BTS of How Apple's Product Photographer Makes the iPhone Ad Perfect

The photography for Apple's products have become an iconic style that virtually every other technology company has tried to emulate. In a recent interview with The Verge, Apple's product photographer Peter Belanger takes us through the steps to make such an simplistic photograph come to life, using some of the most complex lighting setups imaginable.

In the interview, Peter Belanger tells us of his history as a product photographer in San Francisco, and what it feels like to be the man behind some of the most recognizable product photography in history, without the world knowing your name. In the walkthrough of his day photographing iPads and iPhones for a living, Peter explains the process of getting those iconic shots.

iPadiPadPhotoshoot

IpadShoot

"The team at Apple always has a really well developed shot list and sketches of what they need. I work with their talented art directors to translate those sketches into photos. We start by getting the position of the product and then move forward on lighting. Because Apple products have such carefully selected materials it is incredibly important to light the product in a way that will showcase the various materials accurately." Peter states.

But simply watching the behind the scenes video above will show you all the hard work that goes into such a project. Click here to see the full interview with The Verge.

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15 Comments

great video. and the pics down, its just crazy... working with tungsten. very oldschool :)

Very precise tho! We did things with Arri lights that would be too difficult to reproduce with flashes/strobes in a timely manner.

yes, i know. tungsten rules when it comes to precise light control. but its sooo hot :) and costly.

Don't forget that you also have to space out all the plugs! Try putting more than one or two HMI's into a normal socket, and you are going to have a bad time with the fuze box.

Which large overhead diffuser are you using in the video? I like how it looks light weight and is wrinkle free, which is more than can be said for me.

But it doesn't have that yellow border around the fabric and the corners aren't cut away, like in the filmtools link you posted. But thanks for your reply.

I gave you a link for the matthews silk, I think he is using an American silk, couldn't find it to purchase online.

Why not using a rendering to photograph something that actually looks like a rendering?

jimifilo's picture

This is a particularly salient point that product photographers are going to have to face more in the coming years.

Shhhhhhhh.... ;)

Now I understand why Ikea is using computer generated images. This seems insane to me, it looks almost like a prank to show an overly complex setup and then hoping everybody tries to do the same....

The amount of gear is actually fairly typical (ok, maybe a bit less) for product photography. Lots of little cards to get reflections just right. It's a lot more complicated w/ anything that has reflections (e.g., jewelry).

It's like trying to chop with fork. I think photography is simply a wrong tool for the job. But it's 3GS, it was done years ago. I bet that it's rendered nowadays.

Saw that 'ish in '09. Literally.