Over the last 25+ years I have been shooting products for manufacturers, location photos for interior designers and white-background, cutout, product shots for websites.
My commissioned photography for clients can be roughly grouped into these categories…
I like to research a location, then spend time exploring ways to bring out the best features. Generally they are of large architectural significance such as The Barbican, but also include contemporary architectural masterpieces such as Liege Guillemins station by Santiago Calatrava where I stayed in a hotel opposite the station. Photographing it at different times of the day to see how the light changed.
I feel the most successful interior design shots are shot straight-on with any vertical perspective corrected. This is what separates professional photographs from simple snaps. I have to be prepared by bringing all my cameras and lenses. In most cases a wide-angle lens is needed to capture whole rooms. Sometimes this has the deceptive effect of making the rooms look too spacious, so I take a range of shots for the client to select from. I use a second camera to take a series of closeup details that the client can intersperse with the whole room shots. For example on the Ensor Interior Design photoshoots I have ganged-up three of my close-up shots together, to give a detailed view of the rooms. In some cases I have used flash to fill in extra dark areas, but in general there isn’t enough time to light whole rooms, so I take long exposures using available light.
Photographs on a clean white background are mostly used for products on websites. I have shot a wide range of images from shoes to candles and furniture to cakes. The shots can either use the real shadow, or for consistently they can be cutout and a new shadow created afterwards. Some examples include over 500 items of jewellery for Dawes Jewellery, soft furnishings for Ragged Rose and fragranced products for Copenhagen Candles.
Sometimes products need to have an interesting background. I often put the product in sharp focus in the foreground then make the background soft focus as these shots taken for Swallowtail Hill. Sometimes clients leave the choice of backgrounds to me, for example for men’s bracelets, I subtly implied the success of the wearer by placing the products on a copy of the Financial Times as with my shots for Inkerman. For a client that makes beautifully crafted cutout, folding books we chose a white painted wooden background – see shots for Creative Rascal Books (previously Folded With Love).
Even when I am away from work or on holiday I always have a camera to hand. Most of the found shots are whilst travelling. See my travel shots.