A while back we were asked to do some 360 degree photography by one of our regular clients. However, the need was for large and heavy items to be photographed, 36 shots at regular 10 degree movements, on location. With products weighing in at up to 100kg and standing over 100cm high, it was clear that we needed a bespoke solution that could be packed away and transported to the clients location.
Off the shelf turntables fall into two categories – small tabletop turntables (not up to this job) or vast turntables not portable (ie for automotive). What we came up with was a simple solution that fits in a car & cost under £100…
This involved a fair bit of thought, to mark out the graduations but is elegantly simple – has now been painted white and seen quite a bit of use. 1 meter squared sections of 25mm thickness MDF, a bales catch and heavy duty nylon castors (thankyou Screwfix). The bales catch provides positive latching to the indents on the base and the top section with product centered on top is manually rotated 1 click per shot.
This has become another of those studio tools that is just so simple, yet a joy to use and provides perfect 360 degree images for use as GIF’s or manually rotated web images.
On a recent overseas trip, I was reminded of a fun job we did a while ago for Oxfordshire based Cobalt Light Systems. Cobalt are at the cutting edge of airport security scanning systems, with machines that can analyse the contents of bottles and other containers, without the need for them even being open – or in scientific terms “non-invasive through barrier chemical analysis”.
Whilst passing security, I spotted one of cobalt’s units in action – the photographic work we undertook for Cobalt was rather fun – in producing product images for use on the machine’s user display – all sorts of different types of containers for drinks, foodstuffs etc.
Cobalt wanted images that were instantly recognisable to the user, in any language but they were wary of copyright and trademark infringement – so we set about doctoring images of well know brand products in photoshop. Photoshopping images is a large part of the work we do, both in terms of optimising product photography and also longevity of product images – we recently photographed a large selection of Rothschild wines for Waddesdon’s online gift shop and provided product images of wine bottles both with and without (edited) vintage years on the wine labels.
This level of Photoshop proficiency can be very useful when product images are required but the product itself is at a prototype stage, with some details yet to be configured – but you need to have someone that is good at it, as there is nothing worse than an image that is obviously Photoshopped!
It is always good to see our commercial photography working well for Oxfordshire and nearby businesses. Perhaps the most commercial of photography jobs undertaken in recent memory being for Box Technologies.
Box technologies are the masters of providing point of sale of equipment to the retail sector – essentially the hub of retail commercial activity. We have done numerous photo shoots on location at Box Technologies Thame HQ allowing prospective customers to see their POS units at all angles. Recent work included product photography for their entire range of point of sale equipment, displays and peripherals.
The pictured image shows the reverse one of a new range of integrated sales tablets that feature a built in and removable chip & pin machine – no more waiting in a queue, as sales assistants can process a sale on the shop floor!
In a previous life, I worked for many years as a Fine Arts valuer for a leading provincial auction house. Now as a commercial photographer in Oxfordshire and surrounding counties, I am able to provide a very useful service for clients when it comes to documenting collections of Fine Art & Antiques, be it furniture, paintings, ceramics, jewellery, silver, glass & objet vertu. Quality, detailed, high resolution photography for insurance purposes is a must for those with high value collections.
The benefits of having a detailed photographic record of insured possessions is clear, as should the worst happen, clear images can assist both with obtaining accurate current market valuations and can also assist in possible future recovery of lost or stolen items.
Client discretion is assured and years of experience handling fine arts brings the comfort that your items are in safe hands. Collections of antiques (or just selected items) can be photographed either at our Oxfordshire studio, or for ease at your location at a very affordable rate. Can you afford not to have a decent photographic record of your treasured possessions?
Usually, when working in the Oxfordshire studio, Spotify will be providing the audio backdrop, which helps greatly with concentration. A great deal of concentration is required when photographing commercial products, to ensure that products are captured in their best light, pin sharp and repeatably so – all product images and packshots conforming to the same chosen stylistic theme…
Spotify radio often gives a welcome change from much listened to playlists but does sometimes bring up music that wouldn’t normally be chosen. This week, one such track came up whilst working in the studio, the lyrics of which raised a smile & seemed quite relevant to the work at hand – Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back.
“Bringing Sexy Back” is what is quite frequently done at Phoduct in terms of product photography – giving the most normal and functional (never say boring) products an allure, as can be seen in the gallery example of a silicone rubber oven mitt.
Our Google tagline is “Commercial Photographer – packshot & product photography in Oxford, Oxfordshire and everywhere”.
It is just worth explaining that although we are based in Oxfordshire and indeed many of our clients are Oxford or Oxfordshire based – a whole lot of our other clients are elsewhere in the country.. neighbouring Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and a lot further away too.
Some of our clients in fact, we have never even met face to face! Couriering items to us for product photography is a very straight forward process and proofing of product shots can very easily be done online. So, if you are not geographically nearby, we are still very happy to provide our services!
Every so often, we like to offer our services free of charge to organisations whose ethos is aligned with ours. This time we would like to offer product photography free to the first business that contacts us with a NEW to market and genuinely Eco Friendly product.
Normally as product photographers we work with purely commercial enterprises, so it is always good to do some work with those whose direction is not purely commercial and in this case environmental.
We’ll provide up to 10 studio shots, post processed and ready to use – Gratis. You send us the product and we’ll get shooting.
What’s the catch? There is no catch, we’d simply like to work with a business that is truly concerned with protecting the environment, we’ve only got one planet & it could use all the help it can get…
One important detail that helps create a slicker looking website is uniformity – often clients will have an extensive range of products to be photographed and sold online. These in turn will often appear as multiple product images on the same page. For this reason, it is very important to have all product images or pack shots treated in exactly the same way.
A good example of this is work done for local Oxfordshire company Motoring Classics for whom we photographed a range of their classic car products. The image above shows part of their range of classic wiper blades, all following the exact same alignment and post production treatment – all looking very neat and tidy. The careful shooting of these products at a uniform angle creates a slick and professional look – another reason to use a professional such as Phoduct!
With this example, notice also the very slight suggestion of a drop shadow, put below each of the products, another neat trick that gives a little depth and adds to the “reality” of each product image.
Some time ago, we blogged about the pitfalls of businesses trying to do DIY product images and packshots – together with the benefits of getting it right first time by using a professional. That blog post prompted contact from Walcot House Ltd, who were in just that situation. With a rapidly expanding range of high quality products and moving towards retailing these products online, we were asked to fulfill their product imaging needs.
Walcot House’s products come in a vast array of surface finishes, some of which were very challenging to capture and would certainly have been beyond the reach of the DIY photographer. The resulting work, now in use on Walcot House’s excellent website is very pleasing and hopefully working well in driving sales.