Category Archives: Product Photography

Giambrone’s

I was delighted to be invited to provide some promotional material for a new delicatessen and café in Hertford town centre recently. The business were looking for images to submit to a local magazine and annual restaurant guide showing the interior and exterior of their premises, together with images of their products, including hampers, panettones, cakes and pasties, meats, pasta and other Italian produce.

Exterior photo of Giambrone's cafe and delicatessen in Hertford

As with all such jobs I spent a while on the premises in the days before the shoot to get an idea of the environment – the space, the lighting, the angles and the backdrops. The retail premises is on a corner plot and glazed from floor to ceiling on two sides, giving plenty of light, albeit of a different colour temperature to the internal lighting. Immediately opposite is a vacant shop with whitewashed windows – not the best view out of the premises and something to avoid when taking shots that are meant to look appealing.

The shoot took place during working hours so it was important not to get in the way of customers and staff.  Some shots had to wait until there were less people around whilst others had to be composed to minimise their presence. In a couple of shots it was necessary to airbrush out the odd head or other body part!

Photograph of shop interior

The product shots were probably the simplest as the displays were already well lit, with the fresh pasties and cakes looking especially pleasing. The staff also provided me a some excellent displays of cured meats and freshly made coffee.

Finally, we shot some of the packed goods on shelves and in the refrigerated displays.

A full set of my images from the Giambrone’s shoot can be found on Flickr.

If you’re interested in promoting your business through photography why not contact me to find out how I can help show off your business. Just fill in the contact form on my main website..  

Sample Images

If you’re planning on having a range of products photographed I’m happy to provide a sample image.

I recently met with a customer who wanted some images of small lighting units for use on the company’s website and in print media. They provided me with an example of their products and I provided a free-of-charge sample image based on their requirements. The turnaround time was 48 hours and the item was also returned within this period.

The minimum order quantity for sample images is around 10 items and the service can only be offered for smaller products following a meeting to discuss your exact requirements.

If you like to find out more about my product photography services just click here, or to see a portfolio of my product photography images just visit the website here.

Website Photography

In addition to product photography I also provide service related images for websites and other marketing materials. This is similar to stock photography but specifically tailored to a client’s needs.

The image on the right was produced for a client who specialises in cookery classes and was looking for an image to use on her website. She knew what she wanted but was unable to easily source a stock image. I was able to produce an image to her specification at an affordable price that will be unique to her business and which she’ll be able to us in a variety of ways, without having to worry about restrictive licensing conditions.

As well as providing images that relate to specific business functions, I can also provide photos of premises, staff and other business related imagery that can be used in promotional materials.

If you’re interested in sourcing photographs for your website, why not contact me for a competitive quotation.

Fume Cupboards

A couple of weeks ago I took some shots for a Hertford business that manufactures fume cupboards and associated accessories.

The brief was to photograph the units from the front and present them on a white background for use in literature and on the web. The work took place at the client’s factory.

A couple of challenges presented themselves with this assignment. Firstly, the cupboards have highly reflective surfaces; and secondly, they feature lots of horizontal and vertical lines.

The reflective surfaces are made up of white gloss paintwork and windows. The challenge is to place the lighting such that reflections and shadows are minimal. The cabinets are also lit internally so there is also an additional matter of balancing lighting temperatures and intensity.

The straight lines of the units mean that the camera has to be positioned to get the correct perspective and minimise geometric distortion. Unfortunately space was limited with one of the cupboards and therefore it was necessary to tweak the perspective in Photoshop.

The units where lit with a pair of 400W strobes and exposure was manual, using an aperture of around f5.6 to f8.

As well as correcting perspective and geometry in Photoshop, I also made the usual tweaks to the colour curves, before isolating the cupboards from the background.

If you’re a business and Hertfordshire or Essex and you need images of products like this then find out more by visiting my Product Photography page.

