1 in 36: A Star Is Born
I once had a photo instructor who said “If you pay attention, work hard and practise, you will be one of the lucky few who are able to shoot a roll of 36 frames and come out with one good image.” With these odds in mind let's take a look at what it takes to get that 1 in 36 shot for Wicker Emporium.
First, Avril Brown, the Wicker Emporium photo stylist does her homework. She chooses and coordinates the pieces to be photographed. On shoot day, she sets it all up and makes it look pretty for the camera. Sometimes, she even brings lunch!
Then I arrive to shed some light on it and record it in digital format. Actually, I ooh and ahh at how stunning it looks and then tear it to pieces as we progress through the shoot. Sounds easy, right? Sometimes. But most of the time it becomes an uncharted, unmapped, uphill journey. We look. We analyze. We make changes to camera angle, lighting and item placement. If it doesn't work, we do it all over again until we get an image that leaps off the screen screaming "Pick Me!"
Did you happen to notice the 'Back To School' banner image on the Facebook Page? Here's how it came about.
After an entire afternoon in the studio we were on our last set-up of the day. It was not going well. All the elements were there but they just weren't working together.
Next idea – change the lamp position (yet again). Add more of those funky locker style bins (they have potential for some neat shadows and can be used as what we photogs like to call cookies). Better, but not great from this angle.
Bazinga! By taking a walk across the studio and looking at this set-up from a different perspective I found those neat shadows I was looking for. I also found the drama, depth and dimension every great shot needs in order to make the cut.
In actual fact, this shot took a series of 17 changes before hitting on the final combination of arrangement and lighting. Hey, not bad considering those 1 in 36 odds we started with. Once we hit that magic combination, there were still minor variations and some fine tuning of exposure and composition to be done at the studio. And of course, once back at my own desk, there was still the work of choosing the best image, giving it some polish and ensuring it met the standard for going on public display.
The best part of this process: We will begin the whole journey again next week with new product, new ideas and a fresh cup of coffee.