Recently we were asked by one of our clients to fly around the country and photograph their retail stores. How hard could that be?
As always, it's never as easy as it looks. The client requested they all needed to have a consistent look and feel.
If you've ever shot on location, you know this isn't as easy to achieve as one might think. Here were just a few of the challenges we had to overcome.
1. Weather: All the locations had different weather conditions. Some locations were perfectly clear, one location we were dodging thunderstorms, and others were totally cloudy when we needed to shoot.
2. We had only one opportunity to get the photograph: Since we had a number of locations and a tight schedule to keep we didn't have the luxury to wait until the weather was perfect to get the shot.
3. Circumstances out of our control: A number of the locations had surprises. All of the store's exterior lights are controlled by the corporate office.
There was no switch or timer that we could control at the local retail store to turn the lights on or off. For some reason one of the stores exterior lights didn't come on until way after dark. Not ideal shooting conditions. Another location had brick pavers instead of asphalt as it's parking lot surface. Last but not least, one of the stores had a tree planted that obscured the view of the building at the angle we needed to shoot.
As you can see, with the talented retouching artistry of Tiffany Matson, we were able to make the stores look beautiful and consistent.
Our ad agency friends in Chicago have a BBQ client. The art director on the project asked around, "where can I find the best BBQ photographer?" David Morris Photography was their choice. It was a two-day project to get all the styled food shots and product packaging completed. For the styled food shots they wanted a warm dramatic editorial look. This seems to be the food photography trend currently. The end results were pleased clients, some great photos, and a fun shoot. What more can you ask for?
At David Morris Photography we continue to shoot for awesome clients who see the value in the consistent look and feel we provide them.
In 2011 I blogged about Visual Branding and the importance of continuity in your images. Whether it's stills or video, many clients want a consistent look in their marketing materials. Here's why – it makes them instantly recognizable and conveys quality and reliability.
To provide this consistency, we document every detail of our shoots. We also oversee all preparation, styling and lighting.
After post-production, we compare all imagery to ensure it has a harmonious look and feel.
Tiffany gives us the thumbs up that everything is looking good!
In the end, everyone is pleased. Even our equipment!
Working in the advertising photography business can be extremely fun, yet at times very stressful.
My goal is always to produce the best imagery as we can for our clients and have fun doing it.
I'm normally a serious person when working, but, I find it pretty easy to laugh at myself! I say and do some pretty silly stuff. What helps is to surround yourself with people that are fun and funny. Life is a lot more interesting that way. If you really stop and think about it what we do and how we do it seems pretty silly to the outside world. That is -outside of the advertising world.
Take for example food photography. We pick through cases and cases of food to find 6-10 perfect chips, we glue seeds on buns so they look perfect, we spend hours playing with the food on set just to get everything in its right place, we glue hotdog buns together so they don't spread apart on set then we pin the hotdogs and buns together so they don't move. We use a fabric steamer to steam bread so it doesn't dry out and crack and we use steaming hot tampons hidden behind food so it looks like the food is steaming hot. Now you have to admit, this seems pretty silly to someone, not in the business. Quite frankly just writing about it puts a silly grin on my face.
In spite of how silly it looks or is, we all work hard making it happen. Over the years, we've put together a fun and hard working team of people that make the work look outstanding.
Food stylists, assistant food stylist, photo assistants, retouchers, producers, production coordinators, digital techs, grips, directors, set builders, hair and make-up stylists, the list goes on and on. We truly appreciate all the team members we've been able to work with.
At the end of the day if you love what you do, have fun doing it, and like the people you do it with, life doesn't get much better.
Sarah styling the salsa to perfection
Making sure everything fits in the layouts
Working with the stylist to arrange the food
Now you have to admit, four adults standing around discussing the merits of sauce on a bun looks pretty silly to most people, but it's what we do.
Our Retoucher (Tiffany) working hard.
The behind the scenes tools to do our pizza pull shot.
Sarah having fun for the camera.
What, your food stylist doesn't style your food like this? You are missing out!
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.
Shooting product in water
Testing out our camera bracket
Some fun out takes of us playing around.
Look mom no hands
Background in motion