How Fine Art Photography fits into Commercial Photography
Posted on 1st July 2020 at 10:11
"I'm looking for a Fine Art Photographer to commission for a commercial photo shoot," was the opening gambit and was music to my ears. This potential client had found me by searching Fine Art Photography because they wanted a different approach that would result in a different look to the usual corporate photography.
I was delighted to get involved at the start of a fresh approach to this notebook business. They had done a lot of work on their vision and values, which was to underpin their marketing. It centred around reaching out to a new audience base by creating a website that felt like a creative community, which had input and involvement from artists and creatives. It inspires and encourages engagement from their customers, with insights into the company's community.
My brief was wide open...simply to have creative freedom to do something different for product photography. When I received the notebooks I loved them. From their packaging to the feel of them in the hand and I knew that I could do something special.
It was very exciting to have a feel for the vision of the business and being part of creating that. It was lifestyle product photography but with an artistic twist!
What you need to think about for a commercial product photo shoot
Developing a Theme for a Photo Shoot.
I knew that I wanted to create an arty feel to the images for this product shoot but it needed to be relatable to a large audience. I looked at the draft website that was in place and got a soft, creative vibe but with an edge to it.
As we were in the middle of the proper Lockdown at this point, I couldn't go very far afield to look for locations to do product photography in Windsor. Luckily there were things emerging in the garden and so I started to develop a loose floral theme, which runs through the photographs.
When you have a number of products to photograph and they are being displayed on a website for sale, there has to be cohesion and a sense that they are from the same 'stable'. That is why developing a theme for a product photography shoot such as this one is important.
They also have to appeal to the target market, in this case a growing audience that has artistic aspirations and wants to engage with a community.
Are Props needed for a Product Shoot?
When I'm developing a vision for 'selling' a lifestyle product I ask myself whether we need props for the shoot or whether it is simply the micro location that is important.
Once I had established the loose floral, arty theme, I decided props were needed, as I wanted each book to have it's own identity, but they mustn't detract from the product itself. I raided our cupboards and sheds for props. Luckily we are an arty household and have loads of stuff everywhere, lots associated with the creative industries.
I constructed sets in the garden from old floorboards and paintings, I took an antique mirror into the flagstone courtyard and raided the roses for their petals...it's amazing what you can think of when the creative juices get flowing!
The whole point of creating these commercial photographs is to get the target market of the business to be engaged with and inspired by the images so that they click through the web pages and eventually are triggered to buy.
Does there need to be variety in Product Photography?
For a commercial photography shoot that is not in the studio there needs to be consistency of style, but variety of images. The style comes from the photographer and the theme they have developed, and variety comes from being inspired to keep experimenting within those confines.
It is one thing to have studio/product shots that are identical, like they do for on line clothes shops, but if you are doing a lifestlye shoot, it could become quite boring for the viewer to see a notebook photgraphed in the same way, even if there are a variety of colours of notebooks. So the key for this shoot was to have a different concept for each colour albeit within the loose theme.
That meant that I developed a location for each colour with a 'set' and within that I took a variety of photographs: close up to show the detail of the cover; further away to give a sense of the location and theme; landscape and portrait orientation, etc.
In that way the website developers had variety and choice.
The client is called Beechmore Books and I have become part of their community, contributing to their Journal with a post on my fascination with shadows in my photography....take a look at the Beechmore Books Journal to read it and explore their website. And if you want to find out more about me as a Fine Art Photographer go to the Fine Art page of my website.
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