This was one of the quickest shoots I’ve ever done. I arrived at the FWJK offices in Umhlanga just before 9am, set up my lighting in the boardroom and in came the first staff member for their company photo. A total of four staff members rushed in on their way to and from meetings, I asked each of them to take a seat and smile while I take a few shots and literally 10 minutes later I was finished. It actually took me longer to drive there than the actual shoot took, incredible!
I was commissioned to do the company photos for Regal Meats. My job was to do portraits of the staff, some general photos in the factory and a group photo outside with the trucks. It all went well. I captured all the smiling staff for their company photos and did a few group shots, then went downstairs and did some general photos in the factory. Then when I went outside I asked if there was a ladder I could use to get a bit higher, I wanted to get the signage on the building and the trucks all in the frame. They didn’t have a ladder on hand so they decided to improvise, I had to stand on a wooden crate and they raised me up on a forklift!
All in all it was a successful shoot, but I don’t recommend looking at the shots I got in the factory if you’re squeamish.
Doing packshots is never as easy as it seems. All these products were very reflective and I had to be very careful, I used a closed lightbox with just the end of my camera lens sticking through an opening. Even still I got reflections which I had to remove afterwards in Photoshop. The other trick is to get angles correct, if you shoot the product from too high or too low then you end up with lines and edges that aren’t straight. Finally, maintaining accurate colours is also a challenge.
The great thing about this shoot was that I did it at my clients premises, so once I’d finished I was home within 10 minutes, but since I didn’t take any of the products with me I had to make sure they were all shot properly because I wouldn’t have been able to re-shoot it. I think they turned out great!
I recently spent two full days doing fashion photography in my home studio for a jewellery brand named Del Coursy. The first day was doing the packshots for roughly 150 items and the second day was the models shoot. Because I don’t have a permanent studio, I set up my backdrop and lighting in my lounge. In came the two models Monique and Monica from Models International, as well as Kendall from Nixon Make-up and the two Del Coursy ladies. We worked as a team to get the best possible images for the website. All the images had to be cropped to square to fit the format of the website.
Somehow I seem to have picked up a bit more fashion work recently, maybe it’s something I should look at doing more in the future…
I was commissioned by an electronics company called Autotronix to shoot photos and video at their Lower Tugela Water Works site. I had a shot list which I was given and a site foreman who took me around, and off we went for the day in hardhats and reflective vests. The main aspect of the site that they wanted to capture was the electronics, cabling and boards as well as a few overhead photos and a couple of staff shots in between. It was a full day of shooting in may different spaces and environments, which was demanding from a technical aspect especially since I was shooting both still photos and video. Still it was well worth it and definately helped keep me on my toes
I was asked to do photos for the Riverside Day Spa to be used in their brochures, website and other advertising. I felt like I had been transported to another planet when I walked in there, because as a man it isn’t an environment I’m used to being in. They really have thought of everything, from the relaxing music and subdued lighting to the friendly smiles of all the staff. They have a lovely lounge area and coffee as well as a locker room for their clients to keep their belongings safe. I spent a couple of hours there and saw many ladies arriving for their treatments, and to my surprise a few men too!
It feels like forever since I’ve had the time to update my blog, in fact I’m going to have to do some posts and backdate them because I’ve had a ridiculously chaotic past few months. Today’s shoot however is of a budding actress and model named Tara who is on her way to the USA soon to showcase her talents, her agency got hold of me and asked me to do a portfolio shoot. Something simple and natural, that looks like a studio shoot but not quite a studio shoot. So here it is!
I was on my way to another shoot when I got a call from one of my old clients, he told me one of their warehouses was empty and they needed professional photos to advertise it to potential tenants. The brief was quite simple, to show off the space and scale of the warehouse and offices. I did all the interior photos first and then finished off with the exteriors, in the hope that the sun had gone down a bit and the light wasn’t quite as bright. Sometimes it’s nice to do a shoot that doesn’t involve people, but after a while it got a bit lonely and I felt myself wanting to place people in the spaces to give it a bit of a human element.
I often get called into businesses to take professional photos of the staff, premises and machinery. The photos get used on websites, in annual reports, brochures and other marketing material. Action Coach is one such company. I like to capture the staff in their work environment, it gives the photos an honest and real element that you wouldn’t normally get against a plain backdrop. Darryn and his team had the greatest smiles and a lot of laughs!
I was called in to a company called Chilli Source to do their corporate staff photos. Being a design and advertising company, it was important to push the creativity. Luckily their office block provided ample opportunity to shoot. We used indoor stairs, couches and walls to compliment the compositions. We also did a lot of studio-type shots so that they can photoshop different backgrounds and get more creative with doodles and collages.
It was a fun morning, thanks for picking me Odelle, thanks to Ruth for all the assistance and thanks to Trent for keeping me hydrated with a fanta while I was shooting!