Recently, we had the pleasure of working with a talented ceramicist, producing a whole range of imagery from still life to interior lifestyle. In this article, we’ll explain how these different approaches can create vastly different images, each with their own unique feel and advantages for the client.
But first, a little about the artist behind Febbie Day Ceramics, Deborah Buckley. Deborah, a maker and creative influencer, has gained a glowing reputation for her work in porcelain clay. During a recent collaboration with Myroo Skincare Debbie talks about her passion for ceramics and her aspiration to become a designer…
“Being a Ceramic Artist is essentially a dream come true for me, and an aspect of my life that I am immersed in now that my children are a little more grown-up! I work exclusively in Porcelain clay – it is a light, strong and fine material which (when fired) is remarkably robust. I employ a rather unorthodox style of slip-casting which involves caressing layers of clay by hand around a mould.
Porcelain is notoriously temperamental to work with – instilling a deeper satisfaction both throughout the process and in the finished piece. I complete all artistic aspects myself, and enjoy adding curves and surface design to ensure that each piece I make is truly unique!”
This shoot really does illustrate the various different styles that ceramics can be shot in. Although this shoot, was carried out entirely remotely from the client, working with Deborah was exciting and the work was fascinating to photograph and to style. Using a pared back approach to props and styling works well with ceramics, as does using hard materials such as granite, tile, and the like to accompany the product.
For the still life images below I picked wildflowers, which can be a good alternative to bought-in versions as they have a different, more raw appearance. Adding a dash of realism to the imagery.
The technique and resulting images depend much upon the surface quality of the work, the most important being whether they are glossy or matte. Either way I tend to use additional diffusion to what the standard softbox will provide.
The additional diffusion, further softens the light meaning that the change from light to shadow is made more gradual. This wraps around the objects, particularly with cylindrical forms, and conveys the shape of the object to the viewer.
OVERHEAD / FLATLAY
Digressing slightly, I picked a modernist set of cutlery up a while ago for a couple of pounds as I thought the style of them was amazing. They’re extremely simple, modernist and geometric and definitely have the look! They have ‘Air France’ stamped on them very subtly and when I looked them up recently and they were designed by Raymond Loewy a French-American industrial designer. I will be picking up some more soon of varying designs, I think this time I will have to pay a little more though. You can always check out our prop range, by looking at the Prop Cupboard.
The cutlery’s shapes and style complements the dinner plates and give the viewer a sense of purpose and eagerness to use them.
INTERIOR STYLE / LIFESTYLE
By using a small Habitat side table, and a corner of the studio with its period skirting board, a sense of style was created that accompanied these bowls, cups and vases really well.
We have a real love for ceramics and how photography can bring out different elements and styles. These are a few of the aspects we bring to each ceramics shoot…
• Bringing out surface features and definition.
• Accompanying props to add, not detract quality or attention.
As an example the books in the Still Life shot, the spine titles were removed in post production.
• Using diffused light to wrap around the objects, and create a graduated lighting effect overall.
This is what Deborah had to say about the shoot “I was absolutely blown away by the photos taken by Richard! The composition was incredible – it was exactly how I wanted my ceramic home ware and art pieces to be displayed. He captured the mood perfectly, and I felt as though he has represented my style and brand in every shot. Richard also wrapped each ceramic piece thoroughly for the transition back to my studio, so they all arrived in an immaculate condition. I received a professional service throughout and I highly recommend Forever Creative Photography to everybody.”
Later Deborah was featured in both British GQ Magazine, and Wired Magazine who both used the following image from the shoot.
For more handmade ceramics photography, please see the Ceramics Gallery.