We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.
One of the things we love about brand photography is that no two projects are the same, Even if a brand is identical to another in terms of what they sell as a product or service, brands are still different. They differ in the way they communicate their message and in who their ideal client is. They differ in their imagery style and what they want to represent their brand. What this means is that even with two brands that do the same exact thing, we’re going to have two shoots that look completely different!
Caroline Cecil Textiles’ brand photoshoot was exactly that, but within just the one brand! We had to take, even just for the same brand, two different approaches to shoot two different subjects for her brand. So today we are going to dive into the shoot, share the two parts of the shoot that we had to capture, and tell you how we tackled each situation!
The first focus of the shoot with Caroline’s brand was to showcase lifestyle content. We needed to focus on Caroline, her team, and even some of the new products she was launching – incredible pillows!! – in the imagery.
Caroline is a designer by trade, so her studio and office space was of course beautifully designed! We kept catching ourselves admiring different touches around her home and office and taking mental notes about design touches for our own space! The CCT office is a space that clients and other designers visit to select her custom textiles and implement them into overall design projects, so we wanted to show the space for the beautiful sanctuary it is and also communicate the attention to detail she gave even in her own space, as that would send messages of confidence to her ideal client!
We also spent time creating images of Caroline working in her office and with her team for lifestyle content for her social media and new website refresh! If you’re a photographer, you know how well rooms with large open windows and light colors photograph, so we were literally in photographer’s creative heaven!
Aside from content of Caroline and her space, we also set out to create lifestyle content for her new pillow product launch!! Caroline used her custom textile designs and created her own pillow line, and our goal was to show those pillows in the context of a home that would look just right for her ideal client! We set up different vignettes throughout the house with Caroline’s help and it felt like there wasn’t a single spot in the home that didn’t photograph well!
We utilized all natural light for the lifestyle portion of the shoot and focused on creating emotion in the images – a compelling feeling that would connect with her ideal client and tell her brand story! One of the key tools we used for this shoot was the Expo Disc! The Expo Disc is a white balance filter that we use on every shoot. It feels like an extension of our cameras and shooting without it feels like shooting without a lens attached – it’s that critical for us! The Expo Disc feeds your camera the perfect white balance reference based on the light you are shooting in and helps to create those perfect white balance photos right in camera! This was super important for a textile designer who cares a LOT about making their fabrics look true to life with color!
The second half of our shoot with CCT took place on a different day. This portion of the shoot focused on creating new product images for her brand new pillow launch! These images would be used on her website e-commerce store and literally be the representation that clients would purchase from. Again, for a textile designer – these needed to be PERFECT.
Our approach for this portion of the project was a complete 180 from the first half. Lifestyle vs. Products. Natural Light vs. Studio Light. Subjective vs. Objective. Yeah…couldn’t be much different.
We approached this portion of the shoot by setting up our studio in our garage! We used white seamless from Savage on the ground and utilized our Nissin MG10’s** to over expose our background to make it shoot pure white. Next, we needed to create separation between the product and the background, so we figured out a way to elevate the pillows from the background and create a solid 4 feet of space between the pillows and the paper. This prevented the pillows from being lit by our background lights and was far enough away from the background to avoid any light wrapping around them from the back. This allowed us to light the pillows independent of the background using our other Nissin MG10’s** with some soft modifiers.
Setting up lighting was the easy part. Once we liked the lighting set up, we had to ensure that the way we tackled the shoot allowed us to replicate the same photo and framing across 24 different pillows!! Think about it…when you shop online and you see a grid of different products to choose from and they are all a similar product, you expect to see them displayed in the same EXACT way. We set our camera up on a boom overhead and created a consistent framing space for each product and then worked our way through them. This way, we knew the camera wouldn’t move, and neither would the framing or the focus!
One tool we LOVE when we shoot like this is our Tether Tools Kit. Tethering into our computer allows us to see the images in real time and make any corrections we need to in real time. That way, we can make minor adjustments that would be hard to see on back of camera and ensure we’re shooting consistent images.
The other tool that we used was our X-Rite ColorChecker. This tool allows us to make sure colors are perfectly in sync with real to life colors no matter what our set up is. This was again super important for shooting product photography for a textile manufacturer because they want those colors to be TRUE TO LIFE. So what we did was we put the color checker in the scene once we had it built, took a photo of the color checker in the scene, and set a custom color profile in Lightroom to match the colors in the color checker. The color checker knows what the colors should look like, and the color profile adjusts those colors (and all colors) to show up as they should. BOOM!! This was an absolute game changer and HUGE lifesaver so we weren’t spending countless hours in Lightroom adjusting individual colors. We were able to simply sync it to the color profile we created and we knew our colors would be accurate.
This photoshoot was A TON of fun and we ABSOLUTELY loved tackling both sides of the imagery for Caroline. Between the lifestyle content for social media and product photography, we enjoyed this shoot so much! What did you think about this TWO part shoot for ONE brand? Have you had a similar experience with any of your clients?
**Use code ‘ERICAANDJON’ at checkout for a Free FlashBender v3 Small Reflector with purchase of $100 or more!
We’ve provided links to the gear in this blog for your benefit. We are affiliates for some of the products you see listed which means we get a small commission when a purchase is made using one of the links included in this post. It doesn’t cost you a dime more and in some cases even costs you less because of a special bundle or discount we’ve been able to snag for your benefit! We would never endorse products we didn’t use ourselves, so rest assured knowing these are our true recommendations!