Commercial – AKA; Product Advertising.
Commercial Photography was my college major. The intent will never change, but the processes are limitless and will continue to evolve way beyond my lifespan. It hasn’t always been this way. Back in my days creativity was limited and stiefeled by the “accepted standards” of the times. We were required to follow either one of two specific lighting scenarios and any deviation would cost a full letter grade on the project. Perhaps my instructors were prehistoric but we were only allowed two options; Rembrandt or Butterfly Lighting. After graduation and hitting the real world I became bored shooting little sliver boxes on white seamless backdrops. I began to brake the rules of lighting and much later, with my first purchase of Photoshop 2.0 I began to rely on the creativity locked away within my mind.
The intent of this site is to showcase my straight – unaltered photography. But my heavily photoshop’ed vision is what attracts the majority of my commercial clients.
Rob’s Mini-Choppers; was a fun and very challenging project. This image came from a test shoot to prove my worthiness for his posters and/or calendar project.
Have you ever been some place and suddenly had that deja’vu feeling? Have you ever heard that little voice no longer whispering, in your ear, but now screaming you shouldn’t be there? It was unsafe, out of control, insane, and that inner feeling for survival kept saying you are about to be arrested.
The bike builder had a friend drop by to pose nude with the bike. She was not a pro model, but she was cute and had a lot of enthusiasm and I liked that! Very shortly after she disrobed truckloads and truckloads of guys with kegs of beer showed up and the party began.
It did not take long to see my first mono-light fall and brake right before my eyes. I’m surprised I didn’t start packing up before then, I couldn’t ever get a shot of the bike because of all the people crammed in to the little space. I finally came to the realization the photoshoot was over and I had better make tracks before loosing any more equipment. I later learned that I missed one hell of a party. The Police came twice before things finally closed down at 2:am on a Tuesday morning.
I often think about calling Rob and trying to schedule another chopper shoot. Its an experience I will always look back on with fond memories of thrill and danger
I tend to shoot a lot of calendars and always have over the past twenty or so years. Depending on how much of any one calendar your shooting (number of months), these projects can be quite consuming. But they are always a lot of fun and something to be proud of when finished. Calendars are very easy to get published today. Several non-profit organizations are always looking for a page to be donated (Greenpeace, etc). Commercial digital printers will usually offer a deal for short run clients who wish to self-publish their own calendars and will order at least 1000. Its really not that hard or expensive to get professional results as a DIY project if you own a half way descent printer.
I have an Epson 7880 printer so the 2 foot wide format is perfect for my needs. Its especially fun to do them for the girls. Once I have collected enough images of a favorite model, I will usually print her a couple of calendars as a Christmas gift.
You can read more about DIY Calendars Here. The pagination on the 7880 can be very tricky, but it’s nothing you can’t handle, with a little planning. You can use Photoshop to make a “Contact sheet” – thumbnail’s of all the pages to use as a back cover.
Weather or not you are a serious model or photographer calendars are an excellent way to showcase your work and advertize at the same time, so drag out your favorite photographs, use you’re imagine and have fun!
About the Author
I'm a Northern California Professional Photographer, based just outside San Francisco. I specialize in commercial product advertizing and architectural. I have been working with Bay Area modeling agencies for more then 10 years, shooting portfolio development for models and high-end makeup artists. I am highly creative and always unique. I shoot cutting edge projects, both in the studio and on location.
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