THE STUDIO BLOG
Is it Christmas time already? Well no, but as products are generally prepared for sale well before Christmas Ann from Dragonfly Dichroic contacted me to have her Christmas glass range shot. Luckily I have a large box of Christmas props available all year round!
Recently I acquired a 1940’s period fire surround, that’s now part of the furniture at the studio, which is going to be very useful for a number of shoots.
For the following shot I used a ‘snoot’ to bounce light off the wall, thereby illuminating the glass from behind. This avoids distracting reflections, but more importantly in this case also brings out the colour of the dichroic glass.
This shoot, completed for Helen Russell Creations shows a couple of different ways how textiles can be shot in the studio. The studio itself provides a lifestyle interior, which can be used to provide a very simple, clean and elegant backdrop, adding in various items of furniture, and a minimal number of props.
Helen delivered all her products personally, including a mannequin for shooting her aprons. I was informed later that the mannequin was actually called Doris!
The studio has an old fashioned book shop just over the road, the type that looks like its been there 100 years, with books piled from floor to ceiling. I picked up a few vintage books for this shoot, as Helen had mentioned books and storytelling were one of her work’s inspirations.
I’m currently in the process of creating new surfaces for the studio, to run alongside the existing ones that I have in stock. Kathy, a portrait artist from Oxfordshire runs Dotty Dog Art, and has recently launched her own range of greetings cards. She embellishes her drawings with graphics to create something really unique, and that’s the basis of her ranges.
Kathy requested a shoot, mentioning her love of old furniture paint peeling. After a little experimentation with paint, pva glue and a heat gun I came up with what you see in the photograph, which will be the first of many new surfaces. This alongside vintage books, and rusted objects such as stationery and old tools created the aesthetic she was looking for.
Lizzie from Connie and Joan contacted me after seeing my Instagram feed. The groups (as seen in the photograph below) were sent over glued together in-situ. I then laid out a second set to show the various contents of each group alongside some flowers. Fresh flowers always add a touch of elegance to an image, that artificial flowers don’t quite reach. Clients can send them via a service like Bloom & Wild, or order them from my local florist, and I can pick them up.
The studio was finished just after Christmas, and since then I’ve been locating various items of furniture, such as Mid-Century chairs, country style chairs and tables. As the year progresses, I’ll be purchasing more furniture to create various settings. Such simple images work well across a variety of media, and really puts the product centre-stage, and demonstrates how the product could fit into the homes/lives of the consumer.
The first examples of these were produced for Jan and Jill, of Perkins and Morley, and worked particularly well with their extensive range of different product types, including clocks, cushions, and tea towels. Particularly love their Highland cow cushion!
I was pleased to receive more glassware from Ann Maitland, of Dragonfly Dichroic. Ann’s business has been growing steadily over the past couple of years, and she needed some further shots for use in various online marketplaces. Her glassware, is best when illuminated from front and back, because of this I chose to use one of the studio windows. The shots are largely lit by natural light, with a softbox fill-light illuminating the surface.
Glass can be tricky to photograph, in particular when the shape is irregular, as it becomes difficult to find sources of reflections. For this shoot, I blocked the other studio windows completely to eliminate other sources of reflections.
To see more of Ann’s work, and to purchase, please check out her Etsy Shop.
Shown here are a couple of Ann’s signature dragonfly pieces.
The latest shoot in the studio has been a little bit different, a packshot shoot for Huib and Josephine, a couple who run their own perfumery producing a very exclusive collection of products. Their packaging was beautifully made and they wanted that to be reflected within the photography itself, it was necessary to take multiple images of each product, with different lighting angles, and then merge the shots in post production to truly bring out the gold and silver of the packaging.
Thanks to Jill of Rocket 68 for letting me know that a photograph of mine, a group shot featuring one of her latest ranges, Miami, has been published in the Top Drawer Preview Magazine for the upcoming popular London show in January. I’ve done quite a few shoots now for Jill who is always a pleasure to work with, her brightly coloured vintage styled artwork works well with the props I already have, with the accompaniment of some fresh fruit, as shown below.
