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Red Paddle, ecommerce, product photography, photography studio, plymouth, devon, photography, paddleboarding, SUP
Red Paddle Co: Shooting Large Products

Several months ago I was approached by Red Paddle Co and asked to take a quick e- commerce product image of there 10ft 6 inflatable paddle board that would be used for e-commerce purposes. Only sending one item and requiring one image was a relatively straight forward task and using a lighting setup I had used previously for other large items I had photographed I provided the paddleboard manufacturer a result I was extremely happy with.

Red Paddle, ecommerce, product photography, photography studio, plymouth, devon, photography, paddleboarding, SUP

Fast forward a few months and I was contacted again by Red Paddle Co and asked to take e-commerce images for their whole paddleboard and accessories range, including paddles, bags, fins and leashes to name some of the products that arrived in Plymouth and were delivered to the Clash and Clash Photography studio.

Red Paddle, ecommerce, product photography, photography studio, plymouth, devon, photography, paddleboarding, SUP

I had obviously provided Red Paddle Co with an image that made them confident enough to entrust me with the paddle board manufacturers whole range. A total of 16 boards arrived at my photography studio and roughly fifty paddles, fins, leashes and bags. Time to get started. The first 12 paddle boards went off without a hitch and the photography was going well. I suspended the boards from the high ceilings in my photography studio. The boards ranged from being roughly 8 foot up to 14 ft, seeming the most sensible thing to do I started with the smaller paddle boards. Everything was going well and the e-commerce product photography was looking good until… the ceiling in my photography studio was no longer tall enough to hang the boards.

Red Paddle, ecommerce, product photography, photography studio, plymouth, devon, photography, paddleboarding, SUP

The smaller boards and accessories photographed without a hitch now trying to capture the required e-commerce images in our photography studio was becoming a problem. Although the ceiling in the studio I consider to be very high it still wasn’t quite enough.

My first attempt to capture the paddle boards was to photograph the behemoth sized products propped up as high as they could go and to use perspective transform in photoshop to make the boards the relative size, this however just created bizarre converging lines.

Round two, the studio being longer than it is high, I placed the boards on the floor and placed my 3 metre tall stepladder over the middle of the paddle board and ascended to the top of the ladder to photograph each half and merge the 2 images together to create one single e-commerce product shot. The problem with this was when using my Canon 24-70 f2.8 L series lens that I was having to shoot the images with the zoom at its widest. After capturing the two images I opened them in photoshop and began to merge them together.

It should have been obvious, but trying to finish the job within the required time frame I was looking for the most efficient solution. Because the lens being at its widest, the images had resulted with the frame being affected by barrel distortion and when merged together looked like an elephant seals physique sunning itself in the antarctic. The rails of the boards did not line up and resulted in not providing the client with the quality and honest representation of their products they required and deserve. Back to the drawing board.

To the rescue, my Canon TS 24mm L series lens, an absolute hero of a lens, not just with its optical quality but the beauty of this lens was that it provided the use of a shift function (typically used in architectural photography). The plan was to use the shift function in terms of capturing a panoramic, capturing 3 images, 1 shifted fully left, 1 central and 1 shifted fully right. Now the only problem I had was placing the camera at a height that would allow the Canon TS 24m L lens to capture the product images directly above the board.

Red Paddle, ecommerce, product photography, photography studio, plymouth, devon, photography, paddleboarding, SUP

Image results from Canon TS 24 L

After some deliberation and scepticism I had to finally come to the decision of placing my salon stand on top of 2 very large solid wooden speakers at its full height extension, by not much of a margin when the lens was shifted to both left and right the board was finally all within the shot. The lighting was relatively straight forward, lighting each frame individually with 4 Elinchrom BRX 500w heads  ( 2 on each side of the board) and moving them along to match the Lens shifted positions. The light provided was fantastic as always from these flash heads, showing on the LCD screen little sign of inconsistent exposure.

Red Paddle, ecommerce, product photography, photography studio, plymouth, devon, photography, paddleboarding, SUP

After Merging all 3 images, the sections of the paddle boards lined up seamlessly and provided outstanding results in lighting, image sharpness and colour representation. Not that I would like to have my camera as precariously placed as necessary for this shot and being in fear of getting knocked out by a falling salon stand, the results for the e-commerce product images were exceptional in quality. Submitting the images I awaited to hear any feedback. Red Paddle Co must have been happy as I have already been booked for in a few months when the new ranges are out.

Red Paddle, ecommerce, product photography, photography studio, plymouth, devon, photography, paddleboarding, SUP

It’s better to persevere with wanting the best for your clients than it is to settle for anything less…

 

 

Bric, Luggage, Photography, Plymouth, Devon, Travel
Bespoke Product Photography

Recently at Clash & Clash Photography we had the privilege to shoot again for Bric Luggage, providing them with top quality imagery to be used in the latest publication of ‘Cruise International’. The images we provided are to be used to promote a competition in which the luggage set we photographed is the prize.

Bric, Luggage, Photography, Plymouth, Devon, Travel

Know your customer

The brief was pretty open (but not wide open) and with the client being a regular user of our services, we are often trusted with assessing a product(s) and matching their product to a photographic style that fits their companies ethos. We visually represent through our work, images that are suitable and fitting to the brands identity. The job was to provide them with striking images that engage the reader to want to put themselves forward for the opportunity of winning something they desire, not to completely reinvent how Bric is represented through photography.

Make it interesting

The feeling that product photography could be perceived as mechanical to the aspiring university student, and can often spill into the professional world. Sometimes this attitude can result negatively in how products are represented in photographs. But why should you put less effort into imagery for something seen as ‘everyday’, why shouldn’t a crisp packet not be photographed as enigmatically as high end and fashionable Luggage. At Clash & Clash we feel it is best to place a product in it’s best possible light (so to speak) no matter the subject. Shoot more angles, take more images than you need, enjoy your job.

product, photography, Devon, Plymouth, studio

Over-deliver

Providing a client with more photographic options could be seen as a waste of time, expending more effort on what may not be needed. It is by no means a waste of time, it is important, it makes the client feel valued. If you are charging the client on a time basis, make sure they are aware of your intentions to provide them with more options. Before you start the work avoid saying “it’s going to cost you more”, build up a rapport with your clients, earn their trust. Try suggesting “I’ve had a great idea for the product, are you okay with me shooting a few different options” don’t just wade in and send an invoice across, remember you don’t have to edit every single image you take so your only spending time on the capture not on the post processing. The most important thing to remember is that you are confident and honest in your intentions and by providing more options that the ideas will genuinely help the client’s brand image. If you send across 15 options where all you have done is move the camera slightly this is not being honest, reset the products and start again, change the lighting, think about what you are aiming to relay in the images and why it will be relevant to the brand or the purpose of the images you have been commissioned to provide.

Thanks for reading.