There is a fine line between having a well defined photographic style, and constantly putting out the same stale, boring work week after week. A fine and dangerous line. A line that can make the difference between being a successful, inspiring photographer and a photographer who has lost his audience and has even lost interest in his/her own work.
Sean Madden, creative director from the ad agency Brains On Fire, reached out to me earlier this year and asked if given an arsenal of stunt drivers, the newest high performance BMW's, and a closed race course, could I create a 58 foot long composite print for BMW. My answer? "When can I start?" Watch the video and read the post below to learn how the shoot came together.
When this post is published I will be on my way to Moscow, Russia somewhere above the North Atlantic Ocean. I have a couple of shoots booked with my regular clients there, and my relationships with those clients are so great and long-lasting that they inspired me to write this article.
Guest writer, Corey Rich is primarily an outdoor/adventure photographer, but last winter he decided to do something totally different and shoot CrossFit—the masochistic athletic craze sweeping the nation. More than anything, he was keen to experiment with heavy-duty artificial lighting in an indoor environment–not exactly what he's known for. His goals were simply to elevate his lighting skills, unlock his creativity in different ways, learn some new things, and have fun in the process.
As a fellow commercial photographer I know that clients come to us for consistency and reliability. They hire us because when they are spending the big bucks on advertising campaigns they don’t want to leave things up to chance. It is part of our job to deliver the end product on time and free of flaws, but even a professional at the top of their game still battles with human error.
A few months ago we featured one of commercial photographer Michael Herb's tutorials on masking and composting. Michael is back with an awesome behind the scenes video of a national ad campaign he shot for Textile Designer Patty Madden. Michael set out to create some creative photos to showcase the unique advertising that hasn't really been seen before in a nation ad campaign for furniture.
San Francisco based photographer Rob Prideaux makes a living shooting still-life and product photography for clients such as EuroRSCG, 7X7, Google, and Wells Fargo. But what caught my eye was how Rob experiments with "smoke and fire”, attempting to bend it to his will using motion, air and interestingly, stencils. Another cool... hot... (trying to avoid a pun here) neat thing about the way Rob achieves this is the use of seamless white which allow both the smoke and fire to, so clearly, coexist within the same frame.
Transitioning into commercial photography is no easy task. For some it’s the holy grail, end game, and ultimate dream job to have in the industry. For others it couldn’t be further from what they want- and that's fine! However, for those of you planning a transition from event/portrait based photography into the commercial advertising world, there is a long list of connections, lingo, and experience based knowledge you need to have in addition to being at the top of your game visually.
It’s interesting times for those of us shooting photo and video. I enjoy highlighting photographers or videographers who are utilizing elements of both stills and motion work, and are pushing the creative envelope by integrating them so that the end result is more than just the sum of the individual parts. I'm going to go all in and lay my cards down here and say that the video in this post is going to be the most innovative, creative use of combining stills and video together that we’ll see in 2013.
I have a horrible habit of being really hard on myself when I hit a snag in my shooting or processing. Anytime I'm in a rut, things can go haywire. I get depressed, don't feel like working, and become pessimistic. I know it's the same for a lot of other shooters too.
One way I get over it is to go back and look at images from way back before I was shooting professionally.
This behind the scenes video from Lars Schneider, would no doubt be a killer shoot to land.
The location for the outdoor catalog shoot took place in Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies last September for Ortlieb, a company that makes various bags for outdoor activities.
You've all seen these images. It's the knob-and-hanger set up that has become the signature style for many kids retail sites such as Zulily. What you do not see, however, are all the tools that go into creating these minimalist images. The bulk of my work as a commercial photographer is with product, one of which is children's clothing for sites like Zulily, so let me give you a sneak peek into my personal tool bag that I could not work without.
The music we use in our work, whether for videos or slide shows for stills images, is an integral part of the narrative and story we are trying tell. The genre, artist and music track we choose, sets the tone for the entire story we wish to tell. I treat music as the keystone that underpins the visual story of a BTS video, commercial work, documentary piece or creative editorial shoot that I am working on.
If you are into photographing people, the idea of working with professionals has probably been on the agenda at some point in your career. Whether an editorial photographer, fashion and beauty shooter, or just someone who likes creating awesome fantasy composites, the use of professional models will invariably improve your work. So how do we go about working with these gatekeepers of the people photography industry?
I'm glad you asked!