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March 31, 2011 /

Anything Goes Wednesday: Commercial Clothing Photography

Weekly random blog post, this week: commercial clothing photography for a website
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Two weeks in a row… is it a trend??? Welcome to the second installment of “Anything Goes Wednesday” where we will try to take a break from talking about Atlanta weddings and engagement photography and explore some of the other side of FengLong Photography. That doesn’t mean we won’t have slow weeks where we’ll use the Monday weekly blog to talk about random things… but at least this is an attempt to move those to their own day of the week! 🙂 I can’t wait to finish up next Monday’s blog post about yet another awesome engagement session I shot in Piedmont Park, but that will wait for Monday!

So what have Betty and I been up to this week you may ask? Of course the usual answer to that question is staying up waaaay past our bedtime taking care of Miles! We did take a quick family portrait to commemorate Miles’ one month birthday:

Family Photos: Zac, Betty & Miles

He’s getting pretty big even though it’s hard to tell when you see him every day, all day long. The only real measurement we have is that he already has grown out of his preemie newborn clothes!

Ok, now that Miles is covered I can talk about the OTHER stuff I did so far this week. I had the excellent opportunity to try my hand at some commercial photography, and let me tell you, if you thought weddings were tough events to photograph, commercial photography is almost worse! Wedding photography is all about capturing the decisive moment, making memories, documenting emotion… all the fun, artsy, creative, love stuff. Commercial photography on the other hand is getting everything absolutely perfect – while everyone watches you  struggle to get it perfect! 🙂

I really shouldn’t write it like that because Mr. and Mrs. XYZ are the NICEST people in the entire world and I absolutely love them both to death, they didn’t want me to mention their name or company so I am keep things pretty confidential but wanted to share my quick observations on the experience.

Blog Photos - Clothing Shoot

Here is the secret to great commercial photography: getting your colors (and everything else) right in camera. The first thing they commented to me was how amazing it was that I was able to reproduce the colors exactly like they saw in person. While not as critical to get a bride’s blues the exact hue as it really was, when you are selling products you really want to make sure what the customer sees is what they get. How do I achieve that? Using the little device our model is holding above, the ColorChecker Passport. This little thing works as a baseline standard to reproduce colors on your computer monitor and talks to the software to ensure that what you see is what you get.

As I learned from this experience, it’s absolutely critical to get things right in the camera. I spent entirely too much time over the past few days correcting things in Photoshop that should have been fixed when we were doing the shoot. Spending 20 minutes on something that we could have corrected in 5 minutes live in person is not the way to do things going forward. I chalk it up to part of the learning experience and seeing what I need to fix for our next shoot. Sort of like our first weddings we shot, I had to correct things after the fact but now with so many under our belt I am doing minimal “fixes” after the event because we are shooting things exactly how we want to appear in the camera live in the field.

Blog Photos - Clothing Shoot

My second learning experience was that I was lighting our subjects like models, not like products. The first few shots had the model looking awesome, however the clothes were too dark and contrasty with shadows. Conversely those are all the cool things you want for a killer portrait, not so much when you are trying to sell the clothes not the model :). Gradually as the shoot went on the later photos came out much better as I rearranged the lights and continually learned on the job from what was working and what was not working.

Blog Photos - Clothing Shoot

Overall it was a really fun experience doing a commercial shoot and I am eagerly awaiting our next shoot. I improved as the shoot went on and I know that with experience our next shoot will be even more seamless and productive! For the technical side of things, we were shooting tethered to the laptop in the corner and using Pocket Wizards to trigger the two flashes (shoot-through umbrella and Westcott Apollo Softbox).

Looking at the week ahead I need to finish up last weekend’s engagement shoot and then we have a last-minute wedding shoot on Saturday!! I always get excited for weddings, every time is such a thrill because each one is totally different. Sort of like this engagement session, we also went to Piedmont Park where we had just photographed Helen and Ediru’s engagement session on the previous week, but we came back with TOTALLY different images from the same location. Here is one quick sneak peak from next Monday’s post:

Rita & Andre Engagement Session in Piedmont Park [Atlanta Wedding Photographer]

Is that a model or one of our future brides? We have the BEST brides! These past two weeks have been amazing photographic opportunities all thanks to our rockstar brides (and their fiancees)!!

Well I hope you enjoyed this quick random Wednesday post, with some behind the scenes information and a sneak peek at our personal family portrait. Photographing babies is H-A-R-D! If you are our Facebook friends (or Miles’ friend!) you can see the rest of the family portrait photos for Miles’ one month birthday as our new profile photos.

Have a great week everyone! When is Atlanta going to warm up again! All this rain has gotten me down this week!

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