio to the client. That’s what happened when we were first approached by Atkin & Thyme for product photography in Hatfield of their regularly updating range of furniture at their warehouse facility.
Atkin & Thyme were already using a photographer for their stylised location website photos but they needed a local photographer near Hatfield with the capability of producing high quality colour accurate and well lit images of furniture to be cut-out for use by their PR company. This needed to be undertaken at their storage facility in Hatfield since the bulk of the furniture was simply too large to ship back and forth to and from a studio. According to director Nick Atkin, “the PR company is only able to place images with a cut-out clipping path which is why we need separate images of the products. Magazine editors will often only take images that they are able to easily move anywhere on the page as a cut-out rather than using the squared stylised location images that we use on the website.”
This is where we were able to help. We set up a colour profile for the shooting conditions at the warehouse. Each piece of furniture is photographed twice, once with just the furniture and once with a neutral grey card. The image is neutralised taking a sample from the grey card and together with the specific colour profile, is applied to all the finished images. The resulting colour accurate images are now used not only for PR releases but also as a colour reference for matching the product colours from the location photographer’s stylised location shots.
Of course, photographing large products in a studio setting outside of a regular studio is not without its difficulties. For one, it’s rare to find a space isolated from all extraneous light. This makes little difference to the final image since our mobile flash units overpower all but the very brightest of direct sunlight. the difficulty is in the assessment of how our flash is going to model the product and therefore the positioning and diffusion of the light, essential if we’re to create highlights and shadows in order to enhance the shape of the product. Simon Lane, head photographer at Indigoplum says “with 38 years of experience in the industry, I’ve gained the ability to visualise in my head how the lighting will affect the product without necessarily requiring the need to see with modelling lights how the powerful flash lights are interacting with the textures and shapes whether metallic or velvet. I can fairly quickly gauge and visualise in my head what is required, skills that take many years to accomplish.”
When choosing a photographer, make sure that your photographer doesn’t just flood the area with light creating a toneless flat image. All pictures should be engaging to the eye and that is usually created by the subtle use of lighting. If it’s a mobile studio set up, they will require as little available light as possible therefore a bright area or room is not essential. More important is space in which to shoot and for the photographer to place lights, reflectors and deflectors. Photographers will also want to get as far back from the product as possible. This may depend on the size of the products but generally, photographers will prefer to shoot with a longer focal length lens – that is to say heading towards a telephoto rather than a wide angle lens. The reason is the longer the focal length, the less the distortion. Wide angle lenses will capture large objects close in but they will also produce quite a lot of distortion on the product, excellent for PR shots with background but not at all desirable when a product is standalone and cut out against white.
For more information on how we could help you with a mobile studio product photography shoot in Stevenage, Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City, Hertford, Hitchin or St Albans, call us now on 0333 900 2792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org