So, I got a bit bored of shooting straight product shots this week. Although they are pretty, nothing conveys the feeling of "if I buy that diamond ring, I'll look as gorgeous as the model in the poster"
better than a lifestyle photography of model(s) wearing or using the product in an ad campaign.
This genre of commercial photography takes a lot of work and can cost a bit more. Think about it. Instead of only hiring just a product photographer and his/her assistant; you'll be paying a crew of talents that range from great model(s), a makeup artist, a hair stylist, photography assistants, coordinators, security guards, location rentals, equipment rentals, etc, a la Annie Leibovitz le grandeur style. And of course, don't forget about the knowledgeable photographer who needs to project manage this team of artistic and talented players in the studio or on location.
It's no wonder that only the large jewelry companies are the only ones that can afford the types of ad campaigns that slap enticing images into several pages of popular magazines. These larger scale expenses can chew into the profit margins of large corporations with a tight budget. For the smaller guys, these types of campaigns are near unreachable.
I don't think it needs to stay that way. Amazing lifestyle imagery with products can be achieved without breaking the bank.
So, how can we increase efficiency in a photoshoot? Here are some suggestions.
- Substitute some of the less important roles with freelance models. Your photographer has probably worked with plenty that they think have high potential. Ask him/her for suggestions! Do note that, a risk involved is the ability of how the model to performs. Professional models are a bit more in-tuned with their poses, look and style that will match your creative needs.
- How about getting a good photographer who has the know-how in lighting and can work his/her own lights without hiring 5-10 assistants that he/she can bark out orders to. Yes, of course, project size varies and there are times where a large crew is necessary. What I'm merely recommending is to increase productivity without creating waste or cutting corners.
- A photographer who owns his/her lighting equipment means that he/she won't have to rent them and that can be a great cost savings too! Equipment rentals can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars!
- Also, getting a good coordinator to manage the time is absolutely critical and can save you money overall. Bottlenecks in production can halt the entire process and increase cost!
On another note, last week was an amazing week. I am proud to say that my photographs (both comp cards and beauty shots) help propel two more fantastic models to get recognized and interviewed by huge international status agencies; i.e. Ford Models
and Marla Dell
. These are the agencies that supply models to ads and campaigns such as Elizabeth Arden, Cosmopolitan, Glamour magazines and Abercrombie catalogs.
Suffice to say, there are phenomenal opportunities that can open up to them and I'm truly happy to be a big part of this turning point of their lives and careers!
- Michael Soo
Labels: commercial photography, jewelry photography, models