Posts with tag: "props"
Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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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. 

 
Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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We had the privilege to shoot another large production for our friends at VML and Tom's of Maine.   When shooting large projects like these there are a lot of moving parts and people to keep organized.

 

You have a number of people from the client and agency. We also had second photographers, photo assistants, set builder, models, talent agencies, producer, production coordinator, chef, hair and make-up stylist, and photo retoucher.  Not to mention we needed to do a casting session to find the right models.

 

The project involved hundreds of email, texts, five different estimate versions, creating a shooting schedule for both photographers to make sure we got all the shots done on schedule, photo retouching schedule, building sets, prop shopping, checking in products to make sure everything is at the studio and in photo condition.

 

Of course, then we needed to pre-light the sets, get all the props in place, check that all the set lights to make sure they work, add dimmers to make sure they didn't overpower the natural light, make sure the set paint was dry and that everything looked perfect.

 

One of the things I've learned over the years is that you always have to be ready for the unexpected.  This project was no exception. In some of the photos below we had to spin the sink and vanity around backwards.  We had to do this so the shot fit the layout better.  It worked perfectly!

 

The bottom line is with any project you need to be organized and ready for the unexpected, this is especially true with big productions.    

Production Board and hourly schedule.

Casting session included photographing models hands, teeth, and action shots.

Hair and Make-up stylist in action.

Our second photographer and retoucher Tiffany ( upper left ) shooting product on white while I shot product families on set.

Props and wardrobe choices for the shoot.

A peek behind the photo sets.

As I mentioned we had to turn the sink and vanity around to fit the layout.

Shooting the lifestyle shots in the green room.

The blue room set.

Chef Pauline putting the final touches on lunch for the clients and crew.

Beef tenderloin filet with roasted veggies and salad.  It was awesome!

Shooting our lifestyle model in the blue bathroom set. 

That's a wrap!

 
Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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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.

Looking good

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.   

Final Image

Final image

 
Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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This year has continued to bring creative ideas and lots of product photography. 

This project involving both lifestyle and product images required a lot of production and organization. Thanks to our crew: Catherine, Dale, Paula, Tiffany, Molly, Ben! 

We used huge spreadsheets with product descriptions and file naming conventions along with check boxes to keep us on track with the shoot schedule, retouching, clipping paths, renaming files, and release of final files. Client and crew all knew where each image was in the system at any time. Our organizational boards also posted visual examples and verbal descriptions of all of the lifestyle and product shots needed. As a result, everyone got everything shot and retouched on time! 

Our set builder Dale Frommelt, as always, did an outstanding job building our lifestyle sets. While the sets weren't that big, everything was painstakingly sourced and assembled. Both sets had to have working water faucets and a way to catch the water when flowing. Add a water hose and a bucket andvoilàyou have functional, "running" water. 

Production boards kept everyone on track.

Dale is always ready for anything.

Beautiful light.

The hose-bucket drain system worked great.

You can do a lot on a small set.

Since this project had a number of lifestyle shots using a hand model, we did a final check of our hand model's hands. 

A few minor adjustments and everything looked good to go.

Model hand check.

Nothing like natural light!

Putting the perfect portion of toothpaste on your toothbrush is harder than you'd think.

Getting the shot framed just right.

How to wash your hands with style.

If it doesn't show -- don't blow money on it! 

Check out the chrome on this limited edition, handcrafted, David Morris towel rack. 

Here we were only going to see the bottom of the towels so taping them to the wall worked like a charm.

Limited edition towel rack, "David Style."

Not everything is what it seems when you look at the shot from a different direction.

Since this project had a lot of product to shoot in a short time period, we needed more than one set going at the same time. 

Consistency can be an issue if you're not careful. We shot using two sets exactly alike; same lights, soft boxes, cameras and lenses, backgrounds, etc. 

Every variable we could eliminate we did. We were very pleased with how close we were able to match each set.

Two matching product sets.

Sometimes you have to do crazy things to get packaging and contents to cooperate. 

In this case, we cut through the back of the box to properly position 

the product inside and get it to stay in place. 

A fun shoot and great client! 

At the end of the day when you hear the client say, "outstanding photos" and "better than we expected," we consider the project a success. 

Here are some of the final lifestyle photo from the shoot.

 
Monday, June 13, 2016
By David Morris Photography
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We were recently challenged to photograph an ad campaign for a client where we needed to shoot the same product on location and in the studio.  The final image is a split view of the same product into different environments at the same exact focal length and position.

Our solution was to have our friends at Machine Head build us a camera bracket that would affix the product in the same position in front of the camera no matter where we were shooting.  This made post production a lot easier.

Final image

Shooting product in water

 

Testing out our camera bracket

Some fun out takes of us playing around. 

Look mom no hands

Background in motion