Although you can come close to imitating natural light, that imitation simply isn't the same. The combination of natural light and a long exposure time adds a quality to images you just can't achieve any other way.
When we designed our studio, we knew we wanted to be able to shoot with natural light. As part of the studio design, we added softening silks and blackout curtains to the windows so we could control the amount of sunlight that comes through to naturally light a set.
We recently shot a new line of holiday candles for Trapp Candles, one of our amazing, long time clients. On this particular project, we were challenged to illustrate how consumers can use Trapp's products in and around their homes. We were also challenged to show retailers how they can best display Trapp's products and achieve greater sales results.
We wanted the light in each shot to look natural like you'd see in your own home or in a retail store window. So we used the softening silks to diffuse the natural sunlight while still highlighting the products and set.
You may look at these behind the scenes images and ask yourself, "Why in the world are the table and chairs on apple boxes?" In order to achieve the right perspective between the table, product, and background, we had to raise the table and chairs. If we hadn't done this, we wouldn't have been able to see enough of the fireplace mantel to frame the shot. Just another trick of the trade!
Apple boxes were used to lift the table and chairs.
So many silverware options for our dining room table!
Adjusting the window silks to control the light on the front of the table.
Putting the finishing touches on the set before we shoot the final image.
After David completed the main shot, he moved in and captured a few detail shots.
Wax and wax melter shot.
Putting the final touches on the display image for retailers. This shot will be
composed with another image we shot to create the final display image.
Stacks and stacks of Trapp product!
Retailer display shot.
Some of the most difficult items to photograph are made of foil or chrome.
Here, David works to get the lighting just right on the foil product box.
Final dining room shot.
Final fireside pumpkin candle shot.
Sometimes one of the more challenging aspects to commercial photography shoots can be finding the right props. Whether it's food, people or produce, finding the right accessory props can make or break the image. One of our favorite long-time clients is Trapp Fragrances. If you've never used their candles, they are the best!
We are often asked to help find some of most exotic fragrance visual cues. This time, we needed a (Cymbidium Black Ruby "Midnight") or to most of us a Black Orchid, and Cananga odorata, commonly called Ylang-Ylang flowers. Where were we going to find these?
You have to love the internet for just these types of challenges. We started by look for tropical flower suppliers. We called California, Hawaii, Austria, etc. As fate would have it, one of the Orchid suppliers I talked with in Hawaii used to live in Kansas City. She asked if I had tried to contact Bird's Botanicals here in KC. Never heard of them. We called them up, then went by and sure enough, they had everything we needed for the shoot. Sometimes you have to go around the world to find what's in your backyard!
Putting the final touches on our lifestyle shot.
Using our big camera to get the best quality out of our photos.
Getting ready to shoot another version of the Black Orchid shot.
Working with our Set stylist Casey Dobbins to put the final touches on this beauty.
Casey, not sure this is your best look. (:-)
We love our clients being involved in our shoots.
We recently had the opportunity to work on a sweeeet project shooting models of
a star, a heart, and a flower -- all made of candy.
Not only did we shoot these beauties for posters, but we were also asked to do
a stop-motion animation series. How cool is that?!
Here is some fun, behind the scenes shots of the sets and the final images.
We can't wait to see the project completed.
A big shout out goes to our friend Dale Frommelt @EGG props and models
for his outstanding work. Great job Dale!
Candy star set.
Dale Frommelt adjusting the star for the stop-motion animation.
Close-up of an animation stop.
Final star image.
Checking out the heart image with our client.
Dale marking the animation stops for the heart stop-motion animation.
Lights. Action. Start turning!
Candy heart final shot.
Discussing the motion sequence with our client.
Dale Frommelt moving one of the leaves to animate the flower.
Watching Dale do his thing.
Final flower image.
Recently we were asked by our client, Trapp Candles, to produce a number of images depicting different scent profiles for their new line of products. It's always amazing what goes into producing images. One required a bed set-up . . . and I'm guessing our bed didn't resemble yours at home.
The bed and headboard were a combo of apple boxes and foam core.
Putting the final touches on the Duvet and sheets.
Making sure everything is clean and in perfect position.
Checking the lighting for the final exposure.
This is how I wake up every morning -- steaming hot cup of tea, flowers and a romantic candle. (;-)
A version of the final photo.
December is normally a raw cold month in the mid-west. Today is one of those rare days in December it's going to hit 60 degrees. Nothing like a little warm weather and shooting tropical fragrances to get one in the mood for spring!
Just a quick "Fact of the Day" Vanilla Beans are not beans at all but the seed pod of a tropical orchid.
White Lotus Flower and Lychee
We had so much fun a few weeks ago shooting some new fragrances for one of our long time clients. A number of years ago we were asked to help them "Visually Brand" their product with a consistent upscale look and feel that matches the quality of their product. We've had this privilege for some time now and can't wait to see what new scents they come up with next. If you're a candle lover and you haven't fired up a Trapp candle, you don't know what you're missing. They are awesome!
By the way, if you don't know what a Lychee fruit looks like here's a photo.
I hope everyone has an awesome winter but if you're not a fan of winter, like myself, it might help you make it through if you break out one of these scented candles and think of the spring to come.