One of the first things one learns about product photography is that ‘grip’ helps, massively. By grip I mean things that basically support and hold things, we’ve (probably) all tried to hold reflectors with one hand whilst releasing the shutter with the other but after a few shoots this process becomes tiresome.
So my favourite things in my Exeter photography studio are items of grip; c-stands, grip heads and gobo arms, scrims, flags, clamps, with support from apple boxes, trips and dollies. The list is long and frankly getting longer.
My approach is invariably to get the shot in camera rather than comp images together, very, very occasionally I will make a pragmatic call but as can be seen here with the ‘scene’ and ‘result’ shots the image was pretty much there once the shutter was fired.
Pretty much everything in the space is on wheels, including the desks which are made from a job lot of old Unicol bits that I once hauled back from south of London. In fact most of the equipment in the studio has had a life before me and hopefully it will also have a life after me. The cameras and computers are all bought new but if looked after the grip will last forever.
The vision for most product images is in my head at the off, by and large where the lights will need to be are pre-visualised too so generally the process is to set the scene, take an unlit shot, them place the lights, flags and reflectors. Despite how it looks here, product work is generally very paced and methodical, the tidying up afterwards is strangely satisfying.