Guitar Making Classes

A word I often like to use to describe my photography is “observational“. This can mean photographing people, their environment, and the things they surround themselves with, either personally or professionally. Yesterday was a good example of this kind of work, when I was invited to photograph Nick Blishen at his workshop in Hertford.

Nick is an accomplished guitar maker and lectures on the subject at London Metropolitan University. I was asked to provide some promotional shots for forthcoming classes in guitar making being offered by a local music retailer.

The setting I was given was ideal – informal and relaxed, with a handful of visitors taking an interest in the various stages of the craft. I was able to photograph Nick chatting and talking about his work, as well as focusing (quite literally) on some of the tools and work in progress. The workshop was also light and airy so there was no need any artificial lighting.

The shots were delivered to the client the next day after post-production editing.

Latest Product Shoot

I took this shot last month for a local company that sells computer gaming equipment. We took a number of shots in the client’s home over a period of three hours, including other shots of associated seating and a collection of iPad stands.

I used a white cotton backdrop and CFL constant lighting for the shoot, later editing out the background with Photoshop. The images were delivered to the client around two weeks after the shoot.

Alexandra Brady Art

I recently completed work for a local art student, photographing material for her website.

The site features a selection of her work, including drawings, prints and ceramics, all of which are available for purchase.

We photographed the drawings and prints on her living room floor, using a pair of softboxes for illumination and the artwork between the legs of the tripod with the camera pointed down.

I also edited a handful of images provided by Alexandra herself using Photoshop.

The finished results can be seen at www.alexandrabrady.co.uk.

Cake Composition

I recently provided an image for an online cake shop who are looking to upgrade their website. The brief was simply to show the sliced product with a white background.

Having researched similar websites I chose a simple setting that minimised any distraction. I lit the shot using a pair of softboxes at 45 degrees, positioned to avoid any reflections in the plate or fork. I chose an aperture of f8 to keep most of the cake in focus, which at ISO100 gave an exposure of 1/10th second. The only editing was a tweak to the levels in Photoshop.

If you’d like to find out more about the product photography services I offer please visit my website at www.stevebeeston.co.uk.

Hertford Brewery Exhibition

I’ve recently finished work on a project providing material for a small exhibition about the history of Hertford Brewery.

The exhibition forms part of a new Sainsbury’s store in the town, which occupies the site of the former lager building of the brewery, which has been run by the McMullen family since 1827.

The client was Museums & Heritage Consultant Val Bott, who was commissioned by Sainsbury’s to work on the project. My brief was to photograph the modern brewery in operation and supply photos of old advertising posters from the company’s archive.

Photographing the brewery was straightforward, with head brewer Chris Evans’ patient co-operation and assistance setting up shots.

For the archive material I was ably assisted by Val, who removed many of the old posters and advertising materials from their frames so that I could photograph them. I used ambient daylight rather that dedicated lighting equipment, providing a wider diffuse natural lightsource.

In post-production I then used Photoshop to correct lighting levels and sharpen the images using a high pass filter.

A couple of items presented interesting challenges. One large poster was in poor condition physically and had to be photographed on the floor. As I was unable to get directly above the poster due to it’s size, so I photographed it from angle of about 30 degrees, which was later corrected for perspective in Photoshop. Another picture was wedded to it’s frame and had to be photographed in such a way as to minimise distracting reflections in the glazing. Again some post-production editing was necessary.

Overall this was a rewarding assignment that is typical of the work I enjoy. The results will be on display when the store opens later in the month.

www.mcmullens.co.uk
www.valbott.co.uk

My Cuppa

I picked up one of these rather interesting mugs shortly after Christmas and decided they’d make an interesting subject for product photography. I shot the mug outdoors using a white card background and ambient light. I then used Photoshop to selectively remove a couple of colour casts and darken the shadows.

The mugs are available in both tea and coffee varieties at SuckUK’s website or on Amazon.

www.suck.uk.com/products/mycuppamugs