In this assignment, the photographers had to jump through a few hoops. The previous week they had to submit a “Creative Direction” shoot showing at least two different approaches to doing the fictitious catalog.
Those approaches had to meet some criteria. First is that there are 200 similar items, and the art director wants the catalog (traditional paper and online) to be as consistent as possible. The second is that there is a limited budget, and while the money is pretty good for a two day shoot, it dwindles fast past that point. Shooting 100 items in a day, and having them all be matching takes some planning and a stylistic approach that will allow them to be shot quickly and efficiently. (NOTE: In the fictitious brief all items are similar in size.)
So the photographers have to show a creative direction that also makes it possible to do this catalog in two days, not a week.
The students did a bang up job of it as well. The creative direction shots were reviewed and we assigned that look. This is the finished catalog page in that creative style. The layout was delivered to them as a layered PSD and they could not change anything on it – just insert the photographs. Understanding how to work with a layout, and shooting to that layout is a very important part of commercial photography.
As we do every year, the meetup / party is scheduled for February 6-8 and the trip north is from February 8 – 15.
There are no creative or workshop fees attached. Only a per person share for van rentals, gas and a few consumables. We will have information on local hotels and booking info ASAP.
The weekend starts Friday with a trip to the Superstition Mountains, some incredible mountain vistas, lunch at Tortilla Flats and great comraderie. Saturday is spent in town at the studio.
If you are a current or past member of Project 52, you are welcome to attend. I will need to know if you are for sure coming by December 1, and will base all bookings on that number so late entries may be difficult to accommodate.
My friend Josh Ross and I got a chance to talk a bit about marketing and project life cycle of a product shoot. This was an invite only (Project 52 members) and you will hear some questions at the end of the webinar. This is NOT a flashy look at photographs webinar, it is a listen and learn webinar.
The assignment was to shoot a portrait with one light.
Studio Portrait: Clean background, Simple Light; Forceful, Expressive Portrait
A very clean portrait shot on a flat field background (wall, seamless, cyc, material, cloth, canvas…) Tightly focused and stylistically within your style. This image should be created to show how you handle strong personalities in front of your lens.
There should be special attention placed on the expressiveness of the portrait: Sadness, pain, angst, joy, humor, intensity… ENGAGED.
We want to see more than a smile, more than a beauty shot. This is a glimpse into the soul of the subject.
It is important to make the lighting something that enhances the look / feel of the subject. Whether it is soft or hard, single light or multiple strobes, natural or mixed or whatever, the light and the subject should be something that makes sense – to you.
To me, one light is a way of presenting a subject free of the hand of the photographer. A light is a light, and the subject has a relationship to that light that is in many ways more organic than when additional lights are added in. Of course, I am referring to lights on the subject, not background lights or ambient or location specific lighting.
This week the August group took on the “one light portrait” challenge:
One of the recent assignments at Project 52 PROS was to make the worst photograph they could make. The assignment was designed to make the students think about what makes a good photograph in order to negate that in order to make a terrible photograph. You can see the assignment here.
Alicia Bonterre turned in a perfect example. The image of the bottle and the glass on the left were not staged. Simply set down and shot. She then worked her magic on the image to the right. I think this would be a very good way to show clients the power of what you do as a professional photographer. Think of some ways to show before and after shots that educate and inspire your clients.