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!
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 and, voilà, you have functional, "running" water.
Production boards kept everyone on track.
Dale is always ready for anything.
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.