For Your Next Photoshoot, Try Building An Interesting Set

Taking your creativity to the next level can make all the difference between typical photographs and artistic photographs. Orb Outerwear just released their new Fall 2011 fashion designs and they included a fun behind the scenes video to go along with it. So many photographers already have a pretty solid understanding of lighting to produce great photos. What they lack is artistic vision to do something different and unique. Everyone who reads this blog can easily create a small team of set designers, hair stylists, makeup artists, and clothing stylists to produce studio quality catalog profiles. Try putting something like this together for your entry into the Behind The Scenes Contest we are running. Unfortunately I could not find out who the photographer was so if you know the talent responsible for these please reply in the comments. Watch the second video below to see a stop motion video of some of the final images (the snow shoot doesn't appear to have been published yet).

Final Photographs:

Log in or register to post comments


i dont think 'interesting' is the word for them sets

Patrick Hall's picture

Oh I was totally inspired by the snow set and might even 'borrow' from that idea down the road.  Not so much for you Alex?

The snow set was good but fairly obvious for the winter snow wear shot, but the boring interior set was drab

That's the first time I've seen that medium format system used for a fashion shoot. Seems like it would be more a hassle than anything.

That is a Hasselblad 500c/m with a digital back he is using. 

Wow! The BTS is much better than the final product. I watched the final once and I watched the BTS 4 times! Even the music is better in the BTS (my taste).

davidb's picture

would love to see their lighting schematic with all the black flags they are using and white boards.
that would be killer to see.

Almost as great as the videos you guys post on your site are the guaranteed negative blasts from commenters.  Do people not understand that for commercial shots the photographers are hired to do a very specific look and expected to deliver a very specific product??

I understand that there is not a lot of variance in the images with the simple background set, but I would imagine that is EXACTLY what they were hired to do and it looks like they tried to have fun doing it.  Final images are clean, well lit and look like solid catalog style photographs. 

Maybe if they had included an interview with the photographer explaining the job and then going over the lighting/set decisions it would have been clearer.  But again, I don't believe this video was released with photographers in mind.  Just something to show their customers that "look.. we have fun on our photoshoots".  Does exactly what it was intended to do. 

Patrick Hall's picture

Ha yeah, it's really hard to please every photographer with a good informative BTS video.  Some people want to be force fed quality information but I'd like to think our readers could read between the lines and take something out of less informative videos like this.  

Commercial work BTS seem boring because all the planing has been done weeks before and its basically streamlined. The models don't need a ton of direction because they are PROS and the photographers don't piddle around with settings because they already had them figured out days before.

Everyone is doing their job and they are doing it fast with precision. You watch these types of videos to understand the professional quality and creative final product, you shouldn't watch these to learn how set up lights and how to edit photos. Go to Adorama if you need to learn about setting up lights because they do a great job.

Most HIGH level videos that get posted on this site don't get commented on very much. I think its because the work is kinda out of the scope of the average snapper.  Some people want a magic bullet and don't like to hear, "the creativity starts in my mind and there is no formula."

Fstoppers has enough for everyone though. I love these types of videos but I don't like the low budget ALMOST commercial fashion videos by small time shooters. Where as others love the more intimate lower budget fashion videos because the person tells you how to use gear you probably already own to do the shot they just showed you.

This site has it all.

Patrick Hall's picture

Thanks Michael, we try to post a bit for everyone.  That's what's great about the Wednesday Rundown is we can feature videos from our readers without offending those who want to only see higher end shoots on the front.

You are totally correct in the creativity starts in the mind comment.  I watched this video and wasn't blown away by the final images but loved the idea of the winter theme.  Videos like this should give a creative person just enough inspiration to encourage them to setup a similar shoot where they can elaborate on their own ideas.

I've two things to note.

1- I actually do feel I learned something to a degree with this video. Not so much in terms of lighting or photography techniques, but in terms of how a shoot can go. I understand that it's been edited and arranged to be as fun and lighthearted as possible, especially with the addition of Adrienne Pierce's delightful tune, but it still manages to give off a feeling of such happiness and good times going on between the shots. I have had minimal work with models, but the instances I have done have been pretty dull, bordering on uncomfortable, in terms of "interaction on the side". This video doesn't give any tips in regards to "make the environment more fun", and that relies largely on the people, but it at least made me notice, and want to put effort into the next time I work with models, to try and make it more social and enjoyable.

2 - I understand that as models, their focus and purpose here is to be attractive. Even with that factor in mind, the 1:43 mark to the 1:56 mark, coupled with the music, is the most beautiful thing I think I've ever seen. I'll probably wave to word that differently when I show it to my girlfriend.


Well that was a constructive comment.

I liked this because it was relevant to the line of work I'm getting into. Picked up a few things, and I'll probably check this video out again in a few months.

Patrick Hall's picture

August snores during everything.  He needs a kick in the ass :)

We are super stoked that our video made it into your discussion. We were happy with how well everything went considering our super tight timelines and our limited budgets.

We shot the video because we thought that it would be a fun and cute way to introduce our consumers to our brand in a way that they don't usually see it. We never imagined that it would be a topic of discussion for photographers. So you know, this shoot was very much a typical rushed commercial catalog photo shoot. The images are being used for the catalog sections of and for business to business print catalogs only. To get an idea of what our timelines were like, we got the clothes in from the manufacture on December 3rd, did the shoot on December 6th and 7th and had to have everything (3 catalogs averaging 50 pages each, 5 PDF catalogs, 4 videos) sent to the printers on December 13th. Quite a lot of work with a design team of only two people. As you can see by the photos on the Orb site, the images that we use, other than in the catalog section, are very much natural lifestyle images and not studio shots. The catalog images that you see in the video were shot by Anthony Redpath, who an amazing photographer, who was basically doing us a favor by blasting a thousand shots and three sets in two days. You can see his work here He shot with the medium format camera with a digital back and it made life so easy! With every shot we were able to view it real time on a large monitor and were able to approve it on the spot. The photographer for the lifestyle imagery on the Orb Site is Noel Fox who doesn't have a photography site up at the moment, but his URL does link to his old advertising agency. http://www.noelfox.comThe guy who shot and edited the video is Jeremy Cox. The team who put together the sets and props were Rebecca Dodgson who is Orb's Graphic Designer, Noel Fox who is their Creative Director/Brand Manager and the rest of the team at Orb Clothing. 

For this years shoot we will not be making a fancy set or using models. We will be shooting all product on a mannequin and using the money saved using expensive models and fancy sets to shoot more lifestyle imagery on location similar to what you see on the home pages of the Orb website. We chose this path because the usability and shelf life of a great lifestyle shot is far greater than what we are able to get out of our studio shots. 

Hope this helps :)