Home Product Photography
Even though it was shot in a private home kitchen, this video is a real life, last minute product photoshoot for two very serious brands. All the ingredients are there. Creativity, pre-visualising, lighting, composition, focal length, depth of field, etc. - all have to be brought together, in the correct amounts and order to create the finished image.
Photographers have to be able to think on their feet and deal with situations as they arise. Especially when using natural light in a home environment as I was for a last minute product photo shoot for my friend Jen Williams creator and owner of Naked Jam.
Naked Jam make unique, all natural preserves and chutneys for exclusive clients. In this case, the 5 Star Chewton Glen Hotel. Jen called late one afternoon asking if I could come up with a product shot at short notice, that fulfilled a brief and could be shot at home in her own kitchen?
How could I say no? Jen's a friend and I love this kind of product shoot. I can be creative, have to work with whatever’s available and still deliver the goods. I call it “guerrilla” photography!
The brief was for an image with a ‘country hotel’ feel to promote their “Foraged on The Estate’ range which Jen produces exclusively for them. It also had to clearly show the pride both brands have in working together because this isn’t a white label product, it’s collaboration.
Shooting in a real life environment is always a challenge because you have to think on your feet and make whatever you have to hand work. You can’t turn round to a client and say “sorry the photos are rubbish, but we did shoot it in your kitchen”. It’s the photographer’s responsibility to ensure the client gets the very best. (I’m about to make a video and share the story of a shoot I recently did for a global company where I faced exactly this scenario)
If you really know something won’t work, tell the client, suggest an alternative, but make sure they understand and have a realistic expectation of what's p[ossible. This is your responsibility.
Technical knowledge isn’t enough you have to be able to think like a photographer using the 7 Blocks of Photography to bring it all together.
From being influenced by other people's preferences and styles, I am now happy to "do my own thing" and take photos that I like, rather than what I think others will like. I have proved in the past that my style is not what the majority of folk like, but now I can gladly say "tough, I like it". I'm also more content to experiment with exposure, focus, composition etc.