I love nothing more than working with found natural materials and was pleased when Karen contacted me again to book in group product shots of her Autumn and a new bird range of hers. Organic shoots as i’m starting to think of them are something i do quite a lot of, and will be expanding upon in the future. Its a case of finding some time to get out there to find some more materials. This is my first posting since the studio move, and although not quite complete yet its really good to have some space to work in, and also to think in. Surroundings do make quite a different and I think gives me a chance to create more spacious and considered imagery.
Artist : Kate from Sun Pennies, the following two from Karen of New Leaf Cards
I’ve worked with Tracie and Ollie from Made in Yorkshire for a little while now, after creating their website for them. From there I was pleased to offer a shoot for Tracie, comprising of shots for many of their exhibitors. The exhibitors have a huge diversity in the work they create, but Tracie required a simple signature type style to use on their own website.
I’m very pleased to announce the launch of the new Made in Yorkshire website. If you’re not aware of what Made in Yorkshire do, they aim to raise awareness and further the aims of artists, craftspeople and designers all across Yorkshire.
Having the site designed by an independent Yorkshire business was important to Tracie and Olivier from Made in Yorkshire. They were both very pleased with the resulting website, which has been designed upon the WordPress content management system, in a modular-masonry style. This style was chosen not only due to being contemporary, but also allowing future development and changes to be implemented relatively easily.
As both Tracie and Olivier have become extremely busy with the running of the organisation, we met up several times in person throughout the website design process to help them make the necessary decisions, and to give them a little time ‘away from the office’ to do so! The site is now helping to save further time for them, exhibitors can now book their places at exhibitions using the site, a local web-developer, Paul from Aura Creative Media was brought into the project to handle the exhibitions and user integrations. Tracie has been populating the site with information and exhibitors, and will continue to add content to the site in the future herself, an advantage of using a content management system such as WordPress.
The site has been designed to be appealing to their exhibitors, but also the general public looking for either an event to attend, or to see where their favourite exhibitor will be attending a show next.
The launch of the Made in Yorkshire site coincides with the launch of Forever Creative’s new website design packages, for artisans, makers, designers and boutiques.
I was pleased to receive a pre-launch soft toy range from Emily Johnson of Storklings. Emily chose to commission a sample photographic shoot, to provide imagery for her new website and for press releases. Emily had put a lot of thought into the props she wanted to use already, and sent the props along with the products in the post.
These included a retro rocket, robots, and a miniature Jules Verne novel. When we discussed props previously, I’d mentioned about using some of her artwork, which she did, and framed a planet and a rocket print in small frames. All that was left for me to add in was some three dimensional stars, and various blocks and boxes to make up the setting.
I suggested that the setting should be shot at floor level, as if from a child’s point of view while playing. So that’s exactly what I did (although it was actually shot on my photo table, as this gives me more choice of backgrounds and bases to use). Emily’s brief was to make the images, ‘cute but sophisticated’ and I think that has been achieved.
Different styled shots were supplied, as well as plain shots lit in a way to produce a gradient type background. This was to help white elements of the characters to stand out. I also supplied cutouts for press use for Emily as I felt this would be necessary for her to have.
In the studio this week I had various greetings card ranges from Nicole of Red Berry Cards. Some of Nicole’s ranges are aimed at men, and as such required more ‘boys toys’ and retro props. The ranges were photographed using settings and in-house props from my ever growing stock of props! Reflecting many of the elements within the design. A favourite of the props was an old cream telephone, although I remember as a kid they weren’t particularly cool in anyway then, just annoyingly slow to use! How things change.
The settings for all three were kept very simple using devices such as boxes to create miniature displays in each of the photographs. The shots can be seen in use on Nicole’s website, here
Coral Rose, brought her own excellent props in for this group mood shot. Having worked with Coral several times before, I was able to produce a slightly different shot for her than usual. Dictated mainly by the props used, as they were very tribal in nature, the lighting was crafted to be a little more evocative and stark. Coral uses many of these shots for general marketing purposes but also on her website.